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Title: Relationships: Giving to Get Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: © 2005 by Margaret Paul URL: http://www.innerbonding.com Word Count: 724 Category: Relationships
Relationships: Giving to Get By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Are you giving love to your partner for joy of giving, or are you giving to get love?
I received following email on this topic, asking for my help:
“Hi, my name is Adam. I am living with my parents and I’m thinking of moving out with my girlfriend Patty. But there are some things that make me feel upset, and I don’t really know what to do. I love her but she doesn’t seem to be person she was. At times she feels bad and upset. These periods last for about 4 - 5 days. During these times she seems more distant and our sex life just stops. This makes me frustrated because for past year I have been working so hard to try and make her feel better when she feels bad. I thought that it was working but now it seems nothing I do works. I miss old times because she kissed me randomly all day and it made me feel so loved and wanted. She would hold me, and tell me great things. It was like a fantasy. Now, I’m lucky if she kisses me at least once in about 3 hours. I actually start all of kissing. I start all of holding. It feels like I have to start everything.
Mainly at times it feels like she just wants me as a friend. She doesn’t make me feel loved or wanted. My feelings about this come and go mainly around times when she feels bad. But these feelings also come around sometimes when she is not feeling bad.
I just don’t have a clue what to do, and I need some help.”
Adam is giving to get. He wants control over getting Patty to validate his worth and fill him up. He is fine as long as Patty is having sex with him and kissing him a lot and making him feel “loved and wanted.” But, because Adam is not doing anything to make himself feel loved and wanted, he is addicted to Patty doing this. He is not giving his love to Patty from a full place inside, a place inside filled with love. Instead, he is empty inside and hopes that if he “works hard” and is nice to Patty, he can have control over getting her to fill his empty hole. As a result, Patty feels pulled on to take responsibility for Adam’s wellbeing, and becomes upset and distant in face of pull. She is getting turned off to Adam and just wants him as a friend because his neediness is not attractive to her. When sex is a way for Adam to get validated - rather than an expression of his love - Patty will feel used rather than loved. when they have sex.