A warm and loving marriage relationship is so much more pleasant than a cold and distant one -- and the skills to create such a relationship are something you can learn, according to Mark Sichel, L.C.S.W., author of “Healing from Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut off from a Family Member” on the PsyberSquare website. Practicing certain caring behaviors until they become second nature will make it easier for your wife to see you as a warm, considerate spouse. Also remember to let your wife express warm behaviors toward you, as she will likely want to return your caring actions with similar actions.
Treat your wife affectionately. This should include eight to 10 significant physical touches every day, according to family relationship expert Dr. Gary Smalley in “Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships.” These physical actions can be spontaneous and fun, such as hugs, love pats, kisses and dancing her across the floor. Remember to tell her you love her in word and deed, perhaps by leaving her a note on the mirror with a water-based marker or slipping a small treat in her purse or briefcase with a note affirming your love. In “His Needs, Her Needs,” marriage-relationship expert and author Dr. Willard Harley agrees, identifying affectionate touching as one of a woman’s top five emotional needs.
Speak her love language, suggests author Dr. Gary Chapman in “The Five Love Languages” series. Determine whether she prefers quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service or physical touch as her preferred method of receiving love. If you aren’t sure what her love language is, watch how she expresses love, as this will likely help you determine her first and second favorite method. Remember that she will best receive acts of service if you do things with which she truly needs help you do them the way she likes.
Communicate with each other on a frequent basis, suggests Dr. Smalley. This includes sharing feelings, dreams and fears in addition to asking questions like “How was your day?” or “Can you give me a hand here?” Actively listen, then process what she said for a few seconds before verifying that you understand what she said or asking her to clarify it. You need to express an interest in what she does and thinks. Richard Hamon, licensed marriage and family therapist in Lexington, Kentucky, advises that you respectfully discuss your family challenges rather than avoiding them, hoping they will go away. Speak to each other with respect and kindness, engendering a spirit of teamwork rather than being adversarial.
Encourage and affirm who your wife is and that you appreciate what she does for you. Make your compliments specific and honest. Thank her for taking care of you and your family. Express admiration for all the things she does on a daily basis to make your life easier. Make a big deal out of a good evaluation at work or when she gets recognized for helping at the church or reading to kids at the library.
- Psybersquare.com: A Plea for Warmth and Affection
- Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships; Gary Smalley
- The Five Love Languages; Gary Chapman
- Happy Relationships.com: How to Solve Your Marital Problems
- His Needs, Her Needs; Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr.
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