Love languages

Hi Brooke:

I’m working hard to wrap my mind around the concept of our partners (and all the people in our lives) being there to simply love them, rather than trying to “meet each others’ needs.” For a long time, I have been thinking that my (otherwise) beautiful relationship with my husband just had some slight friction when it came to love languages. He is “acts of service” all the way. Dishes, laundry, cooking, garden, etc. I am more “words of affirmation.” I have been asking him for years to be more verbal. In short, I want to hear “I think you are smart and pretty” from him. At first when I didn’t hear this, I thought that meant he didn’t think that (I made his silence mean “I don’t think you’re pretty; I don’t think you’re smart”). Now, after requesting verbal affirmations so often with still little action on his part, I’m making it mean that “he doesn’t care enough about me to even try to do this thing that is important to me.” I can see I have a manual for him. I can see how I need to believe in my self worth without his verbal validation. But I’m resentful. And I truly cannot see a way out of the thinking that either a) he doesn’t think I’m smart and pretty, which means I’m not, which makes me wonder why he is even with me. And/Or b) he refuses to change the habit of not saying it, which means he’s just not that into me and would be happier without me. This is really about my self worth, huh? I’m sad about this. And disappointed in myself for pinning this on him. And also sad that he can’t/won’t do this for me. Even though I know intellectually only I can do this for me. Ugh. Any advice on bridge models or anything else is most welcome! Thank you!!