Reflect back on your childhood: What type of love did you receive? Many would say that their parents were hard on them when as teenagers. Today, the Love Series is discussing “Tough Love.” Caroll, Love Design Life, has a really good word about how the tough love you received shapes who you are as an adult. I will share with you why “tough love” is so important in our marriage. There is a time or two that you must display tough love to your spouse.
We thank you for reading & participating in the Love Series this week.
So, what’s the big deal you may say? Well, the reoccurring theme in all of the previous Love Series articles is self-love. Having self-love is the first step in getting and keeping a successful and happy relationship with your partner or yourself. Self-love is greatly hampered when you are subjected to tough corrective behavior that is not backed up with loving and supportive words and actions. When, as a child the punishment for bad behavior was that you were restricted in your privileges or not given something you so greatly desired, that was pretty tough to understand. If it was not followed up by an explanation of why the action was taken and included supportive words explaining that you are still loved, and the action was not to deprive you but to show you the value of good behavior, then it is very likely you would feel that you were not worthy or loved. Some parents went even further with that type of behavior and would call their children names and actually tell them they were worthless and stupid etc. Whoever said “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” needed to be clearer because words do in fact hurt you. Heck they can break you and they can sap you of all your self-esteem.
In the journey to self-love and understanding things about yourself that you need to change to get the love you deserve, this cannot be overlooked. Yet, so many overlook it. So many of us don’t even think twice that that childhood experience was very damaging to our psyche and our future ability to love ourselves and yes give love. Can you see the correlation? If all you were taught was this so called tough love, then that is your point of reference. In a previous Love Series article, Love: Is A Learned Behavior, we discussed how the appreciation and understanding of love starts from childhood. Those memories are indeed ingrained in your subconscious where it is dictating how we act and what we find acceptable since we in fact act mainly from our subconscious.
Still Dating My Spouse: LoveDesignLife is absolutely correct when it comes to how we are affected by the “tough love” we received from our parents. When we marry, the tough love we witnessed as a child does enter our marriage in the way we interact with our children and sometimes our husbands. But tough love in marriage also has the meaning of standing firm with our spouse when things are not 100% .
Tough love in marriage is needed. Don’t forget love is not all about making a person feel good (but that is a plus) but it’s also about seeking the well-being of your spouse. As a spouse, you will do whatever it takes to make sure your spouse, your marriage and you are not exhibiting destructive behavior.
Standing firm with your spouse is definitely a form of love. Confronting your spouse in a loving way to express your dislike in their actions, words, or behavior and requesting that a change be made is tough love.
You express this tough corrective behavior in an effort to express to your spouse that they have crossed boundaries & you are expecting better from them. This conversation is hard for some to have but when you are confident in the love you have for self & the love you have for your spouse & marriage, you will be able to stand firm on what your wishes are while also expressing to your spouse: why and the benefits of the change.
Remember, tough love shouldn’t harm, demean or belittle you or your loved one. Love is gentle, kind, and patient. So when tough love is being administered to you or by you, follow it with supportive words and affirmation. Tough love is needed and must be given, but make sure you are still confirming to yourself & your loved one that they are loved, needed and worthy. Ultimately, LOVE should be the basis for the tough love.
What type of love did you receive as a kid? Are you giving the same type of love in your relationships?