Not long ago, my wife and I sat down with our marriage counselor (whom we’ve seen regularly for years). I was a little nervous walking in—not because she’s mean or I had some deep dark secret lurking. Rather, I was nervous because I knew that once again, the counselor would ask if we’d had a date night and once again, my answer would be no. We’d just been “too busy.” This time around, our counselor simply sighed and said, “Nothing important happens by accident.” She’s right. A week later, thanks to my wife’s initiative, we began to make date night a priority.
Loving the folks who are nearest to you takes action. It won’t just happen. Many men assume their wife knows they love her because, you know, marriage. But that’s lazy love, which isn’t really love at all. Real love is intentional. You must learn how to love your wife on purpose, every day. Here are 5 simple ways to love your wife, even when you’re busy.
1. Have a routine check-in.
Many couples pass each other like ships in the night. Between working and volunteering and running kids all over the place, there is precious little time to spare. It’s hard enough for you to remember what you did during your workday let alone to remember to ask your wife about hers. And yet, taking just a few moments to sit down, look her into the eyes, and ask her about her day is a great way to communicate that you love her. Why not take 15 minutes right before bed to connect? Turn the TV off, set your phone down, pour a glass of wine or hot tea, and simply check in. Ask questions and listen well. Celebrate what she’s celebrating and mourn what she’s mourning. You might be surprised by the difference it makes.
2. Encourage her to get some time for her.
When we’re busy, it always feels like a luxury to get an evening out with friends or to enjoy that new coffee shop with a good book. That’s why a powerful way you can communicate your love for your wife is by advocating that she takes some time for herself. Help it happen by getting her a gift card to her favorite coffee shop or tickets to see a movie she’s excited about. Of course it feels costly. You have things you’d like to do as well. But that’s what love does. It puts the needs of the other above your own. Besides, if you make a habit of advocating for her, it’s very likely she’ll return the favor.
3. Text her throughout the day.Spontaneity is overrated. A little planning goes a long way in loving your wife.
Sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re being thought of. Simply sending a random but thoughtful note, a reminder that you love her, or a GIF you know will make her laugh helps you stay connected and playful in the midst of a busy day. The most important part is it communicates that you’re thinking about her. If you’re like me and it’s hard to remember to do things like this, set a reminder on your phone or put an appointment in your calendar to shoot your wife a text. Spontaneity is overrated. A little planning goes a long way in loving your wife.
4. Set a weekly date.
Setting a weekly date is another example of how planning beats spontaneity. Now you might be thinking a weekly date is unreasonable. Either you can’t afford to go out every week or you just don’t have the time. But the reality is, a date doesn’t need to involve going out. My favorite date that my wife and I enjoy regularly involves eating some snacks and watching old episodes of The Office or Parks and Recreation on Netflix. If there’s stuff to talk about, we’ll do that, but mostly it’s just a time to be together. Presence is a huge way to communicate love. Plan to be present with each other weekly. (For more ideas, check out Date Night Foreplay.)
5. Say it.
Some say talk is cheap. While I get the sentiment, I disagree. I much prefer the expression “words make worlds.” Our words are powerful. They create a tangible atmosphere that impacts our mental, emotional, and physical well being. Don’t believe me? Talk with someone who grew up in a verbally abusive household. While we must do more than simply say the words “I love you,” we can’t do less. Make a habit out of regularly telling your wife that you love her. Leave notes. Send texts. Even send an email. However you do it, just get it done. As the proverb says, “An open rebuke is better than hidden love.”
Sound off: Which of these steps could you take this week to communicate to your wife that you love her?
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What do I do that communicates that I love you?”