Recognising the level of effort we
put in to loving and being loved
ReflectSeparately, say the prayer and spend some time reflecting on the questions.
Write some notes so that you can share more fully with your spouse.
You know, Father how much I desire to be fully loved.
This is such a deep seated need in me.
You know that very well since you planted it in me Yourself.
This is the way You made me, so You should be very sympathetic to my desire.
I ask You this through your dear Son, Christ the Lord. Amen.
1. How are we meeting our needs – most especially our need to be loved?
2. List the 10 areas where you spend most of your time, energy and money.
For example: your job might be number one on your list. If you exercise regularly, you might put down running, swimming, weight lifting, etc., second. Or you might say: shopping, dancing, children, visiting with the family, praying, watching television, parish, TV, organizations, friends.
What are the things you do every day and almost every week? These are your priorities in life.
3. Then go back through your list and put F next to those activities which are building your relationship with your spouse.
(Don’t just say, “My exercise helps my relationship with my spouse because then I’m in a better mood at home.” Or, “My TV watching for three hours every night helps my relationship with my family because I’m not arguing with my spouse at that time.”)
Be honest about the amount of time you actually spend in intimate conversation with your family members.
Examine how much of your time is spent each week in contact with your spouse. How frequently do you remember them in your thoughts or prayers? How much of your time do you spend with them when you are home?
4. Evaluate your list. How many of your activities are relationship oriented?
Put an L next to those things that fill your basic need to give love and receive it.
5. What does this tell you about yourself and what you value?
Example: This may show you are very people-oriented. Almost everything you do involves close relationships. But you may notice that very little of your time is spent on spousal relationships. Perhaps you’ve given up on him/her and focus on children. Or this may show you that you are essentially a task-oriented person. You are very busy, doing many good things, and you don’t have time for intimacy.
Perhaps you’re a future oriented person who is postponing involvement with spouse until after you have success on your job. Perhaps you’re a person who has been disappointed in love and haven’t had the heart to begin again–or you don’t know where to begin.
6. Just write down how you see yourself.
There are no right or wrong answers. This is simply an honest self-evaluation. How do you see yourself meeting your need to love and be loved by others?