Did you know that you don’t have to do anything? Many people don’t. You don’t have to brush your teeth, make dinner for your family, or change any diapers? Most of us choose to do these things because we would rather not have the consequences that may follow: cavities, hungry family, or a diaper rash.
There are no “have-to’s.” Everything single thing we do is a choice.
It is the same for your husband. He doesn’t have to do anything. He doesn’t even have to remember your birthday. It is nice when he does and he would most likely rather not suffer the consequence of forgetting, but he doesn’t have too. He chooses too.
We have all created rules in our minds of what is expected and try to control others with our rules. When they break our rules, then we feel like that person doesn’t love us. The truth is, they chose to not follow our rules and suffer the consequence. I use to have a rule in my mind that my husband should sit next to me when we watch a movie together. He should rub my feet and snuggle. (I think that is a great rule) He seemed to always choose to sit where he felt the most comfortable on the couch and it wasn’t always next to me. I made that mean that he doesn’t love me. It really had nothing to do with me, he is just choosing to be comfortable while watching a movie. Really it is that simple. However, I would still try to make him feel real bad for not wanting to snuggle with me. So, he would come resentfully snuggle instead of hearing me complain. It would appear that I controlled the situation, but all I did was cause resentment for him and not allow him the space to choose what he really wanted. He still made his own choice.
When you can let your rules go and give people the space to be themselves and understand that you really don’t have any control over other’s behaviors- then you will set yourself free and them. You are never the victim and there is nothing you have to do. You are choosing everything. You can always put in requests or share how you would like something to go, but love gives space to allow others to make the choice they really want. Now, I wait for my husband to get real comfortable, then I make my move and go snuggle with him.