Social Links
Subscribe to our Blog
Previous Marriage Blog Articles
« I’ll Never Do That | Did I Really Say That? - One More Thing »

Sometimes Love is Uncomfortable

By: Donna Martin

“What the world needs now is love sweet love,” says the old song.  But what is love?  Does it mean the same thing to everyone?  Does it look the same to everyone?  Webster defines love as “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.”  Josh McDowell explains that love means to protect and provide for the other person.  Jesus said that we should “love our neighbor as we love ourselves.”  Paul states that “husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.”

But what does that all mean?  Why does love last forever in some marriages, but seems to fade away in other marriages?  Maybe the secret to that is found in 1 Corinthians 13:5 “…love is not self-seeking.”  Sometimes when we love someone we have to do something that may make us uncomfortable.  Since people who marry come from different backgrounds, homes, and experiences, they may perceive love in very different ways.

Mike and I came from pretty similar backgrounds; however, there were a few differences that we encountered along the way.  After we had been dating for a few years and our relationship was becoming more serious Mike began to spend more time with me around my extended family.  My family members were huggers.  We hugged when we arrived at grandmother’s house. We hugged when we left grandmother’s house.  Everyone received a hug whether they wanted it or not.  Mike on the other hand was not big on hugging.  Now of course Mike loved to hug me, but hugging all of my relatives made him feel a little uncomfortable.  Mike had a choice, he could hug or he could not hug.  If he chose to hug, my family would feel loved and accepted by Mike.  If he chose not to hug, then they might have felt that he did not really feel comfortable around them or even care about them.  Mike, being the kind, perceptive person that he is, knew that hugging my family would be a way of showing love to them and to me.  Because his love for me is not self-seeking, but instead is kind and patient, he overcame his objections to hugs and over time he has become a hugger himself.  Now this may seem like a small and insignificant incident, but it is the small and insignificant incidents that make a big impact on marriages.

When couples first fall in love they can’t do enough to make the other person happy.  This romantic love may last for a couple of years into marriage, but overtime romantic love starts to fade and more is needed to keep love alive in the relationship.  In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman explains that if each spouse has learned to speak the other’s “love language” each person will continue to feel loved.  The five love languages include: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.  Speaking someone’s love language may mean that a person has to step out of his comfort zone.  As I mentioned earlier, Mike did not feel comfortable hugging everyone in my family, but he became uncomfortable to make me and my family feel loved.  His love for me was and is not self-seeking, but he seeks to love me in ways that he knows makes me feel loved.

Do you know what makes your spouse feel loved?  Do you love your spouse the way you want to be loved or the way your spouse needs to be loved?   I would suggest reading The Five Love Languages and talking to your spouse about how you can better meet his or her need for love.  You may have to step out of your comfort zone, but in the long run it will be worth it all as you see your love for each other grow.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>