Growing up, hugs and “I love you”s were commonplace for me. Being considerate and doing your part were important as well, but feelings were expressed openly. Consequently, I was stunned to discover, quite early in my marriage, that saying “I love you” and spontaneous hugs and kisses were not universal. My new husband was kind, helpful, and extraordinarily patient with my—primarily money and cooking—disasters, but “I love you” did not slide easily off of his tongue.
Through the years I’ve come to realize that taking out the trash, putting gas in the car, and drying dishes mean “I love you”. As I became less demanding, my husband has become more verbal. However, I now believe action counts.
Saying “I love you” is easy. Giving the kids a bath when you’re overly tired and they’re overly wired so that you spouse can go for a walk counts. Saying “You’re important” is easy. Noticing what someone likes to read and making an effort to find books that will please him counts. Saying “We’re friends” is easy. Taking a casserole and listening without complaint to a distraught friend’s litany of problems counts.
Love is a verb. Words unsupported by deeds are noise. Deeds without words are confident whispers.
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