We all work in different ways, we are all programmed differently. If you don't share with your partner what it is that makes you feel loved how can they give it to you? There is a basic understanding, which I've found is needed for each of us to know that we are loved. It is coded deep in our system and is not usually recognised as a fundamental need.
Exhaustion, children, stress, finances, health - all these worries take their toll. If you are unable to talk to your partner about your worries how are you going to be able to communicate intimately with them? As a starting point, it's important to know what will convince your partner that you love them even if intimacy is off bounds.
We have six senses - sight, sound, taste, smell, touch and intuition. Everything we know has come through one or more of those senses. Each of us has our own individual preferred sense. Some people are very touchy feely, some people like to see in order to know and others like to hear.
If you are a touchy feely person if you don't get hugs, cuddles, caresses, kisses etc, you may well feel that you aren't being loved. If you are a visual person you might be looking for that particular look in your partner's eyes, the way they tilt their head, what they wear, how they walk or dance.
As an auditory person you will want to hear the words that mean things to you, said in just the right tone of voice, whispered in your ear, shouted over the rooftops etc.
Some folk want things bought for them - a bar of chocolate, flowers, card, motorbike magazine - whatever 'does' it for them. It's highly unlikely to have to be diamond rings, Ferrari's or holidays. If it is something outside your budget, is there something which they would accept as a substitute, and is it ok for you to start working towards saving for a larger item?
How do you know you are loved ... what do you need to hear/see/feel. What works for you might not work for your partner. If you want to hear 'I love you' whispered in your ear every morning when you wake up and that's what you give your partner, you might find that they want you to give them a big hug every night when you come home from work.
I have a friend whose husband knows that to show his love she likes yellow roses each week, sometimes he can't find yellow ones but it's the effort and thought that counts. Another friend knows that her husband loves Italian food and she makes him his favourite dishes each week. A client found that a warm hug each night before bedtime was perfect for her. Her husband wanted her to say 'I love you' when he came home from work.
To do this successfully, you need to sit quietly and reflect back to a time when you knew without a hesitation of a doubt that you were loved fully and completely. What was it that made you know that?