Category Archives: Love Languages

Three Questions That Can Change Your Marriage

3 Questions to change your marriage

Think Back to Your First Years of Marriage

Remember when you first met your spouse, and hours passed that seemed like seconds, and you got butterflies just thinking about him or her?

Unfortunately, I have many clients sit down in my office who come in, where they just don’t have those “feelings” anymore, and their marriage has turned into more of a companionship and roommate situation than a romantic, intimate marriage.  One spouse inevitably says “I’m not in love anymore,” and the other spouse is shocked.

Fighting Hard to Stay In Love

As I mentioned in my post, A Counselor’s Secret Confession, “Soulmates aren’t found, they are created through commitment, perseverance and hard work.” My husband and I have been married for over 25 years, and we’ve fought hard for our marriage to be where it is today.

It’s a tough battle that has been fought, and won, by many couples in our office.  Even if your spouse won’t agree to come with you to counseling at first, we can help you find ways to work on your side of the marriage.

Three Questions to Ask Yourself to Change Your Marriage Dialogue

  1. Do you know your spouse’s Love Language?  Marriage expert Gary Chapman qualifies five different ways people give and receive love.  By speaking your spouse’s language, you can more easily convey that you value them.
  2. Are you casting blame on your spouse?  Often times, when we feel like we may lose our marriage, we blame our spouse.  Stop and consider if you have internal-dialogue with yourself, blaming your spouse for your unhappiness all the time.  Recognizing it is the first step in making a shift.
  3. Do you nag your spouse, or are you able to give kind, constructive criticism?  Start by sitting down with your spouse and letting them know how you feel.  For example, “I feel ______ when this happens in front of our friends.”  By using “I statements” you are not accusing or nagging, just starting a conversation. Keep in mind that behind every complaint is a request. Drop the complaint and stick with the request.

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Take A Next Step to Change Your Marriage

Regain the connection in your marriage with help to move past resentment and find the way back to hope.  Love is a great place to start, but it certainly isn’t all you need. The Marriage Place Counseling Center brings together both people in a relationship to create something bigger and better…and far more powerful.  Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation or book an appointment today to help change your marriage.

 

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Valentine’s Day: We Got You Covered!

Valentine’s Day is four days away.  Are you ready?  Have you ordered flowers or chocolate?  Made dinner reservations?  Bought a card?  There can be a lot of pressure to make the day special.  Some years I have gone all out and some years have passed with barely a whisper of notice.  Life gets busy and I admit it, some years it has seemed more of a burden than a blessing.  If you are short of ideas for showing your valentine you have put an effort into expressing your love, check out www.debrands.com.  Order the truffles and you will thank me later.  I promise!  These chocolates are nothing short of amazing.  Go ahead…order your chocolate and put in a rush delivery if necessary. They are soooo worth it.  Then come back and lets talk about love languages.  Because they are important.  Really, really important…in a save  your marriage kind of way important.  But you have to order your chocolate first…so go!

Ok…so now that we have Valentine’s Day taken care of….how wonderful would it be if you and your spouse felt loved and appreciated every day?  Is that even possible?  It is if you know each other’s love language.

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Just like written languages, there are different types of love languages. The idea of love languages was pioneered by Dr. Gary Chapman.  Through his extensive research, he discovered there are 5 main love languages and everyone may resonate with most of them but we usually have one or two he considers primary…meaning we feel most connected or loved by someone when they speak to us in that language.  This is such a powerful resource, I usually request all of my clients to figure out which is their primary language and which is their partner’s.

Here are the 5 love languages:

1)     Quality Time – Watching the Super Bowl doesn’t count unless you are more interested in your spouse than who is playing.  This is not just time, but quality time.  This includes meaningful conversation and emotional connection.

2)     Acts of Service – Ever heard foreplay begins in the kitchen?  Or anywhere else you show your spouse you want to make their life easier…like washing the dishes, putting away the clothes, or taking out the trash.

3)     Physical Touch – Don’t get too excited!  This can be non-sexual touch as well.  In fact, for women, you can bet the non-sexual touch is way more impactful than sexual touch.  Trust me.  I know these things.

4)     Words of Affirmation –Positive words of encouragement and validation.  Who doesn’t like to hear how wonderful they are?

5)     Gifts – Presents that can be as large as a new car or as small as a cup of Starbucks. How much you spend isn’t as important as the time and effort you spend in choosing the right gift. Knowing your spouse is thinking of you and going out of their way to show you is nothing short of sexy.  Make sure the gift is for your spouse…not for you.  In case I have to spell it out….men, don’t buy your wife lingerie unless you know she wants it. Women, buying yourself sexy lingerie almost always counts as a thoughtful gift for your husband.

So why does it matter if you know your spouse’s love language?  We have a tendency to give love in the same we want to receive it.  Which is why men buy their wives sexy lingerie!  But oftentimes, our best intentions miss the mark and this can cause hurt feelings or worse, emotional disconnect.

My husband’s love language is acts of service.  Mine happens to be gifts.  For years, my husband would cook dinner for me and then clean up the kitchen without being asked.  He did this to show me he loved me, but I would often tell him he wasn’t romantic because he never sent me flowers or bought me cards. On the other hand, I would be out shopping and find things I thought he would love.  One day I came home with a couple of shirts and he didn’t seem very excited about having new clothes.  I didn’t understand this because I have impeccable taste in men’s clothes.  Really.  I do.  Just like chocolate!  My husband finally told me one day he preferred to do his own shopping.  I remember the comment hurt my feelings.  In fact, I kind of wanted to return everything I ever bought him so he would have to go to work in his underwear.  But thankfully, I was more mature than that.  I just returned the shirts and bought paper plates instead.  I hate doing the dishes! My husband and I were both showing our love for the other but not in the language we understood best. It can cause frustration and hurt feelings if you put yourself out there and your partner doesn’t recognize your bid for their attention.

Do you know what your love language is?  If not, take this simple test to find out and have your partner take it as well. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

Now you have a road map for showing your spouse how you feel about them in a language they understand.  Once you have this figured out, your spouse will feel loved and appreciated – every day of the year – not just on Valentine’s Day!

BTW…If you find out your spouse doesn’t appreciate gifts…send me your truffles!  I will surely love you forever!

If you want to know more about how to make your partner feel loved, call us at 972-441-4432.  At Engage With Love and Power of Two, we have more ideas that will keep your love strong.

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