Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Six little words

Years ago I read the book "The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman." If you are not familiar with this book, the five love languages are ways that we give and accept love. The five are words of affirmation, touch, gifts, acts of service and quality time.

I have always said that my number one love language was gifts. I LOVE giving gifts. Not just at the expected gift-giving times, but rather as I see or find gifts that I know people would love or that make me happy to purchase or create for them. And, I love getting gifts too. I already have my birthday list going on a post-it note on the side of my fridge :)

Anyway. Back to my point.

In this season of my life, I think my number one love language is changing.

These days with two little ones, little sleep, little energy and too much to do, there is a really important question that I need Ryan to ask me. 

I love hearing it. 

It does my heart good. 

Anytime day or night, before dinner and especially before we retire for the evening, I need Ryan to ask me, "What can I do to help?"

Acts of service are my lifeline these days.

Empty the dishwasher. Throw in a load of laundry. Fill my car with gas or get it washed. Clean up the kitchen after dinner. Run to the grocery store or Target at 8:00 at night. Pick up around the house. Feed, bathe, or dress the kids. Take out the garbage and recycling. Fix the squeaky door to Lauren's room. Vacuum the upstairs. On and on the list goes.

Ryan is GREAT at meeting this ever-changing need of mine.

But I realized recently that I needed to communicate to him that I want him to ask me, "What can I do to help?"

In my head are hundreds of unspoken expectations. "Why doesn't he offer to fold laundry while he watches TV?" or "How come he can't see the light bulb needs to be changed?" or "I wish he would put away the diaper bags when I get home late at night."

Instead of dwelling on these 'unspoken desires' I am teaching him to ask me "What can I do to help?".

Some might say, if he really knew me or if he really loved me, he would know how to meet these needs. 


My needs change yearly...monthly...weekly...sometimes even daily. (Or Ryan might add minute by minute).

So instead of getting angry, or frustrated or bitter, I just remind him to ask me: "What can I do to help?"

Those six little words are music to my ears!

P.S. Just as I finished typing this Ryan came downstairs from feeding Lauren a late-night bottle, and he offered to put the milk I had pumped earlier into the fridge. love tank is overflowing!


Brenda said...

Hi there, this is my first time peeking at your blog. Found you through Sew.

Anyway, I could have WRITTEN THIS POST myself!!! I got 5LL for my spouse for his Birthday last year. He's only on p. 47:) But we have very different languages!

Those six little words make all the difference to me too!

Sew said...

Those words are like foreplay to me and I don't even have kids! ;)

Raina said...

I'm a long-time lurker who LOVES your sweet blog. I finally had to comment about the idea of your love language changing.

My husband and I did the 5LL's shortly after getting married, and I just assumed they stayed constant. (If the book mentions they changed, I forgot that part!) Anyway, during my first pregnancy, my LL started to change significantly. I had always been physical touch, but I no longer needed that. I especially didn't need that from my hubbie after the kids were born. They touch me all day long! As a young mother, what I finally discovered I desperately needed was words of affirmation. This had been low on both of our lists before, and it took me awhile to even realize what was going on, but I needed to hear that he thought I was doing a good job as a wife and mother. It's made a huge difference in our marriage now that I figured it out and clued him in!