When you have difficulty in believing you are loved

Sometimes one member of an unhappy couple that is in my office may have difficulty in believing they are loved. There are many reasons that this might be true but let’s imagine that the person is loved but they have a history of not being able to believed they are loved. Sometimes this comes from a mistrust of anyone in their world or a difficult childhood or adult life experience. There is such a cost to this misbelief in relationship. As this quote suggests love is supposed to be a mutual win on all levels. When one part of the couple relationship is not experiencing that win, it is challenging. The person who is not believed feels invalidated, not good enough for their partner and stuck as to how to make a difference in that belief. The person who does not believe they are loved feels alone and unlovable, both hurtful places to be. How might the person who does not believe themselves to be loved change this?

1. Decide you will not live the past. Your new mantra needs to be, ‘that was then, this is now”.

2. Learn all you can about love. A good place to start is to read “The 5 Languages of Love” by Chapman. Also look at your attachment style. There are lots of places on the internet to learn about attachment styles.

3. After your leanings above, examine your beliefs about love. Where did you get them from? Are they a reaction to not feeling consistently loved? Are they modeled after someone? Is feeling loved the only way to know you are loved? Etc.

4. Begin to watch out for all the small loving things that happen to you that you did not interpret as love before. Hold them inside for at least 20 seconds so that you can carve a new pattern in your brain.

5. Have a conversation about your learnings with your partner. Find out how your partner believes he or she is being loving. Declare your new intentions around feeling loved.

6. Make a habit to support your intentions by rehearsing the facts you have gathered about being loved every night while it is sinking in. Be open to feeling loved in different ways.

Hope you can begin to know you are loved through this inner work. Go forth and be wonderful!