Believe me, there are more levels of self-deception, because this belief (that we sacrifice to earn love) goes deep within us...and prohibits us from a close relationship with God, and along the same model, our spouses.
Great advice LovingAnway...
MN...I understand what LA is saying. Feeling entitled is not a feeling that you want to receive from your spouse; I have and it is not a pleasant thing. He has tried to "earn love" and feels entitled to SF when he does not feel that he gets (from me) the respect and SF he feels he deserves. Be careful with this. I think this comes out of his feelings of NOT feeling deserving because he was abused and abandoned as a child. He had NO other loving relationship history when we met though he is a very loving and sensitive man. I was the one with IB (Independent behavior...) so much so that on the my birthday about 7 months after we were married, I planned on having a birthday party that my friends was throwing for me without asking him if he wanted to do something. He was so terribly hurt and rejected and I don't even know how and why it all came about. I just felt "independant" probably because I was afraid of the committment of marriage.
Pray for clarity and God will provide. True humility comes from acting intimately with your spouse and yourself. They become your ally, your helpmate, the one there for you...not to fix you (you're not broken), not to cure or control...they can't...their presence, listening, hearing your own stuff...that's an act of love.
I will be praying this for you also.
focus on yours...and use your commitment to O&H to reinforce to your brain that self-deception (DJs), resentment, entitlement and lack of respect are no longer what you really want.
O&H will help heal a lot but remember, sometimes when healing must take place we might first see the "wound" that has been developing and the pain and hurt of the "clean up" can be pretty hard on us and our spouse emotionally.
be gentle and firm, respectful of yourself...
I have tried counseling several times and it has helped to a point but prayer and journaling and turning my thoughts, pains and hopes over to the Lord and waiting upon Him has been the most healing in our marriage.
It sounds like you are working things out...healing takes time sometime...