I had two voices speaking within the other day. (I will not admit to talking to myself here.) One of them, which I can identify as “me” said that she doesn’t know what to do about the marriage. Part of the problem is that being straightforward about feelings and attitudes can blow up into a huge fight with a Borderline Personality. It’s not that my husband does not want to please. It’s that he wants to please so badly that he can’t handle the fact that maybe I want him to make a small adjustment somewhere. (This post on Borderline Babbler’s blog really woke me up to the depth of the problem.) The other thing the voice was saying is that she really wants to feel love for her husband but it’s very, very hard – now after all she’s been through.
The second voice had a great idea. Time for a new marriage experiment. I had very much enjoyed the first experiment I did called Praise and Pleasure. It did so much for me and I am happy to admit that praising my husband comes naturally now. In addition, being able to tolerate pleasure and finding new instances of giving myself pleasure has also become more natural and I am really beginning to enjoy life. I signed up for a monthly writing class, a bi-weekly voice class and a weekly yoga class. What fun!
I am ready for a new experiment, said the second voice. And here it is.
The love part in this marriage does not feel natural. I am not overflowing with love. When I do my husband a favor it is either done out of DUTY or out of RESENTMENT. And for sure not out of LOVE. This is the part I want to change. Switch out Duty to Love and the chemistry will change.
My task is to choose ONE thing a day that I will do for my husband OUT OF LOVE. I need to set the intention before I do it and let the love flow. Whether or not it’s “natural” or 100% true, is not important. I am training myself to feel love. I need to say very clearly “I am doing this for love.” Opportunities to do something for my husband out of love need not be an errand or a difficult favor. It can be calling him or answering his call, setting the table for dinner, or looking at him directly when speaking to him as opposed to fiddling around with my phone.
That night, I went to pick up his pants from the tailors. All the way there I said out loud “I am doing this because I love my husband. I am so happy to do this.” Then when he thanked me for it, I said with genuine feeling, “I am so happy that I can do this for you.” Yeah! It felt very good. I hope to find more opportunities to do this.