How to Restore the Love in your Marriage
One thing I’ve found in ministering to women standing for their marriage is that we often misunderstand love.
I’ve heard from women who talk about “not feeling in love,” and women who say, “He just doesn’t love me anymore.”
How will we grow old together when we don’t feel loved?
Perhaps you married because you felt “in love” and assumed the feelings would last.
But what happened after a few months, or maybe a year, when things started to change?
He didn’t respond the same way any more, or you reverted to getting frustrated too easily.
He forgot to take the trash out and you felt frustrated. You stopped speaking nicely to him and he got upset easily.
Where’s the love?
Restore the Love in Your Marriage
What Language Do You Speak?
One of my very favorite resources for married couples is Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts”. This book really changed my approach to understanding love (and communication!) in my marriage.
Through an easy self-assessment, you find your own love language. I think I’ve taken the test at least three times now, and I score almost the same every time. I understand love through Quality Time, with Physical Touch being a very close second.
My husband, on the other hand, understands love through Word of Affirmation. He consistently scores significantly lower in all of the other four love languages.
We often “miss” in helping the other feel loved simply because we’re operating out of our own love language.
I go full speed ahead through my day, rattle off my to-do list, and remind everyone of their tasks.
Meanwhile, my husband is feeling more dejected with each word I utter.
I try to ask what’s wrong, encouraging him to share his feelings.
Fortunately, he’s kind enough that he doesn’t say, “You’re continuously putting me down.”
He putters around many evenings, getting a lot of things done.
I want him to just spend some time with me, but he’s too busy.
The truth is, he would drop everything and come hang out – if I asked him to.
The problem is, I feel frustrated because I feel like he doesn’t want to spend time with me.
Can you see how getting stuck in these ruts for long periods of time, coupled with any other issues in our marriage, could lead to a lack of feeling loved?
How to Understand Love
Once you and your spouse know your love languages, things get a little easier.
Not only does The 5 Love Languages help you figure out how you feel loved, it also provides tips on how to express love in each of the love languages!
This was huge for me, personally, because I operate out of a place of trying to make his life as easy as possible.
But it often comes across to him in a way that makes him feel like he messed up, or that I don’t value him.
Nothing could be farther from the truth!
It seems that just a small tweak in how I speak to my husband can make all the difference. I tend to say things like, “Oh, it’s Sunday – don’t forget to take out the trash.” Or, “You can drop the library books off on your way home since it’s on your way.”
I hear helpful, he hears hurtful.
When I say, “If it makes things simpler, you could probably drop the library books off on your way home,” he hears me being helpful.
It’s such a small tweak in how I speak, but it makes a world of difference for him.
The same is true for things around the house.
Rather than constantly making a list of things I need done, I’ve started thanking him for things he already does.
Affirmation goes a long way to helping him feel loved!
I had to share my frustration with my husband that he constantly does things around the house at night, rather than spend time with me.
His response was so simple, so heartfelt.
“If you wanted to spend time together, why didn’t you ask?”
Ladies, our men are not mind-readers!
As much as we’d like them to be, they just aren’t.
Once he understood that I needed time together, we were able to work out a schedule for us both to get everything done so that we could have some evenings to work on projects and some evenings to just spend time together.
Don’t Give Up!
Armed with the helpful tips in this book, my husband and I learned how to love – and understand love – better. Because we were committed to our marriage, we took these tips to heart.
When we got stuck in a rut, giving up seemed an easy option. My husband and I really loved each other, though, and wanted to make things work.
I’d encourage you to learn each other’s love languages and put them into practice. Be willing to understand how your spouse feels loved and tweak your words and actions to meet that need – you’ll be glad you did!
About the Author:
Rebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in her own marriage. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – encouraging wives who are praying for redemption in their marriage.
