I have always been the kind of woman who says I love you to the people I love. I am a word nerd and always have been. You may say "actions speak louder than words," but give me words any day. Tell me you love me, appreciate me and think I'm swell, and I'll be yours for life. It's always been that way. Until my husband.
We have been married nearly 12 years now and I can remember almost every time "I love you" has passed through his lips unprompted. Sure, there's "I love you, too." That happens daily. But "I love you?" On its own? Without me saying it first? Once every six months? Maybe.
Now before we go all torches and pitchforks on him, let me be clear: The man is an amazing husband. Truly. It's just that, like many men, he doesn't like to use words to express his feelings. But how can that work in a marriage? How can two people who have different ways of expressing themselves come together? It's actually easy. Just open your eyes. Here are five ways men say "I love you" without ever using the words:
If a man comes home with a piece of jewelry, flowers or candy, you know he's in love. Bonus points if he made it, picked it or hand-poured the chocolate. Most men don't give "just because" gifts to women they are only so-so on. It's a fact.
Sorry, ladies, it's true. Men speak through their bodies. If he holds your hand, hugs you in public, puts his arms around you and is otherwise affectionate without an expectation of things going "further," then it's a pretty safe bet that amour is in the air.
Men don't magically come to the aid of women they don't care about. If you lock your keys in the car and he takes the time out of his day to come and get it unlocked, that's love.
For many men, opening up about feelings — or even a bad day — is a challenging task. The man who tells you about his day, warts and all, is a man who is saying "I love you" in 15 different ways, even if he's not using the words.
Is your man someone who doesn't know a pot from a power tool? Has he never made anything that didn't come in a box? If he is suddenly cooking for you or doing something else out of character just because you asked, you know it's love. My husband hates the dishes with a passion, but he does them now. Why? Because he knows I hate them too, and he wants me to be happy. 'Tis the most romantic thing he could do.
So maybe actions do speak louder than words. The fact is, my husband does all these things on a daily basis. He may not give a lot of unprompted verbiage, but I have never felt unloved. And I suppose that says more than three little words could ever say.
Does your husband say "I love you" unprompted?
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