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Help, my Spouse doesn't know to Love me in my Love Language

When my Husband and I married, we both knew that we could work together to build a successful life. We have similar goals, we built a solid friendship and both of us want to be happy in our relationship. However, there were times when we both felt like our needs weren’t being met. In fact, in all transparency, we still have some of these moments today. In the beginning years of our marriage, this was a constant issue because we were two very different people with two very different outlooks still trying to learn one another and find our rhythm as a couple. We also didn’t know how to effectively communicate our needs and wants which resulted in many arguments. I mean he felt like I didn’t love him and I felt he just didn’t know how to love period.

When we did try to communicate we both could not understand each other's point of view, which left us both upset and frustrated. There were even times we just wanted to call it quits because it seemed like there was no point. We described talking to each other as “talking to a wall” (“My lawd, a snappin turla. That stings). Selah.

Our primary love languages are complete opposites and the irritation came in because we were only loving each other in our primary love languages. His primary love language is, “Physical Touch”, so he would love to hug, kiss, cuddle, etc. While my primary love language is “Words of Affirmation”, I would write little notes, encourage him, pray for him, etc. But, guess what? We both struggled in the areas we both needed the most to feel loved. He struggled to be encouraging and say nice things to me and I struggled to be affectionate through “Physical Touch”. Our primary love languages contradicted each other.

Whew, how do you get through something like this?!?

Well, to be able to heal something we must first find the root right? This brings us to the foundation of why we are the way we are.

The Root

How do we communicate our love for one another if we don't share the same native tongue? Well, it's complicated! Many couples never find common ground due in part to miscommunication about their feelings. This could be due to cultural differences, unhealed traumas, and upbringings. However, all are important factors when trying to understand one another better as people who live together day-to-day under similar circumstances despite having different backgrounds and experiences growing up. This leads us into adulthood carrying these things into our marriages. In most cases, we never take the time to have discussions about emotional needs or desires before getting married, which in turn leads to many marriages failing. From personal observation, many are not willing to take the time to work things out after marriage, although they have vowed before God to stay in a covenant. When we vow before God to stay in covenant with our spouse this excludes, running when issues arise. I have realized that love is conditional for many who claim they want to be married.

Childhood Trauma

When we have been conditioned to be a certain way since childhood, these habits and patterns are hard to break. We must first realize that we have been carrying certain habits that we thought were ok until these ways begin to be challenged by our spouses. We then find ourselves facing the naked truth. At this point we either have to start working towards fixing it or, we take the easy way and stay the same. Marriage is a daily death. It is a compromise, its continuous forgiveness, its constant work on yourself and your relationship. If you are not willing to do this you are either not ready to be married or you aren’t meant to be married.

I found myself having to face my childhood habits in my marriage because I was not raised in an affectionate home. We never told each other “I love you”, we barely hugged. This is still foreign to me today with my grandmother. However, with my husband's love language being physical touch, I had to work towards breaking this. My children are also very affectionate, and I believe God made them that way to help me in this area. It was a major challenge. I can tell my family I love them, but I did not like to do too much hugging, kisses, etc. I love my family dearly, but this was a challenge for me and it caused issues. I needed to make a change so I did not cause further damage.

On the other hand, my husband struggled with connecting with me through his words. He is a brutally honest man and when he would get upset, he would use his words to hurt me. Here I am with my primary love language being “Words of Affirmation” and my husband was mean with his words. Whenever this would happen I found myself going into a shell, which created more walls. This made it super challenging to be vulnerable. I was afraid of being hurt. I expressed to him how this made me feel. I explained exactly how I would feel safe to let my walls down, then, boom, something would happen and the walls would go back up. Although I explained this to him it seemed hopeless because he would say something like, “What about me?”

Whew…yeah this was a challenge. We both felt like the other was selfish, prideful, inconsiderate, and nonchalant.

The Shift

If we wanted to see change, one of us had to take the first step right?

Slowly I began to take steps toward working on myself. I worked towards being more conscious and intentional about this. Having necessary conversations with my husband and children to help them better understand why I was the way I was. I also let them know I am going to work towards being better and open to receiving and giving love this way. My family was my accountability circle. I was not perfect, but I was trying. Things felt one-sided because I was really trying to be better and bruh was still struggling, badly. Truth be told I was feeling torn down and one day I decided I was done. I gave up. I was never the one in our marriage to run or give up so this scared him. My mind was made up and I wasn’t willing to hear anything else. But, you know, I loved him. We had one final conversation, this conversation was different. That day I felt seen and understood. Although very reluctant, I decided to give it one more shot with the agreement that we both will work on being better. This is where I saw my husband shift.

Although I was working on myself, I took this to therapy. Talking about it with a professional helped me tremendously. She was able to help me see things from a different perspective in my first session. A new layer of healing unfolded and it was noticeable.

I also noticed I was very disconnected from myself mentally and physically, which also caused issues in our mental and physical connection in the bedroom. Some of these roots were connected to sexual abuse, perversion, religion, and being diffident. I worked through these with deliverance, inner healing, and finding myself again. I reconnected with myself through movement, confidence exercises, and intentionally being vulnerable and unashamed with my husband. On the other hand, he had to make me feel safe enough to be vulnerable and I also had to do the same with him. We found ourselves connecting in ways we had never connected before and it has been a beautiful journey since.

Today, we both are still working at being better than yesterday, as I stated earlier marriage is continual work. My advice to you is to have hard conversations, pray, seek professional help, and connect to a community that can help you. You must do the work. Working on myself has been the best decision I could have ever made. I had to take my eyes off my husband and start my healing process. I see things differently and clearer now. I am much happier within which has helped me live in a peaceful place. Sometimes when you desire to see change you have to be an example. Be the love, be the peace, be the healing.

If you are a wife who needs additional one on one guidance and solutions on reconnecting with yourself, building your confidence within and with your husband, intimacy connection/education, and more, register for our waitlist and stay tuned for more information.

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1 Comment

Porsche Baxter
Porsche Baxter
Aug 27, 2023

I needed this Lord I did .

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