How do you know if your spouse is "in love" with you?
by Steven W. Harley, M.S.
If you were asked, "Is your spouse in-love with you?" what would you say. Or better yet, how would you find out?
Most people use two common techniques to determine whether or not their spouse is in-love with them:
The straight forward approach is typically what most people use.
"Do you love me?" one would ask the other.
"Why, of course I do, Honey."
"What do you think?" replies the spouse.
And, if there is sincerity in the delivery, the questioning would stop right there.
However, if there was something insincere about the answer, the following technique would be used:
Does the actions of your spouse support the idea that they are in-love with you? Are you treated with care? Are you treated in a "loving" manner? Does your spouse act like he/she is in-love with you? This approach to answering the question of being in-love or not tends to be the litmus test. Most of us judge a person's heart by their actions. Right or wrong, that's what we do. When the actions are in direct conflict with what the person says, suspicion typically follows.
Although the above techniques are used on a frequent basis, they are both wrought with the potential for error.
When Iﾒm coaching my clients, I help them understand that there is a third, and more effective way to find out if your spouse is in-love with you. Ask yourself "Should _____ be in love with me?" In other words, are you giving your spouse a reason to be in-love with you?
Emotional Needs and Love Busters
In order to answer your own question, you must first know two things:
Without knowing the answers to the above questions, you are guessing. And what's more, if you don't know the answers, you are probably tainting your guesses with how you like your own needs to be met (emotional needs) and what you believe is irritating (Love Busters).
- What are your spouseﾒs most important emotional needs and how does he/she like them to be met?
- What are your Love Busters (from your spouse's perspective) and have you eliminated them?
You must be successful at developing and maintaining your skills to meet your spouse's needs and also, demonstrate an ability to protect him/her from yourself (your Love Busters). Because it boils down to this: If you're not successful at giving your spouse a reason to be in-love with you, then he/she won't be.
Food for thought...
Steven W. Harley, M.S. is the Director of the Marriage Builders® Counseling Center.