“I give my partner a compliment and they brush it aside.” Does that sound familiar? You may feel they are being negative, however, there are a lot of people in this world who find it hard to receive compliments. I’ll go further: There are a lot of people who find it hard to accept love!
It’s not that they don’t want love. In fact, they will seek it out. When it arrives, they downplay it, brush it aside, or find other ways to reject it (including becoming grumpy and rude). Yet they will often be the first to consider marriage counseling – not because they have trouble accepting love, but because they feel their partner is not giving enough. It can come as a rude shock to realize that they are the problem, not their partner.
While it may be a rude shock, counseling can certainly turn that problem around. People who find it hard to accept compliments, or to accept love, generally live unfulfilled lives. They always feel like something is missing, and they are right – it is the acceptance of love when offered that is missing.
So how does one change that mentality? It does take time, and it takes a lot of conscious effort. The first step is to knock down your defensive wall. Being defensive is what normally sits at the bottom of this problem so chipping away those defenses can be a must. You also need to identify when you are blocking love – and slowly work at preventing yourself from going into auto-pilot at this time.
Your partner is not being negative – they are being defensive, and by working together with a counselor, you can break down those defenses and build a strong and healthy marriage.