Girls thrive on love; guys thrive on respect.
I love love...ooey gooey gushy mushy adoring love. If Aaron gave me a note every morning detailing what he loved about me, I would fly about on wings all day. (He does write me a lot of sweet notes, by the way.)
So naturally, when we first got married, I made sure to shower him with every ounce of the sweet nothings I myself hoped for. "I love you, honey." "I love you sooo much, honey." "You're so handsome, baby." (Are you rolling your eyes yet?) But these things don't fill him up or encourage him the way they do for me.
The tank-filler for him is respect. And more in action than in word. Every guy is different--I soon discovered that Aaron doesn't appreciate affirmation in public. If I brag on him in front of people, it just embarrasses him. I don't get that; I'd love the whole world to know how awesome I am. So I tell him in private. "I really respect you for the wisdom with which you make decisions." He knows I mean it when I don't turn around and undercut his next decision. "I respect you, honey, but that's a really dumb choice, and here, let me give you five reasons why my choice is better." Uh, no.
I'm like a jerky, tipsy, chubby (had to throw that adjective in there) baby learning to walk when it comes to respect. I get a couple steps out, and then I fall splat on my face and decide to throw a fit about it. Yeah. So I have a lot to learn.
There's respect, and then there's meat. My sister was telling me the other day about how much protein a pregnant woman has to eat. (Mom and Dad, I'm not pregnant.) "You'll have to chart your protein, Lara, or you won't get enough. You'll need so much protein," she said. Aaron overheard, and he perked up quicker than a dog that just saw a squirrel.
"Babe! Maybe you should get pregnant, and then we can eat meat every day!" His eyes were shining like a car waxed by the Karate Kid. (Great simile, eh?)
Poor guy. He married a girl that could become a vegetarian any day and never look back. I need to give the guy more beef and bacon. I'm pretty sure chicken only counts as a half-meat to most guys.
He had a birthday last week, and we had STEAK. He nearly cried.
There you have it ladies. I've only been married for a couple years, so take it from the mouth of babes...
Respect and steak.
The secret to a happy marriage.