Communication is vital in romantic relationships. Problems arise in the areas of, addressing differences of opinion, helping the other person feel loved and in feeling loved/communicating needs. It is so sad and feels so empty to be in a relationship where all you do is fight and you don’t feel loved. But even in a relationship like that it is possible to come out on the other side into oneness and satisfaction.
Differences of opinion are bound to occur in every marriage. When talking about an issue with your spouse it is important to remain on topic. Never bring up past mistakes, raise your voice or call your partner names!!! You both want the same thing: to resolve the problem and to have joy in your home. If it is a small/inconsequential matter, whoever cares less about the issue should be willing to graciously give in. For more important concerns it is often possible to come up with a solution which both people can feel good about. It is often a good idea to take some time to pray about the big things and it’s okay to take the time needed to reach an agreement.
Focus on the positive in your spouse. The book, “The Love Dare”, by Stephen Kendrick, contains 40 dares intended to save a broken marriage. The very first one is to say nothing negative to your spouse for the whole day. This is the hardest challenge. Try it and see how you do! Continue this practice of focusing on the positive and it will do much to improve the climate in your relationship.
The Five Love Languages
There are many times in a marriage when one or both of the married partners do not feel loved, when, in actual fact, their partners do love them! This is due to the facts that many people do not know how to communicate love and people do not always feel loved by the same things. There are said to be five love languages; five types of things by which people feel loved. The five love languages are gifts, quality time, touch, words of affirmation and acts of service.
Gifts – chocolate, hand-made items, flowers, food, clothing, electronics – anything that you give to your partner (that they like!)
Quality Time – time spent together where it’s just the two of you and you can actually talk.
Touch (this doesn’t mean sex, it just means touch in general) – hugs, holding hands, pats, massages, etc.
Words of Affirmation – giving your spouse specific compliments. Words of affirmation can also be given thorough notes/email :)
Acts of Service – this is the work part of love – sweeping, cooking, mowing, washing, lifting, vacuuming, etc.
Most people feel somewhat loved by all five of these love languages. However, there are usually a top two love languages for each person. It is important to try to figure out which love languages your spouse responds to so that you can make him/her feel loved. It feels awesome to feel loved. Sometimes you need to work to bring that feeling back into the marriage, but it’s so worth it!