Like many couples, my husband and I could not be more opposite.
He’s practical, steady, dependable and unbelievably patient. I’m creative, excitable, free-spirited and embarrassingly impatient. He needs alone time occasionally and I would rather be around people 24/7.
With so many differences, demonstrating love can be a challenge. Of course, we love each other very much, but how we show that love doesn’t always translate in a way that makes the other person feel loved. And if my husband doesn’t feel my love, then regardless of my good intentions, I’ve missed the mark.
Over time I’ve learned that if I want my husband to feel loved, I have to show him in a way that makes sense to him. That may sound simple, but many of us miss this. Instead, we naturally make decisions based on what we would want.
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But when you marry your opposite, what you want often has nothing to do with what your spouse wants. This comes out in the gifts you buy, the words you say and the time you spend together.
For example, my husband feels the most loved when we do activities he enjoys, like going to basketball games, watching action movies, or seeing his favorite musicians in concert. While I enjoy spending time with him, to me, hanging out is just a given in a relationship. So when we spend time together, I don’t think it’s a big deal. But my husband feels loved.
Now, if being surprised is a love language, that’s mine. When Matt goes out of his way to buy me a gift I didn’t expect, fix something around the house I didn’t know about, or take me somewhere on a spontaneous adventure, I feel his love more than almost any other time. For me, the effort in surprising me is as important as the act itself. And while Matt doesn’t really care about being surprised, he goes out of his way to surprise me anyway because he knows how much I appreciate it.
Whether it’s the gifts you buy, the words you say or the time you spend, be sure you’re doing it with your spouse in mind. Think like they think, do what they would do, and give something they would want—even if it doesn’t make sense to you.
Because if you want your spouse to feel loved all year long, you have to show them in a way that makes sense to them.