Love Languages

10 Tips for a Healthy Marriage 7&8

7. Notice Different Ways Your Spouse Asks for Help Asking for help can be difficult for many people. To some, it symbolizes weakness or vulnerability. That isn't the case. Actually asking for help can show that you are confident enough to realize you can't do everything or know everything, thus a sign of strength. Nonetheless, some people still see it as a weakness and they struggle with asking for help. One thing you can do in your marriage is notice what your spouse may do when they need help. What do they do when they show signs of stress or are feeling overwhelmed? Do they sigh? Or maybe they withdraw and want to be alone? Maybe they complain a lot, hoping someone will notice. The later three may not necessarily be healthy ways of showing someone you need help but many times people have so much shame around needing help, they don't even realize they are doing this. Try not to judge them or ignore them because of how they are asking. Instead offer to help!

8. Put Love into Action We all know that saying I love you, giving a hug, or doing some act of affection can show love. Often times we forget our actions can truly speak louder than words though. A simple act of service can go a long way to make someone feel loved, cared for, and valued. If your husband normally takes out the trash, take out the trash and surprise him. If your wife does the dishes every night, tell her to go relax while you do them. If she gives the kids a bath, bathe them while she goes to the grocery. She will be so happy to have one less thing to do when she gets home.

Simple acts like the ones above will give your spouse space in their life and time to do something they might enjoy. And you can feel good while you are doing it, knowing they are feeling love from you! Many things take just a couple minutes. Yet the love your partner will feel over time when you randomly do things will truly go a long way.

We hope these tips are helping. Find one or two to start with, be intentional about doing them, and then add one or two more once you've mastered the first set. You'll be amazed at how easy it is when you take it in small pieces. Thank you for reading today. Joleen will share 2 more tips tomorrow.

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville

Christmas Gifts That Say "I Get You" Quality Time/ Receiving Gifts

Thank you, Teri for giving us a great description of the 5 Love Languages. And Tamara had some GREAT ideas for Words of Affirmations. If you haven’t read the description yet of the 5 Love Languages, you may want to back up to Monday and do that. I am going to give you some ideas for Quality Time and Receiving Gifts. Quality Time:

~The typical dinner date will do with this love language- however, try to find someplace quiet, without TV’s and distractions. That way you can chat. Quality Timers love to have, well…QUALITY time when they are with you. That means focused on the time together, not everything that is going on. Everything else can wait.

~Ask your partner out to coffee. Put away the phones/computers etc and just sit and chat. Have some questions available to start a conversation so the topic isn’t about work, the kids, or regular day-to-day stuff. Really find out some new information about them. Or reminisce.

~If you have children and can’t get a sitter, schedule a date at home. Put the kids to bed early, and play a game together. Leave the TV off and again, don’t forget to turn off your phone. Just enjoy laughing together and having a little friendly competition.

~If your partner is a sports fan, nothing screams QT to them like going to a sporting event. Surprise them with tickets and enjoy the time together, even if you aren’t a sports fan. It’s about BEING together for them.

~When it’s warm, have a picnic in a park. Go for a bike ride or a walk. Anything where it’s just the two of you.

~If your budget permits, schedule a weekend get away to a bed and breakfast.

The main key here is just the two of you, having focused time together, without distractions!

Receiving Gifts:

~I know Teri mentioned making something that doesn’t cost money is great as well. However, the gift of TIME can be so wonderful to someone who doesn’t have a lot of it. Taking the kids so they have some time to themselves. Or cleaning the house so they have time enjoy the weekend.

~If your spouse is exhausted with a new baby, the gift of rest. Give them the weekend to rest. You can really get creative with this. All you have to do is ask yourself, “What is it that my partner needs the most right now? What are they struggling with the most? What do they complain about the most?” You will get your answer.

~Additionally, there are the traditional flowers, chocolates, and candy. However, if you’re going to spend money, how about a gift card to a Spa or to her favorite clothing store. Especially if your partner has trouble spending money on themselves (Most Mom’s struggle with this!). If your spouse loves sports, a gift card to Dicks or to BW’s and a card that says, “Go have fun with the guys and watch the game!”

~If you do jewelry, make it something that means something like her birthstone or the kids birthstones. Something that lets her know you spent some time thinking about it and didn’t just buy whatever someone at the counter suggested.

Hopefully you are getting some good ideas here! Tomorrow Joleen will finish up with Physical Touch and Acts of Service. Thank you for reading and Happy Holidays!

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.