Every Saturday night, we walk into our bedroom together. I take off my clothes and sit on the bed, legs folded and crossed in front of me. My husband leans over the bed and hands me what I need.
It happens once every single week, and it makes Big Guy feel more loved than anything else I do for him. I used to expect him to take care of it himself, but I started incorporating it into my life earlier this year.
And no, it isn’t what you’re probably thinking. Don’t feel bad. It turns out it wasn’t what I thought, either.
Last night, I told him that I knew that a certain sexual something makes him feel more loved than anything. He told me I was wrong.
What? How can I be wrong? Years ago, he’d told me that this particular something was The Thing that would help him feel most loved. It’s something that has now become a frequent part of our marriage bed, so I found myself wondering if I was doing it wrong or if there was something else he wanted that I’d forgotten about.
It turns out that the thing that makes my husband feel most loved these days isn’t even sexual at all.
It’s when I refill his pill box every week.
My husband has several medical conditions that require a lot of medication right now. (We expect this to change after surgery that we hope he will have next year.)
And by “a lot of medication,” I mean this . . .
. . . and this.
It isn’t quite as bad as it looks. Several medications involve more than one huge pill each day, so they require multiple pill bottles to fill a month’s prescription. Still, he takes twelve pills every morning and ten pills every night. If more medication is added, we will have to get a different pill box.
So every Saturday night, I sit cross-legged on the bed, dump out the basket, and dole out his medication for the week while he watches me.
Big Guy said that this is what makes him feel more loved than anything because I am taking care of him. It tells him that I am part of his aging and his health and that I am committed to him.
What He Lacked
It makes sense, I guess, but it still surprised me. After all the years of telling me that a sexual activity that I rarely did was what made him feel most loved, it’s different now.
In part, I think it’s different because life changes. As men get older, their sex drive can change bit. Even more than that, though, is the fact that our marriage is so different now.
He used to define love by what he did not have.
My poor husband. 🙁 He rarely experienced the thing that made him feel most loved.
I imagine what that was like, to wander through every day . . . every week . . . every month . . . wondering if he would get to experience that love. (Actually, I don’t have to imagine because I often felt the same way about the ways I wasn’t being loved.) I offered love in other ways, but they were crumbs to him because the one thing he truly wanted, he knew he couldn’t have.
Many men receive love best through sex. My husband spent years just waiting for that love to be fully offered, trying to be happy with what I did give him.
What He Has
My husband was once so starved that it was hard for him to see anything but the sex he didn’t have.
It used to be that on a Saturday night, if we happened to walk into the bedroom at the same time, I was unlikely to take my clothes off in front of him. If I did, I would have immediately thrown on a nightgown or slid under the covers. If my husband had leaned over the bed and tried to hand me anything, my response probably would have been to roll my eyes and ask, “What now?”
Now that he no longer has to wonder when his next sexual connection will take place, or in what form, he is better able to see and appreciate all the other aspects of our relationship.
He no longer questions my love for him. He trusts me to take care of him in every way. He no longer thinks about what he is missing in our relationship; he thinks about what he has.
He receives the fullness of my love because he is given the fullness of my love.
Years ago, he was barely able to see the ways I loved him because the one that mattered most was missing. Now, however, he can look beyond his basic needs to see my weekly filling of his pill box as something that nurtures and cares for him.
He feels most loved when I fill his pill box because he is no longer deprived of anything in our relationship.
What makes your husband feel most loved? Does he define your love by what he doesn’t have—or by what he does have?