Next Tuesday would have been my six-year anniversary with my second husband.
I recently found our vows and while reading them thought to myself how the hell did this much love, adoration and respect go to hell in five years?
I did everything right:
I made his lunches every day
I kept a spotless house
I kept his man cave spotless and stocked with all his favorite things
I washed his clothes
I surrounded him with everything I thought would make his life comfortable
I did all these things every day to show him how much I loved him.
And then one day after about two years of doing everything right, everything started to fall apart and we ended up in counseling .
The counselor had us read the five languages of love and we figured out that MY language was acts of service, HIS was words of affirmation.
I looked at him and said, you mean all those things I did to show you how much I loved you meant nothing to you?
You could have lived in a pig sty with dirty clothes on every day, those comfy socks and sweatshirts I spent hours looking for in the stores bringing home to you , those didn’t tell you that I wanted you warm and comfortable and feeling loved?
You could have starved every day at work, or I could have thrown you a candy bar?
All I had to do every day was tell you what a wonderful man you were, husband you were, stroked your ego- that is all you would have needed?
Yes he said , that is all I would have needed.
I sat back in sad realization that I had shown him love the way I needed to be shown in all the ways I was sure were the right ways. But for him, it was all the wrong ways.
I spent hours of my life, stayed up late, cleaned, washed, cooked.
The only thing I never asked was what made him feel loved. A question that would have taken me two minutes to ask , I never asked and here we were beyond repair.
Take two minutes, ask the person you love what makes them feel loved and then spend your energy on that.
Don’t wait until its to late, until the time is wasted and you can’t correct it, until the sad realization that no matter how many times you thought you were saying I love you, they never felt it.
I am not saying that would have saved our marriage, there were of course other things that chipped away at our foundation , I am saying that maybe, maybe if we had that part right we would have had enough strength to work longer and harder on the rest of the things that were wrong until one day in the future it started to feel right again.
I did it all wrong where he was concerned – and so next week could have been my wedding anniversary , but it’s not.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED:
I learned my love language: the way I show people I love them is how I feel loved, so next week on that fateful day , I am going to clean my house, stock my fridge with all my favorite things, pack myself a great lunch, do my laundry and when the day comes to an end crawl in to my bed that I hand painted and stocked with thick, fluffy , cotton comforters and six amazing pillows. I will wear my favorite most comfy pajamas that feel like silk next to my skin…. I will remind myself all day how much I love me.