Your husband needs to know that you love him. You need to show your husband that you love him.
Sounds easy, right? But anyone who’s been married long knows that it’s harder than it sounds. Apparently, love shown isn’t cookie cutter. Now they say people even have different “love languages”. What seems loving to me doesn’t translate as loving for him. Thanks, Adam and Eve, for a harder-than-it-should-be relationship heritage. Sigh. That being said, I’m going to share the top five ways to show your husband you love him, no matter what language his love speaks.
1. Take out the trash.
And no, I don’t mean metaphorically. Actually, physically take out the trash. Actions speak louder than words, and no one likes taking out the trash. If your house is like mine, trash-taking-out is a task most often given to the men of the house, whether it be husbands or older sons. Not to read too much into it, but have you ever thought about how that must come across? “Oh good, you’re here – take out my stinking mess please.” I’ve even been known to already be working in the kitchen and still calling my husband in to ask him to take out the garbage. Or spending all day with a too-full can, waiting on him to come home and take it out. If the roles were reversed, that would definitely hurt my feelings. So ladies, take out the trash once in awhile. It won’t kill you.
2. Do the things he asks.
In a timely manner. You know that form he asked you to mail, or those stamps he asked you to pick up, or that library book he asked you to return that you just. keep. forgetting about? Well, do it. Habitual forgetfulness (or just plain procrastination) isn’t a sign of love or that you care about the person who is most affected by your forgetfulness. Psychologically speaking, it’s a sign of selfishness, even if only on a subconscious level. So, be mindful of other people’s requests. It’s terribly rude and frustrating to have an unreliable partner.
3. Don’t interrupt.
If you’re like me you don’t necessarily do it on purpose, but cutting him off, either out of malice or air-headedness, can become a regular thing. It’s disrespectful. And while we’re at it, speak to him respectfully in general. Don’t be all sighs-and-flared-nostrils all the time. Drop the condescension and exasperatedness. They don’t affect change in anyone anyway. Pull up your big-girl panties and try grace on for size.
Do more of it. And yes, I do mean “it“. Men need sex in a different way than women. It’s been said that women typically need to feel loved to “make love”. But for men, “making love” makes them feel loved. Yes, statistically, your husband is always gonna want to walk down that lovin’ road more than you do. But don’t make a habit of denying him the walk. Find a balance. The boy needs it.
5. Give him what he needs, socially.
Is your husband introverted? Then leave him alone sometimes. Is your husband super verbal? Make time to listen to him. Everyone has specific social needs and if they’re not met to some degree, a happy boy your husband will not make. He might need to be alone for 30 minutes when he first comes home, or he might need to immediately tell you about his day before he does anything else. Learn who he is and what he needs. And then make an effort to help him satisfy those needs.
That’s it! Not too terribly complicated, right?
Really, marriage is hard. So so so so so so hard. With about a dozen more “so’s”. The first book that I ever read that gave me a real light bulb moment was Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs.
Check it out if you’re stuck in the crazy cycle and can’t find a way off.
Oh, and one more thing. Before all the angry feminists show up to burn me at the stake, let me be clear – at the heart of all of these points, is the golden rule; the second greatest commandment. Treat other people the want you want to be treated. Do you want your husband to not satisfy your needs, socially or sexually? Do you want him to always put off the stuff you ask him to do? Do you want him to interrupt you and treat you disrespectfully?
No? Oh, well then I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask the same of you, gals. ;)
P.S. I have failed at all of the above, many times over in the past dozen years.
Picture by Luba V Nel via dreasmtime