I don’t want to say I love you anymore
by Jacquie Wise
My partner and I have been getting increasingly defensive with each other. As tensions build, I put up walls and then he steps back, then I step back some more and we’re both putting up walls. We’re both fiery personalities, trying to make it work. He has been listening to me better and this is why I’m still here—he does try. But he’s stepping back because I don’t say I love him any more and I don’t feel like telling him I love him if I don’t feel it after we’ve had an argument. So we’re going round in horrible circles and it’s getting worse. What can I do?
Sounds as if it’s a bit like being on a roundabout and not seeing the exit you want. As far as I can tell, there are a few exits you could choose.
Before I answer your question, let me first say that you need to deal with the issues that are causing the arguments in the first place.
I would also recommend that you both learn how to deal with anger. Perhaps learn assertive ways of diplomatically expressing your need without attacking?
But let me focus on your question, which is how you can reverse this growing tension between you.
Balance criticisms with compliments
It’s important for both of you to focus on the positive rather than on the negative. Otherwise there’s no balance between compliments and criticisms.
Acknowledge whatever good things each of you does.
For example, you said he’s better at listening to you. So acknowledge that and say: ‘I love it when you really listen to me and try to understand where I’m coming from…’ (something like that anyway.)
How to tell him you love him when you don’t feel it
He obviously needs more reassurance from you. In addition to acknowledging the efforts he makes to meet your needs, how about saying something like:
‘This is the person I love, not the one who…’
If you’re in the middle of an argument, you can still put the same message across this way: ‘This is not the man I love. The man I love does….’ (whatever the opposite is).
Another idea is, if you don’t feel like telling him at the time that you love him, you could collect a few funny, warm greeting cards that you could drop wherever he’ll come across it by surprise.
I can hear you say you wouldn’t feel like doing that either, after you’ve had an argument. Well—you know the old saying: you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.
The tension you describe has built up between you moment by moment. So moment by moment, you can release it.
If you’d like to resolve the issues causing a negative cycle, contact me directly to arrange a convenient appointment time.
I’d love to know what you think of what I’ve said here. You can give me your feedback, ask a question by email or post a comment below.
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