Diann and I have been married for 39 years and we have a good marriage, but we have to keep working to keep it working! We have to talk about our expectations of each other. We have to seek to understand each other and to be understood by each other.
It’s helpful to watch the two extremes. We shouldn’t hold in our thoughts, hurts, hopes, and feelings. We don’t have to live in a marriage of quiet desperation! The key is to take the hard but necessary step to talk about things. On the other hand, we should be willing to compromise, cutting the other person some slack, not being picky and unreasonably demanding. In other words, we should accept the imperfections of each other, but at the same time seek to raise the bar in appropriate ways.
I’ve always appreciated the identification of the five love languages by Gary Chapman that I’ve listed below. If you’re married, which one is your mate’s primary love language? (These actually apply to any relationship) What might a secondary one be? We should seek to communicate our love by using our mate’s love language, not ours!
Words of Affirmation – the mate most appreciates words of thanks, compliments, and the words “I love you.”
Quality Time – the mate most appreciates spending time together, having the other person’s undivided attention.
Receiving Gifts – the mate most appreciates special little gifts and surprises because the thought behind them counts so much.
Acts of Service – the mate most appreciates help in practical ways; this shows that the other person cares.
Physical Touch – the mate most appreciates affection being expressed with hugs and touching, and, in marriage, this may include sexual intimacy.
See whether you can guess your mate’s first and second love language, and have your mate tell you whether they’re right or wrong. Talk it over. Good marriages don’t just happen; they’re made to happen!
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Jesus in Mark 10:6-9)
Yep! That’s Diann and me at a wedding reception (I think).