I know how it feels when you see him and just seeing him makes you roll your eyes. Your love feels low and he can annoy you by just arriving home. Something happened and you may not really remember it being one specific thing. Seems that just over time you’ve become more and more annoyed by him and he doesn’t even have to do anything except exist. What’s often crazy is he‘s likely oblivious to how you feel. He’s become accustomed to your distance and that annoys you even more. Somehow you’ve become tolerant of him, a bit discontent and feel as though you’re settling all at once. You start thinking that infamous thought, “I don’t need him.” Oh but you do.
Thoughts like these spiral quickly because you’re only considering your own perspective. You mull over it, make your defense and take your own side. These thoughts left unchecked will lead you to believe that you don’t love him. But you do. You’re really hurt and making the case to justify your pain. Hard to admit but true. You have to bring yourself back. You have to bring yourself back to love.
It’s perfectly normal to have times when you feel more or less in love with your husband. The lulls can leave you feeling hopeless or questioning the future. You’re struggling to access that free flow of fondness, that ease of give and take, that made you light up and look forward to each day you’d spend together before now.
Resist entering a critical mode. At some point, we can find ourselves observing our husband through a critical lens. This lens can be clearly distorted: for example, when you find yourself cringing at the way he clears his throat, or feeling overly annoyed when he needs to run back in the house for something he forgot. You can start magnifying or zeroing in on your husband’s mistakes, cataloguing his flaws, and building a case. It is way too easy when you live at close quarters with someone to pick them apart and get annoyed at some of their habits. After all, you know him pretty well. But the truth is, your husband probably always had these qualities, even when you first fell in love.
The real reason we get so critical with someone we love actually goes much deeper. For one thing, we tend to project negative traits of our parents or early caretakers onto our husband. We also tend to assume he will act in the same ways that hurt us in the past year by him or others. We often read or misread his words and actions. We even distort or provoke our husband to act in ways that feel disappointing and frustrating, yet familiar. This process of projection, distortion, and actual provocation is driven by listening to the “critical inner voice.”
The critical inner voice is an internal enemy that coaches you and puts both you and your husband down. Because its goal is to sabotage and distance you from others, it tends to be especially critical toward the people to whom you’re closest. Of course, your husband is human and has real flaws, but your critical inner voice isn’t there to help you rationally talk out these issues. Instead, it exaggerates and offers poor advice on how to handle problems. For example, if you feel like your husband hasn’t been available, rather than opening up to him, your critical inner voice may chime in with comments like, “You see? He doesn’t care about you. He is so selfish. You should just ice him until he notices what he’s missing.”
If you want to stay in love, you are far better off paying close attention to this critical inner voice and actively resisting its attitudes and advice. That doesn’t mean living in a fantasy and ignoring your husband’s real shortcomings. It simply means taking a more compassionate and honest attitude toward him that reflects your real point of view and stops this “voice” from drowning out your warmer feelings.
Staying in the flow of love takes real work and even more it takes a whole lot of compassion. Truth is you love him and you have to condition yourself to stay in that lane. Your thought life matters. You can’t fantasize his demise and stubbornly isolate yourself even if it feels selfishly good for the moment. Remember you two are one and destroying him in anyway ultimately takes you down, too. So give him grace and lift him up by choosing to love above all. And don’t stop until you’re proud.
Here at First Wives Club, we are for you & your marriage. Our goal is to support you as a wife. We recognize being a wife is likely one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but we believe you can thrive. You’re in the right position to do so. #firstwivesclub #FWClive
Author: Denise Taylor
I’m on a mission to help professional women thrive. Hear me loud & clear... Don’t Settle. You can have it all. I live a blessed life & you can too.