If you haven’t heard of The 5 Love Languages, I highly recommend getting the book and reading it. Understanding that different people communicate love in different ways can be a real revelation. It can often feel like your efforts are going unnoticed because you are comminucating in your own love language instead of in his love language. This means that you could be bending over backward to show someone you love them but they are still feeling empty because you are on different pages with what you need. Knowing what your husband needs can also help you figure out some free and simple ways to show love to him, not just on Valentine’s Day, but all year round.
My love language is quality time. This means that I see and noticed when my husband helps around the house, and I appreciate his help, but it doesn’t necessarily fill up my “love tank.” He could tell me all day how much he loves me and sweep me into his wonderfully secure bear hugs, but that’s not what fills my tank. In order for me to feel loved, I need him to sit and talk with me. I want to do something face-to-face. One of my favorite things to do is go for a drive with him and just talk. It’s great for both of us to know this about me so we can plan for regular chats. (I do know that sitting in the car isn’t actually face-to-face but a drive usually results in quality conversation, even though we’re sitting side-by-side).
My husband is a little more complicated. He’s taken the quizzes and I have read chunks of the book to him but we’re still unsure of his primary love language. We know which language doesn’t communicate as well to him (gifts is lowest on both of our scales) but the other 4 are pretty even across the board for him. This used to bother me because my life would be so much easier if I had this information. Until I devised a plan to show him love in the way that he needed, no matter what. So here’s my simple plan: show him love in each language. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a planner and I love my schedule. Here’s my weekly layout with some simple ways to show love in 5 love languages:
Monday: Act of service. Keeping it simple, this means that I will make his iced tea or coffee for him, dust his computer desk, or put away his laundry. All things that he normally does so it’s a nice little surprise for him when he comes in and it’s already done.
Tuesday: Physical touch. I make an extra effort to hug him, rub his back, or pat his butt when I walk past him.
Wednesday: Words of Encouragement. Leave a sticky note on his computer with some encouragement or I’ll simply tell (or text) him during the day to let him know of something specific that I appreciate about him or am proud of him for. For example: You are an amazing father and I love how you play with the boys before bed. Thank you for working hard in the cold to provide for our family. You give the best hugs and they make me feel so warm and secure.
Thursday: Gift. I don’t buy him a gift every Thursday but, every once in a while, I’ll pull out a special bag of chips or ice cream or sesame snaps that I bought on Tuesday during my grocery trip. Lip balm and hot chocolate in the winter or iced cappuccino in the summer. Sometimes the boys and I will make him a craft or paint a picture for him. Every once in a while I get to surprise him with a bigger ticket item (like a new headset for his phone), though I don’t usually wait until Thursday to give bigger items to him. Putting “gifts” on Thursday is often more of a reminder to me that this is one way to communicate love to him and allows me to plan for the future.
Friday: Quality time. We often open with me catching up on what his week has been like but his quality time looks different than mine. Because I’m a woman, I like face-to-face quality time and he, as a man, like side-by-side time. So we will watch a movie or play a video game together.
It is so rewarding to do something extra each day to show my husband I love him. I follow this rather loosely and hopefully it’s obvious to you that I show him love throughout the week (and weekend) in various ways. But this little schedule is a helpful reminder that love is communicated in more than one way and it is my job to make sure that I’m communicating in a language that he understands.
Is there a specific way that you communicate love to your husband? Is it in your love language or in his?
Make sure you don’t miss any posts by subscribing to my weekly blog newsletter!