The words marriage and relationship, partner and spouse are used interchangeably in this article.
– Has your marriage grown cold?
– Do you wonder if your partner has fallen out of love with you?
– Has your relationship worn off?
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What Is The Importance Of Communciation?
It is important to continue nurturing our relationship.
The thrill of falling in love doesn’t last forever. The butterflies fade away (or come less often), and daily life with your partner becomes ordinary. In some relationships or marriages, a person might begin to feel like their connection to each other is falling apart.
Even if the situation feels hopeless, love most likely still lives in the hearts of you and your spouse. We need to work on our connections and not assume or take them for granted. Love must be cultivated and communicated intentionally and effectively to be recognized, especially as a relationship matures. It does not sound easy; however, you can find solutions to ensure you connected with your partner. More often than not, the lack of communication in a relationship breaks connections.
Communication is not always verbal. It includes non-verbal communication like your gestures, your body language, your tone and your facial expressions.
Partner (verbally) – “I like the gift.”
Partner (Body Language) – Not bothered, bored or facial expressions say – No, I don’t like it.
Our body language or non-verbal expressions are potent. Are we in sync with our verbal and non-verbal actions?
If your relationship is struggling in this department, you are not alone! Failed communication is one of the leading causes of divorce and breakups.
Are you willing to work on your communication? It may not be easy, but in the end, you will enjoy the fruits of your efforts, a connected and loving relationship.
Introducing The Idea Of A Love Language
A person feels loved when their partner recognizes and caters to their love language. Every person is different, and each one has their individual needs. Let us explore a few of these needs in terms of love language. If you desire a thriving relationship and close connection to your partner, consider learning more about the five love languages and utilizing them in your relationship.
What Are The Five Love Languages?
The idea of “The 5 Love Languages” originated in a book authored by Dr Gary Chapman. The five most commonly accepted love languages are:
– Words of Affirmation
– Acts of Service
– Quality Time
– Physical Touch
Understanding how to cater to your spouse or partner’s love language is an art that requires practice and dedication. Taking the first step is a worthwhile investment for your marriage or relationship.
The First Step To Building A Connected Relationship
The first step towards better connection and intimacy in your marriage is identifying your spouse’s love language. You can begin this process by communicating to your partner that you strive for a healthier relationship and need their help in exploring the love languages.
A marriage counsellor or a relationship counsellor can help you and your partner identify your love languages. You can also find resources available online to help you.
You and your partner may identify with any of the five love languages. It’s essential to take the time to determine each other’s love language correctly. Don’t assume as many times; it is easy to feel like you already know your spouse inside and out. However, take time to explore with a new lens. This time investment will help you understand your partner’s love language, which will help you build stronger bonds. Are you ready to explore the different love languages?
The Five Love Languages Explained
Words Of Affirmation
Those who identify with the love language “Words of affirmation” receive love best from tokens of verbal and non-verbal affection. These individuals feel most loved through deep conversation or compliments.
Many individuals feel the most loved when their spouse takes the time to give them a thoughtful gift. It’s the thought that counts. In most cases, presenting a spouse with a favourite beverage from a local coffee shop is sufficient. The present doesn’t need to be expensive to communicate love.
Are you crafty? You could consider making a present for your gift-loving spouse. No matter what gifts you choose, give them regularly. It is a worthwhile investment for your marriage.
Acts Of Service
An “act of service” is a gesture or task you complete to communicate love to your spouse. Acts of service do not need to be grandeur, but they need to be thoughtful and tailored to your spouse. Ask yourself the question, “What task can I complete that would make my spouse feel truly loved, recognized, or special?”.
Dr Gary Chapman, the author of The 5 Love Languages, describes quality time as “full, undivided attention” with the one you love. If your spouse receives love through quality time, you will want to make a special effort to devote time to him or her that is free of distractions (like your phone or television).
The final love language is “physical touch”. Physical touch includes any form of physical intimacy that allows your spouse to feel noticed and loved. If your spouse’s love language is physical touch, he or she may feel loved if you hold their hand or rub their back after a long workday.
How Can Identifying Love Languages Help A Relationship?
Once you have identified your spouse’s love language or languages, as there can be more than one language, you can move on to learning how to implement it in your day-to-day lives. Knowledge is useless unless you apply it. Knowing your spouse’s love language is beneficial, but the experience alone will not help you rekindle the love in your marriage. To see your relationship improve, you must use the knowledge you have learned.
Your efforts to communicate love should be genuine and effective. These ideas are a guideline to inspire authentic expression in your marriage.
Words Of Affirmation
Your words of affirmation do not need to be verbal. If you feel shy about expressing your feelings towards your spouse, but you still want to communicate using their love language, you can write a loving card, note, or social media post.
No matter what mode of delivery you choose, pick your words thoughtfully. A few examples of words of affirmation include:
– “I love you, and I’m so glad we are married!”
– “You are always so thoughtful. I was impressed when you did “XYZ” today! I’m proud to be your spouse!”
– “No matter what, I will always love you!”
– “Thank you for everything you do for me. I appreciate and love you more than you know.”
– “There is no one like you! You are so special to me!”
