Is Saying 'I Love You' Important in a Good Marriage?

Love & Sex 25

Saying i Love You in your marriage is importantI can't remember the last time my husband said, "I love you." We used to say it to each other at the end of phone conversations. But then our relationship got pretty strained and "I love you" got replaced with "Okay, bye."

Or a hang-up. Ugh.

To be fair, we never said those three words a lot, even when our relationship was good, but I often wonder at what point do we start staying it again, and if it's really necessary to hear in order to have a solid relationship and marriage.

I guess when you grow up in a home where you never hear "I love you," it sort of makes sense why it's not the most comfortable thing for you to say. My dad really never said it to me, and while my mom used to, our relationship is on the rocks right now. And I'm pretty sure my husband's parents rarely told him they loved him, and certainly don't now.

As our therapist pointed out, all that gets translated to our own relationship, and so while we obviously engage in loving acts, for the most part, we don't actually say those words to each other. We sort of fell out of love.

But I'm not sure at what point you feel like you're in love again enough to say "I love you." Is it a lightning strike? A feeling of overwhelming joy?

I'd like to think that I'm the kind of person who believes actions speak much louder than words. So even if I'm not hearing "I love you" from my husband, if he does something thoughtful, like bring home flowers or take all the kids out to the playground so I can have a bit of quiet, he is showing me what he's not saying.

I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around cleaning my car as an act of love, but I'm trying, really I am.

But lately I've been feeling like I need to hear it too. I want to know that I'm his "one and only" and that he really does care about me to the point where he wants me to know, not just in what he does but in what he says.

The truth is, I don't say it either and I haven't in a long time. Perhaps like him, I'm easing myself back into it by showing him with my actions. Or maybe it's because I'm not yet at the point of my wounds being healed. Because when I say "I love you," I really want to mean it. And I'm not sure if I can say that right now.

Do you say "I love you" to your partner or spouse?

Image via Cindy Andrie/Flickr

divorce, marriage


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Claud... ClaudiaLynn

Been married 20+ years, both come from very touchy feely families, we say it many times a day, sometimes even a quick text. I know he means it and he knows I do. Thus HAPPILY married 20+ years and my parents 46+ years!

puasa... puasaurusrex

I come from a family where it's not really expressed, where my husband comes from a family where it's always expressed. It's important for us to say it often to him. When we leave each other, or hang up the phone, even when we're arguing, because what if something happens? We want those to be the last words we exchanged. And we find that saying it when we're arguing, makes us more prone to reflect on what is causing the fighting and talking it out when we're calmer. Saying it has become second nature to me, so we even say it when we're on our cells trying to find each other in a store!

Maria Gutierrez

My fiancee and I say a hundred times a day,'s been two years. At first it was hard for me...because I wasnt that type to be emotioal...but now, I dont think I can go an hour without it... :)


hello... hellokd87

My fiancee and I always make a point to say "I love you" and "Thank you". Our counselor told us that saying thank you as often as we do is a great sign for our relationship. Most people take each other or the actions we do for each other for granted. We're not perfect, but I always make a point to say something to the effect of "I love  you" if not those words when we're arguing. I feel that if I"m able to say it when I'm the most upset at him and mean it, then we can get through anything.

Flori... Floridamom96

I think verbal expressions of love are as important as physical expressions and vice versa. It makes me happy, even makes my tummy flutter sometimes, when he says he loves me. While I know from the many ways in our life that he shows me, hearing the words said is music to my ears. While neither or us are perfect and neither is our marriage, we routinely try to be aware of each other and our needs. Of vital importance also is forgiving one another when our imperfections take over. Swallow your pride and tell your husband you love him. Whether it needs to be said or not, it's always appreciated. And do try to say it without any strings attached, such as expecting to hear it in return. Nothings better than love freely given or expressed.

zandh... zandhmom2

Married 20 years in April and we still say "I love you" before we hang up on every call, we also say it every night before we go to bed.  Even our kids say it at the end of each phone call with us and they're 12 and 17. We also say "thank you" to each other when we do something for the other person. Hell, we even say "thank you" to each other after good sex!

I bet if you made an effort to say it at least once a day, your husband will start to say it more to you.

nonmember avatar kiki87

when I say "I love you," I really want to mean it. And I'm not sure if I can say that right now.

Yup, keep going to therapy. Hope it helps.

Karla C. Mulrenan

You're a sex book author but cant say I love you to your husband? that's strange.

"I love you" between our marriage is as common as "ok" and we meant it very much. I love my husband and every "I love you comes" naturally.

Mhistina Mhistina

My husband and I have been together for 15 years and say "I Love you" numerous times a day to one another, just like many others.  We tell our son I love you a number of times each day too, and he also says I love you before getting off the phone with us too.  It is meaningful each time we say it.   I think it is very important.  I grew up with my mother very rarely saying I love you and still to this day it is hard for her to say.  I want our son to grow up knowing he came from a loving home and that it is an important phrase in life.

Cel7777 Cel7777

I think the focus should be more on WHY you're not sure if you would really mean instead of just saying the words themselves. Simply put, words are merely words when they're empty. Work on making it so that they're true, and if/when the time comes to speak them, you will know it.

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