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Marriage Help Articles

Put the Love Back in Your Marriage

“I thought you loved roses!” John fumes as Emma stuffs the freshly cut flowers in a vase and continues to water the deck filled with blooming azaleas. Acts of love expressed by one spouse may be totally misread or unappreciated by the other spouse.

Love is something every marriage should have.

Love is generally something everyone wants to give to his or her spouse. That”s how you started out. Back then, loving efforts and actions on your part were met with smiles, hugs, and kisses from your spouse. It seemed so easy to please each other. What happened? What changed?

Love in action seems to work best for us on our own terms.

And, that is the problem. When you express love in ways meaningful to you, but not necessarily meaningful to your spouse, your well-intended actions can be irritating and annoying to your partner. “If she’s going to all the trouble to do something nice for me, why can’t she get it right!” may be the exasperated response of a hungry husband looking forward to pizza, not salad, during Monday night halftime.

What actions specifically delight and please your spouse? Do you know?

  • Observe: Couples need to spend time, effort, and energy staying current or finding out for the first time what their spouse loves, enjoys and appreciates. Your spouse’s opinions and preferences may change over time. “You love country music?” discovers the husband after asking his wife what songs she’d like in celebration of their 5th wedding anniversary.
  • Ask: If you don’t know what pleases your spouse, ask. Then LISTEN to your spouse’s response. Make it matter to you what your spouse likes or doesn’t like. If your husband of 15 years doesn’t want to go by “Tommy” anymore, then gladly start calling him “Tom” and encourage everyone else to do the same.
  • Affirm: Love grows with positive reinforcement. Are you critical of your spouse’s ideas, longings, or dreams? Or, do you acknowledge their importance. You will take action to fulfill those desires when you remember how important they are.

A New Beginning Workshop helps you be open and honest with each other. Attend a weekend and find out much, much more.