Thursday, October 3, 2013

Expressing Romance to Your Spouse

Tom was feeling sick this morning, but decided to go into work anyways.  When I finally rolled out of bed and got the kids down to the kitchen (oh, about 10am....I know, it's bad), I texted him to ask how he was feeling.

Tom: "Tired, weak, and sluggish, but other wise fine.  Thanks you for asking, asking makes me feel a little better already ;)"
Me: "That previous comment didn't sound like you at MUST be sick!"

Not that I necessarily want my husband to be that sappy with me all the time, but a little sweet comment here and there surely wouldn't hurt.  I feel like he was much sappier with me while we were dating.  I know that things change, and definitely our love is deeper and more tested now after several years of marriage.  But it would be nice to see that love-struck look in his eyes every now and then.  To hear him say how much he loves some little thing about me.

Sometimes I ask him to be more romantic towards me, and he has no clue what it is I want.  He asks me for examples, but I feel like that just defeats the purpose.  Romantic gestures, to me, means doing something sweet and unprompted for the one you love. 
We realized long ago that we have different "love languages" [take the quiz, if you haven't already - It can be very enlightening!], and this is probably part of the problem.  Because I have to constantly remind myself that, "Hey, when Tom scooped the cat litter after dinner, he was letting me know that he loved me...even though to me, it just seemed like a chore he should be doing anyways." And he has to constantly remind himself, "Hey, if I want to make my wife feel loved, I should actually sit next to her while we watch this movie instead of on the other side of the room where I'd be more comfortable." 

After the "butterflies" of the early days of a relationship start to fade away, you realize that love really is, as they say, "an act of the will."  It is choosing to put the other's good ahead of your own.  Maybe during this phase, romantic gestures don't just happen spontaneously anymore either.  I know when we were dating, I would very often scratch Tom's head for him, just because I knew he liked it.  Now I never do.  I used to not have to think about it - I just wanted so much to be close to him and make him happy.  Maybe romance becomes an act of the will as well.  Maybe you have to go about them much more consciously than in the past.

Of course...if one spouse started doing this regularly, I would think it could stir up some of those old lovely "feelings" (feelings aren't love, but they can make love easier) in the other.  And then maybe the romantic gestures would be reciprocated, without having to think about it.

Can romantic gestures generate deeper love between spouses?  Maybe.  At the least, they could probably lessen friction and misunderstandings.  So it's something to work at.

Has anyone tried to do this consciously in their marriage?  Any tips?


  1. Ummm, I cannot think of anyway to say this diplomatically, so I'm just going to say it and hope that you will forgive me . . . what if you had responded to his text with "Awww, that's so sweet." instead?

  2. Totally dealing with this as well!

  3. Gordon and I used to be much more on the same page in terms of love languages, but I've felt, and the quiz has confirmed, that for me, my "physical touch" love language has dropped wayyyyyy down to bottom position, whereas for him it's still #1. Mothering babies and toddlers is SO physical that I just feel super saturated by it. That need is filled to overflowing and it makes it difficult for me to meet his need for touch.

    I wonder to what extent our "love language needs" change based on these kind of circumstances? In the quiz, I had "words" as #4, but I don't think that's because that's not one of my big love languages, but rather because Gordon tends to be really really good with saying "I love you" and "you look great" etc. So when I'm given a choice that includes "I wish my husband would say X more" I choose the other one, because he doesn't need to say X more. Does that make sense? I wonder if that's just a weakness of the quiz...