How To Love Yourself
It isn’t uncommon in a relationship to eventually find yourself wondering whether you’re content in the relationship or not—and then find no obvious reason why you should feel as antsy as you do. In these situations the problem may not be how you feel about the other person at all—it could be how you feel about yourself.
Joan from Portland, OR writes:
“I’ve been in a wonderful, loving relationship for six years now with my husband. I have literally nothing to complain about. But I find myself sometimes wondering why I don’t feel as intensely as I used to, and sometimes I feel kind of detached and drifting in my relationship. There is no clear reason for these feelings, but I think the problem might have something to do with me. There’s a lot about myself I don’t like. Could this be what’s making my relationship feel so stale?”
Hello, Joan. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love others. Conversely, if you can’t love others, you can’t really love yourself, either. How do you start dealing with a situation like this? I think perhaps the best thing to realize for now is that you do care. You want to feel passionately—you’re just going through a difficult period. Where there’s a will there’s a way, though, and what would really be worrying is if you didn’t care one way or the other about your relationship with your husband or yourself. The fact that you’re even concerned about this and want to find an answer proves that your heart is in this.
You said that there are a lot of things about yourself that you don’t like. Perhaps you can start by figuring out what some of those things are and how they came about. Many of them may have roots in bad experiences or be the result of positive intentions, even if they’ve come out poorly. In these cases it is just as important to forgive yourself as to recognize your follies or vices. Apologize to yourself sincerely for those things you don’t like, and then forgive yourself so that you can move on. You are not perfect, and nobody else is, either.
Come up with some ways you can change those things—some things are easy to change—the desire itself suffices. Others take hard work or imagination to change. You also may want to find a way to renew yourself by discovering a new passion. Try taking up a new hobby, meeting new people (to get more perspective on your life), and so on—perhaps by finding a new passion you can reconnect with yourself and with your husband. Maybe you can even find something new to enjoy together.
This happens to most people at some point in their lives—for some people it happens regularly. That isn’t a fault—it’s just the way that people are. In order to grow and to become a better person, you must go through periods of stagnation and discontentment. Look at this as an opportunity to get to know yourself better and to enrich your life and your husband’s life as well. Pretty soon you and your relationship should both experience some revival!