167: How to Accept When Your Spouse Doesn’t Speak Your Love Language (Encore)
Do you and your spouse speak the same love language? My husband, Ryan, and I DO NOT.
I am a words of affirmation girl, through and through. Ryan, on the other hand, is a man of few words. He craves quality time.
When we were dating, we were smitten and of course went above and beyond to speak each other’s love language. He wrote me love letters, and I relished in spending quality time with him on our date nights and every moment I could possibly find.
One of my fond memories from that time is going for nightly jogs together under the stars of our college town. It was kind of a perfect balance for our needs because it was quality time together to suit Ryan, but he also had to do all the talking because I couldn't breathe while trying to keep up with him. So he talked to me and filled my cup, and I spent time with him and filled his cup
I recently said to Ryan, “I feel bad about how much I've changed since we got married. You thought you were marrying a girl who was really active and into exercising with you. And that is not at all the way it's turned out.”
He thought about that for a second and then he shrugged and said, “Eh, it's okay. When we were dating, you thought I was good at words of affirmation. And when was the last time I wrote you a love letter?”
So it turns out that we both pulled the bait and switch on each other. Can any of you relate?
Marriage is so different from dating and the ways that we speak love to our partner may change as we change and as our life responsibilities change. It can be easy to take each other for granted or even to resent our spouse for the ways that we perceive them as falling short of the “ideal” that we had in our mind when we were dating.
As we head into the month of February, I thought I would pull this episode from the archives and re-air it because it’s one of my favorites that I hope might help all of us to see our partner with more grateful eyes.
Notice your partner’s unique expressions of love. Have “eyes to see and ears to hear” and don't just take for granted the things that they always do that come naturally to them.
Teach your partner how to love you well, without the expectation that they will do it perfectly. Thank them when they get it just right, or model it for them in a way that's replicable.
Remember, the only person that you can change is yourself. Choose to see the best in your spouse and forgive their shortcomings, whenever possible.
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