April 26th: Expressing Love

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When I was in my marriage, I often expressed love the way that I wanted to be shown love:

I gave words… freely, willingly.

I believed that by expressing my love to my husband verbally, I was giving him what he wanted: and affirmation of my love and commitment to him.

But what I found out after my divorce, and after years of spiritual footwork, is that there are several ways to express love and that just because I like words, affirmations, to prove someone is committed to me, it does not mean that my partner feels the same about that form of expression.

Today I know that when I want to show love to someone I care for it is best to find out what makes them feel most cherished and secure in the relationship:

Is it words of affirmation they need?

Do they prefer that I clear the calendar and spend quality time with them… no distractions?

Would they prefer that I show my love through simple acts of service, bringing them coffee? Cooking a nice meal on a night when they are feeling worn?

Is it a gift that they need? Something that truly makes them smile? A book they love but haven’t bought? A gift card to a favorite store?

Or would my loved one like some time alone. Some time to relax and unwind and not worry that I will be offended at their need for solitude?

A relationship is like a dance and I must learn how to move with my partner, to find our own rhythm and language so that our expression of love compliments each other’s needs.

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“Dear God, help me to express my love. Help me to give what is needed to those I care about.”

5 thoughts on “April 26th: Expressing Love

  1. What’s so ironic here.
    Our marriage is over, and was probably over for a few years before we split. But the intimacy, the tactile, the words …were still there much of the time.
    It was so painful to understand the meaning of all of it when you’ve been with someone for so long.
    But if real love, trust, compassion are there… You do find that “dance” that works. Sometimes what you think you’re doing is right, but it rings hollow.
    I’ve learned a lot in the past several months of reflection on this. It’s been tough.😓

  2. I still feel the same way as my post last year.
    Without communicating and seeing / feeling what really counts … It can break down and neither one may realize it’s happening without expressing how one feels .

  3. Wow I must really be damaged goods after my divorce. Then there are people like me that did all of the above and then some and off he went with the new piece of you know what…

    Now just reading you suggestions sounds soooo exhausting and I think. For a bit, I think I will focus all that energy and do all that great stuff for myself and treat myself like a queen, spoil myself, take myself to dinner, buy myself fresh flowers… If we can put as much of all that effort we always want to do for men into ourselves, then I have no expectations and I am left with a sense of wellbeing…but that is just me.

    Sometimes we need to take the time off to heal and maybe we can hopefully, get into a relationship that we don’t have to worry so much about pleasing and making someone else happy and expecting them to make me happy. If two happy come together, then togetherness is just natural..

    • Far from damaged goods. 🙂 I learned a lot through my divorce and I chose not to date anyone for over a year after my marriage ended. I needed to mourn the loss of what was and as you said, learn to take care of myself again before jumping into a relationship with someone else. Someone very wise told me to just do what I loved and I would run into a person who loved doing the same things… that is exactly what happened. 🙂

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