Like many married women, I am always looking for new ways to strengthen my marriage.
Last week, I came across a recommendation through a iPhone app that I use, Wikets, for The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. I had heard something about this book from a friend who used it in the passed, and thought 'Why not?" - so I bought it. Gotta love that Amazon Prime membership - free shipping on everything! Woot!
I'll be honest, I didn't read the entire thing. I read the first few pages of each chapter until I was able to gleam what each love language was and how to speak it. I figured mine out in five minutes, and realized just as quickly that my husband was not speaking my love language. I wasn't able to figure out which of the five were my husband's, so now I am waiting for him to read the book so that he can tell me. Then it's pow wow time!
The funny thing is, while I was browsing through the book, I saw a lot of suggestions and examples of how to express love - that I was already doing. Seriously, I was doing most of them! I suppose that even though I don't know what love language my husband speaks, this must be why he is already happy - I'm pretty much covering all of the bases.
By the way, we've been married for 11 years (in July), so the things I do? I've had a lot of time to practice them. I wanted to share some of the simplest things that my husband and I do for each other that makes the other happy, in hopes that you might be able to apply them to your own lives.
Relationships are hard work, and these are some really easy tips for making it just a little easier to let your special someone know how much you care about them!
1. Compliment Your Partner
Seriously, this isn't hard. It doesn't cost anything. But a few kind words can make such a big impact - you just have no idea.
I'd honestly rather receive a thoughtful compliment than a bouquet of flowers, and I think that many others would agree with me - male and female. Those compliments make us feel good about ourselves, stroke our ego, and it creates an association between feeling good and loved with our partner. How many people do you hear complain that their significant other doesn't appreciate them? It's a horrible feeling, and I've been there. It sucks. A few kind words can make a big difference in a relationship.
2. Be Helpful
When you are in a relationship, you are part of a team - and that should extend to all aspects of your lives together. When my husband comes into the bedroom and grabs the laundry basket to wash a load of laundry, I seriously just want to jump up and down with joy. Likewise, I try to be helpful to him as well. When he is washing his car or mowing the lawn, I will bring him out a cold drink or ask if there is something I can help with.
You can be helpful by listening as they talk about their day, accompanying them to work functions (even when you don't really want to go) and encouraging them when they have issues at work. When my grandmother passed away two years ago, my husband took a week off of work to be home with me and support me and my family. When his grandmother passed away last month, I went with him to visit his family for the funeral, and made dinner for his family one night.
There are a ton of ways to be helpful to your partner - have fun coming up with ideas!
3. Men, Be Chivalrous and Women, Be LET Men Be Chivalrous
There is one thing that my husband did when we were dating that he still does to this day: he opens doors for me. Every once in a while, he will open the car door for me too, but mostly he just opens doors for me. I find it a very sweet gesture.
I know some women are probably thinking, "I don't need a man to open the door for me!" and you're absolutely right - you don't NEED them to. But isn't it nice that they are being sweet and want to open the door for you? Appreciate the sentiment behind the gesture.
4. Say Thank You
Why is it that these two little words mean so much to us? I don't know why hearing those words are so important to me, but they are. And they are important to many people. The next time your partner does something for you, thank them. Whether it's bringing you a drink while you're watching TV, letting you go into the bathroom first, or giving you a compliment - thank them. No one likes to feel unappreciated, so don't let them!
5. Always Say I Love You
Every time my husband and I end a phone call, we end it with three words: I LOVE YOU. Before we go to sleep, we say three words: I LOVE YOU.
Never underestimate the power of telling someone how you feel!