My Husband Doesn’t Read My Blog And That’s Okay

“Do we have the same love language?” Dave was doing the dishes and I was cutting the girls’ dinner. I laughed. “No.” I couldn’t even remember all of them, but I knew ours were different. Why? Because I know that one of mine is Words of Affirmation and it is so-very-far from Dave’s.

I married a man who could go his whole life without a thank you card, birthday greeting on Facebook, or compliment on his work. Dave gets uncomfortable when people tell him he has done a good job. Much of his work goes unnoticed and uncredited and it doesn’t bother him a bit. I call his work fabulous and he calls it good. The word ‘good’ is an issue between us. He doesn’t know it, but it is.

I wrote a raw post on the blog about my dying dad-in-law. It was my unedited thoughts the week before Resurrection Sunday. It was shared a couple hundred  times, and then picked up by OhAmanda and even featured in a post she wrote. Dave didn’t read it until after Bob died. And then he said, “I read your post about Holy Week. It was good.” Good. A word that means almost nothing to me.

I tell Graham that his poop is good. His drawings are fantastic. His K’Nex creations are amazing. I am raising a kid who thrives on Words of Affirmation. I know what he needs. And if I miss the mark, he tells me. Graham and I use superlatives excessively. It’s just who we are. Dave doesn’t use them. When Dave tells you something is good, he means it. It’s genuine, but not over the top.

“Your post was good.” It was a compliment that felt like an insult to a person who had poured her heart out about suffering and brain cancer and redemption. Good. My feelings were hurt. Minutes later, Dave said one of my best friends was a ‘super creative, talented, brilliant artist’…and she is all those things and more! But almost instantly, the Enemy whispered, “See. You are ‘just’ good at writing. Listen to what he said about her. And he doesn’t even read your blog.” I knew it wasn’t truth. I quickly reigned in my thoughts.

It’s difficult being married to a writer. Dave has a degree in writing and a degree in literature. Most of the time, I am pretty happy he doesn’t read my work. Hahaha! We have extremely different writing styles. And I have this deep-down insecurity that he wouldn’t even like my writing if he took the time to read it. Dave is very transparent. When he says it’s good, he thinks it’s good. When he says I look pretty, he means I look pretty. I have spent a decade learning to be okay with the lack of praise. It took several years of being together before I could even take his compliments at face-value without reading disappointment into them. He would tell me I looked nice, and I would cry at work. Isn’t your husband supposed to think you look gorgeous? But nice meant nice. I wasn’t going to the Emmys. I was teaching in a Junior High. How amazing can a person look in khaki capris?

I do think you need to show love the way people receive it, but I also don’t want a fake husband. When Dave says I look great, it carries a lot of meaning. When he says I made a meal that was fantastic, it means I will be making it again very soon. When he says a shirt looks wonderful on me, I know it truly does. Dave doesn’t mess around with words. And the older I get, the more I appreciate that my husband is honest and not just saying things to please me. I grew up with a lot of fake. I crave authentic.

Don’t misread all of this. Dave and I do show and receive love in similar ways, and I have learned to cherish those other outlets. We absolutely love spending time together, having {lots and lots of} sex, and serving one another. Dave serves the people he loves. It’s one of my favorite things about him. I have watched him serve his mom through the death of two husbands. He doesn’t leave my mom’s house without doing dishes. He makes meals and mows lawns and organizes toys and brews coffee if he cares about you. And he spends time with you. He is introverted, but will pour out time and make gifts for the people he loves.

He works all day. Comes home to make dinner, help feed the kids, change diapers, do dishes, brush teeth, give medication, read nighttime stories, work on the house, and date his wife after his kids are asleep. And those things are worth more than reading the blog and praising me for having my work published. I made my very first money yesterday for my writing. His response was “That’s great.” And he meant it. I just make the concerted effort to be loved in all the other ways he shows it, instead of asking him to change for me. Then, I texted a girlfriend who I knew would send a hundred exclamation points and a dozen smiley faces and an all caps I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! It’s a choice on my part to get those words from other people. It’s unrealistic to think that a husband can meet every single need.

And I have no doubt that Dave could start praising me more if I asked him to, but we are in a season of life that causes many couples in our situation to get divorced at a rate of 85%. Raising a kid with special needs is not easy. I am not willing to say, “Hey, I know we are just trying to keep our heads above water, but could you say I look terrific today?” I am choosing not to focus on receiving love in a certain way while we navigate a normal that changes every day. We are loving and laughing in a hard season. When our kids are grown, and we are most likely still caring for Adelaide, a servant-husband who is transparent and deeply loves will be a blessing. I know, because he is a blessing now. And maybe I will ask him to step up the superlatives and adjectives, or maybe I will have outgrown it. I’ll know when we get there.

Once, someone asked Dave if he read the blog. “No, I live the blog.” I used to think Dave just wasn’t taking the time to read my words and it bothered me. I can honestly say: My husband doesn’t read my blog, and that’s okay. It’s more than okay. He shows me love in so many other ways, I am not even sure I could list them all. And I definitely don’t always show him love the ways he needs it. Dave pretends like it isn’t a big deal, but I know that he loves coming home to a clean house. He feels like he can breathe. As our kids get older and our responsibilities change, I hope to love him more in that way. It’s just not possible right now. We are imperfect people imperfectly loving one another. And I really don’t want it any other way. A good man is hard to find, but I was blessed with a great one.

And I am refraining from using thirty-four superlatives to describe him…just in case he does read this. It would embarrass him. I called him sexy on Facebook and I thought he was going to stay red for all his days ever. But, seriously, I am thankful for my sexy husband. He spent a lot of time working on our refinance. Then, he asked the barista to do a pour-over of one of my favorites, because all they had brewed was Pike, which he knew I didn’t like. Dave brought me coffee, which I sipped while we signed all our closing papers. And he said I looked beautiful in my shirt. And I knew he meant it.

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6 thoughts on “My Husband Doesn’t Read My Blog And That’s Okay

  1. Ali Armstrong says:

    Thanks for this… I, too, use many superlatives and sometimes feel disappointed that my husband doesn’t… This helped me to remember that he shows his love in other ways :)

    Like

  2. rainy says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this tonite. :)

    Like

  3. […] made me realize that my post about Mother’s Day was obviously lacking some key information. Dave appreciates me every day. Well, just about. He is human, so I am sure there are days when he takes me for granted. And I know […]

    Like

  4. […] I already got a text from Dave. “Cool!” He’s a man of few words and fewer exclamations, so that single word tells me he will be beaming when he’s greeted by his four favorite […]

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