Do you and your husband have mixed signals when it comes to how you show love?
Often the way we want love to be communicated and expressed to us is not the way our mate is communicating and expressing their love to us. It’s like we are speaking two different languages. And neither one understands the other.
Love Communicated in Unique Ways
As I was driving home from a two-week trip, my husband casually mentioned that there was nothing in the refrigerator.
“I tossed out all the old food and cleaned the fridge,” he explained.
“There’s nothing at all?” I clarified.
“There are two dozen eggs, a gallon of milk, and a loaf of bread.”
“Enough food for a few days,” I responded.
This is not the first time this has happened.
Now before you think my husband has given up eating, let me explain that the day before I come home from long trips, he cleans the house, washes clothes, and cleans out the fridge. It’s his way of saying I missed you and I love you.
How can I get upset when his clearing the fridge of food is motivated by love?
Well, I can. Because it is not how I show love. It is not what I want to return home to. I dislike grocery shopping and don’t want to do it any sooner than necessary.
Misreading Your Husband’s Gestures of Love
Sometimes your husband’s actions, words, or gestures do not seem loving, even when he is motivated by love.
We can be trying to communicate our love for our husbands, or looking for ways they show their love to us. But the signals get crossed and neither one of us can feel the love the other is trying to send.
Maybe it’s because we not only want something different, but we also naturally choose different ways to communicate our love to them.
This develops problems and may leave us feeling less loved:
- They communicate their love by going to work, but we secretly wish for long talks, flowers, and dates.
- We say we love them through snuggles, and they read love as wanting to do an activity together.
- They desire words of affirmation, but instead we clean the kitchen.
- They chase the children through the house to give us a break when we really want silence and a bath.
- We want a frivolous gift; they get us a mixer.
- They plan a movie at home, and we want to go out.
Surely you and your husband have clashed over one of these areas before, and it’s likely due to misreading your husband’s gestures of love.
Reading Love Signals Requires Paying Attention and Choice
I often misread my husband’s attempts and gestures of love.
Yet I know many of his actions are ways he’s trying to connect with me and communicate his love for me. So, I am trying to get better at reading his love notes and appreciate his efforts.
When I view his actions as done in love, this can change my emotions and thoughts towards his love notes.
I can view the empty and barren fridge as an inconvenience and as him trying to make my life harder, or I can try to see his perspective.
It may take looking for clues or asking questions. When I casually asked hubby why he cleared out the fridge, he said it was to help me.
It was now my choice. I could misread his actions or see them as the love note he meant them to be.
I hope my story will help you avoid the problem of misreading your husband’s gestures of love and help you see things with a new perspective.
Wife Step: Pay attention to how you and your mate communicate your love for each other. Are your signals misread? How can you better translate each other’s love notes?
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Theresa Boedeker has been married to her husband, her complete opposite, for over 30 years. They live in the Midwest and have two children, 15 years apart, and a few grandkids. Theresa daily hunts for humor and tries to bring forth laughter from others. She is passionate about helping women smash lies with God’s truth. Overcome shame. Learn to laugh at life and themselves. Notice God’s love and grace. And not be afraid of making mistakes. She unwraps life and faith at TheresaBoedeker.com. When she is not writing, she enjoys doing creative things like cooking, making jewelry, and taking photos of flowers (they never run from the picture).