7 Things Marriage Counselors WISH You Knew About Unconditional Love

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how to love unconditionally using radical acceptance

You fell in love with your partner because you truly believed in the perfection of your relationship. 

Sure, there were a few flaws, but nothing fatal, and certainly no deal-breakers, or else you would never have said, "I do."

In fact, you're still so glad you said "yes" that day.

That's why it's heartbreaking when things between you aren't the way they were.

Deep down inside you truly believe your marriage has what it takes, yet sometimes it feels like the problems you face, however small, are threatening to your future together. 

And when you say something, things get better for a little while, but it's back to the same old in no time at all. 

If love makes the world go 'round, why do you look at your partner and feel so much love, yet stuck in a rut?

Marriage is complicated by design, and nothing worthwhile ever came easily.

Long-term love is custom built by two people. It's normal for true love to come with a bunch of wires that send mixed signals and complex messages. 

Still, what do you do when struggles and challenges deeply affect the future of your marriage?

Yes, you have heard that loving your partner unconditionally is key. But, what does that really mean? 

I had a "lightbulb moment" about what it means to really love somebody, and the less-known aspects of how to make a long-term relationship really work after reading Andrea Miller's new book, Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love.

The five-step action plan in the book not only serves as a model for how to have more empathy and compassion for your partner, it also helps us better understand what unconditional love really means. 

Learning how to love unconditionally can frustrating, but it doesn't have to be.

In fact, learning to radically accept your spouse is the best thing you can do for yourself, and your spouse. And the book can help.

On top of that, we asked some of our YourTango Experts exactly what shifts in thinking need to happen in order to find the love, and marriage, you dream of having.

Here are seven common things these Experts WISH couples just like you (and me!) knew, to radically accept our most intimate relationships:

1. Unconditional love sometimes involves positive illusions about your partner —  and that's totally okay!

See your partner as a piece of art you've chosen from a gallery — perfect the way they are with their faults, shortcomings, and asymmetries. It's this acceptance that gives room for them to grow without judgment, allowing them to be all of who they are in your presence and experience an incomparable love with you. 

Any alterations from you to them change not only the bad but also the things you find attractive. So if you're looking for something to edit, to change, let it be you and no one else.”

Clayton Olson is a coach extraordinaire. If you're wanting to make your man completely and totally devoted to you, click here to get his free guide - 5 Secrets To Unlock His Heart and Make Him Yours

2. When you see a flaw in your partner, it's an indicator that there's something you need to learn to love unconditionally about yourself, too.

"We are a mirror for each other. Whatever might trigger you about your spouse is often something that you can't accept about yourself. Looking inward and asking the question, "What am I aware of that if I wasn't aware of it, I'd be experiencing unconditional love and acceptance with myself and my spouse?"

One you've done that, you can now allow the answer to be revealed."

Kelly Ann Garnett is a Certified Love Attraction Coach, Certified Life Coach, Spiritual Psychologist and educator who understands the inherent need for intimacy in a relationship, and the deep desire and longing for a Soulmate and what it takes to honor yourself as you journey toward each other. Visit her website to download her free eBook and for more information about how she can help you on your path.

3. Unconditional love fosters a no-strings-attached dynamic.

“Unconditional love is something you choose to give, not something your partner earns. Choosing to focus on the positives about your partner doesn’t mean they’re perfect, just that you’re prioritizing what matters most.

Unconditional love is about your ability to let go of your expectations about how you and your partner should be and the journey to create a space where you both can be your best selves.”

Lesli Doares is a therapist, coach, and the founder of a practical alternative for couple's worldwide looking to improve their marriage without traditional therapy. Call Lesli at 1-919-924-0463 to schedule a free 1-hour consultation. If you want to learn more about how to protect your marriage from the resentment termites and other relationship challenges, read 3 Secrets to a Kick-Ass Marriage today.

4. Learning to love is a process. So, it's okay to get outside help when you need it. 

“Experiencing unconditional Love can be confusing, difficult and next to impossible until you fill up all the empty holes inside that still feel unloved and are starving for it. If you are not yet able to FEEL LOVED inside — I mean from the inside out — you really have no choice but to try to get it from the outside.

If you can find someone on the outside (coach, therapist or mentor) to help you receive that Love inside in a conscious way, you’ll be able to fill that emptiness little by little, to the point of really FEELING LOVED. Then, and only then is your love unconditional, because you are included in this Love and don’t need to get anything back from the outside anymore.”

Pernilla Lillarose is a Self Love Mystic & Mentor at Divine Feminine Flow. Feel free to contact her for a free 30 minute Discovery Session to learn if her Self Love Mentoring can help you experience more Love, Peace and Joy in your life and how true Self Love can turn your whole life around.

5. Loving someone begins with deep honesty about your own limits with vulnerability — and then, rise above.

“The only people in your lifetime you will truly ever love unconditionally are your children. Everyone else, including yourself and your spouse, you will love with conscious and unconscious strings attached.”Dr. Sheryl Ziegler is a psychologist in private practice, speaker and author of the upcoming book, Mommy Burnout. You can follow her blog on and

Dr. Sheryl Ziegler is a psychologist in private practice, speaker and author of the upcoming book, Mommy Burnout. You can follow her blog on and

6. You don't have to be perfect at unconditional love. 

“Unconditional love is a goal. You don’t have to be perfect at it. But you can strive for it. One way to get there is to try for empathy instead of forgiveness. How important are the things that bother you about your partner? Rate them on a scale of one to ten. And then think about why the higher numbers are so important. Do they relate to your childhood? See if you can connect them to your own unmet needs and then own your stuff. If you can do this, then you might find empathy not only for your partner but for yourself.”

Dr. Tammy Nelson is a world renowned sex and relationship expert and the author of The New Monogamy. She can be found at

7. Love is unconditional when we start with ourselves, first. 

“The love’s math is not so easy: My limitation + my partner’s limitation = unconditional love? It is not a given, it is an iteration process in an un-deterministic universe. No scientist won the Nobel prize and resolved this equation yet.

The equation of love is an exception in math (1+1=1) and this should be applied to your couple. Reach your “one” first, give without conditions, challenge your limitations and not your partner’s first and do not capitalize only on your first neurochemicals’ reaction (love at first sight) as this is a very short investment.”

Yves Deceuninck is a performance coach using neurosciences techniques. Contact Yves today ( to get your life, business or change process on track, to explore your performance or to become who you desire to be.

"Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love" by Andrea Miller is now available to order online.

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