On Thursday, I popped onto my Facebook page and asked:
Sixty (60) comments later, I’d learned a few things about y’all and our marriages. It was enlightening what your answers to my random question revealed.
As usual, I can find takeaways that could apply to other parts of marriage, including the marital bedroom.
Love language matters. Several of those who said flowers weren’t a big deal to them offered other options they’d love to have from their hubby, like “I’d rather go for a walk together” and “I would rather have ‘us’ time than flowers.” I replied to one commenter who said her love language was acts of service about my own leaning: “Now maybe if my flowers came with a long hug… (Affection, #1).”
If you haven’t heard about The 5 Love Languages, it’s a great, easy-to-read book from Gary Chapman that outlines five main ways we can show love to our spouses. As it turns out, if you’re buying your gal roses all the time and Gifts is number 5 on her list, she’s not feeling the love like you intended and your efforts would be better spent elsewhere. On the other hand, if she loves getting flowers and you think that’s stupid, get over it and pick her up bouquet now and then. #justsayin
I think this affects your marital intimacy too, because sometimes the reason your spouse doesn’t want to engage is they don’t feel valued in the relationship. You love them but they don’t feel it at the moment, so when you try to initiate sex it doesn’t go anywhere. Find out his/her love language and learn to speak it, so that your marriage’s overall intimacy grows.
Giving us what we really like makes us feel cherished. Not only do we have a love language, some of us are very particular about what we want. For instance:
“A bouquet from the grocery store I can put in my own vase, yes. Something expensive delivered from the florist, no.”
“Yes as long as they are not from the grocery store.”
“But I hate, Hate, HATE it when he gets a premade bouquet, those to me are too generic and kind of thoughtless. My hubby knows that I want flowers that HE thinks I would like, not what some random person put together.”
“If he picks them yes. I love wildflowers.”
Hmmm. Before you men throw up your hands and declare the female race too complicated to understand, remember you only have one female you need to get this right for. (Or maybe more if you have daughters, but good luck with that.)
Want to know what your spouse likes? Um, ask. Sure, you can also pay attention to how they respond to what you give them or what they like. But I’m big on not playing the “you should know what I’m thinking” game. Half the time, I hardly know what I‘m thinking; I don’t need to responsible for another person’s brain. Ask some questions about what your spouse likes and how they like it, then deliver that if you possibly can.
How does this translate to the bedroom? I truly believe wives in particular do not speak up enough about what they want and enjoy. Not only should we ask our spouse what they like, we should be willing to communicate what we like—whether it’s about flowers or foreplay.
It’s the thought that counts, so think a lot about us. I love finding out my husband was thinking intently about me when we were apart. I discover this in little ways, but it always makes me smile. Likewise, bringing flowers home—if nothing else—communicates hubby was thinking about his wife while he was away. She was a priority in his mind.
Your replies showed this: “I like any thoughtful surprise from my hubby.” “The thought that he would surprise me like that and be so thoughtful is awesome!” “I’m not a flower person either but I love the kind gesture because it shows he was thinking about me.”
I honestly think one of the best things you can do for your relationship is to think positively about your spouse while they’re away. It creates optimism, gratefulness, anticipation, and desire for your mate. And it can translate into wanting to do something special for your honey, whether that’s bringing home flowers or planning a special bedroom rendezvous.
Not now doesn’t mean not later. I love this little story one reader shared:
Our first date was to a hockey game on Valentine’s day, where they were handing out flowers to female fans. I turned them down because I knew I’d be clapping and cheering, and the flower would get trashed by the second period. My now husband took it as I didn’t like flowers, and took him until three years to realize I indeed like them.
I wanted to say, “Good golly, man! You landed a woman willing to let you take her on a FIRST DATE to a HOCKEY GAME for VALENTINE’S? Buy that keeper wife a truckload of flowers and anything else she asks for!”
However, the real reason for including this story is that it illustrates my often-made point that just because you don’t want something right now doesn’t mean you won’t want it later. I say this all the time about sex: That it’s better to say “not now” than “no” to sex and then follow-up with when’s good.
Also, an activity we passed over last night may be well-received tonight, because our tastes can vary based on environment, circumstances, etc. Once again, being able to communicate openly with your husband or wife about your likes, dislikes, and quirks (yes, quirks) can help you get on the same page.
By the way, although I like getting them from time to time, I’m not a big flower person. Gifts is #5 on my Love Language List and I’m terrible with plants, but my hubby knows this about me. Still, even though gifts isn’t huge for me, I wholeheartedly agreed with this wife:
Before I sign out, a little update on the blog. I’m going to give it my best effort to be here three days a week:
- Monday: Q&A with J — answering a reader’s question
- Thursday: My just-kicked-off Feel Beautiful series
- Saturday: Freestyle — whatever’s on my mind
Thanks for your recent input on this ministry.