Category: Marriage

Q&A: Long-term Gift Giving

Q: Gary, how is it possible to fulfill my spouses’ “Gift giving” language every day?

Gary: Well, I don’t think you have to give gifts every day to a person whose love language is receiving gifts, but I do think you should do it periodically. The other thing I would say is: don’t think in terms of expensive gifts all the time. It can be a flower you picked out of the yard, it can be a red leaf in the fall, it can be a feather you found while you were taking a walk, it can be a candy bar, it can be anything small. It’s really the thought that counts. And for the person for whom gift receiving is their love language, these periodic gifts that are given out of a heart of love speak deeply to that person.

Learning Love Languages

Recently a wife said to me, I’m sending all of my friends to your marriage seminar.” “Really, why?” I asked. “Before the seminar, Bob never helped me with anything. We both had our careers, but it was always my job to do all the house work. After the seminar he started asking me, ‘What can I do to help you this evening?’ I’ll have to admit that at first there were trying and humorous times. The first time he did the laundry, he used bleach instead of detergent. Our blue towels came out white polka dotted. But eventually he learned. It’s wonderful. And it’s been going on for three years now.” Why was this wife so happy? Because her husband learned to speak her love language.

Knowing What You Need to About Your Partner’s Money Sittuation

According to Money Magazine, 70% of married couples argue about money – more than about sex, household chores, time spent together, what’s for dinner and snoring. What does that say about the state of our money situation? Studies also show that what happens before marriage will probably happen during. To head off money conflicts from the nuptial-planning beginning, employ these techniques to find out what you need to know about the situation.

The money-spat breakdown of couples, according to the Money survey, show the categories as follows: Spending 55%, Saving 37%, Deceit 21% and Exclusion from decisions 11%. The money-fight within the money-fight, if you will.

So how can we move forward as lovers instead of warriors?

Continue reading article by Deborah Hightower>>

Are You a Doormat or a Lover?

Are you a doormat or a lover? A doormat is an inanimate object. You can wipe your feet on it, step on it, kick it around, or whatever you like. It has no will of its own. It can be your slave, but not your lover. When we treat our spouses as objects, we preclude the possibility of love. No person should ever be a doormat.

We are called to be servants. Jesus said about himself, “I did not come to be served, but to serve.” That should be our attitude. “What can I do to help you?” reveals a loving attitude. “You do this or you will regret it.” is the language of slavery. There is a vast difference between being a servant and being a slave. The servant acts out of love. The slave lives in response to fear.

Knowing How to Love Your Spouse

If your spouse often criticizes you for not “helping them”, they may be telling you that ‘acts of service’ is their love language. People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need. Their criticism is an ineffective way of pleading for love. If you understand this, you might respond more positively to their criticism. You might say, “It sounds like that is really important to you. Could you explain why it is so crucial?” Initiating such a conversation may eventually turn the criticism into a request rather than a demand. When you hear criticism, it’s time to listen. Your spouse is giving you valuable information about what would make them feel loved.

Coercing Love

One of the five love languages is “acts of service.” For some people, this is their primary love language. However, people sometimes make the mistake of demanding acts of service from their loved ones: “If you loved me you would help me around the house.” true love, however, is a choice and cannot be coerced. Criticism and demands tend to drive wedges. With enough criticism your spouse may do what you want, but it will not be an expression of love. You can give guidance to love by making requests: “Would you please mow the grass?” But you cannot create the will to love. Each of us must decide daily to love or not to love. If acts of service is the primary love language of your spouse, then mowing the grass will be loves loudest voice.

Q&A: Addapting to Love Languages

Q: Gary, is there a way to change my love language to accommodate my spouse better?

Gary: I don’t think we change our love language, but I think we can come to appreciate the other love languages better. Let’s say your spouse is not a “toucher” and physical touch is your language. They didn’t grow up in a touchy feely family, and therefore, it’s difficult for them to reach out and touch. But if they give you words of affirmation, you can come to realize that they’re speaking love in their way, and you can give them credit for it. I think coming to accept love in any of the languages can begin to fill the love tank, and if you’re positive about their responses to you, rather than negative (“You don’t ever touch me!”) they’re far more likely to come to speak your love language.

 

Q&A: Confronting Someone you Suspect of Cheating

Q: Gary, what is the proper way to confront someone if you suspect them of cheating?

Gary: First of all, you have to be honest but you want to do it in a positive way. You want to say to them, “Honey, I hope you know that I really love you, and I’m having some feelings and thoughts going through my mind. Maybe I’m wrong, but I have to ask the question: Are you involved with someone else?”

You’re just straight forward with it, but you do it in a kind way. Not in an angry way, not with an angry voice, but with a lot of kindness that communicates to them that you love them. That’s why you’re confronting them. That’s why you’re sharing with them your thoughts. Keep in mind that your feelings and your thoughts may be wrong. And I believe that, at least initially, you should accept what they say and then wait. If they say, “no no no,” then you wait. Because if they are, it will become obvious.

Transcend the Pull of Selfishness

“Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.” Does that sound “otherworldly”? I, for one, am fully willing to admit that apart from the work of Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life I am not likely to be that kind of husband. I am in fact, self-centered and often selfish. However, there is no question that this is God’s expectation of me and all husbands.

As Christians, we must not accept the cultural norm as our standard. Rather, we must recognize that in Christ we have the ability to transcend the pull of selfishness and truly become lovers. Few wives will run away from a husband who is loving as Christ loved.

Recognizing Fault

In all of my counseling, I have never met a perfect husband or a perfect wife. Yet, when there is a problem, we tend to blame the other person. I have often given individuals a sheet of paper and asked them to list the faults of their spouse. They make long and impressive lists. Then I ask them to list their own faults. Seldom has anyone come back with more than four. What does this tell us? That the spouse really is the problem? Hardly, for each spouse has a grand list of the other’s faults. It tells us that we have become accustomed to our faults, and they don’t seem so big.

Remember the words of Jesus, before you try to get the speck out of your mate’s eye—behold the beam in your own eye. Personal confession is the first step in improving a marriage.

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