John Lennon said all you need is love, and love is all you need. He was wrong.
Within intimate relationships, it is also essential to focus on boundaries and borders that will only foster and heighten your relationship when in use. Marriage is a vulnerable commitment, which means there is potential for incredible pain that often happens when boundaries are crossed or not valued.
Things will get tricky at times within any relationship.
There is no threatening to leave when times get tough and no false notions within these difficult times regarding the belief of someone better for you being “out there.” This can be indicative of having one foot out the door and can easily lead to turning to someone outside of the relationship to complain about a partner rather than simply voicing your concerns to your partner.
It’s okay to ask your partner to change things that hurt you. It only becomes problematic when insisting they violate their values for you. There will sometimes be that difference regarding individual values and worldviews. Conflicts that arise from these differences can be maneuvered more efficiently by increasing knowledge and respect for these differences.
Consider engaging with your partner in ways you haven’t before.
Simply because you’ve been with your partner for many years is no indication that you know that person on a deep level. For instance, implement dates and new interactions to explore how well you do know your person.
Do you have daily, weekly, even monthly rituals for connection?
Focusing on these small moments can quickly increase security within your relationship.
Notice and respond to your partner’s bids for connection; foster it by focusing first on how you tend to react to your partner in these moments.
Perhaps you are turning away when you could just as quickly turn towards your spouse.
What Happens If Your Spouse Doesn’t Turn Towards You?
If your partner refuses to validate your feelings, maybe consider the amount of criticism or blame leveled at your partner within your feelings. Eliminating criticism both alleviates opposing defensiveness while at the same time boosting your partner’s ability to empathize with your feelings.
Most importantly, ignore the slogans within pop culture. Genuine relationships require work and intentionality not to harm your partner regarding his or her attachment needs.