For the past 10 years, my husband and I have been loving each other the wrong way.

A few weeks ago, we went out for dinner. He was distracted by his phone and other people around us. I got a little upset. How could he not know how important date nights are to me? How could he not know I crave one-on-one attention sometimes?

He didn’t understand why it was such a big deal to me or why I was so upset. I tried explaining it in a way I thought he may understand, but he didn’t. So I left it alone.

A few days after that, I had been having a lazy day. I didn’t really do much of the dishes, so the sink was piling up.

No big deal, I thought to myself. I’ll take care of it tomorrow.

My husband got home, looked in the sink, and was a little upset that there was now a growing pile of dishes.

I looked at him and said, “I’m sorry, but it’s not that big of a deal. I’m home tomorrow, I’ll do it then.”

Then, like I had tried to explain to him why I was upset about not having one-on-one attention last week at dinner, he tried to explain why the dishes made him feel not very appreciated or loved.

I looked at him and said, “How can dirty dishes make you feel unloved?”

He looked at me and said, “Well, how can me looking down at my phone for a quick second at dinner make you feel unloved?”

I looked at him as I started thinking.

Thinking that we were loving each other in the wrong ways. In ways we think our love is being clearly shown, but to the other, it’s not.

Loving someone the way you want to be loved doesn’t always work because everyone sees and views love differently.

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So, we sat on the couch and talked for the first time in 10 years about how we want to be loved.

What that looks like for us.
Why we need it.
What it feels like.

I discovered my husband feels the most loved when I do things to help him, like putting away the dishes or helping him out when he needs it.

He learned I view love as quality time; I feel most loved when we spend time together, like when we go out to dinner and his attention is solely on me.

I said, “Have we really been loving each other wrong, this whole time?”

After 10 years together, my husband and I finally learned how we need to love each other.

So, I walked to the kitchen and started putting the dishes away. My husband walked up, put on some music, and said, “Let’s wash them together.”

Quality time and helping each other in one.

We’re slowly learning to show how we love each other in different ways . . . together.

After 10 years, we now know how to properly love each other.

Because loving someone the way you want to be loved doesn’t always work.

My husband and I view love so differently, but you know what? I think we’re going to be OK.

We’re going to be OK because I know how to love him properly, so he feels it in his soul.

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As for me, well, let’s just say I have a one-on-one date with my husband tonight—no phones.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Caitlin Fladager

I’m a 25 year old mom to two amazing kids. I’m married to my high school sweetheart. I got pregnant when I was 18, and married when I was 20. I started early on most things in life, but I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’m an advocate for mental health and self love.