If My Partner Really Loved Me, They Would......

If I could bottle one piece of advice and sell it to the world, it would be that you do not know for sure what your partner would do if they "really" loved you. No matter how much you have in common, you and your loved one are separate individuals. You have had different life experiences and you almost certainly process things differently.  It does no one any good to become angry and hurt because someone else has failed to understand an unspoken assumption that if they loved you they would automatically behave in a certain way.

My husband and I are from different cultures. He's English and I'm American. We're from different generations. He's younger and I'm older. Both of us have traveled quite a bit, but not to the same places. I'm the oldest of 7 siblings, he's an only child. All of these factors, and so many more, have helped us become the unique individuals that we are.

One of the things that makes me feel loved is quiet time in the morning. I like to get dressed, feed my cats, and chill with some caffeine for the next half hour or so. I don't want anyone to talk to me, to text me, to call me on the phone.  I don't want a hug or a kiss. I don't want anybody to ask for anything. I just want to be.

My husband is the opposite. He likes a good morning hug and for someone to ask how he is. He gets up, and he's ready to start interacting. A good morning text makes him feel wonderful when we're apart. He wants to share what he dreamed about.  He wants to know if I slept well. These are the things that make him feel loved.

All of this caused a lot of hurt feelings until we talked it out and recognized what made each of us feel loved and appreciated. The solution was an easy one. I almost always get up before he does. He might wake up for a second or two when I get out of bed, but he doesn't say anything. It makes me happy that he loves me enough to do this for me.  When he wakes up, I go give him a hug and ask how he slept. I talk to him while he's getting ready for the day. This makes him feel happy and loved.

Sometimes, the solutions don't come so easily, but the first step is recognizing that the people you love are not you and they are not going to think or feel or behave exactly as you would.

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