Keeping the Spark

Try to surprise each other from time to time.  How do you do that? Early in the year, ask question about what they like or like to do; write it down and start planning the surprise in advance, and if it includes the entire family, get the kids involved in the planning process if you trust them with keeping it a secret

-Sam

Don’t you just love this idea? I know I do! How amazing would it feel to know that your loved one had spent months on end planning a special surprise for you, just from asking about things you enjoy? The time, the care, the consideration that would go into something like this would be more than you could imagine, and the dedication to see it through…come on guys, it’s awesome! Let’s be honest, this is the kind of thing people only do for weddings.

So, keeping Sam’s advice in mind, I wanted to give you a few ideas on ways to keep the sparks flying in your relationship, based on their love language.

words of encouragement

Years ago, in the very early stages of my marriage, I bought a plain black journal and turned it into a book. The idea was that each year, around Christmas (or his birthday?) I would write down a bunch of reasons why I loved him or why he is a good husband. It only lasted about 3 Christmases but I think he appreciated it. Especially if I gave it to him when we happened to be going through a rough-patch. It wasn’t just a list though. I would write down a paragraph or 2 on each page about a specific thing that I liked about him. If I wrote that I respected him, I also wrote down why. If I wrote that he was funny, I’d recall an instance when he made me laugh. This is a simple and easy way to show your partner affection if their love language is words of encouragement.

If you feel like you’re not great at writing in detail or making things sound special on paper, then buy a card from the store and cut out all the sentimental parts and glue it on there. It still comes from you and that’s what matters most!

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You can really take this one and run with it. Especially when it comes to things around the house. I generally handle the household chores (not because I have to but because I don’t like the way my sweet husband does it) but I despise cleaning the kitchen and it just so happens that my husband goes just a teensy bit crazy when he sees a messy kitchen. It takes forever to cook a meal and I don’t feel like standing around for another hour cleaning up the mess I made LOL. But wouldn’t it be an awesome act of service if I cleaned up after myself so that my husband would go bat crazy looking at a sink full of crazy dishes. (In reality this is a chore my 2 oldest children do nightly)

daily chores of a mother
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Maybe your spouse can’t stand tall grass in the yard or crumbs on the floor of the car you drive. What about grocery shopping? I personally can’t trust my husband to grocery shop, since his love of Cheetos puffs runs strong, but maybe you could do the grocery shopping for your spouse? Aside from household things you could bring lunch to work every so often. Buy their favorite meal and have it at their desk hot and ready to munch! Pick up the dry cleaning…take the clothes to the dry cleaning without being asked. There’s so much you can do, just get creative and go with it. If it becomes a bit too routine for you, then find something else and start doing that.

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This is my love language so, before I give you any ideas on how to spend quality time, I’m going to give you the 2 things that I consider to be a ridiculous waste of quality time with your loved one.

  1. Movies- NO, NO, NO. You don’t interact when you watch a movie together.You don’t connect, bond, talk, look at each other…the movie is getting ALL of the attention! I like going to the movies with my husband, but if we haven’t had any alone time in a while and he suggests a movie, it angers me to no end. Movies are fine but they are not quality time
  2. TV- Sitting at home watching your favorite show together, catching up on a season you missed on Netflix, watching the game, these are all things I consider to be a waste of quality time. Again, not bad things, and if you do them with your spouse that’s awesome, but you don’t bond, talk, or even look at each other when the TV has your attention
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Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

I only mention these because to me they have been quality time killers. My husband is in the army, which, in a nutshell, means he works a lot. Like a lot, a lot. So when we get time alone, the LAST thing I want to do is stare at a screen for 2 hours. I want to go out, have fun, experience something new, see something I’ve never seen, have a nice meal, and finish it all off with a night of marital intercourse. Now that, my friends, is quality time.

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Love & Affection

Wow, so how many days have passed since my last blog post? Let’s just say far too many. I became involved in a church project that took far more planning than I expected, but in the end it was a huge success and I was happy to be a part of it. Still, each day I wasn’t able to work on this project -my blog- was a difficult day for me. This blog is as much of a blessing to me as I hope it is to you. Marriage is not easy. Parenting is not easy. Involving God in the little and the big aspects of all that -as much as we may hate to admit it- is not easy.

On my most recent post on marriage, A Husband’s Heart, I told you that I’d gotten some amazing input from a good friend and married man who was willing to share his over 30 years of marriage experience with me. It’s a privilege to have that type of input, but a special treat to me because it’s coming from a man. I don’t know about you, but I don’t often meet men who are super comfortable with being open about…well, anything. I’ve been with the same man since I was 18 and he can still answer a complex question with a simple shrug of the shoulders or an, “mmhmm”. It can be frustrating to say the least.

The first topic I wanted to discuss is one I was surprised to see a man point out. Lack of affection. I’m sure any woman can attest to the fact that men tend to fall short in the area of affection in a relationship. The kisses and hugs are abundant in the beginning, but once you’re 10 years and 3 kids in, it slows to a mere peck on the lips before work…if you remember even that.

Here’s a little something of what Sam had to say about lack of affection:

 Lack of affection encourage(s) your partner to either want to cheat or have the thoughts.

I wish it wasn’t true. I wish that lack of affection would cause us to draw closer to our spouse and look for ways to show them affection in hopes that they might reciprocate, but there it is people, and it’s true. Lack of affection can eventually cause your partner to want to find it elsewhere. What an ugly truth.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.

Of course, I don’t think it starts automatically. If my husband is having a bad week, or even a bad month, I certainly don’t think to myself, “Well, he had his chance.” But what if it happens over time? What if you have tried showing them affection and they don’t reciprocate? What if it’s been years since you’ve had your spouse truly show that they love and care for you? Or, (how many consider this thought) what if your spouse has spent years showing affection in a way that he/she receives it, instead of finding out your love language? There’s a little food for thought!

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