So today’s question: How do you show your hubby love? And no–I’m not talking S-E-X. Although, as I say in Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight: Help for women who want to feel more in the mood, men make love to feel loved, and women need to feel loved to make love. So it really is a recipe in major frustration unless you can decide to love your spouse no matter what.
But I think in every marriage you need to find non-sexual ways of showing your spouse that you’re thinking about them and you care about them. And one problem is that both spouses tend to experience love differently. Certainly there’s the love language issue, but I think it goes farther than that. I love backrubs. I really do. There’s nothing you can do to make me swoon more than rubbing my back, mostly because I have such horrendous posture.
But my husband, when he’s thinking, likes to be left alone. So if I go over and rub his back, I’m annoying him. It’s just a little thing, but we can think we’re showing someone love when really we’re not. So we have to figure out how our spouse interprets kindness. This includes love languages, but I think it goes further, just to little things.
One thing that we’ve done is made lists of 20 things the other person can do to make you feel loved. We each fill them out with these caveats: they can’t be sexual, they have to be easy and quick, and they can’t cost a lot of money. Examples might be: praising me in front of the kids, giving me a backrub, hugging me as soon as I’m in the door, etc. Then we exchange lists and try to do two things on the list each day.
I know it sounds hoaky, but often our spouse doesn’t know exactly what we need. Make the list, and it’s more likely to get done!
The neat thing about this is that it works so well especially when you’re going through a hard time. After our son died, we tried extra hard to do these things for each other, because we knew how important it was to keep the marriage together. And when we’ve been in the middle of a hard conflict, we’ve tried to keep doing these things while we sort it out, as a way of showing each other that we realize the relationship is still important, still solid, and will certainly withstand whatever we’re going through.
If you’re having communication issues with your husband, or not seeing eye to eye, why don’t you try it? Ask him to make the list, and you make your list. It’s actually fun! And then see what happens!