Are you experiencing all the love you want? Could you be holding back your love?
Is your heart truly ALL IN for keeping the core values of your relationship intact?
There are as many reasons we hedge our bets when it comes to being “all in.”
I am continually surprised at how many people feel they’ve been betrayed and can never open their hearts again to love. They stay closed and miss out on the best part of life because they can’t work through the hurt.
Could you be avoiding feeling the love you are receiving? Sometimes, it’s so scary to open your heart to love that you don’t fully take it in. Your partner loves you completely, but you are unable to receive it.
My dear mentor, Dr. Deborah Anapol, who has now left this life, wrote an outstanding book called, The 7 Laws of Love. She explains that your heart is both a door and a muscle:
The more you use your heart, the better it works. Love is a practice.
It’s easier to give love than to receive it, and most people can actually feel more of the feelings of love by loving—so love as much as possible to experience more love in your life.
Don’t wait to be loved—start loving, and you will experience the benefits of love.
The door swings both ways—the deeper and more intensely you love, the more it hurts when the love is lost. But when you get the experience of feeling those feelings on both sides, it is what makes life worth living. So don’t be afraid to feel.
Why do many of us struggle with love?
THE CORE VALUES IN A RELATIONSHIP
Many of us struggle with love in no small measure because most of us are not securely “attachment parented.” A set of core fears keeps sabotaging you. Another of my mentors, Dr. Susan Campbell, explains how to recognize what core fear might be holding you back from a life of love.
Sometimes we don’t have the model for what love looks like. We undermine our intimacy (consciously or unconsciously) when it comes to being “all in.”
Could you love MORE?
Do you feel deeply loved?
No matter what the “reason,” holding back has a significant impact on every aspect of a relationship, sex included.
Sure, in the early stages of a relationship, when you’re essentially checking each other out, it’s natural and healthy to take your time going “all in.”
However, you will feel the impact if the “checking-out” is laced with the other person’s judgment.
I didn’t know it at the time, but radical honesty and acceptance are the core values in a relationship, and they played a significant role in the rescue operation that saved my marriage.
See, my mother brought me up, and she repeatedly told me: “Never trust a man. Always stay in control of your finances so you can get away whenever you want to.”
Mom was trying to protect me. I don’t blame her at all because she always acted in my best interest. However, that fear of not being able to trust, when I actually COULD trust my husband, reared its ugly head and almost bankrupted the love I should have had and could have had.
I absorbed her belief not to trust men and did as she’d advised when I married Tim. I didn’t know then, but now I understand that my core relationship value is antithetical to my mother’s belief.
She’d chosen poorly, but I chose well. So, holding back almost ruined my marriage.
Beneath the fearful conditioning, I wanted my man to take care of me, which included managing the finances. Security, including financial security, is my #1 relationship value. I wouldn’t be in a relationship if I couldn’t have financial stability.
But having been spoon-fed feminist values, I couldn’t admit—much less accept—my desire to have a man take care of me for many, many years into my marriage. Far from being “all in,” I had one foot out the door for much of the time.
It’s a bit paradoxical, given that I recognized Tim’s business savvy very early in our relationship. Here was a guy with fiscal muscle who handled money with competence and ease. And yet, I couldn’t imagine merging our finances. “Get a joint checking account? Why in the world would I do that?” It took a long time to examine this belief and even longer to accept that he enjoyed managing our finances. And I sucked at it.
When we were eleven years into our marriage and amid a 3-year rough patch, I said to him:
“I’m not sure if I can stay with you. I want my husband to be financially successful so I can relax and know I’ll be safe.”
This added insult to an injury Tim was already suffering: our sex life was just plain dissatisfying. I’d become bored with sex, and I couldn’t have orgasms from intercourse back then. Even having an orgasm at all required a lot of effort. Now and then, I’d give him “mercy sex,” which didn’t help at all and made him feel even worse about the relationship, so he checked out emotionally. His motivation to take care of me was at an all-time low. Neither of us could see any way through this painful impasse.
We were on the brink of divorce when we both realized that breaking up our family was not an option.
At that point, I said, “All right, I’m gonna have sex with you and try hard to have orgasms.” It took some doing, but in time, I could bridge the Orgasm Gap and enjoy making love. Tim began to re-attach to me emotionally. But I still had a lingering fear that he wasn’t going to make enough money to keep me feeling secure.
I was 45 at the time and put him on notice, saying, “I’ll let you know by the time I’m 49 if I can fully commit to our relationship, and it hinges on whether or not you’re doing a good job taking care of me.” His anger at my lack of intimacy had driven a wedge between us.
I let him know that school was still out for me on the matter, saying, “I don’t want you to think I’m completely committed to the marriage. I’m not.”
I realize that is a truly shitty thing to say. But one of Tim’s top four core values in a relationship is honesty. He’d rather know I wasn’t “all in” than be blindsided if I decided to leave our marriage.
By that time, we had learned the power of understanding each other’s core values in a relationship.
When you know what your partner needs most from a relationship with you, you can prioritize your actions to make them incredibly happy.
I would write Relationship Magic—a workbook for discovering your own top four core values in a relationship. This book has helped thousands of singles and couples become deliriously happy and satisfied with their relationships:
Discover Your Top 4 Core Values In A Relationship ⇐ Well Over 25,000 Copies Sold ($9.95 discount link for my fans only.)
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When I turned 49, it hit me: “Oh my god, did I say that to him?” We’d just been through a financial disaster and were pulling up from the bottom after almost losing our house. We’d put ALL of our life savings into Personal Life Media. We literally couldn’t make the next house payment, and we were so afraid our house wouldn’t sell. It did. Thank goodness. So like a lot of people, we had to downsize. We moved to a less expensive town and rented while we figured out how to make our business support us.
It truly amazed me when I realized that I’d come to trust Tim with our finances. We had to hit bottom together for me to appreciate that if anybody could pick up the pieces and put us on the solid financial ground, it was my darling husband with me 110% having our back. We’d finally become a team. Through thick and thin, all odds and near divorce, I committed to him and radically accepted our relationship for its ups and downs.
OUR WEDDING DAY in 1993
That’s when I said, “He’s my man; I’m all in. I fill in his weaknesses with my strengths. We know what each other’s foibles are, and I’m confident we can make this work if we stick together.” I let go of expecting him to do it all and took responsibility for doing my share to make us successful as a couple.
I finally grew up!
After 27 years of marriage, I have relaxed into our relationship. I am going to stick by Tim no matter what. At this point, we are practically one unit. I know him better than anyone else in the world. We complete each other.
Once I radically accepted him and myself for what we brought to the table as a couple, everything got better, and better, and better.
As I hope you can see from my story of maturation that radical acceptance and radical honesty can work magic in a relationship. Like unconditional love, radical acceptance is a precious gift to give and receive.
You may be missing a ton of happiness and love just by not giving your partner your all.