Chapter OneMEN EXPRESS
LOVE BY DOING
One of the fundamental differences between men and women
is the way they express love. Men are goal-oriented and express love
by doing, while women are relationship-oriented and express love bybeing.
A woman may say "I love you" by touching, stroking, caressing,
A man, on the other hand, shows love by doing such things as
going to work and earning a living.
When a woman thinks about love, she thinks about starlit nights
and romantic interludes. When a man thinks about love, he thinks
about bringing home enough money to buy spaghetti sauce to put on
A woman wants to be swept off her feet, while a man may think
sweeping the front porch does just that.
Women feel. Men do.
We were hung up on these differences for years. "Why can't you
show me you love me? I need to feel loved," we'd say.
And our husbands would respond, "What in the world does that
mean? What can I do to make you feel loved?"
Notice that our husbands asked what they could do to make usfeel loved? They had no idea what we meant because doing is a man's
native tongue while feeling is a woman's.
Countless articles and books have been written describing these
fundamental differences, yet it wasn't until we actually began to take
this difference into consideration that we began to notice the ways in
which our husbands express love.
Before learning this, when I (Connie) would say to my husband,
"I need you to make me feel loved," my husband would respond, "I
don't know how to do that if I haven't done it already. They didn't
teach that in school, and if they did I was absent that day."
"It is not a hard thing to do," I would retort. And it's not-to a
woman. But to a man it is like trying to read a map with no legend.
At some point my weary husband would say, "Besides making youfeel cherished, what else can I do?"
What else? What else was there? Nothing-at least as far as I was
concerned. I know now that what he was doing all those years was
trying to give me exactly what I wanted. He was just doing it in a man's
language. Imagine that!
Acknowledge the fact that you and your husband show love in
entirely different ways, and appreciate your differences. Begin to look
for the ways he shows love that are unique to him. One of the clues is
that they will often be action based rather than feeling based.
For example, I (Connie) have learned that Wes shows love by supporting
me in whatever I'm involved with, working hard to provide for
me and our children, forgiving quickly, and not pressuring me to do
things I don't enjoy. For instance, I don't enjoy cooking, and he doesn't
make me feel bad that I don't. He's happy to eat whatever I prepare. It's
usually very simple, but he always thanks me for preparing it.
My (Nancy) husband, Ray's, love language is seldom verbal. He's
not a big hand-holder, either. However, he excels in demonstrating his
love by doing things for me. If he has a day off and I'm working, he
often cleans the house and has dinner ready when I get home. He calls
me every day at work to see if I need anything from the store. As I first
wrote these words, I heard him pull into the driveway after getting his
car washed. I was ready to greet him, only to watch him pull out of the
driveway in my car to have it washed. Knowing that I have a deadline
to meet, he told me if I needed any errands run or household tasks
completed, he was ready, willing, and able. I've learned that I don't
need words when everything he does lets me know he loves me.
When you begin to accept your husband's efforts, you are granting
him the uncommon luxury of being himself. What would happen
if women stopped expecting men to be more like them? We think one
of the first things that would happen is that husbands would feel freer
* * *
Bottom Line: Men express love by doing. They are action based
rather than feeling based.