You may have come into your marriage thinking, “If I didn’t have it altogether, he (or she) wouldn’t have married me!”
Is it possible that you have mistakenly accepted the idea that marriage is a 50/50 relationship, where you bring your experience and knowledge of what worked for you in the past and somehow that is good enough? You keep up your side and your spouse holds up their side… is that how it works?
Your education process is just starting. The honeymoon, when you can get away with anything you want, is over. Gear up and be a serious student of your spouse.
Here is another brief summary of Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages.”
Love Language #4: Acts of Service
Do things “you know your spouse would like you to do… Seek to please her by serving her, to express your love by doing things for her.”
Chapman explains how “what we do for each other before marriage is no indication of what we will do after marriage.” Due to the many societal changes in the last many years, couples need to look critically at their stereotypes of the roles of a husband and wife.
If the actions before marriage were more consistent with loving actions, then revisit those acts of service gradually reintroduce them into your daily lives.
Your spouse’s loudest criticisms of you are a reflection of their need to have their “deepest emotional need” met. Some times the requests become demands. Strive to be kind in your requests which “give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love.”
Another way I would put it, have you been demanding and critical of your spouse to get them to do something that is important to you?
Take a moment to assess yourself, ask yourself, “Do I have a need that I am afraid to admit that I must resort to being demanding of my spouse rather than admit a weakness?” Which way do you think is better to work together with someone you love?
Chapman goes at length describing one couple, where the wife is trying to the husband to paint a room. After a prolonged period of frustration and no results, she was able to transform her habit of criticizing and nagging to giving compliments and appreciation for what he was doing. It worked.
Read the book, it’s got many great case studies.
“Many acts of service involves household chores, but not all. What are some non-chore ways to serving your mate?”
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I’ll see you… on the next page when I cover “Physical Touch.”
P.S. Check out my daily detoxification blog at www.bestbuckbuck.com