Being a mom and a partner can be tough. From the moment that your child is born all your genetic material calls to you to make this child your priority. To make sure it survives in this perilous world. Unfortunately, it is this exact thing that can create a huge divide between you and your partner. Until your child is born you put your relationship with your partner first. Suddenly that is no longer the case and this can cause severe strain between the two of you, strain that can stretch a marriage to breaking without a little care and keeping.
5 Ways to Make Your Partner Feel Loved:
#1 – Do for your partner the things that make him or her feel loved, NOT the things that you would like done to you. This is easier said than done because we don’t always know what makes our partner feel loved. In his book, The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman lists 5 ways that someone wants to be loved – physical touch, words of affection, quality time, acts of service and receiving gifts. Both of you should go to his website www.5lovelanguages.com and take the love languages test so that you can learn what your partner needs to feel loved.
#2 – Tell your partner that you love them. I hear it all the time. I ask a client if they tell their partner that they love them and my client says “He/She knows that I love them.” Maybe this is true and maybe it is not. Regardless, you should look your partner in the eye and tell him/her every day that you love them. It means a lot for people to be told that they are loved or that they are beautiful or that you miss them. They might “know it” already but words are very meaningful. Kristen never heard from her spouse when he was away and it was very painful. They argued about it almost every time he left. I suggested that she tell him that she loved him very much and missed him when he was gone. She says that he has called her every night he is away since she told him how she felt.
#3 – Touch your partner. Touch is one of the most primeval ways to communicate with another person. Long before there were words, scientists say, humans beings communicated with gestures and touch. Animals still do. We know the importance of touch with our babies, that touch encourages bonding and trust. Take that same perspective with your partner. Hug them when they walk in the door, take their hand in the hardware store, wrap yourself around them when you go to sleep at night. Touching your partner will speak volumes about the love that you have for them.
#4 – Be Kind. I know this seems basic but it is something that gets lost in the chaos of family life. I know, from personal experience, that as our family grew, as my life became more stressful, I took it out on my husband. I nit picked and nagged and snapped and even yelled, all for things that were as often as not not his fault. And I saw the hurt in his eyes every time I did it. I would take it all back if I could. My not being kind to him created a chasm between us that was hard to repair. My client, Jessie, came to me about problems with her husband. They had a 2 year old and she felt the distance growing between them every day but she didn’t know why. When I asked if she was kind to him she looked at me with surprise, paused and said, with a sense of wonder, “no.” She set the intention to be kind that very day and it has brought them back together in a very meaningful way.
#5 – Give them freedom. You know the saying “If you love someone set them free.” Often, amidst the chaos of every day life, we cling to our partners as a life raft, needing them with us always to keep us from drowning in the messiness. This clinginess can actually drive someone away, however, because your partner will become resentful of your need to constantly have them by your side. Both of you should have some time away from the chaos, regularly, sometimes together and sometimes apart. We were all individuals once, before we became a couple and then a family, and it’s important to nurture that individual in ourselves, so that we can be a better partner and a better parent.
So there you go, the 5 Ways to Make your Partner Feel Loved. These suggestions aren’t always easy and might require some effort on your part but stop for a minute and try to imagine what it would feel like to love and feel loved by your partner, every day, as you navigate through this crazy world. Pretty good, don’t you think?
How about you? Do you feel loved? Do you make your partner feel loved? Do you have any ideas that I have missed?