You can connect with her on: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Beautiful encouragement! Fighting for our marriages is worth it. Visiting from #RaRaLinkup today 🙂
The Five Love Languages is such a remarkable resource for us, both in our dating season as well as now in our newlyweds season. We were both saying “I Love You” in very different “languages” and missing each other along the way, which led to frustration and hurt. Once we studied each other’s love languages (and our own), we were better equipped to understand and extend love in ways we each receive best. We try to have monthly “Love Tank Check-ups” to see how we are doing with serving, loving, and respecting one another through our love languages
I’m so glad to see Rebekah at your site today, Alisa! This is such a practical, heartfelt post. Thanks for sharing your wisdom is such a personal, engaging way that we can all relate to. 🙂
I wholeheartedly agree with using the 5 love languages! It helped us understand each other much more and what we needed from one another. Great post!
Great thoughts shared here! I think that knowing your spouse’s love languages really can make all the difference!
Very true, Patty!
Hi Rebekah! This is an eye-opener. Harmonising our love languages is essential to making love flourish in our marriages. Thanks for sharing this and I pray more grace in your mission of getting Christian marriages back on track. (Sitting Among Friends)
And bless you, Alisa! Always a pleasure to visit your blog.
I think it does help to know what your spouse’s love language is, but it still takes tons of work to be able to consistently speak it since we just naturally speak the language that is what we like most. But then who ever said marriage is easy! ha! Thanks for the post!
So true, Karen! We naturally operate in our own love languages. It does take some work to love our spouses in theirs!
The Five Love Languages is one of the few resources that I recommend to people if asked. It’s helpful for all relationships, not just marriage. It certainly has kept my marriage strong throughout the craziness of being married and working college students, then parenthood while my husband continued his education while working full-time.
Great tips! Over the years I’ve learned that it really isn’t what you say as much as it is how you say it. Especially when we are talking to our husbands. The 5 Love Languages has been on my must-read list for years and I finally purchased as one of my summer reads.
Ooh, Ayanna, I can promise you will NOT be disappointed! This book has been such a blessing to me in many practical ways!
Oh, how lovely to find Becky here today and with such words of wisdom too! I love the 5 Love Languages book, Becky and I think it should be required reading early in marriage :-). I really appreciate how practical you’ve gotten here and could really see myself in some of the scenarios, which reminded me that the way I show love isn’t the way my husband feels love. Finding what works for him is key. Thanks for these tips, Becky!
Hey friend! 🙂 Sometimes I have to go back to the nitty-gritty, to the really practical applications of things to get my mind focused on persevering. It’s easy to get caught up in the feelings and emotions, but when I’m quiet and thinking about it, God nudges with the practical side of being a blessing to my husband. Blessings, Marva!
Alisa, thanks for featuring Rebekah’s wisdom here today. The investment of effort that we put into our marriages pays dividends for the future, not only in our own happiness and fulfillment, but also in the future marriages of our children!
Yes!!! Great point, Michele! We are sowing into our children’s marriages as well! Love that! Thanks for visiting today!
Rebekah, your tips are spot on! As a words of affirmation girl married to an acts of service man, I’ve had to learn how to speak his love language. He loves when I make his lunch for him. And he’s continually studying me to see how to express words of love in a way that comes across as sincere.
We’ve also lied with the mindset that love is a verb, it’s an action. We can’t allow our feelings on a given day/after a given situation (intense moment of fellowship!) dictate whether or not we think the other still loves us. We choose to live in the belief that we do still love each other.
Yayyyy Becky! So glad to see you and read your fabulous post I agree about that book being transformative for marriages and other relationships as well. It helped explain so much about our family and even how we could love one another more appropriately and individually. You offer precious hindsight mixed with practical examples. I learn best by examples so that was so helpful. Great job ladies❤️
Knowing our love languages is so important! It changed everything for the better for us when we went through that book several years ago. And then it’s so important, just like you say, Becky, to tweak our words or actions even just a bit in an effort to meet their needs. Love this and love the encouragement! It was so good to get to stop by FINALLY today!I’d been saving this one open on my browser forever! ♥
Blessings and smiles,