Disclaimer: This ten minute fix is written as advice for a husband (cause we need it), but is easily adaptable to a wife as well.
Have you heard of the five love languages? If not, here's a watered down summary.
Everyone is different and everyone prefers to receive and express love in a different way. These preferences are catagorized into five love languages.
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
If you show love by buying gifts, but your spouse only understands love through quality time and words of affirmation, you'll both be frustrated and confused. You'll think, "How can she say I don't love her? I buy her flowers, chocolates, and jewelry. Of course I love her!" She'll think, "How can he love me if he comes home and goes straight to the TV, ignores me, and never says a nice thing about me?"
Feel free to stop by the library or Amazon to pick up a copy of the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman or check out www.5lovelanguages.com to learn more and take a quiz to find out your spouse's love language. But for now - just for fun - let's try a different approach: The Shotgun Approach.
Here's the challenge. In ten minutes, express your love to your spouse using all five love languages. The plan is to fire a point blank shotgun blast of love that has no way of missing her specific love languages (I never meant for that to sound so violent, but let's go with it). What's more, the other love languages will have more meaning to her when in context with her specific language. Giving her a dozen roses and then watching sports for three hours may not mean much to her, but giving her roses in the context of an evening of quality time spent together will mean the world to her.
You can have more than ten minutes to prepare, but the execution needs to take place in a ten minute time frame. So in ten minutes you have to sincerely...
Tell her how much she means to you
Make the ten minutes true quality time
Give her a gift
Give her a big hug and a kiss
After the ten minutes are over you can go back to watching football. NOT! The hope is that as you focus your mental and emotional energy on the feelings you have for your wife, you'll be inspired to once again do whatever you can to make her feel loved and appreciated.
Later, talk to your spouse about love languages and have an open discussion about how you each prefer to receive love. You'll hopefully avoid a lot of frustration and greatly improve the feeling of love in your relationship. If you want more help figuring out communication in your marriage or just want you and your spouse to be on the same page, sign up for couples coaching. You'll receive a free introductory session and affordable rates as you build a framework for a better marriage together.