'After 38 years, I made the conscious decision to stop telling my husband I love him.'

After 38 years of marriage, I have made the conscious decision to stop telling my husband I love him.

Truthfully it was a decision I made a few years ago when we stood before family and friends at our vow renewal, celebrating 35 years of ‘wedded bliss.’

We have had some superb years, and we have had some tough years. Years that were so bad, we got lost and self-centered.

There was even the year we contemplated divorce.

But that’s not why I have decided to stop saying “I love you” to my husband.

In 1980 a 19-year-old Navy kid and an 18-year-old high school senior made a commitment (after knowing one each other for a long six months) to get married and spend the rest of their lives together. We stood before God and family promising to love and honour one another, till death do us part.

Honestly, what those vows really meant back then was, he didn’t have to worry anymore about finding a date for Saturday night, and I could finally be someone I always wanted to be…. a mum.

We were young, we were naive, and we were in love-ish.

But what did we know about being in love at such a young age and in such a short time frame?

Marriage can be as chaotic as a tree during a hurricane.

Learning to adjust and adapt when sharing your life with another person is tough, and you need time to develop strong roots that will withstand the storms life throws your way.


But something happened to love along the way. At least it did for me.

Love is a word

Suddenly, saying “I love you,” became like asking “Can you pass the salt?” They became ordinary words that weren’t even remotely capable of expressing the depth of what I felt for my husband.

Love’s definition is to have an intense feeling of deep affection for someone.

Feelings of deep affection? Yeah, that’s nice, but something is missing.

I mean, this man has:

Shown me the meaning of unconditional love, by always accepting me for who I am and never asking or expecting me to change.

  • Been the shelter I run to when I need to hide from the world.
  • Been the anchor that helps me weather life’s chaos and storms.

Without him, I am unbalanced, incomplete and lost.

With him, I have learned to be myself completely, and I know that there is someone out there who gets me, even when I don’t get myself.

I adore him.

Listen: Does your relationship pass the loaf of bread test? It involves crusts. (Post continues…)

To love or to adore

‘Adore‘ can be defined as an intense or rapturous love. A profound loving admiration, devotion, and respect for someone. To hold dear. To honour. Its synonyms are love, have a weakness for; delight in, relish, savour; crazy about, be wild about, or be hooked on.

Rapturous love? Have a weakness for? Yes, this better describes how I feel about this man.


At the beginning of our marriage, the words “I love you” were enough and while I still say them from time to time, when I want my husband to feel how immensely important he is to me and the way he has impacted my life, I now choose the words “I adore you.”

Yesterday, I understood the meaning of love. Through the good times and bad times, through the laughter and pain, through it all, he has been the one constant in my life, and it would be almost impossible live this life without him.

Today, I understand the importance of making sure he feels how deep my love for him goes.

Because I adore you

By saying “I adore you,” I am taking love and saying so much more.

It’s the butterflies you get whenever you see that special someone.

You can be totally yourself around them and trust them completely.

You’d do anything for that person, and they’re all you think about from when you wake up to when you sleep.

To adore someone is an indescribable feeling that only your heart can understand.

For me, adore conveys a more powerful message. One that has a strong root system and can withstand any storm. Because these days the words “I love you” are tossed around as often as the weather changes.

This post originally appeared on Medium. For more from author KatieMae, you can find her website here, Facebook here and Twitter here.