I see it everywhere I look on social media. Young girls, teens, and even women are sharing photos and fictional stories about how love should be. Usually I see pictures of movies, huge diamonds, and very planned and elaborate proposals (many staged for photos) shared with comments and boyfriends’ or husbands’ names tagged saying things like, “Soandso Babaganush…I want THIS!”
So I have this to say to you, females. Stop it. It’s time to learn that love doesn’t have to be that complicated. It’s time to support your man in reality, not in social media world. In real life, you may have one or two super romantic moments that are photograph worthy, but the reality is that you will one day marry a man, not a machine that can read your thoughts. You better start to realize that true love can be shown in so many ways, and guys show love much differently than you want. You are setting yourselves up for disappointment and relationship failure because of your expectations of people who cannot generally understand that type of display all the time.
But you will learn to love the way he shows love to you more than you could ever dream of. You just have to let yourself. Isn’t it better to let him decide how he will love you than you tell him how to do it?
But why am I giving you this advice? It is because I have a husband whom is very low-key and simple in his displays of love, but what he does, he does with incredible respect and love for me. So I’ll show you how he shows me love so you can understand my view on this. This post started because of this text this morning.
On February 16, 2012, Jeremy was almost killed in a car accident. I was at work and wasn’t with him. In a room full of 8th grade students, my principal opened the door and brought another teacher in to cover my class for me. He walked me out into the hallway where I saw a policeman walking toward me. At that moment, the door of another administrator flew open and I heard the words, “The doctor is on the phone to speak with Bailey.” My principal, knowing I was extremely confused and terrified, said to me, “Jeremy was in an accident. He’s alive.”
I could keep going and turn this into an extremely long story, but I have written about it before here on this blog and in great detail in “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith”. Jeremy did almost die and we spent a month in the hospital and then many more recovering. From medication failures, suicide attempts, and the near-death accident, we learned to understand that the person you love may be minutes away from leaving this earth. Love does not have to be so complicated. And showing love can be very simple.
So this morning, my husband hopped in the truck with our two boys to run an errand downtown. Five minutes after they left, the sirens sounded in town. Jeremy is alive and we have learned to understand that the terrible things we have been through have only made us stronger and closer to God, so from the pain we found hope and purpose. But if my husband or children are not home and those sirens sound, I physically and emotionally cannot handle it to this day; I have to call and check on my loves. Jeremy says, “Hey, we all have our stuff. After what we’ve been through together, I think you’re entitled to be a little irrational at times.”
So I heard the sirens and tried to fight my urge to call. I’m working on it. But I didn’t have to fight it…because my husband beat me to it. Instead of judging me for being worried every time I hear those sirens as I had that day the blasts were there for Jeremy, he chooses to love me instead. I received this text on my phone almost instantaneously when the sirens started blaring. My husband and boys were fine, and Jeremy knew I needed to hear that. The sirens were not for them, and my husband reinforced his love and respect for me through these simple words. That is love, ladies. It’s not extravagant. It’s simple. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So I want to share with you how my husband shows his love for me. These are my favorite ways Jeremy shows me how much he loves me. This doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways, but these ways have grown to be my favorite. You’ll notice none of them have to do with money or planned moments. This is just love…and how he shows it to me without even knowing it.
In no particular order…
1. He texts me if he is not home when the sirens blast in town so I know the rescue unit isn’t being called for him.
2. He disciplines our boys when they are being disrespectful to me, but he never uses, “You do not speak to your mother that way.” He changes it. He says, “You do not ever speak to MY WIFE like that.”
3. He seasons my steak differently than his and all the others and marks which steak on the grill is mine.
4. He always says thank you for meals, for my cleaning the house, for me helping him on jobs, etc.
5. He prays with our boys and I and is a living example of what a respectful Christian man should be.
6. He asks me for my opinion and respects it, not always using it, but respecting it.
7. He explains things to me that I don’t understand all the time (sports, mechanics, landscaping…) and has learned that I now have a good knowledge base because I have listened to him. He has trained me without meaning to and has created a fun (and hot he says) sidekick!
8. He works hard for our family. He plays hard with our family. He puts faith and family first and teaches our boys that the two go hand-in-hand. He knows that when we put God first and glorify Him through our actions and daily lives, it doesn’t matter if we are on a landscaping job or in church, we are worshiping Him and thanking Him every second for this life.
9. He tells me what I’m doing right and what he appreciates about me.
10. He rolls over, kisses me goodnight, and puts on his CPAP breathing machine when I kick him in the night for snoring instead of yelling at me like he probably wants to. 🙂
These may seem simple and strange to some, but these are my favorite ways my simple husband has shown love to me. I have been proposed to. I have been on honeymoons, vacations, and dates. But the daily ways Jeremy shows love to me mean more than any of that ever could. So ladies, learn to see the ways he loves you. They will be different than ours, but I bet they’re there.
Learn more about our journey and purchase “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith” at www.jeremyandbailey.com.