Loving your spouse should be easy, right? Afterall, you chose to marry him/her. There seems to be a cultural myth that loving your spouse should be easy if they are “the right person”. People leave relationship after relationship hoping that the next set of arms they fall into will be “the one” and therefore will be easy to love. News flash: “the one”, who is perfect and easy to love doesn’t exist. Instead of wishing for a spouse who is easier to love, perhaps we should question HOW to best love our spouse.
It’s no secret that people experience love in different ways. One person feels extremely cared for by spending time with their loved ones, whereas another person feels the same amount of care through an encouraging note. How could this be?
Marriage counselor and pastor, Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of The 5 Love Languages, which addresses the five core ways that people experience love. These include:
- Acts of Service – actions and assistance with everyday life tasks
- Gifts – thoughtful gifts and gestures
- Physical Touch – holding hands, hugging, kissing, back massages, etc.
- Quality Time – undivided and uninterrupted attention
- Words of Affirmation – encouragements, compliments, and praise
Go to www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ to take The 5 Love Languages Quiz. Encourage your spouse to take the quiz as well, and then discuss your results together. Open a running dialogue about how you can better love each other according to your love languages. Brainstorm some specific ways to fulfill your spouse’s top three love languages. It’s natural to want to give love to your spouse in the way that you wish to receive it, but I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and love in the way that he/she wants to be loved.
“If we learn to meet each other’s deep emotional need to feel loved, and choose to do it, the love we share will be exciting beyond anything we’ve ever felt.” —Gary Chapman