Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What is Love?

Let me start by saying that my husband loves me. I know he does. He tells me often. And I love him too. He is an amazing father, and a great husband. He truly is a terrific person.

He shows he loves me too. He buys me wonderful cards on Valentine's Day, on our anniversary, on my birthday. On Valentine's Day he buys me a Whitman's sampler of chocolates, usually heart shaped. On Mother's Day he gave me the best gift of all: one Saturday "off" a month, to do whatever I want. And for Hannukah he gave me a gift I can hardly even imagine: one whole week for myself this summer, where he will be in charge of all the kids for the entire week. I'm telling you, I've got a great husband!

I hear some of my friends talk about their husbands and I know I've got it good. They talk about how they can't go places at night until their kids are in bed because their husbands just couldn't handle bedtime. Or how they could never spend a few hours on their own on their weekend without getting a babysitter because their husband has his own things to do. Or how they can't go anywhere at night because their husband has sports and cards and other hobbies to do each night. I've got it good.

Which makes complaining feel petty. It feels like nagging, and I hate that feeling. But there are certain things that say "I love you" to me, and when they don't happen, I feel unappreciated.
Love is:
* locking up the house before going upstairs, making sure we're all safe.
* taking the trash out, and checking the can to see if it needs to go out.
* emptying the dishwasher in the morning.
* helping clean up at the end of both of our long days.
* knowing what the other person likes and surprising them with it to show you were paying attention, like their favorite flowers, their favorite foods/candies.
* cleaning up the dishes when the other person works hard to create a special meal for the two of you.

Like I said, I know I've got a good husband. And I love him. Completely.
But love is an action word. The things I listed above are some of the ways that help me feel loved. How about you?


Chaotic Mom said...

YES!!!!! My hubby has been busy with work this week, so I've missed his "actions" around here. He is a SAINT in my book! :)

Sure we fight, but (don't tell any of the macho army-type dudes) I LOVE it when he usually comes home and takes over w/the kids so I can catch my breath and catch up around the home. He does laundry, dishes, you name it. Can't really organize to save his life, except maybe move piles, but gosh darn it, he TRIES! And I won't complain about that. ;)

Anjali said...

Great post, Rachel. I get lots of love, but I, too want the ACTION. Love in ACTION is doing ALL of the same things I do, to the same degree, with respect to childrearing/cooking/cleaning. Yes, cleaning up the kitchen is nice, but that also means scrubbing the food off the floor. Yes, bathing the kids whenever he's home from work is nice, but part of that is putting the bath toys away afterwards. Giving me breaks from the kids are nice, but they're better if I come home to a sparkling house. What I want is equal rights in household responsibilities. And just because my husband does far more than most husbands DOESN'T MATTER... that's why I married him, and not them!

Mega Mom said...

Ooh, I have found a home here with you and with your "commentors". My husband goes above and beyond daily, but also falls so short at times. You know what though? So do I. I try and keep that in perspective, but it doesn't always work. I'm just so happy that before you all complain, you take the good things into account. I think that says something :)

Anonymous said...

There is a book a friend gave me a while back that discusses some of what you are referring to. It is called "The Five Love Languages". It was interesting. It talked about the 5 languages in which people express/feel love and explained how if you speak one love language but your mate speaks another there is a problem. Like if one spouse feels loved by actions (as you describe) but her husband's language is gift matter how many boxes of chocolates the hubby brings, the wife won't feel the love he is trying to express...Basically you need to recognize which language your spouse "speaks" or how he/she feels loved and learn to express your love in that language otherwise there will be a gap between you...I am probably not explaining this well...I tried :-)