Everyone has a love language. That’s according to the best-selling book by Gary Chapman titled The Five Love Languages. He contends that there are five ways in which people can express and receive their love for each other, and they are gift-giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.
Evidently, lying deep within each of us, there are certain trigger points, so to speak, which when sparked tell us we are deeply loved. Also, we are each prone to developing our own love language that we give well, and ideally it’s the same one our partner craves and desires.
But while many women are sparked and feel loved by receiving bouquets of flowers, by tender words whispered in their ears, by excessive physical touch, or a partner who does all the cooking, I have another love language that gets me all aroused and tingly. The only problem is you’re gonna have to wait about 12 hours for that arousal to be reciprocated.
Why? Because my love language is sleep. Just give me all the sleep. All of it. Take your roses, romantic poetry, and date nights, and shove it — and then allow me to spend my weekends in a dormant and luxurious sleep-like coma. I promise I’ll make it up to you.
Now, if you’d asked me before marriage what type of love language would most likely get me all hot and bothered, I probably would have replied candlelight dinners, foot rubs, and heavy petting on the couch. But after enduring one straight decade of breastfeeding babies between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m., of exhausting endless days of being over-touched (and now knowing said couch is covered with a variety of bodily fluids and foodstuffs that I have no desire for my naked butt to touch), nothing tells me you love me more than letting me sleep. Period.
Because when I get enough quality sleep, everything is right in the world and then, ultimately, in my marriage. And when I don’t? There isn’t a diamond ring or act of service big enough to soothe the wrath of resentment and anger boiling under the surface of my loving wifey heart.
You’d think husbands and lovers everywhere (and their bank accounts) would be rejoicing if their wife or partner’s love language was sleep. Why wouldn’t they? It’s totally free, easy, and literally requires nothing of the giver. No need to bust your ass on acts of service, throw away money on gems, or have to plan elaborate date nights — ensuring everything is just right. Nope. All I need is for you to just whisper in my ear, “I’m taking the kids to your mom’s for the weekend, and I haven’t planned anything other than tucking you into clean sheets in a darkened room, turning the AC down to 65, and activating the ‘do not disturb’ setting on every damn device we have.” I think I just died and went to dream date heaven.
I can’t for the life of me think of anything else that turns me on more than being left alone to succumb to 12 straight hours of REM slumber. Because when I’m overtired, and my body and mind feel like they’ve been carved away little by little by family obligations that mercilessly whittle me down to the core on a daily basis, the mere thought of having to give of myself for one more minute while running on fumes sends me into a certain mental state that nobody wants to witness.
Feeling loved and recharged by doing more or receiving more of anything is the last thing I feel. Rather, please let me rest and recharge alone because it’s the only time my mind and body are truly shut off, and being shut off to me is when I can love myself. And guess what happens when you fill up your own love bucket? You can happily and graciously fill up others.
I even think it would be a good idea if at some point during childbirth class, the instructor brings all husbands to the side and teaches this invaluable lesson. Tell them something like, “When you care enough to send the very best, just don’t. Just go ahead and send that mom to bed.” Alone. In her flannel nightgown. Because after kids, you are no longer her knight in shining armor — you are officially the sandman. And your main objective in life (and marriage) is to now facilitate as much damn shuteye for your wife as you possibly can.
Do you hear me dads? Just leave her alone. Put away your credit cards, love notes, and wandering hands and give her the gift of some hefty hibernation whenever you get the chance. Let her sack out peacefully, and I promise you, she will repay you mightily.
This post first appeared on Scary Mommy