Love is Not Demanding (Love Is... Series) - with Dr. Mike Frazier
We have a lot to learn about love. One key aspect is love is not demanding. Most relationship and marriage advice focuses on how women can make their relationships better but today it's about the men. I talk to Mike Frazier about how men can show up better in their relationships. Mike Frazier, M.D., is the founder of Strong Men Strong Marriages. He is a licensed psychologist and marriage coach dedicated to helping couples achieve the relationships they want and deserve.
Give Without Expectations
We can often get caught up in competition when it comes to marriage and relationships. Sometimes, partners enter into a cycle where they think I did this for you, now you owe me something back. Mike says, “I call it the mosquito mentality , because you're trying to suck off the attention and approval of your partner.” Typically, individuals will serve their partner in the beginning of the relationship and do the things their spouse or partner wants, but eventually a partner will want something back for their “service.” Often, in marriage, couples begin to keep score and wait for their partner to return favors in order to provide them with more.
Mike shares most guys have the same basic expectations: attention, affection, appreciation, and sex. Ladies, take note. Typically, a man will love you in order to receive these things in return. While that’s not wrong, love is not demanding, so what happens when those expectations are not fulfilled?
Becoming More Attractive in Your Marriage
As time goes on, the spark can fade and the attraction can die down in a marriage. That doesn’t have to be the road you go down if you desire a marriage and relationship full of passion, attraction, and love. Typically this determent in attraction comes from a wife not getting her needs met and/or a husband feeling resentful. When resentment and negative thoughts and feelings arise in a partner, it’s important couples come together and communicate.
Mike said, “It’s about generating feeling states and intentions that are attractive. Really trying to live in the fruits of the spirit. Love, patience, peace, self control.” When partners can learn to switch their thoughts and feelings and find gratitude and love for their partner, the attraction will again become ignited. It’s also important that each person in the relationship is able to look at themselves and see how they view themselves. If you think negative thoughts about yourself, it’s possible that you will project that onto your partner as well which is not attractive.
Just Ask for What You Want
Resentment can come from men not getting what they want in their marriage or relationship. But in order to get what they want, they must ask. For men, asking what they want can be difficult. Mike said that there are three things that get in the way of men asking for what they want. The first thing being that men aren’t clear on what they want. Sometimes men in relationships desire something but they aren’t exactly sure what that is or how to receive it. They also are often afraid they are going to get turned down (fear of rejection). This can be one of the preventing factors for men asking what they want, because if they risk being vulnerable, and being turned down, that can hurt them. Lastly, men sometimes don’t ask for what they want because they are trying to control their partner's emotions. Because they don’t want to inconvenience their partner, they beat around the bush and don’t just straight communicate what their need is and where they may need support.
But First Get Clear on What You Want
In many marriages and relationships, one partner may want something from their partner and use different tactics and situations to force their partner into doing something they want. This is a form of manipulation that couples use to get what they want. They are looking for an outcome, but aren’t actually getting to the root of the need. The first thing that they should do is get clear on what they really want.
Simply communicate what you want and give the reason why you want that thing. This allows your partner to understand why that thing may be so important to you. Mike says, “When you give a reason for your request, there’s something about it that makes us more likely to want to do it for the other person.” This is an exercise for both partners because the person asking must get clear on what they want and communicate why they may need that. This is where boundaries come in. Each partner has the opportunity to withstand their boundaries based on the asks and requests in the marriage.
There’s so much more in this episode. Be sure to listen to the full episode and learn how love is not demanding.
Links Mentioned in this Episode
Strong Men Strong Marriages Podcast
Episode mentioned about Comparison in Marriage
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