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Wife Support Five: I Gotta Be Loved By You

 “Who doesn’t harbor a wish that the universe would take care of his or her
every want and need?”
Ron and Pat Potter-Efron
We women are sometimes like the baby birds that appear every spring outside my living room window. Mother and Father Bird build a nest there, on the drain pipe, as soon as buds pop on the trees. I know of course, that the tiny inhabitants are different than last year's residents, but the bird’s behavior is so predictable, it’s almost like these are the same newborns: perpetually dependent, always hungry. GimmeGimmeGimme, they say; mouths gaping open, anxiously waiting for another morsel to be dropped down the gullet.   
Lots of husbands learn soon enough (and to their secret dismay) that their wife’s craving for affirmation, validation, and appreciation is rarely satisfied. We snatch up every tidbit of affection like a child who has never tasted candy. The sweetness, like raw sugar, only fuels our yearning for more…MoreMORE. If he said I LOVE YOU and YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL once an hour for the next fifty years, it wouldn't be enough.
My own excessive need for reassurance and romance came home to me many birthdays ago. I decided to “test” everyone (especially Honey) by making no reference to my personal holiday during the entire month of January. The results were devastating. Not a single soul: parent, child, sister, friend -- husband (gasp) -- remembered. The red-letter day came and went without a whimper.
Now, before you scream “REVOLUTION!” and “TYRANNY!” (which I came close to doing at the time); let me add this: Honey was under huge pressure at work, was serving tirelessly in the bishopric and was acutely worried over finances. He comforted, cuddled, and counseled with tenderness. It’s just that his calendar was off.
When I realized that accusation would never produce a gift box of perfume, the truth of the matter hit me like a whiff of cheap cologne: I had been thinking for too long that it was my husband’s primary job in life to make me feel good; to heal all my wounds; to spend every possible minute with me; to be emotionally available and responsive 24/7; to always want what I want.  
Three little words described my approach to our partnership: greedy, demanding, ungrateful.

I subsequently made a course correction that has stuck. My birthday is now advertised far and wide and way in advance. I am responsible to ask for and inspire special attention on January 27th.  As for the other 364 days of the year, I try to savor his expressions of love (a look, a touch, a thoughtful comment) like expensive chocolates. I REV UP just thinking about his last kiss and relish romantic journal entries like eclairs on peanut-butter-days. Healthy, balanced doses of nurturing and receiving nurturing from family, friends, God, and myself keeps my tank full. His three little words (I love you) then “top” me off and overflow into a puddle at our feet.
Who could ask for anything more?

NEXT UP: The Perfect Husband. Mona shares her 34-year romance and offers support for wives at Mona's Musings with a  Hint of Romance.  You will find her daily Hints of Romance on Mona's Musings on Facebook & Twitter. She is the award-winning author or With Mine Own Hand: The Musical Account of Nephi and reminds all her MMB friends to circle January 27th on their calendars (it's Mozart's birthday after all.)  

Photos from Dreamstime

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