I love my wife, but she tells me she doesn't feel that from me. She’s been telling me for years that she would like me to do things like bring flowers, hold hands and give her compliments. I have let her down in that department. Whenever she brings it up I promise to do better but that usually lasts only for a while.
We are now at a point that our marriage is in jeopardy. She told me she doesn't just want me to do what she asks, but to show my 100% commitment to our relationship.
I guess what I am asking advice about is what I can do to go above and beyond in showing her my love, and how can I stick to it?
Jack T.- Jackson, MS
I’m going to break it down for you.
Crazy-expensive bundles of flowers, skywriting, and romantic flash-mobs will be seen as an apology, not an act of love.
Sweeping, grand gestures won’t save you, and they aren’t sustainable. Also, they require a LOT of effort, and she may not appreciate the investment of your shared resources or you taking that kind of time away from other responsibilities.
The long-term solution is in the small stuff. Need ideas?
- Invest in a dry erase marker and write a love note to her on your bathroom mirror after your morning shave. (Don’t forget to draw a heart.)
- Pick up her favorite flowers for no reason other than to show you’ve been thinking about her. If she doesn’t have a favorite, you can get a dozen red roses at your local grocery store for $10.
- Bring her coffee and bagels before she wakes up on a Saturday morning.
- Pick up one of her chores like taking the dog out in the morning or driving the kids to school—gift her with extra time.
- Wrap your arms around her waist when she’s doing dishes and hold her for a few moments.
- Surprise her by whispering in her ear that you love her.
- Brush her hair back from her face and tell her she’s pretty.
- When you’re walking in public, hold her hand.
Grow this list. Switch it up. Do one thing every day that gives her the gift of time, makes her life a little easier or shows love and affection.
Worried about remembering? There’s an app for that! Set your phone alarm to repeat every day: a chime at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. When it chimes at 3, ask yourself, “How have I shown her love today?” If the answer is “I haven’t,” then text her something sweet, or decide what you’re going to do later in the day that will touch her. When the alarm goes off at 9 p.m., double-check whether or not you got it done. If no, stop what you’re doing and kiss her and tell her what you love about her right now. Not “I love you,” but “What I love about you is _____,” or “I love _____ about you.”
Exercising your love for her is something you want to do for your own sake, not just to please her. And one small thing every day will change your relationship with her forever, I promise.