The One Resource That Turned My Marriage Around

When I first got married I thought I was wife of the year…you know why?

Because my house was clean, sparkly clean and organized. I vacuumed regularly, the dishes were clean, the closets neat and tidy and the laundry done.

I was pretty awesome. But the crazy thing was that my husband didn’t seem to appreciate these things. He never seemed to notice that everything was in place and sparkly. He even dared to mess up the order by leaving his clothes piled high on a chair. (I will blog later about this battle of the pile of clothes. It took counseling to solve the issue.)

I felt so hurt and disrespected and wondered why he would want to be so mean to me. I seriously thought he was laughing an evil laugh every time I cleaned up that pile and he started a new one.

One day after a serious shouting match, threats of divorce and many tears (yes, over a pile a clothes), I realized that he didn’t even think about the pile of clothes. It wasn’t his master plan to drive me crazy – it was just what he did with his clothes when he took them off.

The sparkly house was nice, but didn’t really speak love to him. Now, don’t get me wrong, he didn’t want to end up on an episode of Hoarders – but it wasn’t his top priority. That’s when I had to ask him: “What is your top priority?”

He said he would rather me sit down and talk to him or watch television than clean the house.

Say what?

It makes you feel loved when I sit with you?!?!

I was making this marriage thing way too hard on myself.

After some research and guidance we discovered this thing called love languages. Gary Chapman wrote an awesome book called The Five Love Languages. It was really life changing!

What we discovered was that my love language is “Acts of Service.”   …surprise! I was loving Tim in the way I wanted to be loved. Nothing makes me feel more loved than seeing my husband clean, put away laundry, emptying the dish washer, organize the garage, fixing broken things.  …Oh my goodness! He never looks hotter than when he is vacuuming!

But, guess what. Tim didn’t think it was hot when I cleaned the house! He needed “Words of Affirmation.” He needed me to listen to what happened to him at work and affirm him. He needed me to say, “You are such a great husband.”  “Thank you for working so hard for our family.”  “You did a great job.”  etc.

Basically, we were not even speaking to each other in the same language. My acts of service meant nothing…ouch! When we discovered our love languages we could really speak to each other and be heard.

What is your love language? What makes you feel loved and valued? I challenge you to evaluate how you are loving your spouse. Is he/she receiving it well or does it seem to fall on deaf ears or blind eyes?  Ask him/her today how he/she wants to be loved.

If you know it, post your love language below and let us know the difference it’s made in your marriage by knowing it…

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  1. Laura Habegger says:

    My husband loves it when we do the simplest things together. Grocery store, watching tv, etc. It really is the little things. The clothes and dishes can wait.

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