I won’t be the first to tell you that marriage is hard, and I won’t be the first to tell you that it takes work.
As a wife, I know I can be incredibly frustrating because the ways I want to feel love from my husband change from day to day. I am not a woman who figures out her love language and sticks to it. Instead, I’m incredibly versatile and infuriatingly demanding. I know this and work to not demand fluidity from my solid husband.
But today. Oh boy, today. I unloaded when I felt like he wasn’t listening to me and that my thoughts on an issue didn’t matter to him. I purposely moved as far away as possible because his love language is physical touch, and I knew the distance would hurt him like I had been hurt. He took it quietly until I finished and then said, “But I do listen to you. I know how important that is for you. I’m sorry I didn’t listen today. It really hurts me that you don’t notice when I work on it, though.”
As I sat there in our warm car with a bitter heart and an unwillingness to forgive, I noticed the dashboard. Unnoticed by me, when we got into the chilly car after church my husband had reached over and switched my seat warmer to the medium setting. He flipped it to my favorite level of warmth in the fall with no other thought than that he wanted to provide me comfort. Through the seat warmer, he showed me how greatly he loves me in the very midst of feeling unloved.
How often do we demand our spouses show us love the way we want to be shown love? How often do we miss the little things that prove their love because we aren’t looking for them? That seat warmer taught me a precious lesson that day: do not demand love in your love language. Instead, look for the love someone shows you. Just because you’re feeling unloved does not mean you are actually unloved. It might just mean that you aren’t noticing the love a person is attempting to wrap around you.
Marriage is hard. Marriage takes work. And sometimes, marriage means noticing love the way your spouse does love—not getting love the way you do love.
We got home, got out of the car, and I made sure to pour all my love into his language with a long hug and a sweet kiss—an unspoken apology and a promise to notice more often.