Jake and I are two opposite people. SO DIFFERENT. My therapist and I laughed about this as she was telling me that we often marry people different from us…but not usually quite as different as Jake and I are. We have super different love languages and it’s taken us a while to figure out how to maneuver this. His love language is acts of service (I’m honestly not quite sure what his secondary one is) and mine are words of affirmation and presents.
So, for his birthday this past weekend I gave him presents that I knew he would like. He likes practical presents, like underwear and socks. Earlier in the week Evie had done some projects for presents for him, and she was very proud to hand them over. Her card was a big piece of paper that she had painted special for him. As she painted she would repeat “making daddy’s birthday” “he’s gonna love it!” Since he doesn’t really care about birthdays or holidays, I knew he wouldn’t put too much stock into it – but I’m an ESFJ and special days are a big deal to me. I am compelled to do these things. For his card from me, I made him a card with my cricut, which I affectionately call my craft robot. Here is where my mind fuck came in. I love words. I’m a words of affirmation person, and I’m just a wordy person in general. Take this blog post – someone else could probably write it and make it half as long. BUT! I digress. My husband is not a wordy kind of guy. As I was thinking of what to write in his card (something funny? heartfelt? mushy?) I remembered to think of my audience. So I ended up writing two short sentences and signing the card. When I gave it to Jake I told him that I just thought he’d like a shorter card better. He actually smiled when he read it and said “I do, thank you. It’s refreshing.”
YOU GUYS. I’ve been friends with Jake for 10 years and we’ve been together for 8. How am I just now thinking about what HE would like in his card? Sure, I think about the type of gift he wants, the cake he might want, etc etc. But this totally blew my mind. Of course he doesn’t want some long drawn out message from me, he’s not into that! He feels loved when I show him through small acts, like making the coffee the night before or making him a snack when he gets home from work.
[Insert explosion noise here] Mind blown. Give Jake what he would want to receive instead of what I want to receive. DUH. SO SIMPLE. I must be really self absorbed to have never considered this before!