Do you wonder what is wrong with your spouse? Perhaps (s)he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder; perhaps (s)he has a brain disorder; perhaps (s)he has problems understanding what you want, even though you have told him/her thousands of times; perhaps (s)he’s just hard of hearing even though you have yelled at the top of your lungs and used hand signals; perhaps (s)he’s just uncommonly selfish; perhaps (s)he just doesn’t love you anymore.
The problem is:
- (S)he won’t have sex with you.
- (S)he won’t pay the bills.
- (S)he won’t clean the house.
- (S)he won’t leave you alone when you want “me” time.
- (S)he doesn’t spend enough time with the children.
- (S)he won’t cook.
- (S)he does the laundry wrong.
- (S)he loads the dishwasher wrong.
- (S)he doesn’t pay enough attention to you.
First of all, let me say I do understand that you are in an excruciating situation and that you are seriously frustrated and suffering from serious pain. I do not want to make light of your situation. But I do want to get through to you. So let me be blunt. (Once again, sorry if this hurts a bit.)
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Your spouse is not the “Great Mammary Gland in the Sky”. (S)he is not the solution to the difficulty of life. And even though life can be wonderful, it is also difficult. It is supposed to be difficult. Don’t take it out on me, please. I don’t make the rules. And just so you won’t feel judged, I should tell you I have spent quite a bit of time complaining and blaming and being angry too.
The problem is (generally) not that your spouse doesn’t love you or that (s)he is defective in some way. The problem is that you don’t love yourself. I am not blaming you! You may not know how to love yourself. Most of us don’t really. The good news is you can learn.
Where do you start? There are different places you can start, and loving yourself is a process. First of all, realize you have the power you need to make changes. You are not at the mercy of your spouse.
If you are ready to turn your life around, make up your mind that you are going to protect yourself from stress and anger. You are not going to put poison into your body, because you love yourself. This means the next time your spouse does something that triggers your anger and hurt, you step back and say “I choose not to do this to myself.” You can take a moment and choose not to react. You have the power to do this. If you don’t think you do, would you break down and scream and yell and cry and hurl insults if the Pope was in the room with you?
After you step back, perhaps you can ask yourself what would make you feel better. If you feel rejected or unloved, can you say something nice to yourself? Perhaps you can tell yourself that you love yourself, and that you are special. Then, take the time to do something you enjoy. If you don’t have time right then, promise yourself a treat to enjoy later. The next time you are faced with an opportunity to feel horrible — change course.