Watch out for "Prove you love me" games

One of the most prevalent and destructive games we play in our relationships is the"prove you love me." One person sets the other up to prove that he or she cares. This tendency stems from the illusory beliefs and pictures we carry about love and relationships. It almost always results from an unresolved issue with a parent.

The "prove you love me" usually involves role dynamics. If someone believes that it is a partner's role to provide financial support or whatever else for them, they will manipulate their partner (usually unconsciously) to provide it for them. I have observed highly capable people not provide for themselves because they believe that their partner owes that to them.

Similarly, adult children who are still holding onto the notion that their parents owe them a living will put themselves in dire straits to have their parents prove that they love them by offering financial support.

Or... we may stubbornly believe that we are right and that our partner ought to take care of something. We will actually create a situation that forces the issue by putting them in a position that requires them to honor our will and thereby prove they love us.

Not only is this childish, but it creates a lot of tension and pain in relationships. It is a form of control. We seem to need to reenact these games over the years to prove that the so-called love is still there.  These are the little things that build up in a marriage over the years causing separation and resentment.

If you take the contractual part of the husband/wife, parent/child, employer/employee out of it and look at it as the human being to human being issue that it really is- it is a terrible thing to do to someone. It takes the person for granted and places selfish demands on them.

I present this dynamic to increase awareness from both sides of the fence. If you observe yourself pulling a prove you love me, care enough to cease doing it.  If you observe a partner, child, parent, employee, or boss doing it to you, care enough about yourself to put a stop to it.

Because... prove you love me games are not very loving.

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