You Deserve More than Love

 

I saw one of those inspirational photo things on Facebook this week that purported to say a lot about what loves is. Or rather, it said a lot about what love is not.

Love is not, according to the wisdom of inspirational infographs, ignoring someone. Neither is it raising your voice or lying or cheating or neglecting or forgetting to put the toilet seat down.

OK, fine. That toilet seat one might have been a stretch.

But this is not a stretch:

I have done some horrific things to people I love fiercely.

So, too, have I been deeply hurt by people who I know beyond a shadow of a doubt love me.

The way I am treated is not a measure of how lovable I am or how much I am loved. It is entirely possible to love someone and not have the tools to show that love effectively.

I bring this up because my husband and I wasted years of our marriage debating whether or not we loved each other. It kills me to see other people run in this same fruitless circle, fueled by these same misguided lies.

“If you loved me you would listen.”

“If you loved me you would remember the things that are important to me.”

“If you loved me you would be happy.”

The reality is that our love for each other was never in question, but it was how we loved and — more accurately — how we lived and communicated with each other that needed to change. It wasn’t feelings or emotions or even intentions that were lacking, but the tools to choose better behaviors. This argument over love only served to distract us from the real steps we could take towards being happier together.

In truth, I’ve found that declarations of love are rather easy to come by.

We are, all of us, loved.

It’s just that John Lennon had it wrong. We do need more than love.

It’s listening that takes work and can make or break a connection. It’s the ability to take responsibility for ourselves and relinquish the illusion of control over others that makes a relationship thrive.

Stop asking if you are loved and start asking to be heard. Refuse to debate the presence of love and demand a discussion about actions and choices. Do not let it be only love –or the fear of losing it– that binds you to another.

You are, ultimately, worth more than love.

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  1. kateanon says:

    awesome post, Britt. It’s easy to blame any number of things on someone not loving you, or not loving you enough, but that just isn’t the case most of the time. I’ve had to remind myself of that. They don’t have to love me exactly in the same fashion that I love them. I love that they love me because I love them, and I shouldn’t expect them to do everything the way I would.

    • Miss Britt says:

      I think it’s OK to ask for someone to love you/treat you in the way YOU feel loved. My point is just that if they don’t, it’s not because YOU aren’t loved, it’s because THEY are choosing not to take certain actions.

      Jared and I don’t love the same way or feel love the same way, so it requires some patience and some concerted effort from both of us to give each other what the other wants.

  2. annabelle says:

    Thank you.

    I needed to read this today.

  3. Nanna says:

    You know, there’s that book about the 5 Love Languages (that I never read but which I will now paraphrase) that says that a) people SHOW love in different ways and b) people PERCEIVE love in different ways. One thing I have had to learn is to quit focusing on how *I* choose to love someone, and start taking the time to learn what makes the people I love *feel* loved. Or else, I am just spinning my wheels. With that being said, sometimes people aren’t going to show me they love me in the way that *I* like to be loved. That be my fault. Clearly, I need to communicate my needs better.

    Right?

    • Miss Britt says:

      I would disagree that it’s necessarily your *fault*. Communicating your needs doesn’t necessarily mean that person will give what you’ve asked for. At that point you can choose to stay or go based on that, knowing it’s not about love but about happiness and what you can or can’t live with, I think.

      But YES on that love languages thing. :)

    • the muskrat says:

      That book just arrived to our house in the mail. I have a feeling the Mrs is going to expect me to actually read it.

  4. Darla says:

    Sing it SISTAH!!!!

  5. Novice Wife says:

    Ahhhh, you’re making me think so early in the morning! I guess I’ve always viewed love as providing the motivation to learn how to express that love to the object of your affection. As in, love isn’t the actions but it’s the reason you learn the actions so that the other person feels love? That may or may not make sense (I need coffee). Great post though!

  6. Lindsey says:

    We are all worthy, whether others recognize it or not. So so true.
    I see that another commenter mentioned the 5 Love Languages – that’s exactly what this post reminded me of. It’s something my husband and I are just discovering. We’re showing we love each other, but not feeling love in return because we don’t speak the same love language. It’s really eye-opening.
    Thank you for this. It’s a great read as I head into the weekend – two full days of time with someone to whom I need to show love :)

  7. Jared says:

    Dammit, now I can’t get the Beatles out of my head.

  8. terri says:

    Oh, I know he loves me, even when we argue…the question is more likely whether or not he’s going to put the garbage out…

  9. Ally Bean says:

    Well said. So true. Ditto what Darla said.

  10. Kristen says:

    What a great post. I mean … really great. My husband and I are having HUGE problems communicating our love. The twins need attention. Our other son … needs. We both wish the other did more, but that is probably because we just have so much to do. Anyway – I’m so thrilled that I came along this post. I’m going to pray specifically that those words can be translated better in our lives. Thanks for the insights.
    Kristen
    http://www.alittlesomethingforme.com

  11. holy hell, this is a terrific post. BAM!

  12. Laurie says:

    This was very important for me to read this week. Thanks.

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