The challenge to every married couple is making their love blossom and last a lifetime, no matter what. Is there such a thing?
As I often tell my clients, you can only give out of the measure of what you have in life, you cannot give beyond the measure of what you possess; including love. And here is what I mean: When a person complains that their spouse is selfish and does not love them like they want to be loved, I will ask that person: “How do you see yourself? Are you lovable? How do you love yourself?” I do not doubt that the person may be right in saying that their spouse is selfish or simply a jerk. My question is: “How come you are in a loveless marriage? What have you done or still so about it?” My premise is simply the fact that we create our environment based on our internal system of beliefs and core values that serves like a map in our life. This map simply directs our steps and choices in life based on our internal ideas of who we are and what we value.
Simply put it like this: Not only are we what we eat, but we are what we meditate on. And what we meditate on, we recreate in our life. The Bible says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. So, we become what we behold with our mind’s eye. What we think about ourselves will determine how we do life. How we do marriage. Consciously and subconsciously.
So, I focus on my clients’ ideas of who they are and how they see themselves, how do they love and appreciate themselves for who they are and for who God made them. The challenges in their ability to receive love from God and from significant people in their life will reveal a great deal of why they may be stuck in a loveless marriage. When you know how much you are loved by God, then you can love. Love yourself, God, and others. This is the basis of healing in hurting relationships. If you did not receive unconditional love as a child from your parents, there is hope and healing. It is never too late to start being loved. All it takes is you saying yes to love.
If you can love yourself unconditionally, fervently, and relentlessly, you will love others that way, too; including your spouse. The Bible tells us to love our neighbors like ourselves. But if your spouse refuses to live with that love, you can still make the choice to give yourself that love. You make the choices for yourself. God showed us His model of that love in His son Jesus Christ. And His love never runs out or runs low. Loved individuals make loving marriages. And this is for a lifetime, not for a season.
By Kayla Roberts, BCPC, RMHCI