“He is the love of my life and I know I’m the love of his,” Megan said. “But my husband rarely expresses his love in words. Basically, I say it and Chris thinks it.”“Does this bother you?” we asked.
“Not really,” Megan replied. “I decided a long time ago I didn’t want to miss connecting to him just because I’m a talker and he’s not, so I don’t nag him or demand a lot of talk. I try to enjoy the shared silence.”
Megan speaks from experience—she and Chris just celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary—twenty-five years of marriage history.
In their early twenties, they started a trucking business. Before the kids came along, they trucked together. “We would go for miles and miles and Chris would say nothing.” Megan said. “At first it bothered me. I’d bait him for complements and conversations, but the more I persisted, the quieter he became. Long periods of ice-cold silence. Each of us was missing the other’s expectations. Then one day it hit me: listen to his heart—don’t demand his words.”
As we listened to Megan, we thought, What difference would it make in our own relationship if we concentrated on listening to each other’s heart and not emphasizing the words or lack of them?
Would we give each other the benefit of the doubt? Would we express our love in non-verbal ways—a glance across the room, a hug or kiss? Would we seek to affirm the other, instead of waiting for the other’s affirmation? What would happen if, just for today, we only listened to each other’s heart?