“Great relationships are built on clarity not mind reading.—Steve Arterburn

don't love me

The words you think and say have power, especially when you use phrases like “You don’t love me.”

You’ve probably found yourself feeling that if your spouse loved you, they would know what you want without you having to ask.

Somewhere along the way, you may have gotten the idea that your spouse is a mind reader. It’s portrayed in movies all the time. There’s a blissful relationship where each person anticipates their spouse’s every need. So too good to be true?

The truth about marriage is that your spouse cannot read your mind. And using phrases such as “You don’t love me” is poison to your marriage.

The antidote is to rebuild connection through clear communication.

Consider what happens when you say or think the words, “You don’t love me.” When you say this to your spouse, it plants seeds of doubt in both of your heads. You are speaking this as a fact, even when it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even thoughts such as “If he loved me” or “If she loved me” erode the foundation of your marriage.

These ideas can arise from all kinds of situations. For example, you might think to yourself, “If she really loved me, she’d know I want to try new things in the bedroom.” Or, “He doesn’t love me because if he did, he’d know I want more romance.”

You might think your spouse should always know when you need a hug or someone to talk to. You might expect your spouse to anticipate when you feel stressed and do things to lighten your load.

The issue is not that your spouse doesn’t love you. The issue is that you are expecting them to read your mind.

But you’re not alone. Within the ONE Family, 92% said that they have expected their spouse to just read their mind and know what they needed or wanted without saying a word. That’s a lot.

While this can happen in each of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, it occurs most frequently with emotional, physical, and sexual intimacy.

The experience leaves you feeling disappointed, frustrated, neglected, or disconnected.

Expecting your spouse to read your mind can create unnecessary arguments, distance, and tension.

None of those things sound like the recipe for an extraordinary marriage, especially when you can do something about it.

You have to get past the idea that if your spouse loves you, they will just know everything you want and need. Instead, move into a place where you talk about these things.

How can you make that happen? It starts by having intentional conversations. Build your emotional intimacy by sharing your hopes and desires with each other.

Create a routine where you talk honestly with each other. Some couples take a walk and talk. Others have a sit and sip. The two of you could have a Coffee Break together or pull out a tool like the Emotion Wheel to help you better describe your feelings.

Truthfully, it is highly likely that over the course of your marriage, you and your spouse will be able to predict certain things about each other. You may get a sense of what your spouse is thinking without asking or know what they like without them having to communicate it.

But this isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing.

If there are expectations you want your spouse to meet, you must communicate them. Be clear and repeat yourself if necessary. It’s possible your spouse needs a couple of reminders before it becomes a habit. If you have communicated something multiple times and continue to feel unheard, apply for marriage coaching.

Remember that if you feel your spouse isn’t reading your mind, it’s not a sign that they don’t love you. In fact, those thoughts are more so a warning sign that you need to rebuild parts of your emotional intimacy.

Emotional intimacy is the workhorse of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, so make sure you keep it strong.


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