"We were driving across the autobahn in East Germany. As the tires sang along to the cadence of the highway's cement slabs, I found that my heart rate matched the hurried tempo. I was fuming in the passenger seat. My boyfriend and I were vacationing and I was a shadow, following him around on his dream vacation. I sat pouting because I was always sacrificing my desires to ensure his happiness.
The annoyance in his brow told me that my passive-aggression had been seen, but it was working against me. He began poking at my wall of frustration. With rage in his voice and anger in his eyes he yelled, "You love to argue!" I was being blamed for feeling insignificant, but maybe I deserved it. All he could see was my behavior, not my true desire to feel cherished.
Many think that a couple which doesn't argue has it all figured out. As a professional counselor, I'd say those who argue well are the ones who have found the true answers. These couples use open communication to avoid resentment and maturity to advocate for necessary changes.
Like me on that European vacation, many of us are desperate for signs of being loved, signs that are communicated with behaviors more than words. Someone can tell me they love me all day, yet refuse to understand the emotional cravings of my heart. Even though the words are spoken, I will still feel valueless when my partner doesn't take time to see me from the inside out.
So here are 6 ways to make sure your loved one feels loved:
1. Negative control isn't control. It will leave you powerless.
Negative control is a tactic that cons your significant other into meeting your emotional needs. It is the silent treatments, the pouting, or the heavy sighs that communicate a message of needing some sort of attention. When we use negative control we trap ourselves into getting our needs met out of coercion and insincerity. Essentially, we trap ourselves in the actor/actress role and rob our partners from expressing their love organically. The fruits of negative control are never sustainable. In other words, forcing the response we desire will work in the short-term, but we'll always remain hungry for an authentic demonstration of expressed love..."