Once my husband and I were eating some dessert and having coffee alone and talking about our marriage. We had been struggling for a while and my husband decided that maybe he could understand what it was I wanted in a marriage if he asked me what I thought marriage would be like. I shared that I always thought that my marriage would be like the Waltons or Little House on the Prairie where I would be the wise wife who loved homemaking and was a joy to her family...but instead had turned out to be like I Love Lucy because I seemed to screw up everything I touched. Little did I know how true that description would become in a few weeks....
One author has written about "love languages" and how we all have various love languages. For some people, giving (or receiving) a gift is the perfect expression of love. For others, acts of service mean the most. Some like the gift of time by doing for others and using their time to help them. Then there are people like me - who need to hear or read expressions of love to really feel them.
Many years ago, my husband was away at an Air Force school 90 miles from home for several weeks. He would come home on the weekends and we would spend some time together before he dashed back off to school Sunday afternoon. When he became ill at home one Sunday, it was decided that I would drive him back and then pick him in the family car and then pick him up the following Friday so he could take his pickup back.
Fortunately, he wasn't staying in a dorm room but was in a military version of a hotel. This meant that I didn't have to worry about "sneaking in" or "getting caught" and the next morning it was nice to spend a few moments together with him before he headed off to work, feeling much better than he had the day before.
I decided to surprise him and went through his unit leaving him little notes for him to find when he returned home from lunch. For example, on his coffeepot I put the note, "Coffee, Tea or me". On his mirror I put "here's looking at you sexy". To this day, I don't remember how many notes I left for him but I know that there were a lot - probably close to a dozen. After all - that is what I'd LOVE to come home and find if I was away from home and lonely.
Have I mentioned yet that my husband's "love language" is NOT words and expressions of love? He prefers acts of service and gifts of time by sitting and listening to him. It's a shame it took me more years to learn it than we'd been married at this time.
He got back to his room for lunch and called me while we laughed about the notes. I must say that he was surprised and decided to go hunting for the ones he'd missed. We said our goodbyes and I went back to housework.
A few minutes later, the phone rang and it was my husband again. He was frantic as he asked, "Did you write all the notes with black ink?" I stated that I had and he groaned. Apparently, that day the maid had cleaned his room earlier than usual - saw the notes - and wrote on one of them - thinking he was writing them for her.
This would be funny if this was a civilian hotel. However, this was a military hotel....and "sexual harassment" had become a big issue shortly before this happened.
My husband wound up going to his instructor, explaining the situation, and then leaving a note for the maid the next day stating that his wife had been up for the weekend and left him notes and he was sorry if she was at all offended. This wasn't exactly easy for a guy who HATES to write anything.
It also didn't help that she appeared to be "accepting" his proposition from the note she'd responded to.
Lesson learned: Before trying to express your love to someone - make sure it won't get them in hot water with someone else.