Wives show their love for their partner by nagging less while husbands'' idea of being affectionate is share kitchen duties or offer to have sex.
According to researchers, men use a greater range of behaviours to be affectionate than women do, proving that they are just as affectionate – albeit less traditionally romantic – than their spouses, a major newspaper reported.
The team, from the University of Texas, questioned 168 couples at four points in their marriage: two months after their wedding, on their first and second anniversaries, and again 13 years later.
To analyse the nature of their relationships the team interviewed each person about how close and attached they felt to their partners, as well as asking a series of questions about each other''s behaviour over the past 24 hours.
They found that wives "seem to show love by tending to the emotional climate of their marriages" while husbands'' love "appears to create an environment that draws spouses together in activity".
Women who were more in love with their husbands were less likely to nag their husbands, as well as offering them hugs and kisses.
"Contrary to the notion that women are more inclined than men to show love through affection, husbands were just as likely as wives to express their love by engaging in warm, intimate behaviours,” the researchers said.
"Moreover, contrary to the popular notion that wives'' ability to love outshines that of men, it appears that husbands may actually use a wider range of behaviours to show their love than wives.
"To shamelessly abuse the metaphor, we did not find men in a Martian cave nor women in a Venusian garden, but rather in separate neighbourhoods of the same town," they added.