In addition to her Foundation for AIDS and more than 40 movies plus television shows, the generational movie star Liz Taylor squeezed in 8 marriages from 7 husbands. This shows Liz Taylor was into recycling before most people on your block.
In her personal life Liz Taylor sought what her heart petitioned. To love and be loved; to receive and be received. In a personal relationship Ms. Taylor offered insecurity (when you are a good friend of Michael Jackson your life currency includes high frequency ego) and warmth. In a man she sought not only romance but a source of stability. She had a need which she felt would be satisfied by a solid relationship. Taylor wanted a marriage strong enough to support her as a woman yet flexible enough to be able to handle the whims and intrusions of Hollywood.
In the classic movie Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Taylor plays the empathetic yet tempestuous wife to Paul Newman as her failing husband. The 1958 movie could have been called ‘Lost and Found’. Newman’s character Brick Pollitt was lost in life and Taylor’s Maggie desperately wanted him found in her life; in her heart.
What you seek is almost certainly available in the person you seek it in. Ms Taylor probably found some of what she was seeking in Richard (twice) at some point, Conrad, Mike and Michael. After the proverbial honeymoon was over they may or may not have wanted to offer it up to her. Once she felt her man couldn’t, or wouldn’t, offer Liz what she wanted then she needed to look for it elsewhere. In one of her marriages it was only a matter of months before Taylor’s marriage had become unfulfilling . Although it makes sense that when the love is gone then why stay married, but it would be costly in divorce lawyers.
Maybe Liz didn’t know how to ask to be loved the way she wanted to be loved. Maybe the men she chose weren’t up to the job. A few of her relationships definitely were complicated by drugs and alcohol.
Unfortunately a common conundrum for a man is not knowing how to love his wife. He wants to but can’t understand what expression that takes. Love gets contorted by our handling of the emotional unpacking of our inner lives, life stages and development urges, professional success, physical health. So it is easy to understand how two confused adults can fail in a relationship. Especially if they had no guidance from their parents.
Without simple yet deep conversation sprinkled with wisdom we end up with men who are in fact lost with no idea what they seek and what they offer. That is frustrating for everyone. And can be dangerous because the man can think anytime he is being asked to do something it is because he has done something wrong. Which is incorrect. He is being asked because it is his responsibility to participate in a relationship and family.
Also, if he is being asked it says he is capable and can be relied upon based on what he offers as a man. We get this good reputation by doing a lot of small things, day after day. This repetitive signal that upholds our marriage is a practical way to seek love. As we grow and learn we can refine our seeking. Refining our seeking means that we use our experience and intuition to know where, when and how to seek. It means that our spouse can feel that embedded in our seeking is an offering of love and support for her as a woman.
What you seek can be found in what you offer. It’s almost like saying you already have what you seek – you just want it reflected back to you. And is reflected back to but just like in a mirror, it is reversed and is based on what your spouse seeks. You seek honesty and so your spouse delivers the truth; you seek happiness and your spouse offers laughter; you seek companionship and your spouse offers you conversation.
If you don’t get what you seek then perhaps before pointing a finger it is to ask if it is clear to you what you seek and offer. That can be as simple as writing it down on a piece of paper: 3 things you seek in your relationship and 3 things you offer to your relationship. Is one contingent upon the other? Yes and no. It isn’t tit for tat at the moment. We all have to put up with our spouse in the bad days and relish the good days. And they provide you the same service. However a living relationship needs the give and take of seek and offer to have a flow between both people that continue to define and refine their mechanism for loving and being loved.
By persisting in what you offer to your wife, offering her safety and your sentiment for her happiness, it will help define what you seek. Meaning you know what you want as a man and as a husband that is valid unto itself while at the same time strengthening the marriage. This requires understanding what satisfies you as a man and making yourself responsible for it. This involves learning what fulfills your spouse and supporting her in that endeavour. You seek being loved and someone to love.
Obviously not at all costs. With dignity for the person and their stage in life.