We don’t really make a big deal out of V-day, but I want to share my top 5 ways of showing my husband I love him… all year long.
We will be celebrating our 14th anniversary this year. Before you start thinking I am super old, please note that we got married really young (oooooh, I should write the story of how we met. You guys might get a kick out of that). That being said, we now have four kids and in our almost 14 years of marriage I have learned SO much and can look back at the first few years and laugh at how clueless I was. We still love each other very much, but staying intimate and close doesn’t just happen. It takes a conscious choice. Actually a lot of conscious choices, every single day. These are the top 5 ways I show my husband I love him.
- Don’t try to control or change him. This goes against my goal-oriented, control-freak nature. I feel like I have things pretty well figured out and life would be easier if he did things my way. Whether or not that is true is irrelevant. As soon I try to “make” him do or be anything, this puts a strain on our relationship. He parents differently than I do. When he stays with the kids while I am out, diapers may not be changes on time, bedtime routines may vary and kids chores may not get done the same way. But the kids are safe and get some much needed daddy time. Besides, they don’t need him to be a clone of me. They need him to be their dad. I am a little bit of a crunchy mom and although my hubby doesn’t mind a bit, I have to be careful not to force my “unique” lifestyle choices onto him.
- Respect the way he does things without criticism. Does this mean I never disagree? NO. We disagree all the time. But it means that on most of the day to day things that don’t matter in the big picture, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. Does he load the dishwasher the way I like it loaded? Nope. But guess what? If I criticize the way he does it, what he hears is, “I want it done my way, so don’t bother.” Crazy, I know. But it’s true. And honestly, I would rather him do it his way than not at all.
- Let go of the little things. There are certain things I often wish he would do differently *COUGH* not leave his dirty socks in balls all over the house *COUGH*. But is this annoying little habit worth risking feeling close to the man I love? Nope. So, I have two options. Leave the socks. Or pick them up. And picking them up, whilst muttering under my breath and acting like a martyr is not one of the options. If I can’t do it cheerfully, then its better to not do it at all. Is this habit annoying? Yes. Is it a bad influence on my children? Yes. Does it matter in the big picture of life and our relationship? NO. So, I let it go. LET IT GO.
- Create an environment that nurtures both of us. I am an extrovert. He is an introvert. I could be with people and socialize almost non-stop and feel great, but for my husband that would be torture. He enjoys hanging out with close friends and can be the life of the party in the right circumstances (he is so witty and clever… one of the things I love about him), but he doesn’t like crowds and needs to have down time too. After working all week (in advertising) at the office, I have to keep in mind his need to relax without too much going on when I make weekend plans. This also means, doing what I can to make our home environment peaceful and somewhere he wants to be (a challenge with four kids).
- Take care of myself and don’t expect him to read my mind. When I first got married, I somehow thought it would be so romantic if he always knew what I was thinking and how to meet my needs. Nice thought. But honestly, my happiness is my responsibility and I need to make sure I am doing things to keep myself healthy and happy. It’s not his job. Yes, it is his job to love me and do his best to meet my needs, but it’s not fair to expect him to know what those are without me communicating them to him. And it’s definitely not fair for me to pout or get upset if he can’t read my mind (he can’t) or know what I am thinking (he doesn’t). If I need something from him, I should tell him, clearly. He responds well to this, because, after all, he loves me and wants to make me happy.
My husband is a pretty terrific guy. But just like me, he isn’t perfect. We are both beautifully flawed human beings, muddling through life along with everyone else.
We love each other very much and it’s a daily choice for me to let go of the little things, not nag and criticize, to take care of myself and definitely to not feel sorry for myself. I slip up a lot. But knowing what my goal is helps. My goal is to maintain closeness and intimacy. So, I just ask myself if any given interaction with him is going to help or hinder that. It’s really that simple.
What about you? What do you do to show you significant other you love them? Please share any useful tips you have, as I am still learning, day by day!
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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am just a mom who shares what works for me!