While we were dating, I made it clear to my husband (then boyfriend) that I preferred handwritten cards and letters to gifts. I still do.
Looking back, as far back as the mid ‘90s, I remember the many times I interpreted his gesture of sending me gifts as a way of buying my love. If only I knew that deep down that was not his intent.
Whenever he visited and brought me expensive things, I would give them away instantly, sometimes even right there in his presence. It must have been tough on him but I didn’t really care how he felt. So much for emotional intelligence, you would say.
Knowing what I know now, I probably would have handled many scenarios differently, especially when I think of those straight-from-the-catalog dresses and Italian shoes and designer bags I gave away back then but can’t afford to buy now. Anyway, the sweet guy was in love with me.
I remember the time he bought me a beautiful mug with the inscription “LOVE BEARS ALL THINGS.” I loved that mug and kept it for many years until the day it fell off the kitchen table and broke into pieces. Maybe I didn’t give away that one because a part of me knew he was sending me a decoded message – “No matter how long it takes, I love you and my love can bear all things “
Anyway, fast forward to our married life together. There are times when I feel my husband should know what I’m going through. After all, I’m his wife, and if our hearts truly beat as one, he should know when I’m happy, sad, sick, excited, and when I need him to just sit still and hold me tightly. Well, sounds more like a perfect chatbot than a human being, right?
I have come to realize it is too much to ask of a person when I can’t do exactly the same all the time. So, don’t assume. Tell your partner how you really feel, how you want to be held during sex, what turns you on, what doesn’t, and all the unfinished conversations you’ve been suppressing for months.
When I hear a story of a friend who gets involved in a flimsy love affair with an ex or a colleague at work, I’m not quick to judge, as most times what triggers it is a friendly conversation. The feeling of being able to laugh and share jokes with someone else freely without thinking you’d be judged can be very liberating, but if that person begins to get more attention than your spouse, if not careful, it could lead to a bite of an apple from the wrong tree.
Do you know your primary love language?
Do you understand that of your spouse?
Do you find yourself holding back from having an honest conversation or truly expressing how you feel? What is stopping you?
If you learn to address what’s holding you back, you will free yourself from feeling miserable every morning like you’re feeling even right now. Expressing how you feel and what you think has a lot to do with confidence and trust in your relationship.
Are you capable of being loved? Are you capable of loving someone else unconditionally?
These are important conversations to have in the bedroom – pillow talk if you like.
Couples must be intentional about creating moments to have “pillow talk” – it doesn’t have to be prescriptive but it must be genuine especially in marriages where both partners are busy juggling careers and business travels. Plan “special dates” like you did before you got married and take it seriously. Dress up for the occasion and have fun.
Because marriage is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.
My husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. We’ve endured many storms, enjoyed some sunshine, gone through valleys of the shadow of death, still got lots of prayer points, but we love each other more. If you want to hear juicy stories of how we started and critical lessons I’ve learned along the way, I’d love to hang out with you.