Several years ago my husband and I went to a Marriage Retreat. It wasn’t because we needed help or wanted a better understanding of each other. We went because it was free, had free childcare, and Garmish, Germany is beautiful.
The deal was this: we go and the Army would pay for it as long as we attended a seminar for about an hr or two everyday. The rest of the time was our own. Military couples have a very high divorce rate and it’s the military’s attempt to stem that by having these free retreats. I’m not sure how well it works but in 13yrs we’ve managed a total of one marriage retreat. He’s rarely home when they seem to offer them or the trip is full. These things fill up pretty fast.
The seminars were pretty much the same ol’, same ol’. For someone who makes psychology a hobby it wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before or figured out on my own. The one thing I did like wasn’t the bit about open communication but about how people show affection differently and how to read your partner.
They handed out these slips of paper and had you fill out two columns one for how you think your spouse shows affection and one for how you show affection. Then you switched your slip with your spouse and supposedly learned things from it.
The columns had multiple choices along the lines of:
- Do you prefer to A: to give gifts B: give casual touches C: spent time together D: talk with your spouse E: to receive gifts
Which brings us to the question: how do you show your love?
My husband shows his affection by doing any number of things. He likes to give gifts for no reason, he likes to do something on his own but in the same room as myself, on rare occasion he’ll actually say he loves me, he shows it by teasing, and by casual touches.
I show my love by doing things in same room as him, teasing, occasionally buying a gift but not often, touching, and through texting.
I rarely verbally say ‘I love you’. It’s simply not me. Now if I were a guy a lot of women would claim they have a problem with that. But why is that? What drives some women to constantly hound their men into saying ‘I love you’ if it’s not a part of their personality? Now the first reason you might find in some pop-psychology mag or books would be something along the lines of; you have a deep seated insecurity that requires frequent verbal confirmation of affection.
That might be true in some cases but what’s far more likely is that they simply prefer to verbally communicate their love and don’t understand why their partner doesn’t also.
Instead of concentrating on why your partner doesn’t communicate affection like you do perhaps your time would be better spent trying to find out how they do?