Last night I somehow stumbled upon my new favorite blog. And as I was paging through some of the recent archives, something called out to me.
At the risk of sharing too much information, I am a newlywed (by my own standards). We haven't quite been married 2 years yet. And while I love my husband very much (VERY much! extraordinarily much! i-don't-sleep-enough-some-nights-because-i'm-caught-up-in-gazing-at-him much!) our young marriage has not exactly been pure bliss. (That's what happens when you combine two passionate people, one of whom will go to excessively great lengths to ignore every problem no matter what and the other of whom feels the obsessive compulsion to deal with every single problem no matter how minute and get it dealt with and resolved.) (You can guess who is which.)
This blog currently is nothing but a collection of marriage advice from ...folks, I don't know where they come from - friends of the blog author, I guess, solicited to fill in the holes while she's on her email. And some of the advice is hokey (always go on adventures!) but some of it is really meaningful. Which brings me (back) to something that spoke to me.
In this entry, Anna Bond writes a quote that a friend had told her: "Love your other how they need to be loved, not how you need to be loved." This is something touched on in things like Gary Chapman's the Five Love Languages and in any number of sources for good sex advice. But really, that's it right there. That's IT.
The times when I get the most angry or frustrated with Brian are those when he is not loving me the way I need to be loved. I can only assume he feels the same way when the roles are reversed. Do I know how he needs to be loved? And do I know how to show that to him? If I'm honest...no, I don't really know how he needs to be loved. And that's hard to acknowledge, or accept. I am learning, yes, but relating to him his way, and on his level, is certainly not easy right now.
When we're in the midst of conflict, doesn't come naturally, and I can't read his mind.
I could say the same for him. I get so caught up in the martyrdom of 'he KNOWS I don't like this or I need that' that I lose sight of what he needs and how I can be or do that for him. I am not responsible for his actions and inactions - only mine. And mine need to be centered around him - the same way he needs to be focused on what I need instead of what I'm not doing for him, especially when we are arguing.
Talk about a reality check and a swift kick in the pants.