I need to know if the nuances I’m about to describe are significant, or if this is just self-indulgent navel-gazing. And this is a hard concept to convey, but I’m trying:
My husband doesn’t understand the crucial difference between telling me, “I love how you make me laugh when I’m having a bad day” and “I love how funny you are.” In the first, he’s saying he loves me because of what I do for him. In the second, he’s praising me for a quality I have that exists independently from him.
I don’t damn him for this. Both statements are kind and complimentary. But I do feel disappointed.
Does that make sense? I want to be loved for being, not for doing.
And I wonder: Does this observation highlight his own unconscious self-centeredness (how he sees me primarily or solely in terms of what I do for him), or is it a sign of my own self-centeredness (how I expect/hope he will value me just for being me)?