Thursday, February 26, 2009

Quiet Love

I grew up with a family of huggers. Not tree huggers. People huggers. We hugged each other every day at least once. My parents always gave goodbye hugs when we left for school and goodnight hugs before sleep.

After we'd mow our dad's knees over with hugs when he'd come in from work, we'd plop down in the floor and help him tug his cowboy boots off. Fond memories. My family showed love by affection. Especially my mother who is the most loving person I know.

Enter dashing Rocker Dude twenty-something years later...

I fell flat on my heart in love with his contagious grin, kind brown eyes and hilarious sense of humor. He remodeled a 1200 square foot home and built onto it by the sweat of his brow until it became 4000 square feet...plenty of room for all the babies that came later. The teething rings did come after the wedding rings, but once we got married however, I began to doubt my husband's love. He never showed affection. Never hugged. Never held my hand. Of course he didn't really do that sort of thing before we got married either. But he served me. Sometimes without me knowing it. Him and a friend sneaked to another of my friend's house and, in the middle of the night, built a wheelchair ramp for her disabled son. We only found out about it because neighbors described his work truck and he fessed up.

I'd work midnights at the hospital and come out to find every nurse's vehicle in the parking lot COVERED with ice and snow...and my windshield scraped clear with one red rose and a hilarious greeting card from Rocker Dude stuck in the windshield wiper. My nurse friends scraped their windshields in frenzy while eyeing my car in envy and spouting, "You'd better hang on to that guy. You'd better not let that one get away. Any guy who gets up and four a.m. to scrape your windshield deserves a chance. You should give him one."

I'm SO glad I did.

I had a friend (Pammer James) and her family visit. After observing my husband and I interact for a couple days, Pammer said, "He loves you quietly, doesn't he?"

That hit me like a two-by-four. This man might have a hard time with hugs. But he knows what it means to serve. He wasn't raised with huggers. It dawned on me that we love how we are taught. His family serves one another and does tasks and projects to show their affection. That's how he grew up knowing love from his parents and how his parents displayed love for one another. Home-improvement projects. Landscaping. Etc. So that's how he learned to love.

My rocker dude might not hug, but I have a gorgeous window-fronted twenty-by-thirty foot sunroom that houses a library for my book addiction and a gym for all the equipment I don't use near enough and a beautiful desk for writing--a dream he supports and champions--that is an obvious testament to his love. A breathtaking corner gas log that he and his dad installed. A comfy sectional for family time that houses side-by side recliners where we spend time in each other's company and which is my favorite spot to write.

Hubby says he built this sunroom for me to have a place to come retreat to and write in peace. I actually think he subconsciously built it as a PMS Shelter for Men and plans to check himself into it when all our daughters turn teenagers at once. HA! But for now, I'll enjoy the view out of my gorgeous sunroom which lends a view of the deck he built, the fence he fashioned, and the massive swingset playhouse fort he and my dad and his dad constructed for our children. True love. His music may be loud but his love is quiet. I don't so much miss the hugs anymore. Besides, after eleven years together, he's finally starting to lift his hands and do this sort of bend-arms-at-the-elbow and pat-pat-pat my back. Not quite a hug...but we're getting there. :-)

In the meantime, I'll relish his servant's heart and his loud music and his quiet love and try my best to learn the best ways to love him back.

And now...time NOT to be quiet. I would LOVE to hear how you love best to be loved. Don't be shy! Chat away.

Cheryl Wyatt


  1. thats a hard question but we here not huggy people either infact Im still not comfortable huggy to much. I am better than i was but right from a child i wasn't a huggy person and its not something I remember us doing much as a family either.
    I know mum loved us by ways she would have a milkshake waiting in the fridge on a hot day after we got home from school. How she would pack our lunches and the little things she would do extra for us.
    We have never really even said I love you etc either that I remember but we knew. Even know i see others hug mum when they visit but its just not something we have done and it would really feel uncomfortable to do it now.
    (ps im listening to cricket thinking of you at the moment)

  2. Cricket!!!! KEWL! One of my five biggest dreams in life is to come to Australia for a visit and go to a cricket game with you.

    Thanks for blessing our blog with your readership, Jenny!

    I LOVE the milkshake story! And the lunchbox extras. Sometimes it only takes a little to show a lot, huh?


  3. I think you are remarkably blessed to have such a lovely man in your life.

    I am loved best by my children who give me a kiss and a cuddle every morning, before they leave for school, come home from school and before bed. Considering those children are aged 14,12 and almost 4 I am so pleased.

  4. I loved the line "He loves you quietly." My husband is not a hugger either.

  5. I'm an affectionate gal too!! I love being snuggled. Thankfully, hubby is okay with this. Whew! =) Loved your post Cheryl!!!

