Each year, more than two million marriages take place in the United States. More than 50% of them will end in divorce. It’s a sobering statistic…that’s for sure. I see people “fall” in love all the time, but staying in love is quite another thing. Still, I strongly believe we can reverse this trend of divorce if we are willing to change the way we treat and prioritize our marriages. This means putting our marriages first, and making a commitment to understanding and speaking our spouses’ love languages.
Back to the Basics: What is a Love Language?
Each person has a different “love language”–a language their partners must learn to speak in order to help them feel truly loved and appreciated. There are five common love languages, and it’s likely that your spouse’s is different from your own. There’s nothing wrong with that.
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
- Receiving gifts
If you feel the most loved by your spouse when he or she does the dishes for you or surprises you by cooking dinner, then your love language is probably “acts of service.” On the other hand, your spouse may be more touched by words of affirmation; their heart melts every time you say “thank you,” or, “you look lovely today!”
Time to Start Listening
In order to have a successful, lasting marriage, we need to be more attuned to our partners’ love languages. This starts with listening; we do have two ears and one mouth, after all. Maybe we should listen twice as much as we talk. By simply listening to our spouses, we can learn a great deal about what’s most important to them while proving our selflessness at the same time.
Once you know how to reach your spouse’s heart, you’ve achieved a level of trust that’s vital to any marriage.
Time for some exercises in marriage selflessness.
What should you do if your spouse’s love language involves physical touch? Perhaps you don’t prioritize touch or don’t even enjoy sex, but your spouse does. Show your selflessness to him or her by meeting your partner’s needs anyway.
Maybe you don’t enjoy serving, but your partner needs acts of service to feel loved. Consider cooking a meal, sweeping the floors, or taking out the trash. It takes a few minutes of your time, but your spouse will appreciate you for it much longer than that.
You might be stressed out about paying the bills, but if your spouse’s love language involves receiving gifts, consider doing something small. Even making something heartfelt for your partner will provide a tangible symbol of your love.
Deciding to be a married couple is just that. A married “couple.” Setting the goal of meeting your spouse’s needs, whatever they may be, is what will help prevent what has become a divorce epidemic in our country. If we are really interested in a strong, lasting marriage beyond the glitz and glamor of the wedding day, then we must be there and meet our spouse’s language. It will remedy all our selfishness, and the language of love is truly unselfish. I promise.
What is your partner’s love language like? And what have you found to be useful in helping to speak that language in your marriage? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.