Marriage is tough and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. You can’t put two completely different people with vastly different life experiences together and not expect the occasional fireworks. Divorce rates are so high now that statistically speaking, you can flip a coin on your wedding day to see whether or not you will eventually split up. Sad but true. The Bible and the internet are both filled to the brim with advice about making your marriage work. Unfortunately, some things are just easier said than done.
I celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary this year and let me tell you it took a lot of hard work and prayer to get here. A few years ago me and my husband read Dr. Gary Chapman’s The 5 love languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.
Correction: I read it and gave my husband the play by play. That book helped us address some serious issues in how we dealt with each other. After reading it I came up with a quick, easy way to apply it to our marriage that has really blessed us over the years.
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FIRST THINGS FIRST
For this to work, you first have to learn you and your spouse’s love language. You can take the official online quiz here but I really recommend reading the book as well.
One of the biggest issues in my marriage early on was that I and my husband spoke completely different love languages. It took us nearly 2 years to figure out what the problem was and how to fix it. (Thank you Dr. Chapman!)
My husband is very touchy-feely. He’s full of kisses and compliments ALL the time. I know it sounds endearing, and it probably would be for someone else, but unfortunately for him, those things do very little for me.
His Love Language
My husband’s love language profile ranked words of affirmation and physical touch equally as his first love language. And guess what, he demonstrates love best the way he prefers to receive it. Second-ranked on his love profile was quality time. He could care less about receiving gifts or acts of service. He just wants to grab my butt while I tell him how amazing he is. That’s it.
My Love language
I, on the other hand, ranked lowest on my love profile in…….drum roll please…….words of affirmation and physical touch.
My first love language is acts of service and it beat out the rest by a long shot. My second is receiving gifts, which was just one point higher than quality time.
I bet you can see what our problem was.
I’m a show me don’t tell me kind of girl and he just wanted to tell me, tell me, tell me. The best way to show me you love me is by doing things to make my life easier. Bathe a kid. Wash the dishes. Buy me a book. Talk to me.
On the flip side, the things that make my husband feel loved the most are playful touches and sweet nothings. I was trying to make him feel loved by keeping the house clean, packing lunches, and trying to keep his home life as peaceful as possible. Meanwhile, he was trying to make me feel loved by grabbing my butt and telling me I was beautiful. Neither of us understood why our love wasn’t translating.
Two cups and a pad of Post-It notes.
I kid you not.
One day I gave us both a cup and a pack of Post-It notes. We each jotted down request geared toward our own love languages. We could write WHATEVER we wanted on our notes and we could not discuss what we wrote. We quietly filled them out (one request per Post-It), folded them neatly, and tossed them in our own cup. The cups were then placed on our dresser where they have been ever since.
Let The Games Begin
The requests are the fun part. You never know what you are going to pull out of your spouse’s cup. Good, bad, or ugly, you have to meet the request. If anything is off limits you may want to discuss that before you starting filling out the Post-Its. I shouldn’t have to say this but with the state of the world today I probably should:
***please don’t rob a bank because that’s what would make your spouse feel loved***
***please don’t let your significant other finagle you into a threesome because it would make them feel loved***
Let’s just go with the wisdom of not doing anything that violates your conscience. But let’s be clear. Everything can’t violate your conscience either.
- Each person picks out of their loved ones’ cup whenever they like, but always in secret. Your spouse should not know that you picked or what you picked until you are fulfilling the request.
2. You can pick as often as you like but NOT UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE LAST REQUEST YOU PICKED. You should not have more than one request out of their cup at a time.
3. You pick it. You do it. Period. If the request is for a foot massage and you hate feet…..GET OVER IT AND GRAB THE LOTION.
4. There is no time frame for how long you have to complete the request (Some requests may be quick and free like a massage or a movie in bed. Gifts, dates, or trips will obviously require money and planning, therefore, requiring more time)
5. After a request is completed the Post-It should be signed by the receiving party and saved. This is just to acknowledge and confirm that it was done. Whether or not you actually save them is completely up to you. We save ours because it’s fun to look back over them occasionally. (It never ceases to amaze me how many creative ways my husband has used to ask for sex on his. LOL!)
6. Refill your cups as needed. We usually wait until ours are completely empty to refill. Sometimes it turns into a race to see who can clear the others cup out first (I usually win)
Fun tip: Pull a Post-It out when your spouse upsets you. It’s hard to stay mad at someone who just made you laugh by requesting something ridiculous. It’s also hard to stay mad at someone you are actively trying to please.
Let me know what you think. Comment below.