  6. Hi Cheryl:

    I loved your windshield snow and ice clearing story. I did the same thing for my wife one snowy evening when she had a night class and she said, “Are your crazy risking an accident or a broker leg? Don’t you ever do that again!” (The road conditions were bad.) That’s how she showed her loved for me. (Not so quiet.)

    My family are not huggers but my wife’s family is. But that’s no problem. Whenever my wife wants a hug she just says, “I need a hug” and I give her one.

    Like I teach in salesmanship classes: “If you want to close the deal, you have to ask for the order.” I think sometimes we make life harder than it has to be.


  7. Vince,
    I like that wisdom. Yes, if we want something, we need to ask for it.

    Neither my dh and I were raised in hugging homes.

    But when I need a kiss or hug, I ask for one and get it.

    I think it's important to accept how a person loves us.


  8. i think my husband is a quiet lover like Cheryl's. me? a hugger and verbalizer. one of my family memories is my mom not allowing us to get up from the dinner table until we communicated (good, bad, or indifferent... just COMMUNICATE!)
    i think at times i overwhelm my dear hubby with verbal "i love you"s and hugs, but he says he doesn't mind too much.
    i much prefer my hubby's simple fix-it and clean it chores over any purchased gift. fun thing is, he does both and it always touches me.


  9. Cheryl,
    Thanks for telling us about your quiet loving guy. I loved the part about his cleaning your windshield. My hubby is a hugger and is always telling me he loves me.

  10. What a sweet, sweet post, Cheryl! I feel loved with acts of kindness. My husband put away the groceries yesterday. Ahhh.... :)

    He is much more huggy than I am, and he feels loved by words of affirmation, that type thing. So I have to constantly remind myself of that.

    I think it's just important to think about it and figure out what your spouse/child/friend's love language is. (Check out the Five Love Languages book!)

  11. Awe, that was so sweet.

  12. My husband isn't a hugger either. But if I ask he'll hand one over and, after 32 years, I've learned, if I need a hug, just to TAKE ONE. He endures.

    He's also learned to fake sincerety very well. I can still tell he's faking but he throws himself into it when he's just saying whatever it is he thinks I want to hear.

    Ummmmmmm.... he puts up with stuff from me too, so we're even.

  13. Joanna,

    It's so true that I'm remarkably blessed. Too often I forget just how good I have it.

    Thank you for coming by and sharing your thoughts!
    Pamela, I had never thought of the term "he loves you quietly" until my friend Pammer mentioned it. I'll never forget it for sure. It was just what I needed to hear in that season of doubt. I really think God sent my friend to help me see my husband's love in a new light.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


  14. And I have to apologize for not commenting on your comments sooner. We had a storm and I couldn't be on the computer.

    So...sorry so late with the replies. LOL!
    Betsy, thanks! I liked your post too. Challenged me but in a good way.
    Vince, that communication and telling our spouse what we need/want is SO important. Thank you for bringing it up. Very sound advice.

    I usually don't have a problem with this.

    But my husband always asks me why I haven't learned to read his mind by now. He said all of this employees have. And that they even finish his sentences for him. So he's hoping I'll get to that point too. LOL!


  15. Lyn, I love what you said about it being so important to accept how a person loves us. The book Margaret mentioned the other day totally transformed how I approach the issue and has helped tremendously.


    Deb H, sounds like you are remarkably blessed as well! Your story reminds me of the Five Languages of Love book.

    Thank you for coming by and spending time with us here at Craftie Ladies!


  16. Merrillee, it sounds like your guy is a keeper too. Glad you liked the windshield story.

    Now all the wives reading this are gonna go poke their husbands and say, "You know what this one guy did for his wife...." LOLOL! Actually he did that before we got married and doesn't have to now because we have a garage. LOL!


  17. Missy, that's neat about your hubby. And it doesn't hurt that you are so lovable/easy to love. LOL!

    I'm glad you liked the story. Thanks for sharing your experience. I love hearing how different people like to be shown. And the different ways in which we all feel loved.

    I tend to love like I need to be loved. And my hubby could take or leave hugs. LOL! I figured out real quick that just simply making his home a haven and making decisions (about where to go eat, what movie to watch) etc is something he really wants me to do. He said after being at work all day and having to make a thousand decisions, he just wants to be able to come home and not think about stuff or make a decision. LOL!

    Such a simple request and easy for me to do. But something so profoundly important to him.


  18. Tina!!! My Seeker Sister! Thank you for coming by. Hugs!

    Mary...ROFL! I can always count on you to make my day with laughter. That's hilarious about the faking. TOO FUNNY! LOLOL!

    Thanks for coming by the blog!



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