I read somewhere the opposite of love isn't hatred; it's loneliness.
This thought resonates with me.
What do we do when our love feels lonely?
I've seen relationships where there has been a lot of loneliness and suffering. Strangely so, relationships that were once supposed to be all about love can create a deep sense of pain and distance.
It's miserable to see relationships that started with a deep emotional connection turn into a hollow, withering partnership.
How did this happen? Why did this happen?
The loved one did not feel understood.
Our loved ones experience bitter loneliness when we don't understand their needs.
It could be their psychological needs, physical needs, social needs or any other type of need.
Unmet needs create sadness.
This creates a space of deep isolation and helplessness in their hearts, for they might have (implicitly or explicitly) expressed to us their needs often enough for us to sense them by now.
Needs can, at times, be an expression of deep vulnerabilities.
Our deepest needs are the ones that were left undernourished during our childhood.
We might have fought through an entire pattern of defensive tactics and self-protection mechanisms before we were able to come out in the open and ask for our needs.
It often takes a lot of self-digging to even realize what our true needs are.
It is a process of self-awareness and constant self-nourishment.
When we don't sense our loved ones, we create a sense of neglect in their hearts.
They suffer. Their eyes become sad, and their hearts shrink.
Along the way, their capacity to share the light of their souls with us diminishes.
Through all this inner suffering and emotional neglect, they might even become hurtful, withdrawn or depressed.
Life is a difficult venture, and with a heart full of loneliness, it can be very difficult to live even one single day.
If you are reading these words, then it is likely you also have a recycled heart. You have experienced a lot and are in the process of dealing with those experiences.
As we grow through this uncertain life, it is through the togetherness of our partners that we create a sense of anchorage and belongingness.
This homeliness and love in our relationships helps us remember the power of love, and it will heal us when we deal with those past experiences.
When we experience the deep presence of someone who truly cares, our heart reaches complete happiness.
Happiness is possible when there is hope in our hearts. Hope is a result of love and tenderness.
Please listen to your partner. Hear his or her needs. Feel him or her.
Look into his or her eyes and see the depth within him or her. (In my book, I have shared real, practical ways to be present for both yourself and for your loved ones.)
Once you are present, see how your loved one's eyes slowly start smiling again. Your loved one's heart will expand.
He or she will again be able to see the light of your soul. This is how miracles work, and this is how happiness begins.
Happiness, just like sadness, is contagious.
Through being alive to the love of your life, you sow the seeds of happiness.
It is my hope you will take a deep breath and slowly reconnect with your partner on a level of deep care and affection.