MN,

First, your commitment to your marriage is in your actions...like coming to MB and sharing. \:\)

Would you consider reading about the pursuer/distancer relationship? There's not an exact book...many mention it..however the one I read which brought it home to me most was "Facing Love Addiction". One of your posts brought it to mind that it was unsettling to you for your DH to love you with every inch of his soul.

And why you feel nearly immediate relief when he says "Walk if you don't want this".

You're not weird, wrong or alone. It's really common, to different degrees.

Strive first to understand (which is what I see in you posting on MB), then be understood.

Next, it sounds to me like you've already discovered the healthiest approach to your marriage...to see the three parts...you, him and The Marriage. You committed to The Marriage...and you honor it, even if you don't FEEL like honoring him right now.

You know your feelings come and go...you mentioned your awareness of stress factors, radical life changes, and acknowledged them having an impact on your resulting feelings.

One of the many blessings I found here on MB was the knowledge, "Feelings follow actions." They are a result, not a mandate. They no more tell you what to do in life than tea leaves.

Our feelings are signals to us, about us, from our beliefs. When you act with awareness, from your beliefs, your feelings follow. When you act from your belief you choose to love your DH, then loving feelings result. Read Harley's articles, get his books...you'll see where meeting ENs and eliminating LBs results in giving you a full to overflowing love bank so you will fall in love with your DH, over and over again.

And how MUCH you cut out from his deposits getting in, how much of a factor you are in blocking them.

All of us have our part. It's not about getting our partners to meet our needs...it's about our focus, priorities and willingness to fall in love by holding our fear and acting from love, anyway.

Have you heard the addage, "He who loves least controls most of the relationship"?

Please take heart and rejoice in your choice to make your marriage into a thriving, fulfilling, loving one...have faith in yourself, your DH and don't be afraid to flourish. Takes time, forming new habits, not reacting to our feelings and instead, acting from our beliefs, our goal.

What's your goal? To have love be a mystically dispensed, no choice kind of thing; whimsical and sporadically given to some couples and not others?

Or do you choose to believe God IS love...that we are made from love...equal to everyone...by the hand of the same creator, loved as much, looked out for and provided for...from love? Emulate this in your marriage...KNOW you love and act from your choice...your feelings will follow.

There isn't someone better for you out there...and I heard in your posts how you want to look back to yesterday to give yourself feelings today...which isn't unreasonable...but as a habit, it will break apart every relationship you ever have, not just your marital one.

See, your brain cannot tell time...cannot tell past or future apart from the present. Your brain is ever present. And it cannot tell the difference between fantasy or reality. It hands you what it thinks you want, based on what you wanted before, how you trained it to respond...rely on today to cherish, understand, and thrive in. If you choose to dwell on what you wished had happened, what you wished he'd done, what you chose to resent DH for, then you will continue to drain your own love bank. You doing, not him.

And dislike yourself...for your choices then...when you have so much more now...you have committed to, vowed to right now. For what you do to your DH in your head, you also do to yourself. If you tear him down for what he did or didn't do, so do you to yourself...and the tearing down is the draining away. And then looking at HIM as if he isn't thrilling you.

I've been there, done this, lived it...it's self-deception at work. Free yourself. Right here and now you are his wife. Focus on what you do and don't do right now rather than what you feel and don't feel. The shift itself changes everything. Loving feelings result.

Do you try to reason why God loves you endlessly? Do you try to evidence his love in your life, earn it, substantiate or justify it? Then why would you do this to yourself, your marriage, your spouse? You mentioned doubting due to your age at the time of the engagement (your own expectations for an appropriate age maybe at work, not his), the speed, your unpreparedness in previous poor choices...this is your heart pointing you to all these beliefs you had which were greatly disturbed, acted against, really...sort out expectations and judgments...and see if they really do hold up to your core beliefs about humans, love and the universe.

Then understand how young you formed those, took them in, even before you knew God made it so you choose your own beliefs. Examine and see...not shame and judge...and understand YOU are half of falling in love with a man who has vowed to act from his love and honor his marriage to you, no matter what.

You didn't choose badly, MN. God rejoiced and still does.

Welcome to where there are friends of your marriage.

LA