Thursday, March 5, 2009

How do you show love to your spouse? Do they "get it"?

You often see folks on the internet discussing how the use or absence of love languages affects their marriage. Many individuals complain that their spouse is either clueless or they just do not care enough to make a priority of expressing love through their spouse's preferred love language. I realize it is not a science and it is not always black and white clear but it goes a long way for us to show love the way our spouse receives it, otherwise, it is as if they are not receiving love at all.

Why is more consideration for love languages not given in marriages? Do you feel that individuals have a tendency to show love the way they like to receive it rather than the way their spouse needs for it to be shown? Are individuals being selfish or lazy if they do not put in the time to learn how their spouse receives love?

Is it that terribly difficult for us to cater to our spouse's preferences for receiving love? Some may say, "It is not natural for me to give love the way my spouse wants it," but is that a cop out? So it may not be natural but is it doable? Do you think individuals would feel more loved if they could better interpret the way their spouse expresses love to them? When an individual feels loved do they naturally reciprocate that love back to their spouse or not?


bunnyhunch said...

My DH is the 'strong silent type' and I am very verbal. For most of our married life (24 years now) he has shown me he loves me by helping in many ways - but I longed to hear the words "I love you." I, on the other hand, have told him continually how much I love him - but he longed to have me show him. Unfortunately, I have always struggled with keeping a calm, uncluttered home (though I've tried!) - the thing that would show him how much I love him.

We have an excellent marriage, and have learned to work harder at making each other feel loved. These days, he says "I love you" more often, while still showing his love for me through his actions. I try harder at home, easier now for many reasons, and still tell him how much I love him.

We both find it easier to show love and feel loved ourselves when we make sure we are in each other's arms as often as possible, enjoying the physical benefits of marriage. The rest is easy then.

Since actions speak louder than words, I think we've struck a pretty good balance.

O.M.G. said...

i love love languages. talk about genius! once you learn how it works and try why would married couples NOT want to do this? anything else is selfish and a cop-out for sure. if you truely love someone, why wouldn't you want to employ any means to make sure they KNOW it?

Anonymous said...

I wanted to answer the question: Do you think individuals would feel more loved if they could better interpret the way their spouse expresses love to them?

Personal experience: We were making-out on the couch and I told my hubby "Tell me you love me.". He was kissing and caressing me..."I'm am telling you, 'I love you', right now."

My recieving love language is obviously verbal affirmation. He knows that, I know that. His giving and recieving language is touch. So, while I know both sides...I do not demand he demonstrate his love to me in MY was extremely fulfilling for him to remind me that we can both have our love cups filled by what we were doing. I CAN recieve it the way he gives it because I know what it means. He's not just kissing and caressing me, he is LOVING me. I just needed that reminder in the middle of my need. It wasn't selfish of him at that moment to not show me love in MY love language...rather, it was a moment about US. Sometimes I have to remind myself that when I'm so caught up and busy loving on HIM, he is actually caught up and busy loving on ME at the same time. Sometimes I need to just sit back and soak up the love he is bestowing on me...that's hard sometimes because I'm such a 'doer' type gal. But if I don't relax and recieve it, then it robs him of his joy. It's very important to us to keep our love cups full so that we don't get to the point of desperate need and lose sight of the other person and their need. Gosh, it can get so complicated!

RaT Babies said...

Love languages...Hmmmm.

It is more natural for people to express their love for someone in their own love language, rather than in their spouses language simply becaause often people don't know what their spouses love language is.

We're fortunate enough to know each others primary & secondary love language, however I still make mistakes!

Of course it is doable. If you truly desire the absolute best for your spouse, then learning that a gift on a pillow, a note in a lunchbox, a passionate kiss,an uninterrupted time together,or an unepected "I love you" phone call is not too hard a thing to learn.

How to learn what your & your spouses love language is is the trick.

Brilliant post, loved it & thanks for making me realise again that I indeed the most fortunate of men!

