Show and Tell: Show Me the Love…

How do you show your spouse and kids that you love them?  I grew up in a house where we didn’t say, “I love you.”

I knew my parents loved me, but those three words weren’t the way that they showed it. I married a man whose family said it as a matter of course, and I found it a little uncomfortable.  Once I had my oldest, I knew I’d have to get comfortable with saying it – so I did… to him.  I had no problem telling my baby boy I loved him.  Anyone else expecting that same verbal affection could kick rocks.

Related: Can You Hear Me? I Love You: Oprah’s Lifeclass with Dr. Gary Chapman, Author of the Five Love Languages

I think the first time I heard my mom tell me she loved me I was closing in on 30.

Once my brother moved out and realized that our house was the exception, he caught the love bug.  One day when I was in college, at the end of a phone call he said, “Love ya sis!”  I could hear the pause – I knew I was supposed to say something.  But what? I eeked out a quick, “Love you too?” Thank goodness that was what you said at the end of a phone call – cause I wanted that conversation to be over.  Our conversations were few and far between enough.  He had to go and ruin it. I couldn’t even remember what we talked about after I hung up, which was a shame since most of our conversations could be recorded and rebroadcast as hilarious radio shows.

Not sure if it was a Caribbean thing – a my house thing – or what, but our house had a lot of love in it… just not a lot of lovey dovey words.

My husband and I talked about this in counseling, and we ended up reading this book together: The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

My kids are SUPER loving – in word and deed. They’ll tell you they love you in a heartbeat.  I grew up thinking that loving words were not just something you GIVE away.  They give them away daily – and it doesn’t diminish the meaning.  I thought that people who just threw those three words around, meant it less than people like me who rationed them out.

Reading this book when we got married helped us to understand that words aren’t the only way to let someone know that you care. For me, acts of service is a large part of my love language.  I show love by doing something for someone.  I don’t respond to touch and kind words as much – nor do I “speak” that language as much as I should.  At least not with people other than my kids.

Anyone who loves someone should read this book. It’s been a while, but I still go back and look at it every now and then.  The hubby also picked up The 5 Love Languages of Children a few years ago.

Do you know what love language you “speak”? What love language do you “hear”?