Wow! What a crazy two weeks it has been for me and my family. I apologize for the hiatus the past couple of weeks. My family has dealt with a crazy youth schedule, a mountain of snow days (these are not as productive as you would think) and a broken wrist by my 7 year old. But, I am back and ready for the long awaited next installment of my series on marriage.
This week’s tip deals with being complimentary. No, I am not talking about constantly walking around telling your spouse how nice they are or how good looking they are, or even what a great cook they are (those things do aid in successful marriages though). I am talking about being the compliment to the other personality. In order for marriages to work, you must become an expert in your spouse. I like to think of myself as an expert in Janology. For those of you who don’t get this, the suffix “ology” means the study of. So, I consider myself to be an expert in the study of Jan. Likewise, she has had to become an expert in me. A classic example of this is our personalities. Jan is a not an overly affectionate person. Now, don’t get me wrong, she loves me and does not have a problem with affection, she is just one of those people who do not show it very much- I call them emotionally detached. Me on the other hand, I lead with my emotions. I wear it right there on my sleeve and you never have to wonder how I feel about you. I am huggy and I tell people I love them all the time. I don’t just go throwing that around mind you, but if you are close or special to me, chances are you have heard me tell you on more than one occasion that I love you. Knowing that Jan and I are opposites when it comes to this type of thing, helps us to be a better couple.
I believe that one of the biggest mistakes that couples make, is they try to force their spouse to conform to the way they are. Imagine if Jan tried to make me sit through our marriage with limited human contact, the rare hug, and only the occasional I love you. It simply wouldn’t work. The reason it DOES work, however, is that she knows she has to meet me on my side of the fence so that I know I am loved and cared about. My personality lends itself to wanting to be cared for and wanting to care for others. Likewise, I have to meet her on her side of the fence when it comes to being with her and showing her I love her. I have to do more concrete things, such as volunteer to pick my youngest son up from daycare (a task she normally does) or tell her that I will put him to sleep so she can take a bath and read a book. Those are the ways that she knows she is loved and I am happy to provide them for her.
The bottom line is, each of you have a way in which you feel loved. Don’t force your partner to accept love the way you want to give it. Take the time to become an expert in how your spouse feels loved and give them that kind of love and attention. I must recommend a book that I believe all couples should read together. It is called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book will walk you through as a couple and show you how to discover what yours and your spouse’s love language is and how you can use that to make your marriage even better.
Coming Soon….#3 Marriage is Not a Game
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach