He plopped down on the counselors sofa and said, “I don’t know what to do to fix this, Doc,”
‘What’s going on?’
“As you know I’m a trucker and I’m gone for weeks at a time. When I’m home things are great between us, I really feel like her number one priority. But when I’m gone, actually the longer I’m gone, the less I feel like a priority in her life. I call or text and get increasingly short responses, or none. Communication from her side drops to a trickle.”
‘It sounds like talking is important to you?’
“It sure is. We did this Love Language assessment a while back and Words of Affirmation are far and away my preferred language.”
‘So what is hers?’
“Acts of Service, hands down. She would rather me do the dishes for her than sit on the couch and talk.”
‘What’s that tell you?’
The light was beginning to dawn on him. Being alone on the truck is hard, yes, but it’s bearable when he can talk to her and pour out silly things about the day, and just hear her voice.
But for her it is different. Her love tank dries up every time he goes out because he’s not doing all those little things that speak love to her. Add to that she has to put out all the little fires of daily life by herself. The maintenence of the house. The preparing for events.
She has to give without getting back what she needs. As her tank dries up, she has less to give to him. And less desire to also. And as communication dries up he has less to give and resentment sets in.
After mulling this over for a bit he said, “so what’s the answer, Doc?”
‘Well, it seems you’ve crossed the first hurdle: acknowledging there’s a problem. The next step is to come up with a plan to meet her needs while you’re out on the road and stop just relying on home time to fill up her tank enough to get her through.’
“Doc, this is going to take a lot of work!”
‘Love always does, son. Always will.’