Learning to live together: showing your love

**The seventh in my little series on learning to live with M together. I will write these as the thoughts cross my mind**

This weekend, M said something to me that made me realize that I don’t verbalize how much I love him. He got the impression that maybe I wasn’t happy with him all the time.

This obviously took me completely by surprise and at the same time, made me feel like an absolutely awful girlfriend. Not because he said that, but because it was something he’d picked up on, just by making assumptions and probably, in part due to some nagging tendencies (and my random mood swings sometimes!) I have been trying to curb. And also? Because maybe I assume that he knows how I feel, and that my actions portray my love for him.

But sometimes…I guess they don’t. I say them here, all the time! I think about how much I love him and how much I am blessed to have him in my life. But do I actually say those words to him that often? No.  And I never thought about it before, I guess I just assumed he knew how I felt, and that I showed him in my actions, touches, and words. And perhaps part of me is getting so used to being loved, cared for, appreciated, and taken care OF by him…and I never want to slide into any sense of complacency. Complacency was the kiss of death in my previous marriage, and is something I vowed never to let happen again.

Though what he said was sort of in passing, and not really meant as anything finger-pointing or anything I did specifically, it actually made me realize that perhaps I can do better at showing my love for M. He doesn’t read this blog, so he doesn’t see all the words I write about him (except when I show him, on occasion). He isn’t in my brain, hearing my daydreams, and when my thoughts meander to him almost all day long. And he doesn’t feel my heart thump when he comes in the door and gives he a big hug and kiss. He probably doesn’t even know how much I want to marry him.

He shows his love to me all the time. Her verbalizes it beyond ‘I love you’ far more often than I do. And it’s time for me to meet him more than halfway on that. Because truth is, he deserves to be shown just as much as I am shown every single day. He deserves to KNOW how much I love him and how much I want to spend the rest of my life with him.

And when I read Dorry’s post on this very topic – learning love – this all came together in my head. I need to do this more often:

I want to be the person who is willing to listen, learn, and love. I’m getting to know him better. I’m listening to him, learning more about his wants and needs, and loving him in an unconditional way. I recognize how much my emotions, my words, and my attitude influence him. I am grateful that I can offer him positivityhope, and love.

He nurtures and deserves to be nurtured too. This isn’t just a piece of the puzzle, this is the puzzle. Nurturing love is the only way to not only maintain it, but to grow it, and keep it fueled strong and bright. I love M with all of my heart, from the tips of my toes, to the strands of my hair. He deserves to know that and feel that every single day. Just as I feel from him each and every day.

I am listening to what M said and really taking it to heart (whether he meant for me to or not, it was the reminder I needed). For me…love is…M. 

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24 thoughts on “Learning to live together: showing your love

  1. SO interesting. You do talk about it here, and to me, about how much you adore M. But his comment seems so very telling — almost as if you assume he can read your thoughts and can get inside that head of yours whenever he wants, even though he can’t. It *is* so easy to just assume and to slide into a level of comfort in any relationship, new or old. That’s where the whole idea of “investing” in your relationship is something I am so huge on. Just a simple compliment to tell Scott that he looks sexy in his outfit before he kisses me goodbye in the morning, or leaving him a little snack to find when he gets home, shows him my love. But I also try to do that by literally telling him that I love him, and WHAT I love about him. Rather than just assume he knows all those things. Seems silly after 7+ years of marriage, but it’s not. Positive reinforcement, investing, etc. – are hard work in a relationship, but it’s well worth the effort. As I know you know. This comment by M was said in passing, but it was just what you needed to snap you out of sliding. yet another reason he’s a keeper 🙂 (sorry, novel comment!!)

    1. It’s totally about investing in relationships…I completely agree. I just assume he knows how I feel because I know how HE feels…but that’s also because he TELLS me that’s how he feels! I love doing little things for him too, and I do (making him lunch and breakfast and sending him I love you texts during the day) but I need to verbalize it more than I do. He is by far, a keeper 🙂

  2. That’s interesting. I am not a very affectionate person. I think this comes from my father, who is not either. I have actually gotten better at telling Jason that I love him because he is good at telling me. Seriously, he’ll call me for like two seconds about something and says I love you before he hangs up. It reminds me that as much as I like hearing it, he does too.

