You can care for, respond to, and respect another only as deeply as you know him or her.The effect of genuine, other-oriented giving is profound."The downs can be really low ― and when you're in one, you have three choices: Leave, stay in a loveless marriage, or choose to love your spouse." Dr.Jill Murray (author of writes that if someone mistreats you while professing to love you, remember: "Love is a behavior." A relationship thrives when partners are committed to behaving lovingly through continual, unconditional giving ― not only saying, "I love you," but showing it.
The first is care, demonstrating active concern for the recipient's life and growth.Likewise, the best way to feel loving is to be loving ― and that means giving.While most people believe love leads to giving, the truth (as Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler writes in his famous discourse on loving kindness) is exactly the opposite: Giving leads to love. When an enthusiastic handyman happily announces to his non- mechanically inclined wife, "Honey, wait till you see what I got you for your birthday ― a triple-decker toolbox! Neither is a father's forcing violin lessons on his son because he himself always dreamed of being a virtuoso.The second is responsibility, responding to his or her expressed and unexpressed needs (particularly, in an adult relationship, emotional needs).The third is respect, "the ability to see a person as he [or she] is, to be aware of his [or her] unique individuality," and, consequently, wanting that person to "grow and unfold as he [or she] is." These three components all depend upon the fourth, knowledge.Many years ago, I met a woman whom I found very unpleasant.So I decided to try out the "giving leads to love" theory. A few days later I offered to help her with a personal problem. This is why your parents (who've given you more than you'll ever know) undoubtedly love you more than you love them, and you, in turn, will love your own children more than they'll love you.On another occasion I read something she'd written and offered feedback and praise. Because deep, intimate love emanates from knowledge and giving, it comes not overnight but over time ― which nearly always means after marriage.The intensity many couples feel before marrying is usually great affection boosted by commonality, chemistry, and anticipation.A woman I know once explained why she's been happily married for 25 years."A relationship has its ups and downs," she told me.