I sort of want to change the title of my reply now and i feel a bit sheepish.

honestly, i think i have been believing that 'love is mystically dispensed... given to some couples and not others'. i think it's been blocking me in our relationship, believing that "it's just not there" while all the while not even really defining for myself what "it" is.

i've been feeling at peace. i believe that we are going to be fine, and our love is going to grow and grow. i'm going to cling to those beliefs and work through negative feelings when they come up. we really have been doing good lately. Also- what does MN mean?

MN is my abbrev for your name.

You can change the title of your thread, your reply, in the subject when you make a post.

Thank you for sharing your feeling sheepish...and discovering a little deeper what you're believing...and not really believing it. Your love will grow and grow as you choose to act from love. How it works. "It" doesn't cut it...for "it" represents The Marriage...which is your half and his half...and you continually have your half, so your actions cannot count more or less than your H's.

Great choice to not dwell in your thoughts on negative feelings..for they are to deliver information, then they drop off...you choose where your thoughts dwell, which makes your treasure...and realizing you do not want to treasure resentment, bitterness, deprivation is a great start.

Makes even more sense to realize why you've experienced these feelings as a result...because you're treasuring them...training your brain erroneously, to believe this is what you want most.

When it's love, understanding, acceptance and awareness. Focus on those, and they will be your treasure, hence, your experience.

In regards to your history, consider the three stages of relationships...we are attracted to each other's self-image...our best self images...which is really attractive...so the first boy you choose to believe you destroyed wasn't in love with who you really were...he was infatuated with your self-image, his concept of you (which can take on far more than even we believe we are)...his own fantasy may have destroyed him at that time...our wishfulness can do that. Know it for what it is (now in your experience) as new, now.

You are not powerful enough to destroy another human being. God's not unfair. If you believe yourself MORE responsible than others, then you are truly believing they are less responsible than you are...get that inequality...another subtle belief...and hear how disrespectful and deceitful it is...not to shame yourself...to understand the payoff.

You were attracted to needy/clingy friends. Makes sense...the less responsible they were, the more you seemingly could be...more control...more power. An illusion...just like your first boyfriend...you guys share in that. Good to know.

You cannot be cornered into the savior role..ever. You choose to act in that way...a pleaser...and I didn't realize how abusive and disrespectful pleasing was until five years ago. See, I had this experience, also, as if it were being done to me, instead of me choosing, setting up and reacting.

Now I make different choices. So I have a very different experience.

Dr. Harley, posters, friends, family members do not save marriages. Only the husband and the wife do that, really. Their choices. We don't save people...they choose to save themselves or not...they allow our influence to come in or not...their choice, not ours.

Ours is to offer what we know now, to connect, to share...and let the outcome go. No illusion in that...no fantasy. We don't control outcomes.

Your H's actions cannot MAKE you anything...you feel resentment...the human saviors do...and we do it to resent, to be right and feel righteous...and when we don't get the response we want, when we want it and in the way we want it, we resent.

Odds are, we'll get our daily dose of resentment many times a day, in little ways...since we are creating it in ourselves through our expectations.

Our judgment manufactures it by the barrel...when we lay down our judgment, see it for the DJ routine it is, then we free ourselves of the fantasy, bit by bit. Retrain our brains...and yes, have a different experience.

Humans swing between to basic fears...fear of abandonment and fear of intimacy...both feel like annihilation...fear of intimacy is another person taking us over (clingy can feel engulfing, smothering), thereby wiping us out. The fear of abandonment feels the same, only by rejection...we don't exist. I believe your H's desire for you, his need of you, is both what you were greatly attracted to and liked about him, and it is the same for what kicks your button now and is behind you thinking negatively of him.

That which brings us together will most likely be our undoing.

What we love in our partners when we are in love, is what we deny in ourselves. What we hate most in our partners is what we deny is in ourselves. Takes awhile to let that seep in...where we don't allow ourselves dependency (needy/clingy) we don't allow in others. Fearing intimacy (which is actually knowing and sharing yourself...for you cannot be taken over by anyone and you cannot be abandoned)...it's the fear. Get to know it. Comes from really old, out-dated beliefs we've stored up for years.

