Even though we strive to live a simple life in our home, our lives are still hectic! We have a 16-month old that runs the show, another baby on the way (who should be here any day now!), and typical household chores that never seem finished.
Despite our crazy schedules and the fact that we somehow seem to never be home and are always traveling, I realize that if I don’t prioritize my marriage, no one else will. Sure, we’re doing a lot of those things together and virtually all of our free time is spent together, but is it really quality time?
Usually, no, it isn’t. We’re so focused on accomplishing our goal – whether it’s to get the grocery shopping done, get the kitchen cleaned up, put the infant car seat in the car… We’re too distracted to be really enjoying the time we’re spending together. Plus, wrangling a 16-month old should be an Olympic sport, especially one like mine who clearly inherited his daddy’s genes.
Through all of the craziness, I make a point to ask my husband one question almost every day…
“How is your love tank?”
The Five Love Languages is a book by Gary Chapman that claims everyone falls into one (or two) of five groups. Each of these groups interpret love differently.
Really quickly, let me explain what the five love languages are:
Physical touch – this isn’t just sex. Someone with this love language really values hugs, holding hands, a touch on the arm… If your love language is physical touch, you feel most loved when your spouse is being physical with you in some way. Chances are, you feel unloved or unappreciated when they’re not.
Acts of Service – Someone with this love language feels most loved when their spouse does something for them. This might be doing the dishes, changing the oil in their car, or making dinner.
Words of Affirmation – This is me! A person with this love language feels most loved when their spouse actually tells them what they love and appreciate about them. A text, card, or sweet note means the world to this person.
Quality Time – this one is pretty self-explanatory. Someone with the quality time love language most values one-on-one time with their spouse. They feel most loved when they’re able to spend some uninterrupted face-to-face time together.
Receiving Gifts – A person with the gifts love language feels most valued when their spouse gives them a gift of some kind, even something small. It’s also important to them that the gifts they give are appreciated and well-received.
The idea behind this theory is that we all tend to speak our own love language to our spouse, but if they have a different love language, they’ll miss the message entirely.
For example, my love language is Words of Affirmation while my husband’s is Acts of Service. I truly think there isn’t another spouse in the world who is as complimented or appreciated as much as mine. I just know that I go out of my way to make him feel special by telling him everything I appreciate and love about him.
The thing is, he appreciates hearing those things from me, but it goes a lot further for him if he comes home to a chore that I’ve handled that he doesn’t have to. A clean sink or empty laundry bin speak volumes to him.
Do you see how far apart those two things are? I think I’m loving my husband so well by being so verbally reassuring, he needs clean underwear. Who knew?
The author of the book claims that every person has a proverbial “love tank” that is filled only when their spouse speaks their love language. So if Scotty comes home and does the dishes in the hopes that I’ll feel loved and valued, he’s speaking the wrong love language.
BUT if he comes home and hands me a sweet note that he wrote at lunch time, my love tank starts filling up.
It takes constant refilling to make sure each other’s love tanks are consistently full.
This is where that one special question comes in.
“How is your love tank?”
If you remember to ask your spouse this question almost every day, you can make sure you’re always doing your part to make sure you have a well-loved spouse who feels appreciated in your marriage.
We always answer on a scale of 1 to 10. If the answer is anything less than 10, we have to give each other one very specific thing that can be done to help fill up that love tank again.
For my husband, it will almost always be checking something off of the to-do list. He feels loved when we’re accomplishing tasks together.
For me, it would be some reassurance about how much he appreciates what I do to keep our home running smoothly or a love note that he wrote for me.
I know it sounds cheesy if you’ve never heard of it before, but trust me, if we can do it – you can too!
Just the other day, Scotty text me and asked “how is your love tank?” I beam with pride every time he asks me. We’re both working hard to keep tabs on our marriage and are making sure it’s always our top priority. That’s something to be immensely proud of.
- Buy the Five Love Languages and read it, if you haven’t already. I promise, it will motivate you to put some real work into your relationship
- Have your spouse read it or at least explain the key points. Scotty listened to the audiobook on his way to and from work.
- Commit to asking your spouse everyday how full their love tank is
- Ask for a clear, measurable task you can do to fill their love tank a little more
- Actually complete that task and watch your marriage improve!
Have you ever read the Five Love Languages? How is your love language different than your spouse’s? How do you go out of your way to fill your spouse’s love tank? Let me know in the comments!
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