Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Saying I Love You

I was driving into work today and on the radio they were asking listeners to call in with something they do everyday.  The first thing that came to mind was that I tell my husband and daughter that I love them every day, several times a day.  Some people might not say "I Love You" that often, but I believe people learn from repetition and I want to make sure that my family knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love them. And more importantly, as I tell my daughter "no matter what."  As we all know, though, sometime actions are louder than words.  It's one thing to say "I love you", it is another thing to show "I love you" and showing is far more complex.

I have been married for 18 years and one of the things I have learned about being in a successful marriage is that you have to be able to translate your partner's language of love.  For instance, my husband spends hours every week planning and cooking our meals.  He is a former chef, so he does enjoy cooking, and frankly he is way better at it than I am.  But his meals go beyond protein, carbohydrate, and vegetable.  They are very often five star feasts on a Tuesday night.  This is his silent way of saying "I love you."  Whether or not our family needs this bounty is up for debate. But this not about need, this about going the extra mile for someone else.

It is easy to overlook the adjustments someone has made to accomodate you and your preferences.  I think one reason marriages fail is that we become blind to the little non verbal "I love you" messages that are sent our way every day.  For example, dishes in the sink drive my husband crazy.  Dishes in the sink don't drive me crazy. I don't understand why you would want to do dishes more than once a day.  However, because I know they make him nuts, I make a concerted effort to get the dishes cleaned up for him before he comes home.  I don't get to it everyday, but I certainly do more dishes than I normally would.  This is my little "I love you" to him.

So, as you go through your day today, keep an eye out for all the little things that your spouse or partner or kids do to say "I love you."  And certainly, don't forget to show it back.

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