In many ways, I fail my husband daily because I choose to put my needs and wants before his.
Have you ever heard the term, "Marriage can't be 50/50, it has to be 100/100"? I used to blow right past those crazy marriage quotes on Facebook and this one, in particular, never made sense to me. I mean, a "whole" marriage can only be 100%, so 50/50 has to be it. No one's getting more than what they need, everything is equal, and the two together make one whole marriage. Math, right?
It wasn't until one night after the biggest argument of our entire marriage that this 100/100 mentality "clicked" in my mind.
My husband and I were sitting together, in the dark, outside on our front steps and in that moment of trying to gain forgiveness from each other for the things we had just allowed to come from our mouths, I realized that I hadn't been giving my husband 100% of who he deserves as a wife. Throughout the whole first year of our marriage, I had only given my "50%" and what I didn't realize was that when the other 50% stumbles (because we're human and we're destined to mess up), the 50% that I was giving wasn't strong enough to keep our marriage whole.
When you allow your "whole" marriage to be broken because you choose to only give 50%, you can't expect to be wholly loved or be wholly in love with your spouse.
Love is an action.
You can do love. You can be in love. You can love. Everything you do to show your husband how much you love him speaks volumes over all of the times you have simply said, "I love you." Words will never be able to fully communicate the amount of love you have for someone. Here are three ways to wholly love your husband beyond your words.
Related: Lead a life worthy of your calling
You can love your husband by serving him, sacrificing for him, and supporting him.
Now don't get wide-eyed and close the browser thinking I'm crazy. These aren't the only ways to love your husband, but they'll definitely put you in the right direction to love him better! Think about it... how do you feel when you walk into the kitchen and see that the dishes have been washed and put away? For me, there's nothing I hate worse than to do dishes... or laundry... so when my husband takes time to do these things for me, I can honestly feel how much he cares about me through one simple task. So when I tell you to serve your husband, I'm not telling you to grab the silver platter and feed him grapes in front of the television. I'm simply asking you to step out of the ordinary and do something for him. You can do this by:
1. Asking him how you can help if you see him working on a project. Four hands are sometimes better than two and when two is better, just the fact that you asked if you could help will speak volumes.
2. Ask him if he needs anything. Again, when he's doing something, this is a great time to ask if he needs a drink or something to eat. When you're grocery-shopping, text him to see what you can get for him this week, or just buy his favorite snacks as a surprise!
3. Do something nice for him. There aren't too many men who like asking for help, so we need to be proactive if we want to help them out! If you see the receipts are piling up, take a few minutes and enter them into the coupon app or your budget. Instead of waiting to ask him if he needs a drink, just go ahead and pour it before he asks, especially if he's doing manual labor like cutting the grass, or working on the car. You can also consider his to-do list and do things around the house that you usually leave for him like taking out the trash, feeding or bathing the pets, and cleaning the bathroom.
The next way to wholly love your husband is through sacrifice. I don't mean you have to give up everything you do to please your husband, but just make an effort to make sure he knows he's still at the top of your priority list. The Girls Night Out that's been on the calendar for months has to go on without your presence if your husband truly needs you. If you really need a massage, but your husband asks you to rub his shoulders, sometimes you just have to be willing to sacrifice your desires to make your husband feel loved. There is no greater love than sacrificial love and anytime you can incorporate that into your marriage, the better your marriage will be.
Without sacrifice, your marriage will plunder.
Lastly, all marriages thrive on supporting one another. Relationships take a lot of work. But most of that work is just remembering to praise effort and not only success.
Related: Learn more about I Answer to Mom
Remember my story about our biggest argument in the history of our marriage? Well, since then, I have tried to give 100% so that we are never in that place again. The thing that really stinks about the 100/100 mentality in marriage is, it's a process. I didn't wake up the next day and suddenly my marriage was whole and everything was perfect. I didn't stop putting myself before my husband the next week to prevent more arguments. Honestly, this whole 100% thing has been a work in progress for many, many months and there are still many, many days that I fall short of holding up my side of our marriage. But, at the end of every day, my husband knows that I'm his biggest fan. Regardless of how I am feeling that day or what my husband may have said that didn't sit well with me, I have a duty as a wife to lift up my husband on a daily basis. Not to get anything in return, but to simply encourage the one whom I love to love.
Shela Yount is a Stay-At-Home Mom who has a passion to encourage and inspire moms and wives with her personal stories and creative writing. Don't forget to sign-up for her latest 10-day online course for wives to learn How to be a Better Wife & get exclusive access to her full library of resources for moms and wives!