Before I said, “I do!” I knew my fiancée was a man of few words. I was also very aware that heartfelt words are like water to my soul — it’s how I feel the most loved. But I grew up surrounded by men who loved me with gifts, not words.
My soul was thirsty and I longed for words that came from the heart, affirming and encouraging words that give life and brighten one’s day.
In light of all this, I knowingly and happily said, “I do.” 10 years later, I don’t regret marrying my man of few words. Yes, sometimes it drives me crazy, but alas, we aren’t perfect, and his strengths far outweigh his lack of words. I am not going to lie, it has been challenging and I’ve had to remind myself of these truths over and over again:
We each have a way to love.
We each have a way that we want to be loved.
His love language is not the same as mine.
I want to hear love — he wants to serve love. (He loves me with his actions, constantly serving me and our family. But words, well those? They are harder for him to express. We love each other deeply, but we often forget to appreciate each other for the little things. Notice I said “we.” Yes, affirmation is how I receive love, but it’s not how I give it. So this is an area I have to work on myself.)
Thankfully, I’ve married a man who wants to grow in this area, even though his efforts usually take him out of his comfort zone. There have been weeks, or even months, where I have not heard, “You’re beautiful,” or, “You’re an amazing mom.” But then there are those moments when he takes me into his arms, passionately kisses me and says, “You are beautiful.” And those three words (You. Are. Beautiful.) float in the air for weeks and plant seeds into my soul.
Although this is how he is wired, part of being in a marriage is that we are both seeking to grow in those areas that don’t come natural to us. So I gently, not accusatively, remind him of my need for affirmation. Just the other day I said to him, “Maybe you should look online for something like a “25 Ways to Affirm Your Wife” list to help you in this area.” He smiled and said, “What’s the link?” Out of curiosity, I went looking and was surprised to find that only one post showed up, the rest were women sharing how to affirm and encourage their husbands.
So this year I decided that instead of being frustrated because I don’t get those words of affirmation on a regular basis, instead I would be more intentional about giving affirmation to him too. Heck, who knows? It might inspire him to do the same. (Make sure this isn’t the ONLY reason that you’re creating a list of your own though, because it could potentially set you up for a HUGE let down.)
Now you might be saying, “Wait, wait, my husband showers me with words of affirmation; I don’t long for words. I want action, I want him to help around the house or for him to take me out on a date…” Whatever the case is for you, remember these four important qualities: Gratitude, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Communication. And don’t forget to figure out your love language. Do some soul searching, and figure out all the ways that help you feel loved. What does he do that lights up your day? Is it service, affirmation, time, gifts or physical touch? And if you’re having trouble, you can visit Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages to take the quiz to discover your own love language.
Once you figure out your love language, share it with your husband and email him one of these ideas to encourage him so that he knows how to woo you.
Here are some suggestions that I found work.
Schedule Pre-Planned Date Nights 1 of 7
Hombres, let's be intentional! Go ahead and give this to your wifey for Valentine's day. I would be totally impressed if my husband gave me this meaningful Valentine's Day gift. If these pre-planned ideas work for you, don't be afraid to copy them. If one or two don't work, then tweak them and make them your own. Get the details over at Inspire and Indulge.
52 Reasons Why I Love You 2 of 7
Nifty Mom shares this idea! It's easy to put together using a deck of cards.
Open When… Envelopes 3 of 7
This idea is absolutely precious, not to mention easy since there's no crafting involved! Stop by Live Love Lauren for the details.
I Love You Because… Frame 4 of 7
A simple idea that's easy to put together and packed with heartfelt meaning, is making your spouse a frame. Stop by Inspired by Family to get the details.
105 Words of Affirmation Your Wife Wants to Hear 5 of 7
And the only words of affirmation post for woman I found online, was written by Matthew Jacobson. Thanks Matthew! Stop by and check out his list for some inspiration. Heck, if you need to, copy word for word what applies to your wife and relationship.
16 Ways to Flirt 6 of 7
This post was actually made by a wife for her husband, but you men can totally tweak it a bit. Get the details over at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.
Woo Your Spouse Again (Free Printable) 7 of 7
Woo your spouse again with some fun scripture verses that are hot and steamy. Who knew the Bible was so full of romance? Go here for the free printable.
Stop by my Facebook page, and let me know what your love language is.
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