Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Our Love Languages

Do you ever feel like the love you show your spouse goes unnoticed?  Have you ever wondered why your spouse didn’t make such a BIG deal about what you did for them?  I have experienced this feeling of confusion and frustration a time or two.

Why might I or YOU feel this way after our attempts to shower our spouses with love fail us?  I believe it’s due to speaking one’s own love language and not the spouses love language.  If you’ve ever read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages, then you know what I’m talking about.

For those of you, who may not understand, let me explain what love languages are.  The five love languages consist of physical touch, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and words of affirmation.  We all feel loved when our spouse speaks our primary love language from the above list.  Though, we naturally speak our primary love language and may assume that our love language will be well received in the same way by our spouse.  This isn’t always the case and more times than not our spouse has a different primary love language.  These differences in primary love languages can cause feelings of rejection and frustration if not brought to both spouses awareness.  This is why it is so important to figure out your spouse’s and your primary love language and to communicate it to your spouse.  Simply doing these two things will help us avoid feeling like we can’t do anything right by our spouse and feeling loved ourselves. 

I remember taking the quiz at the end of The 5 Love Languages and finding out that I my primary love language was quality time.  It made sense, since I felt closer to my friends when we hung out often and felt distant from them when we didn’t hangout often.  I felt loved by friends and family, who I spent the most time with.  After finishing the book I tried guessing others primary love language(s).  I guessed that my boyfriend’s, now husband, was physical touch because he was super affectionate and always finding ways to touch me.  Though, he claimed that his primary love language is quality time as well.  I’m still not fully convinced and think that he is tied between quality time and physical touch.  I feel pretty blessed though, because we do share the same primary love language.

The fact that we share the same primary love language is pretty great.  After all we naturally speak our primary love language to others we love.  It’s been pretty easy for the most part to make one another feel loved, because we both want to spend time with one another and be together. 

Other married couples may experience problems here, assuming they speak different primary love languages.  If they are unfamiliar with speaking their spouses primary love language, then they may run into some conflict.  They may be speaking their love language to their spouse and feeling like it’s enough.  When in reality it isn’t and they need to meet their spouses primary love language before their language will ever be well received.  Don’t give up if you are not accustomed to their language and instead be willing to learn.

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m fairly sure his claimed primary love language, quality time, is tied with physical touch.  He seriously will come hug me while I’m doing dishes or brushing my teeth and often asks me if I want a hug, so I know he’s a hugger.  I wouldn’t call myself an affectionate person and so I have had stretch myself a little to meet his need for touch.  In the beginning of our relationship I had to constantly remind myself to initiate hand holding, kisses, hugs, and back scratches while we were together.  Now that we’ve been married almost a year it’s become more natural for me to do these things and they are slowly becoming like second nature to me.  This is why it is so important to remember that we can learn love languages that are not our primary love language.

All it takes to figure out your or your spouse’s primary love language is taking the quiz at the end of The 5 Love Languages, observing how you show love toward your spouse, and paying attention to what you request from your spouse or complain to your spouse about.  If you enjoy doing things for your spouse and asking your spouse for a little help around the house or even complaining about them not helping out enough, then maybe your love language is Acts of service.
What makes us feel loved by others?

Physical touch
Are you a hugger?  Do you enjoy holding hands, kissing, hugging, or cuddling with your spouse?  Do you like giving and getting back rubs or like getting your back scratched?  Maybe you like giving your favorite nephew nugies or high fiving all your colleagues

Quality time
Do you have fun spending time with your spouse?  Are you someone who enjoys wholesome recreational activities with the spouse?  Do you like having romantic or quiet dinners you’re your spouse?  Or do you make the time for loved ones?

Receiving gifts
Can you hardly wait for your birthday to come?  Is it because of the presents?  Do you love receiving roses or chocolates on date night?  Are you excited by small or thoughtful gifts from family and friends?  Do you enjoy showering others with gifts?

Acts of service
Do you tend to do your spouse’s regular chores to show your appreciation?  Do you believe that people should show loved one’s they love them rather than just tell them?  Are you someone who appreciates your spouse taking on your usual tasks or errands?

Words of affirmation
Are you a firm believer that people should go beyond actions and say, “I love you” to those they love?  Do you enjoy hearing or even giving compliments?  Do you love receiving ‘love notes’ from your spouse?

Your answers to these questions reveal a lot about you and may just help you uncovered what your primary love language is.  Once you find out which one it is make sure to pass this information on to your spouse.  With communication it is always better to hear requests rather than complaints, so make your primary love language known to your spouse.

If your spouse isn’t a big reader or willing to take the love languages quiz, then observe and listen to them so that you can use the process of elimination to figure them out.  Once you figure out their primary love language, let them know what it is.  They may agree or they may disagree and of course reveal what they feel it really is.

Remember that your marriage is worth the effort of discovering your spouses and your primary love language.  When you speak your spouse’s primary love language or love languages you are making them feel loved.  Feeling loved increases an individual’s marital happiness, with furthers their ability to spread the love.  If you keep your spouse’s needs above your own, then you likely have your own needs met by their increased ability to give back.

*For more information check out

Please watch the video below and then do the activity below, with your spouse:

  • The 5 Love Languages in Action

1st: Guess your spouse’s primary love language.  Write down your guess.
2nd: Identify your own primary love language and then tell your spouse what it is.
3rd: Share with your spouse what you guessed was their primary love language.

