I Love You More Because I Call You More

Tuesday, Feb. 22nd 2011 2:10 AM

It’s bad enough when our partners give us grief and guilt trips for the things we do or fail or to do. But what about when we do it to ourselves?

While discussing relationship dynamics with a male associate, “James,” we veered into territory where he judged himself as “wrong” in his dealings with his current lady. He noted that for the most part, she calls him. While he wants to talk to her, and usually accepts her calls and carries out extended conversations, he rarely initiates the phone interaction. “I average approximately 3,000 minutes a month on my cell phone for work,” he explained.  “At the end of my day, I don’t have a great deal of motivation to make more calls.” And though his mate has not complained about the situation or asked him to change, he seemed to believe that he was being unfair to her.

“So, why is this wrong?” I asked. “You’re just being yourself.” After all, many people don’t enjoy talking on the phone, and if this is something James already spends much of his time doing, it’s completely understandable that he wouldn’t choose to call anyone he didn’t have to call – even someone he enjoys talking to. Generally speaking, initiating fewer phone calls to one’s partner is not unhealthy or problematic in a relationship, particularly when one’s partner does not have a problem with it. But James insisted that his behavior was selfish and something he should change.

There is a fine line between self-imposed guilt and a desire to better ourselves, whatever that “better self” looks like to each individual. Having the willingness and ability to improve our behavior or tendencies is certainly admirable and often healthy. But we can do so without judging our current self or behavior as “wrong” or “unfair.” These judgments cause undue stress and negativity – and can even hurt the relationships we’re trying to improve.

In any relationship, we have the opportunity to be heavy and guilt-laden or light and joyous. And it is certainly each individual’s choice where to fall within that spectrum. However, the way we choose to see ourselves is reflective of how we see others. While it may appear that James is simply judging himself harshly (and, in my opinion, he is), if there were aspects of his mate’s behavior that he judged “wrong” or “unfair,” he would probably be just as hard on her. In fact, if his mate was aware that he was beating himself up about something she didn’t consider a big deal, she might have said to herself, “Wow, if he does that to himself, he will deal with me the same way.”

We all judge ourselves and others. What is uncommon is the ability to digest the self-conversation, and change it (if you believe it to be harsh). If you wish to make a change in your life or in your relationship, consider making it because you think it’s better or more effective for you, or because you will be happier. That’s all it takes. No guilt or self-beatings necessary.

 

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

www.FrankLove.com

…and please do not multi-task when driving.

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How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship

8 Comments on “I Love You More Because I Call You More”

  1. Pick one Says:

    Nice article. James is beating himself up over his own negative script. It would wiser if he communicated with his lady by asking her perception of the “problem.” It sounds like he’s so wrapped up in the “big problem” that he couldn’t hear her answer anyway. It’s a pity. There are enough real problems in the world that we don’t need to create unnecessary ones.

  2. Anne M. Says:

    This reminded me of me.

  3. Jim S. Says:

    I agree.

  4. Boyd Says:

    If we could only always see those different perspectives.

  5. Tweets that mention I Love You More Because I Call You More | Frank Love -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Johanna Dolan, Frank Love . Frank Love said: @MrFrankLove I Love You More Because I Call You More http://goo.gl/fb/wZa8A […]

  6. Lucky2000 Says:

    Very good read Frank. James has a woman that either loves him to death, is over-the-top, or has no confidence in herself. Sure, James loves his woman (not a doubt about that). He shows it by feeling guilty for not attending to the calls from HOME BASE. He listened to his woman with all effort to remain caring and he does. A point to make about the business day: no one should call HOME BASE without a real reason. From a dude’s view, I, like most real men, would rather have the toils of the day presented to me at home, man and woman together, wiping tears away and licking each others wounds. In final words F-word to the cell phone! Fix it up AT Home!

    Lucky2k

  7. Yiru Says:

    I do not think so

  8. Mark G. Says:

    THE MORE WE SHARE THE MORE WE LEARN; THE MORE WE LEARN THE MORE WE HAVE REASON FOR DEEP UNENDING LOVE.

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