    1. I love hearing it too, but sometimes it just doesn’t dawn on me to verbalize it, even though I might be thinking it. Hard to explain I guess, though I think you getwhat I mean.

  3. Very interesting. Like Jess said, we all see it. It’s soooo obvious the love you do feel for him. But at the same time you’re telling all of us, you’re somehow not expressing it to him. I know that I can be really bad about myself – especially after so many years with Jason. This is a great reminder/lesson for me as well.

    1. It was a huge reminder to me. I don’t think he meant it as a knock, at all, just maybe he was reading into my lack of saying how I feel as not being happy. when that couldn’t be further from the truth.

  4. Great post, sometimes I’m guilty of this too and I don’t express myself well and just presume that the other person knows what I’m thinking and that I’m thankful and grateful that they’re in my life. I’m going to make today a day that I’m thankful for friends and family for all that they do and let them know this.

  5. yes, i agree with jess and heather. We can gush to our friends about our love for our men, but it takes being vulnerable to really express it openly to them. You know? Vulnerable and open are good for them to hear. Love the way you think

    1. Oh yes, such a good point. it IS vulnerability…maybe that’s part of it. Even at this stage, sometimes it is scary to lay it out there. But I shouldn’t feel that way at all, I love him and he ought to know it often!

  6. This is what I tried to explain to HS Marine millions of times. It’s not as obvious as you always think. And if you don’t make an effort, it will just continue to get worse. So glad you’ve realized this and are working on it! Just trying makes all the difference in the world!

  7. Read the book The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. Both of you. Trust me on this.

    I heard something the other day (on Oprah’s Lifeclass) about this. She asked, “Do your eyes light up when your kids enter the room?” The same can be said for any loved ones. Instead of moving on to the critical things or expectations, do you stop and actually SEE them? (“See” as in the movie Avatar… the way they “see” each other. Or, in yoga language, “Namaste”)

    Love you girl. You got this!

  8. Oh Jo. I swear I should be your third sister. You know, some quadruplets. lol I’ve been married to Herrick for 5 years, together 7. He still randomly questions (less often as the years go by) my happiness. Saying it all the time can make it feel…abused…well, more like word vomit. You know…just said all the time just to say it. And then you have the times when you’re not saying it enough. It’s a really hard happy medium to find, I think. A lot of times I feel like my actions do a lot of talking for me. But, then again, to a man, removing his skid marks and cleaning his throne isn’t always the epitome of “expressing love”. (Oh how I wish it were…I’d say it takes some love!) Tee hee. It’s hard to remind yourself in the day-to-day madness that actions aren’t the only ways we express love. We get so wrapped up that we forget to put in an extra effort once in a while.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. You two are still adjusting and I’m sure that if I can see how happy you are, most times he can, too. It’s kind of like what Herrick and I talked about the other day. I commented to a friend that Ryan Gosling could just look at me and get me. (Honestly, no he couldn’t.) So Herrick asked he did the same thing to me. Obviously. But the thing is…we’ve been with each other for so long and through so much daily madness that it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not instantly YOWZA over him. It’s that I haven’t stopped to take the second to see what’s standing in front of me.

    1. You are right…actions do speak so much meaning too, and I know M wasn’t implying that either, I think he just takes my sometimes-moodiness as being upset with him, hence, not happy. When the opposite is true, or it’s something else bugging me. But the point of this, for me, was a huge reminder NOT to take what we are cultivating for granted, and become complacent. But you are also right, we are still adjusting and it’s ok. Thank you for your novel comment! XO!

  9. I wish I was in your shoes sometimes! that’s a very hard topic to understand-so any explanations help. I’m happy for you!

  10. It is important to show how you feel, in addition to just saying it. I think that it’s easy to forget that we don’t need to be happy all the time about every decision or every action that someone makes. We’re human! But, that doesn’t change the fact that he makes you happy, and that you love him will all your heart.

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