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Is Saying 'I Love You' Every Day Really Necessary for a Happy Marriage?

Posted by on Aug. 11, 2014 at 2:32 PM
  • 8 Replies

Is Saying 'I Love You' Every Day Really Necessary for a Happy Marriage?

by Beth Feldman 

couple in love, power of i love youWhen I had my first serious boyfriend, I remember how obsessed I was with "I love you." When was he going to say it? What would happen if I blurted it out first? How would I react when he finally said it to me? I remember how desperately I wanted to hear those three words.

When he did tell me he loved me, it was the single best day of my teenage life. And later, the day he said "It's over" was one of the worst.

Little did I know that even better times were yet to come ...

More from The Stir: When Saying 'I Love You' ISN'T Okay

Fast forward a few years when I was in my 20s and had just moved into an apartment in New York with one of my childhood friends. She was dating someone she thought was "the one" and decided to set me up with one of his best friends. Even now, I will never forget the day I opened the door and there he was. Dark brown hair, hazel eyes, super cute, smart (he graduated from Cornell!), and so funny. It truly was love at first sight.

That night, we talked, we laughed, we drank a little too much, and we wound up in my walk-in closet since my roommate and her boyfriend took the bedroom. The next day, he called to ask me out and I instantly blew off two other guys I was dating so that I could be with him. Incidentally, he also stopped dating a few girls he was seeing too. The feeling between us was positively electric.

The Waiting Game

Those first few months, we held hands, we laughed, we kissed ... and we didn't say "I love you." I remember hoping he'd say it after we'd been together about three months. My roommate's boyfriend had already told her he loved her, and I just wanted my guy to follow suit.

But he didn't.

I let a few more months pass by, and finally, we had a long discussion about the importance of those three ultra-charged words. He told me that he didn't want to say it unless he really meant it, and at the time, he just wasn't ready yet. So I patiently waited a few more months. 

The Moment of Truth

Eventually, it happened. He confessed that I was "the one" -- and he told me he loved me! A few years later, we got engaged, and nine months after that, we were married.

As we get set to celebrate another anniversary -- 18 years this month! -- I've realized that he has told me he loves me nearly every single night before we go to sleep and every morning when I wake up. And that has made all the difference.

Despite thabeth feldman wedding photo, I love you marriageMy husband and I on our wedding dayt fact that we don't hold hands like we used to -- and sometimes get caught up in work, bills, our kids' lives, and everything else going on -- I never doubt his love for me. I've also realized that every time we spend some time alone -- especially now that the kids are away at camp -- I fall in love all over again with that really cute guy who showed up at my door one night and thankfully never left.

While I have sadly seen some of my friends' marriages fall apart, I wonder if and when they stopped telling each other "I love you." Did it stop when they were too busy building their careers or raising their kids? Was it when the finances became so tight that they found themselves arguing over the bills non-stop? Or was it when one of them "fell out of love" and fell for someone else?

All too often, the moment you stop telling your partner you love him is the moment your relationship is at a crossroads and in need of help.

The Power of Those Three Little Words 

So think about it the next time you go to bed. If you don't say "I love you" to the person next to you every night or each morning, try doing it now. When you're with someone for a long time, it's so easy to take each other for granted, argue over stupid things, and fall out of love. But if you spend every day telling them -- and showing them -- you love them, you might just beat the odds.

In my case, I love my husband now more than ever. He's happier since he ditched his career in corporate finance to start a sports business for kids, he's funnier than the first time we met (maybe it's because we've been together so long we now have the same sense of humor?), and he's gotten even better-looking with age. And best of all, he still says "I love you" every morning and every night. I can't say that's the only secret to a happy marriage. But it certainly helps.  

Do you think saying "I love you" frequently is important in a marriage?

by on Aug. 11, 2014 at 2:32 PM
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Replies (1-8):
Amberleigh81
by Member on Aug. 11, 2014 at 2:35 PM
We say it practically every time we talk, even if it's just for a minute.

We also say it after fighting. Super important, even if we're still hurting, to make sure that the fight doesn't define us - that our love does.
jewels.unicorn
by Member on Aug. 11, 2014 at 2:42 PM
1 mom liked this

 That's the one thing dh hates to say all the time, he feels like if you say it everyday, it's the same as saying, How are you? - it's routine, not special.

We do say it but not very often. It's the physical closeness that we share that expresses it for us. With the kids, we say it to them as it seems important for them to hear it, but for each other, it's the wet willy he gave me last night while driving home with his mom (she was driving, we were sitting in the back seat). It's the quick hand squeeze under the table at the restaurant. It's me making sure his favourite pillowcase is always washed. It's him, out of nowhere as we pass in the hall or while sitting beside each other, grabbing me by the hair (gently) pulling my head towards him and kissing me crazy for ten seconds and then not touching me for the rest of the day till bedtime :).  For us, the little things define our love, not the actual "I love you."

wandep
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Feeling excited for the New Year! :)
Yesterday at 7:03 PM
by on Aug. 11, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Yes

SweetLuci
by Bronze Member on Aug. 11, 2014 at 9:20 PM

 We were dating seriously for a year and a half before he said it. The first time he told me he loved me, he asked me to marry him. He doesn't tell me every day, but he shows me every day through actions that he loves me, and that's good enough for me.

Roo1234
by Member on Aug. 11, 2014 at 9:22 PM
I think actions speak louder than words. I'm am more aware of my husband's love when he is thoughtful and kind to me whether he says anything or not
squeekers
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12-27-14 overnight temps.
Today at 4:42 AM
by Member on Aug. 11, 2014 at 9:23 PM
Except for my time in the Army when we were not in the same state, there is not a single night in our 25 yrs together we did not say I love you to each other at least once daily.
Janet
by Ruby Member on Aug. 11, 2014 at 9:33 PM

 I agree with Roo. But i also think it is important to say it everyday to each other.

melliburger
by Bronze Member on Aug. 12, 2014 at 1:58 AM

I think it depends on the relationship. I try to say it everyday just because.

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