Deb Toering is a Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor (BCPCC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. In addition to working with a wide range of client populations and presenting issues, Deb is also an engaging public speaker. She has spoken in front of various groups across a range of topics including marriage, bullying, ADHD/ADD, and teen leadership.
A question I often ask couples is, “What one thing could the other do to make you feel more loved?” I will hear things such as, “hug and kiss me when I come home”, or “give me your undivided attention”, or “help me around the house more.” What would your partner say?
Are you doing that one thing? If not, what keeps you from taking action? Perhaps it is anger, or hurt, or unforgiveness, all of which need addressing. Our tendency is to withhold love when we are fearful that expressing it will lead to further hurt or disappointment or not “receiving back” all that we are giving. Any change in behavior takes the proper amount of motivation. In relationships, our hope is that if we act lovingly toward our partner, they will respond and love us in ways we desire.
But what if we have tried in the past and there was not the expected response? We have two choices. We can continue with the loving behavior and hope it will be reciprocated, or we can withhold love, and continue struggling in our relationships.
Choosing to love your partner is usually a win. Even if there is not the desired response right away, the love will not go unnoticed. Intentional expressions of love will eventually become a natural part of us. Your decision to act in love will have a powerful effect on you, your loved one and everyone else your life touches.