Be aware, understand, compromise, and nurture your relationship when expressing love, and receiving desired love.
Here are some thoughts to consider and a conversation to have with your spouse when working to understand how you differ when it comes to expressions of love:
- How do you express love?
- How do you expect your spouse to respond to your expressions of love?
- How does your spouse respond or react to your love language?
- How does your spouse express love?
- How do you respond to your spouse’s expressions of love?
- How has love language met in the middle?
Expressions of love
You love your spouse. You enjoy showing your spouse they are a priority. You buy gifts for your spouse, go for long walks, and show public displays of affection regularly. You buy expensive diamonds and shop often at the jewelry store. You are intrigued by the color of gems; you find the round diamond shape symbolic representing a complete union in your relationship. You hold your spouse’s hand in public, you kiss your spouse several times a day, you initiate sex and tell your spouse how attractive they are. You think you are doing an amazing job at expressing how much you love, and are in-love with your spouse.
Yet your spouse says, “I don’t feel loved.” You are thinking your spouse is insane, you question what is wrong with your spouse? You feel devalued.
Your spouse enjoys acts of service, and spending days each week with your family of original and your in-laws. Your spouse is on the PTA committee, volunteers at the food bank, mentor’s students headed to college, is the team parent driver, and your spouse oversees snack day for the children. Your spouse visits each of your parents houses to check on them a few times a week. Your spouse cook’s dinner five days a week at home for the family. Your spouse is dissatisfied that you are not partaking in these commitments. You think your spouse is over extended, and not prioritizing your immediate family’s needs. Additionally, you think your spouse is avoiding time at home with numerous commitments. You question, “Is my spouse in-love with me?”
You sat down with your spouse and had a conversation. You took turns speaking, actively listened, complimented what each other was attempting to do to express love, put yourself in each other’s shoes, and summarized what you heard each other saying. This effective communication added value to your relationship.
You determined that you express love in the way you see love – through gifts, physical touch, and words of affirmation. Your spouse expresses and receives love through acts of service and quality time. You both express love the way your family of origin expressed love. You both decide to stop devaluing what your spouse does to express love. Then you compliment each other by compromising your love language expressions.
You will both nurture the relationship by continuing to do what comes natural. You will add expressions of love your spouse desires; in the service of your relationship and your spouse. Remember the common goal is mutual, combined, united, together, whole, sound and congruent work. You find congruence in your relationship by marrying your expressions of love through awareness, understanding, compromising, and nurturing.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Janelle Johnson