Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Proof of Love II

Tony's not much of a talker. He doesn't say "I love you" very often or tell me how wonderful or beautiful I am. He doesn't buy me flowers or heart-shaped boxes of chocolates on Valentine's Day. He doesn't whisk me away to romantic holidays. He doesn't write me love letters or buy me expensive gifts. He doesn't even hold me when we fall asleep at night (too hot and uncomfortable).

I don't do the flowers, chocolates, and love letters either. We've both forgotten each other's birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, even our wedding anniversary. I know some women cry when their husbands forget their wedding anniversaries and accuse their husbands of not loving them. I think that's a bit silly.

So how do I know Tony loves me? And how do I show him that I love him? Hundreds of little things, day-to-day. Each little act with insignificant meaning on its own, but when strung together show undeniably that they come from love.

When I don't like the dinner I order in a restaurant, he offers to trade with me, even though he really likes the one he ordered. And I refuse, even though I really hate my dinner and want his instead. When there's only one cookie left, he lies and tells me he doesn't want it so I can have it. I lie right back and tell him I'm so stuffed I couldn't possibly eat another cookie.

I do something mean or stupid, but instead of berating me for my mistake, he reassures me that it wasn't so bad so that I won't hate myself for it. I know he's lying and I love him for it.

He ignores my advice and does something that costs us time, money, or agony - agony we could have avoided if only he'd listened to me. I'm very, very frustrated. But instead of making him feel bad with remonstrations, I try to make light of it or help him fix it. If you know me, you know this is something that's very hard for me to do and I don't always succeed at it. But when I come upon a situation like this with Tony, I try to tell myself that I love him more than any satisfaction I'd get from venting my frustration.

He used to work at a really high-stress job in a very unpleasant environment. He went off to work each day because he wanted to provide us with a comfortable life, and he never complained about the stresses of work because he didn't want to worry me. As he left for work each morning, I thanked him for working so hard for me and the kids and told him I was proud of him. I told him so in front of the kids so they could hear it too. Soon, Josie was thanking him as well.

I think different people demonstrate and need demonstrations of love in different ways. For some people, it's the things you buy them, or the time you spend with them, or the things you do for them, or the things you say to them. For me, it's the silly little things that might go unnoticed. Things that I do notice, because I love him back.

How do you show your love? And how do you like your loved ones to show their love to you?


Christine Raza said...

Jamie shows his love for me in the sweetest way. While I am dropping off the girls at daycare in the morning, I return to the car to find my favorite iced coffee in the cup holder about 80% of the time. I never ask him for it, he just surprises me. It never fails to put a huge smile on my face to know that he went out of his way to do something so thoughtful. I know it's just a cup of coffee, but it makes makes my day every time.

Neither of us really do the "big" things to show our love either. We show our love for each other every day with the simplest things, like common courtesy and spontaneous hugs -- things that can be easily forgotten in a hectic household with 2 small kids.

One of the ways I show my love for Jamie is by trying to make his life as stress free as possible. I try to take care of all of the household chores and details so he doesn't have to worry about them. I don't think he even knows half the things I do, but it makes me feel really good to know that I am doing it not just out of necessity, but out of love for him.

The biggest proof of love we have is the joy we share with Zoe and Abby. It is the laughter and smiles we exchange when they do or say something funny or new, or the wonder of watching them sleep. That is the time when I feel the deepest love for Jamie, for giving me my girls - the greatest gift of my life.

Anonymous said...

I don't normally drink coffee.

My husband on the other hand loves it. I think if Coffee was a woman I'd never have had a chance in my hubby's affections. He finds such enjoyment and satisfaction. A good coffee in the morning would make his day.

Once in a while I'd ask him for one, he would stop anything and everything he is doing to make me one. He sits down next to me and looks at me enjoying this drink that he loves.