Gemma said...

Anon said:
"I do not demand he demonstrate his love to me in MY way..."

You're right. Our love language should never be demanded. But our spouse will more easily feel the love when when we speak their language.

It's just like when you told your dh, "Tell me you love me." He was showing you and you knew he was showing you but still, you needed to hear it in your language.

When we feel the love in our own language it requires less brain power to translate from their language to our own. That means we have more time to devote to other things ;-).

Mark 9:24 said...

One of my DW's Love Language's is Words of Affirmation. Since I have been doing this our sex life has gotten a lot better. She really likes the encouragement, and it works real well when she gives me OS. :)

Mark 9:24

Gemma said...

Well, Mark, now we know that you talk during sex, lol.

bunnyhunch said...

It is probably more common for one spouse to show love to the other using his/her own love language; we are most likely to do what we are comfortable with. But it IS a cop-out to use not knowing a spouse's love language as an excuse. If we are truly putting ourselves our beloved's needs ahead of our own, then we are paying attention to what makes him/her tick.

Wouldn't all marriages be better for it? I find myself feeling increasingly grateful that I am in a marriage that is wholly satisfying, while at the same time I feel sad for those around me whose marriages - Christian ones included - are lacking the joy that is absolutely possible.

It would seem that many marriages could be made whole again simply (or not so simply) by one spouse paying attention to what the other spouse needs emotionally, physically, etc.

Isn't it in the unselfish giving of love that we receive the most in return?

Mark 9:24 said...

Gemma said: Well, Mark, now we know that you talk during sex, lol.

You bet I do!

I'm trying to get her to talk a bit more during PIV sex but she's always a bit incoherent at the time. GRIN

Mark 9:24

midwestman said...

Gemma: "Is it that terribly difficult for us to cater to our spouse's preferences for receiving love? "

Yes because it doesn't come naturally to us. I think we all show love but mainly in our own love language, and assume that translates to the partner. Reading this and the responses, I am sitting here trying to think of what my DWs love languages are and can only think of one - acts of kindness. Time to revisit the book I think so we both get a refresher course. I realize that my "love tank" isn't very full in my primary - physical touch (NOT sex as is commonly thought this to mean) - so, I wonder how full my DWs tank is these days? We're going on a cruise, leaving this Friday. Maybe this is a good time to brush up on our love languages!


Gemma said...

mwm, I think you're on to something. You have 5 days to brush up on LL's before you leave for your cruise. Who knows what changes will result from your efforts!

luvmygirls said...

I don't know my wife's love language and I don't even know my own. I need to read the book because I know it would make a difference. So what do I do?

Weeeeellll, I do it all. I tell her I love her all the time. I tell her how beautiful, brilliant, sexy, etc. that she is. I touch her all the time. And I brag on her to other people. I rub her feet, give her massages, hold her hand when we're out and when we're at home, grope her a bit. I give her gifts for no reason. I bring her flowers at school and at home. If I'm at the store and I see something I think she would like, I get it for her. I also do things around the house so she doesn't have to. I cook, clean, take care of our daughter, wash and iron clothes, make repairs, and drive whenever we're together so she can relax. And when we both have time off, we're together.

So what does she do for me? She enjoys me doing that for her and she tells me thanks. That's not all she does, obviously. I remember one time she saw "Love and Respect and another marriage book on my nightstand. She asked, "Why are you reading those?" I told her, "So I can be a better husband and father." She said, "You don't need any help with that. You ARE a great husband and father." That meant a lot to me.

Mr. Self Respect said...

How do I show love to my wife?

By doing chores for her, including ones that she detests (e.g., cleaning up after the pets.)

By helping her with her business.

By helping her with the children.

By trying to make her life as easy as possible.

By putting her needs ahead of my own. That is selfless love, rather than selfish love.

I no longer focus on my own needs; instead, I focus on hers. And she has told me what they are. So I give her what she needs - and disregard my own.