The Fine Line Between Love and Care-Taking

By

The Fine Line Between Love and Care-Taking
There is a fine line between loving behavior and care-taking behavior.

"How do I know when I am caretaking and when I am being loving?" I get asked this question quite frequently. The answer lies in understanding your intent.

Caretaking

Caretaking comes from the ego wounded self and the intent behind caretaking is to control. When you are caretaking, you are giving yourself up to do what someone else wants you to do in the hopes of having control over getting approval or avoiding disapproval or anger. When you are caretaking, you are taking responsibility for another person's feelings while ignoring your own. Frequently, you are doing for others what they need to be doing for themselves — which means that you are enabling them.

While it might look loving to caretake others, it is anything but loving. It is not loving to abandon yourself. It is not loving to give to get — giving with an agenda to get approval or avoid disapproval. It is not loving to enable others in not taking responsibility for themselves.

Loving Behavior

Loving behavior toward others comes from our loving adult self — which is who we are when we are connected with a spiritual source of love and wisdom. When you are loving others, you are giving to them for the joy of giving to them. The intent behind the giving is to share your love. You don't need anything from the other person because you are already full of love from having taken loving care of yourself.

There is no agenda attached to loving behavior. How the other person responds is fine, because you don't need anything back, nor do you expect anything back. You are giving for the pure joy of giving and are further filled in the act of giving. Keep reading...

More Couples Content from YourTango: 

This article was originally published at Inner Bonding . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

Forget The Past And The Future — Life Happens Now

By

We'd all love to know the future — to know that everything turns out the way we want it to. Some of us spend a lot of time thinking about the future and doing all we can to control it. Or we get caught up on thinking about the past and how we wish we had done it differently. Yet every moment we think about the past or the future we are not in the ... Read more

Eating Well Means Living Well

By

Over 50 years ago, due to having been a sickly child and adolescent, I became interested in nutrition. After reading the current literature, I changed my entire way of eating. I cut out sugar, refined foods and frozen and packaged foods, as well as anything with pesticides or preservatives. At that time, there were few health food stores that carried organic ... Read more

Is It A Demand Or Request? Ask A Marriage Counselor

By

Are you confused about the difference between making a demand and making a request? It's easy to be confused about this. Tina asks, "Margaret, what's the difference between a demand and asking for what you need in a relationship?" Demands Asking for what you want and need in a relationship is important, but it becomes a demand when the ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular