I had a question and I realized as frustrating as this for me, there are others wrestling with this same struggle. I would love for you to answer as well as post the question on your site. The question is….
How do you show (not tell) someone that they are deeply loved and show (not tell) them that you are capable of being happy without them….simultaneously?
I’m talking about in a relationship where there was a break up that resulted in me putting him out (we were living together)and after 8 months of separation (in title mostly, we never stopped seeing each other), we finally stopped arguing, I finally stopped complaining and we’ve started saying “I love you” and “I miss you” again, spending QUALITY time and have decided to make an effort to build a real friendship. The most important thing is that he’s opened up again and shares so much more with me now, the way he used to.
BUT, we both hurt each other in the break up (both of our fault, no cheating) and we’ve been mean to each other off and on since then, until about a month ago. But ALL that hurt is still present and governing both of our actions at times(more his than mine). God has restored my fearlessness in love so “I’s free!”..lol.
I know that everyone desires to be loved, and loved according to what love means to them (I read the 5 love languages years ago and reread it with him, which was confirmation for my thoughts about love). I know that he wants and enjoys receiving the love he wants and needs from me and every day I give it to him. I want him to feel loved. But there are days when his hurt and fear (and sometimes anger, i think he tries to punish me or put me through his own personal fire for hurting him) keep him from giving love back and be selfish. It doesn’t hurt me, because I know and understand what it is. Months ago I tried to apologize for hurting him and talk about how I know I hurt him, he got upset, to tears and said he wasn’t hurt and didn’t ever want to talk about it again. It’s frustrating because I don’t know how to get us past this point into where we both ultimately desire to be.
Most of the time I feel like the solution is to just keep loving him the way God tells me to and the hurt will go away. Well, the problem with is that his love language is “words of affirmation” and “ acts of service”. These are things that are to be done very often, daily even. (cooking sometimes, complimenting, encouraging, edifying, etc) Lol…I keep his love tank full. This is a real man I’m speaking of, one deserving of honor and respect. But you take any person dealing with hurt, and you get actions and words – based in or stifled by fear. So even though he receives and enjoys this love, fear can make him take this as I’m trying to fool him so I can hurt him again, win him back so I can have the upper hand, or get my way. Which brings me to solution number two and the cause for my question…..
At other times (very rare) I feel like the solution is to cut him off, put some distance between us, a silence to his connection to me. Since we broke up, we’ve never actually been without each other for more than a week. I don’t think he’s ever had to consider what life would be like without me and who I am to his life and purpose, daily and forever (according to what God has shared and confirmed with us both). I’ve fallen in and out of love with him. I love him now because CHOOSE to love him. But I think he believes that I’m just so in love him that I can’t help it, and I can’t be without him. That should be a good thing, but fear makes it negative. At times I think that he takes my love (I know ya’ll know love is a verb) for granted and that the love I give him (according to his love languages) becomes fuel for his complacency. The detriment to this solution is the risk of hurting him all over again and him feeling unloved by me. Just when he starts to open up again, feeling a little more secure and starts to enjoy us more…here I go being unpredictable and doing something that he thought I’d never do.
So, having said all of that…… How do you show (not tell) someone that they are deeply loved and show (not tell) them that you are capable of being happy without them….simultaneously?