Though your wife can never hear the words "I love you" enough, try these little ways to tell her without having to say a word.
1. Help with the housework
If men knew how well this simple act garners the adoration of their wives, they'd be lining up to wash dishes and pushing people out of the way to get to the vacuum! Think of it as foreplay if you must, but it works best if there's no hidden agenda — that's when it communicates pure love.
She's been with the kids all day long … and while she adores them, she could use a break — or even just a an extra pair of hands — when you come home. Give your kids a bath, read them a story and encourage her to put her feet up. She might wonder what else is up, but at the end of the day she'll sense you notice the hard work she puts in all day long, and acknowledge her dutiful mothering; she'll feel loved. Bonus: It's not just the break that will win her affection. There is nothing that quite moves a woman's heart like seeing her husband be a caring, involved father. It multiplies her esteem for you exponentially.
3. Light up when she walks into the room
She can see it in your eyes, your smile, your welcoming gesture. Whether she's dropping off the wallet you left home at your office, or stepping into the family room after putting the last kid to bed, as soon as she steps into your space, press pause. Let genuine delight shine in your face as if she's making a grand, red-carpet entrance and you're seeing the love of your life for the very first time. She'll lose her feelings of frumpiness and bad hair because you're seeing through all of that to the real her. She just might swoon!
4. Listen to her
Men want to fix things. It's one of the things women appreciate about them — all that tinkering under the hood of the car, massaging the squeaky window until it glides, finding the leak under the sink … so helpful! But when she's down — or maybe even just processing a big decision and needs to hear her thoughts out loud — she's not asking for a fix. Your silence — and paying full attention to whatever she's expressing — will communicate more love than your quick-fix solution ever could.
This includes your laptop, your tablet and the remote. Chances are you fell in love gazing into each other's eyes one starry night. So don't forget the power of eye contact now that she's yours forever. Put down the distractions and show her the love and respect of your undivided attention. A little goes a long way — especially if her love language is quality time. Give her a lot and you may have just won the lottery.
6. Let her choose
Whether it's which movie you'll see, which restaurant for dinner, or the plans for the weekend, letting your wife choose shows her four important things: You're interested in her, you respect her ideas, you're willing to let go of the reins, and you want her to have a good time too. This speaks volumes.
7. Leave her a note
This one technically involves words; but finding a note from my husband still gives me a rush of joy — even if all it says is "XOXO." I save every single one, and they're wonderful because I can reread them whenever I need a little reassurance. My husband is a master at this.
8. Be affectionate throughout the day
Massage her shoulders while she's sitting at the computer, touch the small of her back when you move past her down a hallway, run your fingers through her hair while she's talking about her day; all those little touches add up to one big, long love sonnet for your wife.
9. Hold her and wipe away her tears
Women are emotional. It probably drives you crazy sometimes. But when your wife is truly sad, she'll feel completely abandoned if you ignore her emotional outpouring. What she needs instead is a partner who will hold her, absorb all the tears into his shoulder, and wipe the last one off her cheek with his fingertip. All better now.
You might have heard otherwise, but women need this too. The truth is there is so much bonding and healing — not to mention fun — wrapped up in this powerful act of intimacy and togetherness. You're loving and accepting all of her when she's most vulnerable. This is so good for your relationship — it brings you closer, makes you feel adventurous, sometimes gets you laughing, and ends up with both of you feeling more loved.
However, I have one more thing to add: Before we were married our physician counseled us that even if he told me he loved me a thousand times a day, it wouldn't be too much. I've lived and learned the truth of that the longer we've been married. Women need to feel cherished. So DO tell her you love her, multiple times a day. And occasionally use words.
Jana Winters Parkin is an artist, writer, and adjunct faculty at UVU. She co-hosts a popular podcast for women: "The Living Room" (bit.ly/TLRSHowiTunes) and spends every day possible exploring mountain trails. Contact her at