Change it up, and be creative! Be attentive to how your spouse reacts. If your spouse responds to something you said positively, make a mental note, and look for opportunities to tell your spouse similar things in the future.
As previously mentioned, gifts don’t have to be expensive or fancy. The gift you give your spouse needs to be thoughtful. Here are some easy ideas:
– Next time you stop to get gas, pick up your spouse’s favourite treat as a surprise.
– Are you running an errand? Take a pit-stop and visit your favourite barista. Your spouse will feel special that you went out of your way to pick up his or her chosen beverage.
– Are you taking a work break? Pop over to your spouse’s favourite online retailer.
– Is there something in your spouse’s online shopping cart or wish list that they wish to buy? Your spouse will feel loved knowing that you remembered.
– Do you craft? Make individually tailored art and a craft for your spouse
Acts Of Service
The acts of service appreciated by a spouse will differ significantly depending on the individual. If your spouse is a mother, she may understand unexpected help with a household duty. If your spouse is working overtime, he or she may appreciate it if you make an extra cup of coffee. For some spouses, an act of service could even be as simple as making a phone call for them or crossing something off their to-do list.
– Mow the lawn, weed the garden, or shovel the walkway.
– Do the dishes or make the bed.
– Clean out the car.
– Call and schedule an appointment for your spouse.
– Make your spouse a coffee, tea, or snack
– Prepare a relaxation space for your spouse
Quality time is something I always hear couples complaining about. In today’s fast-moving world, 24 hours are simply not enough. How many of us say, “I wish there were 48 hours in a day?” Yes, making quality time for our partners is tough. However, it’s a must to keep the wheels of our relationship rolling smoothly. A crack appears in relationships when there is not enough time spent together.
Quality time looks different to different people. Sometimes, life circumstances make a date night out on the town impossible. If this is the case, don’t fret! There are other options to incorporate quality time into your marriage, even if you have children!
Here are a few ideas:
– Play a game! Cribbage or two-player card games like UNO are viable options!
– Enjoy a relaxing evening of listening to your favourite music while you dance together in the living room or snack on your favourite homemade appetizers.
– Cosy up by a fire, either inside or outside.
– Dream! Make a bucket list together, or plan a dream vacation.
– Sit outside and admire the view.
– Take a drive to your favourite scenic place.
– What about watching a show together?
Many individuals who rely on quality time to feel loved aren’t satisfied by the usual Netflix and chill scenario. Suppose you usually spend time with your spouse in front of the television. In that case, you might want to consider other options where technology doesn’t have an opportunity to act as a distraction.
I Can’t Find Someone To Watch The Children. What Can I Do?
If you have children, and getting a babysitter is out of the question, you can still create space for quality time with your spouse. It might take a little creativity. One option for parents is to prioritize getting their children to bed on time so that you and your spouse can enjoy some quiet, quality time together before bed. Or, on the flip-side, capitalize on nap-time, and squeeze quality time in then.
As a parent, when my children were young, I also found that connection was excellent between my partner and myself when we spent quality time with our children. This time included – playing with them, preparing food for them, talking with them, and so much more. We, however, ensured we also spent time – just the two of us.
If you are struggling to identify opportunities for quality time with your partner, sit down and ask them what they would like to do! Joyfully engage in an activity even if it isn’t your personal favourite. Remember, you are doing this for yourself and your partner.
There are many creative ways to engage in physical contact with your spouse or partner affectionately. This type of interaction does not always need to be sexual. Some ideas include:
– Offer your spouse a back massage after a long day of work.
– Hold your spouse’s hand! Whether you are on a drive or grocery shopping together, this is an easy one to implement.
– Hug and kiss your partner when they leave and when they arrive.
– Place your hand on your spouse’s back as you walk together.
– Let your feet touch as your sitting at the dinner table.
– Put your arm around your partner in the presence of others.
Watch Your Relationship Transform!
Your marriage doesn’t need to suffer from a lack of genuine connection. Relationships are transformable when you efficiently and effectively communicate love with your partner. Understanding the five love languages, identifying your love languages, and catering to your spouse’s love language can significantly impact the health of your relationship with your partner.
Dr Gary Chapman refers to the five long languages as “The Secret to Love that Lasts!” and many couples who embrace the framework agreed. Individuals have different preferences regarding the communication of love and healthy relationships or marriages. When our basic needs of safety, security and love are met, we are happy. We are sad when we don’t feel loved by our partner!
Adapting the love languages into your marriage may take time and practice. But don’t give up! Whether your spouse’s love language is words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, acts of service, or physical touch, you can learn to express love to them effectively!
Resources, such as Dr Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages”, or the lists provided in this article, can act as an inspiration to get you started. If you are still stuck, a licensed relationship counsellor may be able to help you.
The five love languages might be just the thing you need to breathe life into your relationship with your spouse. If you are striving for a healthier marriage or relationship or your partner feels unrecognized or undervalued, understanding and implementing love languages might help you.
Do not lose hope! You can achieve greater connection and emotional intimacy with your spouse. Together, you can work to create a strong, thriving marriage or relationship. Take the first step towards a healthier relationship and talk to your spouse about the five love languages today.