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Dec 13, 2018
How can I have a happy marriage and transform my spouse into a soul mate? (Part I – Emotional Happiness)
28/06/2016 2:54 pm UTC | By: Surinder Kaur

Do you feel that you are doing everything in your power to make your spouse happy and your marriage work, but there is no reciprocation?  After a couple of years, your enthusiasm has waned and you have stopped trying? Are you wondering where all your romantic dreams have vanished?  You were looking for a romantic soul mate and life seems endless chores, work and arguments? Don’t worry – what if I told you that there is a formula to success — and if you both work together you can be happy in 30-60 days?

The formula –

There are four pillars to a happy marriage:

Emotional happiness: We all want to feel loved and appreciated.  When that happens our emotional tanks are full and life seems wonderful. The challenge is that people express love differently. If the way you express love and your spouse’s ways of expressing love are different or mismatched, both of you may be expressing your love in a certain way, but the other may not perceive it as such. You are basically speaking two different love languages and your marriage is getting lost in the translation. Dr. Gary Chapman(1) indicates that there are 5 ways in which people express love (“i.e. love languages”) – gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch (intimacy).

  1. Gifts:Meaningful/thoughtful gifts (foot-ball game tickets, hand-made sweater)
  2. Quality time: This does not mean watching TV together, but talking and truly being with each other
  3. Acts of Service: Small thoughtful gestures that make the other person happy. Giving massages, washing the car, picking up a favorite chocolate, etc.
  4. Words of Affirmation: Using words to express sincere appreciation for the things the partner does or genuinely excels in.
  5. Physical Touch: This does not mean sex, but holding hands, sitting close to each other, hugs, shoulder rubs, gentle kisses, etc.

Most people EXPRESS and RECEIVE love through these languages. You need to make your partner aware of how you express your love, and in turn be aware of how your partner expresses his! Do not make the mistake of dismissing something that seems unimportant to you, but may have been an earnest effort on his part to reach out and show you his love.

Make an effort to understand what is important to each other and act on it.  In other words, if your husband’s love language is “words of affirmation” make a sincere attempt to verbally express your appreciation at least once a day. Equally important, repeat to your husband what you value, be patient, and remind him to do it till it becomes second nature. Just understanding each other’s love languages goes a long way towards a better relationship.

This was the case with one of the girls I mentored. When Priya’s husband understood that she valued Quality Time above everything else, her husband became more interested in spending quality time the way she liked – taking walks. When she understood that he valued Words of Affirmation above all other love languages, she made it a point to say something nice to him at least once a day. This simple act of generosity made a huge difference in their marriage. Check the percentage of the emotional tank often and continue to refill it, marriage is a living being and needs constant feeding and care.

Many men express love through sex, and it is also a physical need. It is important for Indian women to understand that men feel happy when they have sex, but much happier when they have made you happy.  Just as you have invested the time to learn other skills, invest the time to learn about what makes you happy and communicate that.  Express happiness and enjoy the intimacy. This is very critical to making a man feel loved and appreciated.

References:

  1. Gary Chapman is a relationship counselor and author of the “The 5 Love Languages series”.

Panelist: Akila Kumar

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