On Marriage and Accepting Love


My husband and I recently went to an intensive marriage seminar (put on by Family Dynamics Institute) specifically designed for marriages that are in crisis.  (Ours has been “in crisis” since last September)  It was a great seminar that I would recommend to anyone whose marriage is struggling.

One crucial thing that I realized at the seminar is that I have a really hard time accepting love.

I guess I didn’t just realize this at the seminar…I actually wrote a guest post a couple of months ago for SheLovesMagazine.com about the difficulty of being the one “on the mat” (referring to the Bible story about the man whose friends carried him to Jesus on a mat).  Click here to read it.

What I did realize at the seminar is how much that issue has negatively affected my marriage.

Tell me if you can relate to this…
My husband plans a date night for the two of us.  It’s not necessarily fancy. Just dinner out, but without the kids.  My first thought is not, ‘how nice that he loves me and wants to spend time with me.’  No, my first thought is…say it with me now…’he wants sex.’

Or how about this one…
My husband says, “What do you want for your birthday?” I give him a list, although I’m wishing that he didn’t need a list, and just knew what I would want.  Then when I get the gift, and others say, “how thoughtful”, I’m thinking, ‘No, I had to tell him what to get.  If I have to tell him what to get, then it doesn’t mean as much.’

When that’s my attitude, I completely sabotage our relationship.  I’m not allowing my husband to love me, either because his loving act doesn’t look exactly like I think it should, or because I have assumptions about his intentions.  That’s not fair.
  • Maybe he takes me out to dinner because he actually enjoys my company.
  • Maybe he does want sex…which, in marriage, is a good thing.
  • Maybe he asks me what I want for my birthday because he really wants me to enjoy my special day.
  • Maybe he actually loves me…maybe he’s not full of hidden motives and motivations.
  • Maybe I can’t accept his love because I don’t believe I’m actually worthy of it.  
I’m learning…slowly…but I’m learning.
Can you relate?

7 responses »

  1. I can totally relate. I am stuck in sabotaging my relationship, and until now, I thought it was my way of “making up for lost time”. Completely irresponsible on my part, but here’s how it looks: My husband, God bless him, loves me. I don’t know why, but I am always doing something to make him prove it. And when he does, I do something else. The cycle is never-ending, and I don’t believe he knows what I am doing or what I am trying to compensate for. I think it may be my way of always making sure I keep him at a distance. That way, I don’t have to accept his love, love him back, and become vulnerable. Hmmmmm…..then enters my ex, whom I did love, who betrayed me and my kids. I did whatever he asked, whenever he asked and held everything together as long as I could. Come to find out, my marriage was a lie. That’s ok, I say, because now I’m out of it, it doesn’t matter, and I have these 4 great kids out of the whole deal. Not only that, but I have this husband who, God bless him, loves me.

    • Gina…thank you for sharing your heart. I remember when you were going through all that crap with your ex…that stuff piles lots of baggage on you in your new relationship, I’m sure. Let’s have coffee sometime.

  2. Kim

    I can so relate to this post. Learning to accept God’s love was one of the hardest parts of my restoration from brokenness. The bottom line was that I didn’t think I deserved it. I felt that I had to punish myself for failures in the past. The more I lived in that mental rat race of shame and self loathing, the more I errected walls that not only kept others from hurting me, it also kept others from loving me – including myself and God.

    Thankfully, one day God spoke truth into the believed lie (that I didn’t deserve love because I failed, and because of what others did and said to me) that had me bound and I got my first taste of freedom. I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy to accept. But, once I began to believe the foundation truth that God was madly in love with me, well – I started to love myself again. I was then able to allow others to love me, too.

    I still struggle with this sometimes, but its ok because I know that each step toward truth is another layer of lies and bondage that falls off of me, and I’m in this for the long haul………..psst: So is Jesus! 🙂

    Blessings to you and your husband as you courageaous walk this road of healing when it might have seemed easier to give up. I’ll be praying for you both.


  3. I can relate. Completely. But for me, it’s all about being the victim…the one who was wronged. That way I get to feel sorry for myself. And who doesn’t love a pity party?

    It’s something that I’m learning makes me miserable. It makes my husband feel worthless. It’s a bad thing to teach my kids.

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