Q: Me and my soon to be husband have been together for a year. He is always asking me if I love him and he says that I have got tired of him, I'm to used to him.... I'm wondering how to show him I love him and to make him believe it and that I'm not tired of him or falling out of love with him. I just want him to feel that I love him.
A: This is such an important question! I've learned so much by thinking about it so thank you for asking. I think it's 2 things... REDISCOVERING your FRIENDSHIP and SHOWING LOVE in THEIR WAY. As for the first one, we all have lots of times when we feel the need to re-connect over and over again. I recently went to one of my best friend's wedding. You could just see the excitement and twinkle in her eye as she was finally married to her man!
Going to weddings can bring back a flood of memories from you being newly married/together, or even just from your incredibly fun and exciting dating days. As couples begin to experience real life and its struggles, it can be easy to get into a rut. In one of Dr. John Gottman's marriage books, he says that a "happy couple's secret weapon" is "rediscovering or reinvigorating friendship." So finding ways to re-connect. Think about what it was that helped grow you friendship in the beginning... was it great chats, going on walks together, dancing, playing games, serving each other, going on fun dates, laughing together...? Whatever it was - try to bring it back!
Another thing I've been learning lately is how crucial it is to better understand how your spouse/partner sees love and then to focus on showing love in those ways. I'm reading a great book called "His Needs, Her Needs" by Dr. Willard Harley. Harley is a marriage therapist and professor who revolutionized the success of marriage therapy through his book. He explains that typically spouses waste lots of time and energy trying to show love according to their own personal needs. Through all of his clinical experience, he learned that the bottom line is "marital breakups occur when one or both partners lack the skills or awareness to meet each other's needs." And after a ton of research, he discovered the 10 top needs of married people and interestingly, the things that women rate as most important, men commonly rate as least important, and vice versa. The typical top 5 for men and the top 5 for women are completely different - with not one the same! So you see how it can be easy for husbands and wives to misunderstand each other's needs and ways they see love. Here's Dr. Harley's list... and he emphasizes that although these are the typical responses of men and women, each person is unique and may rate their needs differently. So the KEY is to understand what is most important to your spouse and then to focus on meeting those needs. Ideally he would be doing the same for you :).
If you want to understand these concepts more, check out the book. I don't agree or feel comfortable with everything he says, but I think he has some interesting and important points!