By Tawnya

Friday, November 14, 2014

Do It to Please Not to Avoid Conflict

The number one rule is: Always do something to please your spouse; never do something to avoid your spouse’s wrath.  There’s a reason behind everything that we do.  There’s a thought to every behavior or action.  We should make sure that our priority remains trying to please our spouse and not because we want to avoid upsetting our spouse.

Some might say that it doesn’t matter why you do something; it matters more that you did it.  I disagree and I will tell you why. 

Growing up did you ever get into fights with your siblings or friends?  Suppose that you got in a fight with your with a kid from the neighborhood.  Your mom catches you and stops the fight.  She then tells you both that you need to apologize to one another.  You are sorry for hitting him, so you force out the words, “I’m sorry.”  The other kid on the other hand isn’t sorry for starting the fight and quickly says, “I’m sorry”, so he can go home.  Do you feel like he’s sorry?

I don’t feel like this kid is sorry and so to me his insincere ‘sorry’ is useless and void; he might as well just said the truth, “I’m not sorry.”  The reason I have such an issue with this is because the kid didn’t say it for the right reasons.

This is similar to the situation of a husband taking out the trash because he doesn’t want to hear his wife complain about how lazy he is; he took out the trash to avoid his wife’s criticism.  Why is this an issue?  He did a good thing, right?

Yes, taking out the trash is a good thing, but the reason behind his action is where the problem lies.  Resentments can build up if we do ‘good things’ to avoid negative consequences.  This is destructive to marriages and therefore should be avoided.

How can this husband change?  The husband in the future should change his thinking and intentions.  He should think, “Hey, my wife likes it when I take out the trash.  I think I will take out the trash to make her happy.”  This way his thought is to please and not to avoid a negative situation.  You will be building up your marriage as you continue to keep this positive attitude regarding what you do for your spouse.

Now ask yourself, “Do I want to build up my marriage or tear it down?”  Your answer will influence the way you handle your future thoughts regarding your future actions.

Watch the video below and then do the activity after:

(Pay attention to his actions and words; the ending isn’t necessarily important)

(Vince Vaughn’s character demonstrates what NOT to do)


Reflect on why you do things for your spouse?  Do you do them to ‘please’ or to ‘avoid’?

By Tawnya

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Our Money

One of the largest and most common arguments in marriage is about money.  The biggest of these money disagreements among married couples is the spending of the money.  Money has even been labeled as one of the top causes for divorce among couples.  This is why it is important for couples to have serious discussions about their finances prior to marriage and especially at the beginning of their marriage.  These discussions should place importance on preparing for, preventing, and managing the money conflicts that the couple can expect to arise.

Please keep in mind that it’s normal for married individuals to want to use their money for different things than their spouse.  After all a marriage consists of two separate individuals, with different views of money, which can cause conflict.  Maybe one spouse is a BIG spender and the other is a saver.  These conflicting spending styles can cause issues in the couple’s marriage, if they do not compromise and make necessary changes to their spending habits.

Remember that the ideal for couples is to protect their marriage from divorce by coming to an agreement on who will pay the bills, be the main bread winner, and how much they will send & save.  Though the reality for many couples is often the opposite where these individuals downplay their differences when it comes to money or don’t talk about their combined finances at all.  This can prove to be unwise for couples once they marry and are forced to manage their money, together.

Don’t let this conflict interfere with your marriage!  Protect yourselves and your marriage by doing the following:

Do it together.  Both spouses should be aware of where the money is going.  They should come to an agreement on how much they will spend and on what they will spend their money on.  Married couples should also agree on how much they will save and how to save their money.  It is okay to designate one spouse as the payer of the bills, but both spouses should be in agreement on who this is.  Finances should be an open discussion among married couples.  There should never exist any secret accounts or expenses; this can only lead to hurt and anger. 

Budget together.  Both husband and wife should sit down together and list all their expenses, so that each knows where the money is going.  Both should agree on the amount they are spending on each expense.  They should agree on the amount for each expense and which expenses remain in the budget.  Add a column for savings as well to your budget.

Together spend less than you make.  Regardless of who is the main bread winner or if both spouses work, they should not spend more than they make combined.  So many people today live off of credit cards, but this is foolish.  Married couples should avoid spending more than they have, no matter what.  Of course this doesn’t include a house and maybe even a vehicle, but these should still be modest purchases.  Most people take the max loan they can get approved for and buy their dream house with it.  These people also buy their dream car with all the bells and whistles using a high interest loan.  Neither an expensive home or vehicle is necessary; couples are better off learning from others examples.  An expensive home or vehicle doesn’t mean much if the couple is still paying it off past a reasonable amount of time.

Save together.  If married couples put away a little money each month, then they are headed in the right direction.  Saving for a rainy day is one of the smartest things couples can do.  No one can predict the future, so it’s always a good idea to prepare for the unknown. 

Money doesn't have to be an issue in marriages, but it is how married couples handle their money together that will determine whether or not money becomes an issue.

Please watch the videos below and complete the activity below, with your spouse:

·         Oprah sad story
(I think this is something we all need to hear.  It’s important to remain honest with our spouse about our purchases and avoid purchases that we cannot afford)

·         The newlyweds money advice
(I didn’t mention joint accounts or the trust that develops as we are able to view each other’s spending, but I feel both are important)


1. If you do not already have a budget, then please take this time to create one.  For budgeting help, just CLICK here.

2. Discuss with your spouse how you, as a couple, can protect your marriage from the potential damage of money conflicts.

By Tawnya