If you need some signs (hey, we love signs) that your husband is indeed quietly in love with you, here are eight that show he isn’t going anywhere.
He knows you hate doing the damn dishes—so he does them.
When you’ve been together for years, it’s obvious that your husband knows your likes and dislikes. But if you want to know if he loves you, see how he adjusts to your “irritation triggers.” “If he knows the three or four things that will always hurt you or put you off balance, and then knows just what to do to either avoid them or get you up and running again when they do happen, then consider him your antidote,” says Tatkin.
So rather than picking a fight because it’s “your turn” to take care of the dishes, you’re more likely to find him loading up the machine before bed. Just remember to return the favor and handle something that drives him batty—or at least consider taking dish duty as a thank you, because we bet he doesn’t love that chore, either.
He always says “whatever you want” for date night.
It’s easy to take this as a sign of disinterest, butPaul Coleman, a psychologist and author ofFinding Peace When Your Heart is in Pieces, says that when men are in love, they usually appear less enthusiastic than women do simply because of their serotonin levels. Seriously: research shows that men who are in love have lower serotonin levels.
“The amount of serotonin you have in your body as a woman makes you act happy and show it more,” says Coleman. “But because men’s levels aren’t as high, they don’t feel the need to do that—they’re happy showing you love by agreeing to do whatever it is you want to do, even if it’s just sitting next to you and watching TV.” Rather than being frustrated because you’re the one coming up with date night ideas, look at it as an opportunity to branch out and try something different.
He says your first name during sex.
It’s part of the norm to call each other “babe,” “honey,” or even “mama,” throughout the day (hey, sometimes it’s just easier when you have kids), but Tatkin says that if he says your first name in the midst of sex, it’s a sign that he’s fully present in the moment with you and doesn’t want to be intimate with anyone else. Another clue? Eye contact—both in and out of the bedroom—and a willingness to talk about more personal matters (ones that involve the two of you on a relationship level, not what the kids need to get done this week) as part of pillow talk. “Both show that he’s still interested and, rather than seeing you as someone he thinks he already knows, you’re someone he continually wants to learn about,” says Tatkin.
He’ll go to that theme-party without whining.
Picture this: on the rare night that you’re able to get a sitter, there’s a Gatsby-esque birthday party happening for your bestie’s 40th. You know your hubs will essentially kick and scream the whole way because he hates big parties and dressing up. Then again…maybe he won’t. If he doesn’t give you grief (okay, he can once or twice—guys think these things are over-the-top), then he’sshowing you love. “When you say that you really want him with you and then he just puts on his party clothes without grumbling, he’s putting aside his own preferences and tastes to make you happy,” says Sophia Dembling, author ofIntroverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After. He wouldn’t do that if he didn’t love you, proving that sometimes what he doesn’t do speaks louder than what he does.
He’s quick to end an argument.
Ever get to a point in the argument where you know you’re wrong, but you’re secretly trying to figure out a way to prove that you aren’t? Your husband probably hasn’t—at least not in a while—because one way he proves that he’s still head-over-heels for you is, well, letting you win. “He puts you ahead of having to be right because he knows that any delay in fixing misunderstandings or hurt feelings can lead to a long-lasting memory that doesn’t bode well for your future,” says Tatkin. So when he throws up a white flag, he’s not doing it out of laziness—he just doesn’t want to see you upset. And if you’re more willing to battle it out, that doesn’t make you a bad person. Tatkin says it’s easier for guys to give in, essentially, because they tend to avoid confrontation at all costs in the first place. Next time you find yourself in this situation, take a step back and decide what’s more important: being right or resolving the issue? Taking that moment can help you get back to a healthy place to continue your discussion.
He puts the electronics away.
We’re all guilty of being glued to our phones: Snapchatting that funny thing the baby did. Instagramming your date night meal. Sharing an article you like on Facebook. But when your husband actively cuts technology out of his daily routine to spend time with you, it’s a sign that he still wants to connect, says Fawn Weaver, author of Happy Wives Club. “When a man loves a woman, no matter how demanding his job, he knows how to put his phone down, close his laptop, and give his undivided attention. There is a consistent effort to put his love ahead of his career and friends.” Now, that doesn’t mean he’s going to drop what he’s doing at the exact second you want him to (he’s not your beck-and-call boy), but if he makes a concerted effort to carve out quality time for the two of you sans-tech, then he’s still very much into you.
He never says the ‘D’ word.
You’ve had those knock-down, drag-out fightsthat are way worse (and less funny) than any SNL skit, but even in the darkest of times, your husband never says the word “divorce,” says Tatkin, explaining that a happy husband doesn’tthreaten his relationship even when he’s upset, frustrated, or incredibly angry. Instead, he’s learned how to have a fight the right way—because yes, you’ll still have them—and knows when it’s best for the relationship to walk away and blow off steam. “Nothing good can come from threatening the relationship or making you feel like it may not exist in the near future,” says Tatkin. Taking the option of divorce off the table gives you both the opportunity to express how you really feel without fear that the other is going to walk out on the relationship, so you can get to the root of any serious issues.
He still makes an effort to surprise you.
Though you may rule the world—and household—with shared Google calendars and group text messages, if your husband still makes effort to surprise you with things he knows will brighten your day, he’s still lovin’ on your pretty hard, says Weaver. “This isn’t about expensive gifts. Oftentimes it’s something as simple as bringing home a favorite candy or carton of ice cream, or picking up tickets when you mentioned you wanted to see a certain movie,” she says. The point is that he’s thinking of ways to keep your relationship fresh and engaged, and showing you that he still remembers the little things that make you smile.