those three words...
last night i sold a couple all up on each other a copy of "1,001 ways to say i love you" and the classic (and very truthful) "she comes first." now, i know i'm a bit jaded (ok, i'm a tremendously huge amount jaded. whatever), but i couldn't help but think if they can take care of the latter, the former probably isn't much of a problem. based on how she was basically mounting him at my counter, she loved him quite satisfactorily. without the pressure of 996 other ways, i figure it was safe to assume he was showing his love for her on a regular basis in about five good ways. does he really need to sprinkle rose petals and leave pretend love tickets ("you make my heart speed!") on her windshield?
in short? yes.
that's really where i could end this post, but after the couple left, i started thinking about the ways we express love for someone, and i didn't have to ponder long to conclude my husband and i are quite guilty of not doing or saying much that conveys "i love you."
before you discredit me, as i have to assume some of you may wish to, trust that i get the fact that by providing for our family by working and financially supporting us, assuring our physical needs are met through food, clothing and shelter, my husband is showing his love for me. but realize that i'm taking that food and cooking it for him, washing his clothes and keeping the house in order in every aspect. so if that is love, then i'm showing it as well.
but what i'm talking about is hearing those three words. i love you.
three syllables. not that hard, really. you barely have to take a breath in order to say them. but we don't.
well, let me clarify. i say them to my sons. "I love you, you know." like i'm ever intending to let them forget. they're already exhibiting that hint of the y chromosome that can make saying it back difficult. but i keep at it. i love everything about them, from their souls to how they smell after playing hard outside all day.
and i say it to my husband. here and there. on the phone when he calls during the day. before he departs. before, during and after sex. wherever.
ok. i kind of feel like i should say here that i'm not one of those people who has to constantly say or hear 'i love you.' however, i don't buy into the argument that you can hear it too much, that it loses its meaning when it's said all the time. that's such bullshit.
you don't have to overkill it with me, but toss me a bone every once in awhile.
sometimes, my husband will say it back after i've said it. but he never says it first (here's where i'm going to throw in that i don't keep a tally of things in my relationship, either, despite how that sounds. i've not got the time!). and when he does say it, it comes out like an aside to whatever else might have been going on in his mind at the time. "oh...yeah, love you, too. and remember, we need milk and basketball practice starts friday." so yes, he says it sometimes. most times not. some days i don't even realize it. or i do, but don't think anything of it.
other times, i do. a year ago, we were in counseling. the therapist asked us to list five things about the other that bothered us. shining brightly at #1 on mine was "he never, ever says he loves me." (yes, there was more, and trust he had plenty on his list about me, though nothing about whether or not i actually expressed or showed my love for him). the therapist assigned my husband to say "i love you" to me at various points and for various reasons over the course of a week. he fulfilled the assignment.
yes. assignment. that's what it became. like clockwork, i knew when he'd say it. robotic. by the third day, i wasn't really hearing it because there was no weight behind it and it came at the exact same time each day.
i suppose you can safely ask, "good god, girl, just what is it you even want?!" it's ok, i won't be offended or angry if you do. hell, i ask myself all the time. and so i'll tell you i don't know what i want or what solution about myself i may hope to find by writing this and hitting 'publish.' what i do know is i don't need 1,001 displays of love (i've read the other book, so i'm taken care of there, btw, but thank you very much if you were curious). it could come to pass i'm the only person who has this issue - who even thinks it's an issue - or even cares about those three words.
but those three words carry a lot of very important weight. and they're not hard. so what does it hurt to just say them every now and again?