…There’ve been many times in the past when I slipped into the deep, dark abyss of “he just doesn’t meet my emotional needs,” figuring Greg simply didn’t love me any more. I should have softly approached him and said, “I’m missing you a lot lately. Can we spend some time together soon? Maybe go out to dinner and walk around the park?” But no, I was immature enough to believe that he should know what’s wrong with me, and know exactly how to fix it. I expected him to read my mind. I wanted him to get down on one knee like Maverick in Top Gun, grab my hand, look deeply into my eyes, and wail, “Bring back that lovin’ feeling, cause it’s gone, gone, gone, whoa-oa-oa!” But guess what? It didn’t happen. And when it didn’t happen the way I fantasized it should, I got angrier… and lonelier… and I was robbing myself of every loving feeling I ever had for him.
Hopefully, these immature escapades are a thing of the past. I’ve seen glimmers of hope that I’ve grown up a little since then. A few weeks ago, after several stressful days of not having time to emotionally connect with one another, I walked up to his side of the bed, looked him in the eye, and just said, “Will you hold me like a baby?” Greg propped himself up on pillows, sat me down in his lap, and cradled me in his arms. His tenderness started my flow of tears onto his chest, and I confessed, “I’ve been angry with you for not making time for me lately, but I realize I haven’t made much time for you either. Will you forgive me?” Humility, warmth, and softness will refuel that loving feeling in your own heart much faster than being prideful, cold, and hard.
Maybe you are thinking, But I’ve built such a thick wall of bitterness and resentment toward my husband that I can’t imagine asking him to hold me like that! Perhaps it’s time to tear the wall down and turn it into a bridge instead. In fact, I encourage you to make it a point at least once each week (or several times a week is even better) to approach your husband and either ask him to hold you, or offer to hold him. Even if you don’t feel like it in that moment, as humans, we need physical touch, and marriage is the primary relationship where that need should be fulfilled.
Remember that it’s easier to act your way into a new way of feeling than to feel your way into a new way of acting. Reach out. Touch him. Take his hand and put it on whatever body part most yearns to be touched, whether that’s your cheek, your shoulders, your thighs, your earlobes, or wherever. Offer him your hand and tell him to do the same. Don’t underestimate the power of effective communication and tender touch. They are the key to refueling your loving feelings.