For those of us with words of affirmation as their love language, communication is terribly important. Maybe your love language isn’t words, but it’s your husband’s. Today, I thought I would shed some light on common struggles my husband and I have faced concerning this love language. Perhaps through my words you can find hope and inspiration to improve this area of your marriage.
As a woman, I’m guilty for withholding my words when I’m upset. Maybe men are the same way, but I cannot attest to that. I think I do this trying to keep love from my husband, hoping he’ll see I’m hurt. It doesn’t work, because my husband’s love language isn’t words but despite that staying silent never helps the situation. Often, once my dear husband has noticed, he gently reminds me that he isn’t a mind reader and that I need to tell him what I need.
This is important for us to remember, because for those who don’t have this love language, they may find themselves at a loss as to what to say. It’s even likely they’re scared of saying the wrong thing! I’m a work in progress, but I am learning to use my words to communicate to my husband what I need to hear. Is there a part of me that wishes he just knew what to say? Yes, yes, yes! But as he’s told me before, he isn’t a mind reader. Half the time he doesn’t know what’s going on in my head (how can he?). So why do I expect him to?
Speaking from experience, words have a lot of power in my life. I discovered a love for words when I was young teenager and I have a respect for the power of them. (Prov. 18:21) However, because this is also an important love language for myself I have found that negative words spoken over me cause a lot of turmoil in my heart. This isn’t totally the speaker’s fault, I need to learn how to guard myself better from the enemy’s darts. Nevertheless, it’s a battle for myself. Maybe you’ve faced it too.
The solution for myself, that I hope might help you, is to talk to my spouse over what was said. Maybe it was something petty, maybe what was spoken was a direct lie. Regardless, I need my husband to speak life over the death planted in my mind and heart. I need him to keep me in check and speak love over me. It’s funny how just hearing him say “I will always love you” or “I chose you, I don’t want anyone else” is a balm to my heart. The reassurance of his love means so much to me.
That brings me to my next point, if you’re reading this hoping to show your spouse love better, what do you say when you don’t know what to say? Depending on the situation, start out by reassuring them of your love and remind them that everything will be okay. Sometimes in my heart I know things will work out, but I still need to hear them from the one guy that matters most, my husband. You don’t have to be superfluous or wordy like Shakespeare. You just need to be honest and loving. Caring and comforting.
As for the everyday, come up with new ways to tell them you love them. My husband leaves me these little notes sometimes before he leaves for work. Each time I find one I am so excited and I feel so loved.
Be encouraging in your speech and conversation. There’s a reason the love language is called words of affirmation. It’s because we desire to be affirmed. To be encouraged when we’re struggling.
What you want to avoid is being mean. If you know their love language is words, your silence can hurt and sting. Worse even, saying something downright mean in the heat of a fight can be really damaging to the one you love. If they’re like me, they’ll replay your words thousands of times. And it will take time and lots of reassurance to heal.
That said, if words of affirmation is your love language you do need to learn to trust your spouse. Believe he means well, even if he stumbles over words. Believe that in a fight his heart doesn’t echo the words spoken in anger. You can do it. You’re strong enough. But be weary of using your love language as an excuse for manipulation of any kind. If feeling loved is an issue, don’t talk about it in public. Discuss it calmly at home. There’s never a reason to air out your dirty laundry and disrespect your husband in public.
I hope this helps you. Blessings!