Your fear is yours...not about him. He can do without you, MN...so did the first boyfriend who hurt, greatly, wasn't destroyed. He moved on...so will your H, if your resentment kills your half of the marriage. For every act of love you choose to do, if you do knowing you will resent, isn't what your H wants. He doesn't want you to meet even one EN if you will resent.

Feelings follow actions, not the other way around. You choosing to not allow yourself to be intimate, to known and be known with your H, so you don't hurt, hurts you immediately. Makes no sense. You cannot control your feelings...make it your goal to not feel this and only feel that...feelings are information to you about your beliefs...for instance, that someone has to be the right partner for you...instead of you desiring most to be the right partner.

Might be linked to that mystically dispensed belief of love being outside humans (and it is) instead of the very stuff we're made of...so we alienate love, in a way, and then crave what we're least giving.

Act from love and you will experience deep love...your H is your real partner...your happiness doesn't depend on him...depends on you, your choices...of where your thoughts dwell, what you allow yourself to perceive (the way you do it), DJ, assume and live as if you're not in control (responsible) for what only you are...and in responsible (control/savior) for what you cannot be.

Our expectations...what you thought you'd feel about the man you married someday...speak of when you created that expectation...check it, understand and know it came before you even knew you choose your beliefs. Part of your responsibility. You are love. You choose to act from it or from fear. You reacted after your college relationship from fear...so you're experiencing fear, conflict, frustration, deprivation (depriving yourself of loving feelings), resentment.

You're doing that in your choices. Choose differently.

In the second stage of marriage, we experience each others more complete self-images...not just best...what we think is lousy in us, our faults, weaknesses, rebelliousness...still not who we really are...more intimate of how we see ourselves showing us to our partners...and them to us.

Tests the belief we earn each other's love, loyalty, respect, acceptance...when we don't. If we piled evidence of love (he's strong so I can love him; he is kind, so I can love him) high enough, then we'd feel enough to know our marriage really is the love of our lives...we'd know by feeling it. Instead, we experience the opposite...feel punished, deprived, frustrated, resentful and focused on our partners doing/not doing; feeling/not feeling; speaking/not speaking; seeing/not seeing our self-images as we want them to...

which abandons our own selves...so we feel helpless, unimportant, not a priority and not loved...which we do to ourselves...in our choice of where we focus.

Then we blame them for our feelings...when they are ours. Most often experience is for our partner to not acknowledge our feelings...to not listen and understand...and for them to not fix them. When we do not do that ourselves..own our feelings, acknowledge, get the info, trace...spend the time...not to fix, to know.

What's still in operation in the second stage of marriage is that we continue to see ourselves through our partners (self-image) and in them, to send our own selves messages...so we may fall down exhaustively from trying to get THEM to do/not do; feel/not feel, etc...which is what we are trying to signal to ourselves, not them.

No wonder we get so confused.

When we fall in love with ourselves, then we see how very much we are surrounded, too, by love. We experience being loved in a deep and profound...even new...way. It's incredible.

In the third stage, you get to mature love, where it's not self-images, just real selves, side by side...partnering. Through realization and awareness of how much you tried to work out in your partner that which was in yourself...you break through, heal old wounds, really see your whys as to your attraction for your spouse...and that they chose every moment to be your spouse...freely...they chose to love you (couldn't earn it), respect, be present and through presence, really there for you.

Even when you weren't there for your own self.

You get it...and then maintain getting it. Together. Even when you don't feel like honoring this man who you can and have pushed so violently against...blamed him for what you did, in essence, all along. And him, you. Until you both stopped, looked, shared and kept your focus on acting from your own choice to love...then you experience that mystical love as it always was...in abundance, inside and outside of yourself.

Real freedom in our actual responsibility and limits...focus on partnering...yourself.

You can do this. Your awareness grows every day...stop judging and up your awareness of what is and is not...and where in you your feelings are coming from...get the message.

You can do this...and thrive in that third stage...