Have you told your spouse how you really want them to love you? Or are you still leaving them guessing, believing that since they claim to love you, they should be able to figure it out on their own? Do you feel like this unknowing is leading to an unfulfilled relationship? If this is your situation I hope these tips will help.
Sadly, there are a lot of miserable couples out there, couples with good intentions of being more loving but somehow still missing the mark when it comes to expressing their love to their spouses.
After working with quite a few couples I began to realize pretty quickly that one of the major problems they faced was communication. And to be specific, communicating to their spouses how they want to be loved.
I found out the average couple finds it difficult to communicate how they would like to be loved by their partner. They don’t know how they want to be loved. When they do try and express their desire to be loved to their spouses, they end up saying things like;
“I just want feel loved.” OR
“I just want to feel cared for.”
The problem is, for the average spouse listening to this request, it doesn’t help the situation! They still would not know what to do! These broad statements could mean so many things.
You have to narrow it down for your spouse. You have to be more specific.
You have to give them options.
You have to help them prioritize if you have lots of needs you would like them to meet :D.
I am a big fan of the 5 love languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, who classifies the 5 major ways people want to be loved as:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
- Quality time
Each partner ranks each of the 5 elements in the order (greatest to least) that best describes how they’d want their spouse to make them feel loved. This helps the couple to be more focused with their love deposits and focus more on the things that their spouse cherishes the most. It works wonders!
Ok so now that you’ve committed these to memory, please don’t tell your spouse;
- “Compliment me more!” (Words of affirmation)
- “Do stuff for me!” (Acts of service)
- “I want you to be more “romantic”!” (Physical touch)
- “I want you to spend time with me.” (Quality time)
- “I’d like for you to buy me stuff.” (Gifts)
You need to be more specific!
What your spouse really needs to hear is;
- “I’m really working hard to stay fit. I’d appreciate if you would tell me I’m losing weight and I’m looking good because of all the hard work I’m putting in at the gym. It will really encourage me to keep trying.” (Words of affirmation)
- “It would really mean a lot to me if you could help me pick up the baby from daycare after work, so I can have a few minutes to myself before everyone comes home!” (Acts of service)
- “It would really make me feel sexy and closer to you if you talk dirty to me while we are having sex.” …er yeah, I said it! (Physical touch)
- “I want you to watch an Oprah show with me and I want us to talk about it afterwards” (Quality time)
- “I want a new Tiffany diamond ring” …ok kidding! but you catch my drift. (Gifts)
The point is you need to tell your spouse what you need them to focus on doing for you, which you’ll appreciate because it’ll remind you that they love you.
Looking at quality time as an example. A lot of spouses who want to give their partners more quality time just don’t know how. And the answer to this problem truly lies with their partner’s ability to guide them on the specifics.
Do you want undivided attention? If your spouse misunderstands your plea for quality time, they might plan a group outing with friends to your favorite restaurant. The problem is in spite of their good intentions, you are not going to get the undivided attention your heart craves.
As you think through how to engage your spouse on these things that are most important to the future and health of your marriage, you need to help your partner prioritize. They are unlikely to be able to do all five for you right now, but if they nail the most important to you, and you see some sort of effort on the rest, then that’s ok. And if they are unable to nail the most important but improve dramatically on some of the rest, then that’s ok too.
A side note, specifically to women – most men are problem solvers. Notice that when you just want them to listen to you, the first thing they try and do is to offer a solution, instead of just listening and letting you know they hear you? Well, use this to your advantage. Because when you’re crying out for love, you don’t just want to be heard right? You want action! So guide them to the specific actions that will get you the desired results you crave!
In summary, the less guesswork our partners have to do in our marriages the better for everyone! So help your spouse discover how you really want to be loved.
Here’s to knowing how to communicate your need to be loved to your spouse, clearly and concisely!
ZeeZee is a certified Relationship and Marriage Coach who believes her purpose in life is to equip couples with the right tools for a successful relationship. Through her website and YouTube channel she shares practical tips and principles that help couples understand the inner workings of a healthy marriage.