If you feel that you are giving far more than you are getting in your marriage, you may be on the fast track toward depression, divorce, or an extra-marital affair. The Healthcare Training Institute website cautions that marriage partners who experience unrequited love need to consider, "confronting unrealistic expectations about love and marriage." A marriage partner cannot meet all of your emotional needs, or give your life purpose. With this in mind, some married individuals really do need to learn how to handle unrequited love in their marriage, which can result from poor communication or emotional defense mechanisms.
Sit down and write out the specific instances in which your spouse failed to requite your love. For example, if you worked hard to create a romantic meal and your spouse grabbed his plate and sat down with it in front of the TV, list this incident as an example of rebuffed affection. Next to each specific incident listed, write down how it made you feel to experience unrequited love.
Make another list, this time of specific incidents in which you feel your display of love was requited by your spouse. For example, if when you massaged your wife's feet, you had her full attention and affection, list this as an example of requited love. List how the requited love made you feel beside each incident.
Go over your lists, and search for a pattern in the different types of love displays that seem to strike out or garner a loving response from your spouse. Realize that every individual receives and gives love in different ways. Author and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman reports that there are five primary love languages: touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, and quality time.
Attempt to show love for your spouse primarily in the love language he has responded to in a positive manner in the past. You may be surprised to find that when you express love in your spouse's primary love language, he is able to receive the love at a deeper level that naturally results in a requital of your love with affectionate displays of his own.
Realize also that your spouse may be trying to show love for you in ways that are not your primary love language. Tell your spouse what your primary love language is, and praise him when he shows love for you in a way that really resonates with you.
Sarah Morgan has been a copywriter since 2008 and has written hundreds of articles for various websites and blogs, including work for the Couple's Institute and Caney Technology. Morgan has a degree in practical ministry from FIRE school of ministry in Charlotte, NC.