When we first got married, I really thought that we had the romance of a lifetime. We were perfectly opposite of each other, but got along perfectly. I literally NEVER could have thought up a more ideal man for me.
Then reality hit.
It turns out that we wash dishes differently, wipe the counters differently, hang out towels differently, fold laundry differently, cook differently, sleep differently, watch TV differently… well, you get the idea.
Not only that, but we each thought that all of our ways were the best ways (okay, I admit: I STILL think this a lot of the time – I just realized that it’s not worth the fight).
While we definitely had some struggles in the “lifestyle habits” department of new married life, we got over that quickly. It didn’t take long to realize that we were either going to have to make new habits, or compromise and do something that worked for both of us.
But a danger area that we did not recognize so quickly was in the unproductive way that we were showing love to each other.
I’d take the trash out, clean up the house, get dinner ready, fold the laundry, and have everything ready when he got home. I would be beaming with pride and expectation of him seeing the effort I put into everything for him.
Then he would walk in the door, completely ignoring all that I had done, and slip his arms around my waist, kissing my neck and squeezing me. I would swat his hands away.
I felt rejected because he didn’t notice the work I put into loving him.
He felt rejected because I literally rejected his display of love.
This continued for months.
I wrote him long, romantic love letters that ended up in the bottom of his desk drawer.
He clung to me, wanting to watch movies and go on dates and snuggle and I pushed him away, uninterested.
None of the efforts put forth were appreciated or acknowledged by the other spouse, leaving both of us empty and angry.
One night, it blew up in our faces. I don’t remember everything that went on that night, but I do remember sobbing and saying “I wish I never would have gotten married. This is nothing like I thought it would be.”
Guys, if I only would have known then what I know now, that terrible night may never have happened. And that thing that I know is this:
We are all want to be loved, and show love, differently; and it is absolutely CRITICAL that you understand how your partner wants to be loved.
Yes, we both still could stand to show each other love better and more often. There are definitely still days when I crave a certain display of affection from my husband and I feel like I have to beg to get it. I’m positive he feels the same way.
But simply UNDERSTANDING our differences, and getting to know our spouse and the ways they like to be loved, is imperative in growing and nurturing our marriage so that it can last a lifetime.
Find your love language. Find your spouses love language. Better yet, make it a date night! Then make the effort to show love DAILY to your spouse in a way that hits them in the right spot. There is nothing more satisfying that knowing that you have made the person you love’s day better just by understanding who they are.