Where Did the Love Go?
I have had times when I don't feel loved by the wonderful person I married. I'm guessing you have, too.
Do you know why this happens? It's really not sunspots affecting the guys and gals we married. Usually, it has almost nothing to do with how much love they want to offer us.
Remember that story about the fellow who asks for help searching for his dropped key in a dark parking lot? The helper asks, "Where did you drop it?"
The helper asks, "So, why are you looking here?"
"Because the light's better."
If you're thinking your spouse would take out the trash, fix your favorite meal, praise you to your mother-in-law, initiate sex, remember your anniversary, or put a little more effort into shopping for your birthday if he or she loved you, you are looking where the light is better. And you won't find love there.
Once upon a long time ago, when I was a freshman in college, my boyfriend of almost two years asked me to ride with him in a cold rain to purchase something he needed for an architecture class. The sun was going down, and I felt the early signs of a cold. I did not want to ride my bicycle in this weather. He said, "If you loved me, you would ride with me." And in that moment, I knew I never wanted such an awful expectation.
I could have countered with, "If you loved me, you would protect my health." But I didn't. I said, "Then I guess I don't love you." And it was over. I thought I had loved him well, but I was not willing to do this to prove my love.
Years later, I forgot all this as I kept ruminating on all the things I thought my husband of 13 years should do for me if he loved me. I so wanted to will those keys to show up where I felt comfortable looking. It did not work. I felt unloved, no matter what else he did for me.
Now my mantra is "Expect Love." Anyone who married you would love to give you some. Those other expectations, those "If you loved me you would _____" expectations, keep us from finding the love we're offered and make it a lot less fun to love us. We all have a few, the signs of love we simply cannot live without. But the others are making us and those who love us miserable.
Love is endlessly surprising if we are willing to look for it where it can be found, instead of under our favorite street light.