How can loving someone be wrong?  In the Bible, the greatest two commandments are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37, 39

Love is a word or form of expression that many use loosely.  Love has various meanings according to the individual, their beliefs, how they were raised and based on their experiences in life.

The bible speaks of four types of love (i.e. Eros, Storge, Phileo and Agape).  Eros is erotic love. Storge is love between families. Phileo is love shown as a natural affection to another based upon feelings.  Agape is love for one another regardless of imperfections. It is more spiritual in nature without erotic implications.

So what type of love am I referring to in the title, “Loving Yourself In Order To Receive Love”?  I’m referring to a mixture of all the loves combined; particularly, the love that exist in marriages and relationships, especially in the beginning.  Initially, both are on cloud nine. Their significant other can do no wrong.  Unfortunately one love is normally a little stronger than the others.  To make this easier to read, I’ll explain from a woman’s perspective; however, this is not to say that this experience is gender specific or exclusive to a male/female role in its entirety.

All the woman wants to do is show her man that her love is there to stay.  She wants to satisfy his every desire.  She pours everything that she could imagine, want or expect from her man onto him daily (i.e. run his bath water, have food hot and ready to be served to him when he gets home from work, ask him about his day, massage his neck and back, always proactively satisfying his wildest bedroom expectations, etc.).  Within, she’s thinking, okay, he’ll eventually treat me the same way.  Over time, the same routine continues, but now the man has grown accustomed to the treatment and the woman is beginning to lose the drive and momentum to satisfy.  Within, she believes that she is not loved. She’s thinking that she works just like he does and he has never even offered to provide her a massage; he never runs the bath water for her; although he cooks for friends and guests, he never cooks for her or have dinner ready to serve to her; he refuse to hear about the issues she’s having at work and cuts her off when she starts to discuss her problems of the day; no matter how rough or exhausting her day has been he expects that proactive bedroom satisfaction, etc.).

The woman is confused, hurting, depressed and feel as if she is in this marriage/relationship alone.  She feels like she is the door mat, until one day she just decides to stop doing period.  She buys fast food to serve; she tells him to just take a shower because she doesn’t feel like running the bath water or cleaning the tub when he gets out; she never ask him how was his day anymore; she doesn’t provide the usual massage and the proactive bedroom satisfaction is non-existent. So after a week, the man begins to figure that something is wrong.  His woman has changed and he doesn’t have a clue as to why.  He believes that it must be another man.

I can go on and on, but the moral of the story is that, the woman knew what she wanted and her purpose for doing what she did.  Initially, she said she was going to do what she wanted her man to do for her until he sort of caught on instead of telling him what she expected and wanted from him. This does not excuse the man for his selfishness in receiving and not giving back, for both played a significant role in the outcome of the marriage/relationship.  The key is that if the woman would have LOVED HERSELF more than she did her man, they would have never had these issues to begin with.  It is HARD to RECEIVE LOVE WHEN SOMEONE KNOWS that THEY MEAN MORE to YOU than YOU DO TO YOURSELF.  This type of mentality leads room for manipulation, mistrust, bitterness, unfaithfulness and eventually divorce/breakups.

Instead of being upfront with what they expect and plan to bring to a marriage and/or relationship, men/women conform to the lifestyle and acceptance of the other.  Many lose their own identity, self-esteem, independence, drive and most of all LOVE for SELF.  When you LOVE YOURSELF, you will be BETTER ABLE TO LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH and RECEIVE THAT LOVE and SOME BACK.


Factors Contributing To Divorce Before Your Marriage

Getting married to someone whom you truly love is one of the most fulfilled feelings one may experience.  At this point, a woman is so confident in herself that there is USUALLY no self-doubt, inferiority, jealousy or low self-esteem issues.  She is saying in her head, “He loves me because he asked me to marry him.” equating that to “Jesus loves me because he died for me.”  Although no one would ever admit it, a woman’s mind does go to that extreme.

So what happens after the engagement has lasted for a while and the woman begins to see her future husband flirt and joke with other women in front of her, comment on how nice another woman looks while giving her the “I want you look” and that woman being receptive of it?  At that point, many women may think, “I have the ring, they can flirt all they want.”  Others may say, “Oh, he didn’t mean anything by it, he always compliment people.  It doesn’t hurt to look.  I look at men and flirt too.” So it appears that the man can’t do any wrong because she has the ring.

This is the beginning of a divorce before marriage.  Why?  Because the woman has allowed the man to establish a precedent before marriage.  For example, if an employer has three vacant clerical jobs available and has provided a Reasonable Accommodation for two female employees by moving them from a warehouse job to the clerical jobs, without adequate documentation to identify that they have a disability and need an accommodation; yet, refuse to provide the same accommodation to a male employee, with the same condition as the females,  unless he obtains medical documentation from his physician, then they may be liable for discrimination based upon sex due to the precedent they have established by accommodating the females without documentation.  In other words, don’t allow or settle for something or someone before marriage and expect something different or for that person to change after marriage.

Many problems exist after marriage because either the couple marry young and what was accepted by one spouse at the beginning of marriage has changed over the years due to growth, education and life experiences.  It could be that they never really got to know each other at the beginning so learning and accepting the other is more difficult than expected.  It could be that one pretended to be who the spouse wanted them to be, but once married, they are secure in being their true self – like me or leave me….. it cost more to divorce than it does to marry. Maybe one is pulling more financial responsibility than the other.  Whatever the reason is, realize that people and situations change.  As long as they possess TRUE love for each other, with God (not religion, not church building) being the foundation of that marriage, life’s lessons will bring them closer to withstand the toughest times and situations.