I finally figured him out. I know what he really wants – to be nurtured in a motherly way.
I finally figured him out. I know what he really wants – to be nurtured in a motherly way. If I kiss his head, hold him tight and let him feel loved he eats it up. I guess this makes sense based on lack of love from his own mother when he was a kid.
This flash of insight came from a client of mine who has been working on her own development for some time. Feeling pushed into marriage before she was really ready, she held resentment inside and resisted the idea of loving her partner in ways that meet his needs and communicate in his love language. She came to realize she now has choices and one is to leave or stay. Having made the conscious choice to stay in her marriage, at least for now, allowed her to be more open to finding ways to make it work. She decided if she’s going to be in this marriage she might as well try to be happy and have the best marriage she can. As she took responsibility for her own choices, behavior, and attitudes, things began to improve. She started listening to what his words and actions communicated about his needs and desires. She started to take more action, such as being willing to sit with him and cuddle on the coach. But when she followed her instincts and started to caress him like she would nurture a child then the magic happened. His attitude changed, his mood brightened and he wanted to make her happy in return.
Her love language is gifts, and she is aware of how this was conditioned by her mother and family. She has learned there are many other ways to give and receive love but she still feels special when someone thinks enough of her to buy her a thoughtful gift. As it so often happens, it is hard for her husband to express love in this way because he is tight with money and it seems frivolous to spend it on things they don’t really need. To her this feels controlling, which frustrates her and make her feel unloved. However, when she started being more nurturing, he suddenly loosened the wallet and started to buy her little things to show his affection and appreciation.
What is getting in your way of meeting your partner’s primary needs and desires? You may be thinking that it is ridiculous to treat your husband like a child but that is not the point. This client knows her husband needs to stand on his own feet and learn to manage his own emotions and in most ways he is quite independent. But, making the choice to love and nurture him in ways that feel good deep down while maintaining respect for herself and him is a healthy expression of affection. We can’t leave our dependency needs behind until we find constructive ways to get those needs met and then grow beyond them. The beauty of intimate relationships is that they contain the potential to help us become the best of who we are.
Meditation: Is there something within me that is resisting loving my partner in ways that will help him or her be happier and healthier? I will respond with patience and love to myself and my partner and allow room for both of us to grow and mature.