Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The 5 Love Languages - Ideas for Couples

Click HERE to read my original post about The 5 Love Languages.


Need some ideas on how to speak your spouse's love language?  Here are some from Dr. Chapman's book:

- Some couples are together a lot more than others.  If that's the case for you, don't try to make all your time together "quality time."  Designate specific times and places for planned togetherness.
- Ask your spouse for a list of five activities that he would enjoy doing with you - don't assume you know.  Make plans to do one of them each month for the next five months.  If money is an issue, space the freebies between the "we can't afford this" events.
- One way to share quality time at a distance is to include your spouse in your day as it is happening.  Send a photo of something you saw on your walk to the office or relay a funny incident that happened in a meeting.  One woman said, "My husband sent a photo of him, my daughter, and the dog sitting on the front porch.  I was at work and it made me feel like I was hanging out with them.
- Think of an activity your spouse enjoys, but which brings little pleasure to you: SEC football, crafting, nature photography. Tell your spouse that you are trying to broaden your horizons and would like to join them in this activity sometime this month.  Set a date and give it your best effort.
- Plan a weekend getaway just for the two of you sometime within the next six months.  Be sure it is a weekend when you won't have to be in touch with the office or have a family commitment.  Focus on relaxing together doing what one or both of you enjoy.
- Make time every day to share with each other some of the events of the day.  When you spend more time watching the news that you do listening to each other, you end up more concerned about the Middle East than about your spouse.  Or: When you spend more time on Facebook than you do listening to each other, you end up more concerned about your hundred "friends" than about your spouse.
- You have chores to do anyway, so talk as you dust, declutter, and do laundry.  It will make the work go much faster.
- Read the travel section in the Sunday paper together and dream out loud about places you'd like to go.  Whether you actually go to these places or not, it's fun to imagine together.

- To remind yourself of your spouse's love language, put a note on your mirror that says, "Words are important!"
- For one week, keep a written record of all the words of affirmation you give your spouse each day.  You might be surprised how well (or how poorly) you are speaking words of affirmation.
- Set a goal to give your spouse a different compliment each day for one month.  If "an apple a day keep the doctor away," maybe a compliment a day will keep the counselor away.
- Learn to say "I love you" or other expressions of affirmations in a couple of different languages.
- Compliment your spouse in the presence of his parents or friends.  You will get double credit: Your spouse will feel loved and the parents will feel lucky to have such a great in-law.
- Look for your spouse's strengths and tell her how much you appreciate those strengths.  Be specific: "I like how you reach out to people at church who don't seem to have anyone to talk to." Or: "You're really keeping up with the job search.  I know it'll pay off."
- Occasionally email or text a note of affirmation during the day or when one of you is traveling.  Or if you know your spouse is having a hard day, send a link to a funny website.
- Thank your mate for something they do routinely and wouldn't expect to be complimented for.

- Consider serving someone (or something) your spouse loves: an older relative, caring attentively for a pet, a favorite cause.
- Print note cards with the following:
"Today I will show my love for you by..." Complete the sentence with a task you know your spouse would love to do: picking up the clutter, taking old clothes to a thrift store, fixing something that's been broken a long time, weeding the garden. (Bonus points if it's a chore that's been put off.)
- Ask your spouse to make a list of ten things he or she would like for you to do during the next month.  Then ask your spouse to prioritize those numbering them 1-10, with 1 being the most important and 10 being the least important.  Use this list to plan your strategy for a month of love. (Get ready to live with a happy spouse.)
- While your spouse is away, get the children to help you with some act of service for him.  When he walks in the door, join the children in shouting, "Surprise! We love you!" Then share your act of service.
- If your requests to your mate come across as nags or putdowns, try writing them in words that would be less offensive to them.  Share this revised wording with your spouse.  For example, "The yard always looks so nice, and I really appreciate your work.  I'd love to thank you in advance for mowing the lawn this week before Paul and Amy come over for dinner." Your husband might even respond, "Where's the lawnmower, I can't wait!" Try it and see.
- If you have more money than time, hire someone to do the acts of service that neither of you wants to do, such as the yard work or once-a-month deep cleaning of your home.
- Run interference for your spouse during his or her favorite TV show or important sports event.  Take care of all the phone calls, kid emergencies, and so on.

- As you walk from the car to go shopping, reach out and hold your spouse's hand.
- When you shop for your spouse, look for things that will appeal to their tactile nature - a cashmere sweater, a plush throw pillow, soft slippers.
- Walk up to your souse and say, "Have I told you lately that I love you?" Take her in your arms and hug her while you rub her back and continue.  "You're the best!" Untangle yourself and move on to the next thing.
- When you sit together in church, reach over and hold your spouse's hand.
- Initiate sex by giving your spouse a food massage.  Continue to other parts of the body as long as it brings pleasure to your spouse.
- When family or friends are visiting, touch your spouse in their presence.  A hug, running your hand along his or her arm, putting your arm around him as you stand talking, or simply placing your hand on her shoulder can earn double emotional points. It says, "Even with all these people in our house, I still see you."
- Couples separated by circumstances such as deployment use a variety of strategies to "touch" when they cannot be physically together, says author and former military wife Jocelyn Green.  For example, a handwritten letter feels more tangible than an email.  Some wives will wear an old shirt of their husband's around the house - one wife said, "I feel like he's hugging me when I wear his shirt." Sending a photo of yourself gives your spouse something of you to touch.

- You've heard of the 12 days of Christmas.  How about the 12 days of gifts for your spouse's birthday or wedding anniversary?
- Let nature be your guide: The next time you take a walk through the neighborhood, keep your eyes open for a gift for your spouse.  It may be a stone, a stick, or a feather. You may even attach a special meaning to your natural gift.  For example, a smooth stone may symbolize your marriage with many of the rough places now polished.  A feather may symbolize how your spouse is the "wind beneath your wings."
- Discover the value of "handmade originals." Make a gift for your spouse.  This may require you to enroll in an art or crafts class: ceramics, scrapbooking, painting, wood carving.  Your main purpose for enrolling is to make your spouse a gift.  A handmade gift often becomes a family heirloom.
- When money is tight, think of appropriate symbolic gifts.  Look at pictures of beautiful house and daydream about what kind of house you would have if money were no object.  Instead of plane tickets, go on a "flight of fancy" to Dubai or Sydney.
- Keep a "Gift Idea Notebook."  Every time you hear your spouse say: "I really like that," or "Oh, I would really like to have one of those!" write it down in your notebook.  (How many of us have the experience of asking someone what they want for their birthday or Christmas and getting the response, "Oh, I don't know....")  Listen carefully and you will get quite a list.  This will serve as a guide when you get ready to select a gift.  To prime the pump, you may look through a favorite online shopping site together.
- Enlist a "personal shopper." If you really don't have a clue as to how to select a gift for your spouse, ask a friend or family member who knows your wife or husband well to help you.  Most people enjoy making a friend happy by getting them a gift, especially if it is with your money.
- Offer the gift of presence during an especially hard time in your spouse's life - perhaps if he's caring for an elderly parent or she's dealing with a job crisis.
- Give your spouse a book and agree to read it yourself.  Then offer to discuss together a chapter a week.  Don't choose a book that you want him or her to read.  Choose a book on a topic in which you know your spouse has an interest: football, gourmet cuisine, investing, childrearing, religion, history.
- Give a lasting tribute.  Give a gift to your spouse's favorite charity in honor of her birthday, your anniversary, or another occasion.  Ask the charity to send a card informing your spouse of what you have done.  The church or charity will be excited and so will your spouse.
Click HERE to read my post about The 5 Love Languages of Children

No comments: