What does your spouse need from you?
I dare say “words” might not be high on our list when you think about your mate’s needs. At least I know they weren’t high on my list!
But the truth is, words possess creative power. Thus the words we use in marriage are powerful and reality-forming. What we say or don’t say to our spouse can shape us for good or for bad.
As life and marriage gets busier – kids, career, church e.t.c – the small but important things tend to suffer first. Important, affirming, building, creative words are cast aside and forgotten: replaced by practical, ‘real’, unexciting often un-creative vocabulary.
Once exuberantly expressed and deeply felt, our creative powerful words lie unused. It’s time to reclaim them and love our spouses through our words!
So here are 10 words and phrases you need to bring back to your marriage. (Or just use more often!)
10 things your spouse needs to hear you say
1. I need you
We first see vulnerability in our relationship with God. He says we must become as little children in order to inherit His kingdom.
The level of sweetness and intimacy we enjoy in marriage is directly related to our ability to be vulnerable and broken together. We must never stop needing each other. And showing each other that we need each other.The level of sweetness and intimacy we enjoy in marriage is directly related to our ability to be vulnerable and broken together.
2. I am praying for you
Prayer is powerful. And most people appreciate being lifted up in prayer. When going through a rough patch, your spouse will feel affirmed and cared for. Letting your spouse know that you are praying for them deepens intimacy.
3. Please, Thank you
Joyce Meyer shares the story of this couple friend of theirs who were incredibly courteous with each other. The words ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ filled their every day vocabulary. They drove Joyce crazy.
“Who in that world does that any more, you are married for goodness sakes!” she thought.
Later on, she began to see and appreciate the value and beauty of a life filled with courtesy, gratitude and humility. Such words reflect our attitude of love, respect, appreciation, honor and awe.
4. I love you because…
Most of us want to know why we are loved.
When my husband tells me that he loves the way I handled a particular situation or appreciates the way I made a certain meal, I am over the moon.
Being specific, (“I love you because…”) instead of being general, (“I love you”) often builds up our spouses in a deeper way.
5. You are beautiful/handsome
Your husband/wife needs to know that you still find them attractive.Life has a way of altering our physical landscape. We need to hear that we are beautiful in each others eyes.
6. I believe in you
I love hearing these words from Tommy. I feel affirmed and strengthened. I think most men agree that a wife who stands by them (through thick, thin and loony) is a treasure and a gift. We are made to be affirmed.
7. Important things your spouse needs to hear – “No”
Marriage needs boundaries. And not boundaries, but observed boundaries.
For example, I tend to be
persuasive pushy by nature and sometimes the most loving thing my Tommy will tell me is “No.”
Most couples are opposites in terms of personality. We bring different strengths into the relationship and balance each other out.
Further, just because we are married doesn’t mean anything goes. The people in the relationship are still important: More important than the institution of marriage itself.
So if a spouse is abusive or toxic, the suffering spouse has every right to call that out and get themselves to a safe, healthy place.
8. I am sorry, forgive me
So often we say “I’m sorry” because we want a battle to end. Nothing wrong with tapping out because that’s what we need sometimes.
But real repentance means acknowledging your faults and making a turn to become better. It means dealing with yourself first.
When you are open and honest and mean what you say, your spouse will often sense that. And your true repentance maybe the only thing needed to resolve whatever issue is on the table.
9. What do you think?
We need to involve each other in our decision making processes. Involving your spouse communicates that you value them, their thoughts and insights.
It’s one of the ways we all feel loved: it affirms your partnership and helps manage expectations.
10. You are my hero
Your spouse may not act “heroic” all the time. But being a hero has nothing to do with perfection. It’s about the things that they do well (there must be something they do well since you married them, right?)
The world already tells your spouse what they can’t do or can’t be. There’s so much pressure to perform and shine. Your spouse needs to refuel from your faucet of love. If you don’t refuel them, who will?
And that is my list of 10 quick things your spouse needs to hear you say today! What can you add to the list?