HomeLove IssuesI had no idea that simply saying "I love you" could make...

I had no idea that simply saying “I love you” could make such a difference in a woman’s life.

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Eight years ago, I thought she was beautiful and deserving of becoming the lady I’d spend the rest of my life with. We had been friends for so long that it became difficult for me to express my feelings for her. I didn’t want to upset the dynamics of our friendship, and I wasn’t sure what the texture of our connection would be if she said no to me. But one day, I mustered the confidence to go to her house and propose to her.

I lost my courage when I greeted her at her doorstep. “I came to visit you,” I muttered, since words had fled me.

“What did I do to deserve this visit?” she inquired. “Nothing,” I answered. I thought I’d pay you a visit.”

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But one day, out of nowhere, I uttered it. It was a straightforward suggestion. “I love you,” I said. “What do you mean?” she inquired. “I love you,” I said. “I’d want to have you as my girlfriend.” “Why do you want to modify what we already have?” she inquired. “Isn’t friendship sufficient for you?” “Friendship is fine for me, but I want more—a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little bit of everything,” I explained. “Something like a cocktail.”

We married two years later. We had our first kid through CS one year after we married. She was in a lot of agonies for a long time, but she eventually recovered. We had our second kid through CS two years later. She suffered for days again. “Let this be our last kid,” I implored her. “Just one more, and we’re done,” she added.

So, two and a half years later, we had our next child—a kid we almost lost. Not only that, but I almost lost her as well. They both lived miraculously, thanks to invisible hands pulling the strings of their lives together.

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Something about my wife had shifted. Her walking style shifted. She had a slur in her voice that she had never experienced before. Her tummy grew bigger than it used to be. I saw how much she had changed when I glanced at her.

We were looking over our wedding photos one day when she commented, “Wow, I was so gorgeous.” She, too, noticed the difference in herself and, regrettably, let herself go. She stopped wearing beautiful clothing and applying cosmetics. “I have kids to take care of, therefore I don’t have time for myself,” she frequently informed me.

She was on maternity leave when the corona occurred. When she was set to return to work, the firm she worked for sent her an email canceling her appointment. They stated that things were difficult. They stated that in order to stay solvent, they had to lay off certain staff. That night, she wept all night while I lay next to her, unsure of what to do or say to make her feel better.

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I slept off, awoke, and she was still awake, contemplating. I went to work the next day without saying anything. I returned home, was welcomed, and begged for dinner as if it were all I cared about.

I went to bed earlier one evening but couldn’t sleep. My gaze was drawn to our wedding photo on the bedroom wall. I remembered how wonderful she was when we were barely grownups, traveling through the sands of time and gazing behind us to see our tracks. I remembered our first kiss and how it made me feel.

She entered through the bedroom door. She lay next to me, yet there was a space between us as if we were strangers sharing a bed. “I adore you,” I whispered as I drew closer to her and embraced her from behind. For a split second, she was paralyzed. “What did you say?” she asked. “I love you,” I said again. “Why are you telling me this?” she questioned, turning to face me. “I love you, sure,” I repeated once more. “It’s been 10 years together—two years of dating and eight years of marriage,” she remarked.

“You said that the last time you proposed to me.” “I’m sorry for not telling you that all along, but I want you to know that I love you even more than the first time I said it,” I added.

“Thank you,” she whispered as she turned away and put the handkerchief over her head. I wasn’t finished yet. I buried my head under the towel she was covering herself with, and the next thing I knew, we were both panting. I tumbled off her and promptly fell asleep.

Everything changed after that. She began dressing properly again. She’d put on a dress and come up to me and ask, “How do I look?” She smiled a lot and was always willing to sit next to me and talk, something we didn’t do very often. She took a bath and applied perfume before going to bed.

She even resumed cleaning her teeth before going to bed, something she had stopped doing for a long time. Something had shifted. It was as though a light bulb had gone out inside her. She stopped fretting about not finding work and instead boosted her efforts to get work.

I started seeing her in a different light, and since I didn’t want that light to go out, I told her frequently—always unexpectedly—that I loved her. “Where did you hear it, and who is guiding you?” she inquired. “Is it bad?” I inquired. “Whatever you seek with this new mentality, you’ll find it,” she remarked. “It’s already functioning, and I’m liking it,” I remarked.

I would have done it sooner if I had known what I needed to do to trigger such a dramatic transformation in my wife. I would have notified her when she was having trouble with the numerous CS. I would have told her when she miraculously survived the delivery of our third kid. Most importantly, if I had known then what I know now, I would have just hugged her, looked her in the eyes, and said, “I love you, and I’m here for you.” We’ll go through this together; just keep calm.”

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