I 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