One day a wife asked her husband, “Don’t you love me?” The husband was dumbfounded that she would doubt his love for her and replied, “Of course I do honey. Why are you asking me this question?” “You never tell me that you love me,” she replied. To which he answered, “I told you that I loved you when I married you, and if it ever changes, I’ll be sure to let you know!”
Verbal affirmation is important in your marriage because it affirms, supports, and uplifts the truth of your relationship on a regular basis. It should not be a one-time or once-in-a-while thing, nor should you assume that your spouse automatically knows how much you love and believe in them. Verbal affirmation should be done on a regular basis. Here are a few phrases that your spouse needs to hear often:
I love you.
These three words are some of the most powerful words you can say to someone. “I love you” communicates, “I am devoted and committed to you, I am here for you. I am here for the long haul. My commitment to you is not based on your performance or lack of performance, but rather on who you are as a person and what you mean to me.” You must reinforce the words “I love you” on a regular basis (daily is suggested). Never assume that they just know.
I like you.
When you first started getting to know your spouse, you liked things you saw in them and what you felt when you were around them. Then like grew into love. Do you still communicate to your spouse that you not only love them, but you like them? “I like you” communicates more than the vow of ‘til death you part.’ It says, “I enjoy being around you. I can’t wait to spend time with you. You light up my day. I want to continue discovering things about you and us together.” Make sure to communicate verbally to your spouse on a regular basis that you like them.
I believe in us, and I love us.
I believe in us says, “I believe we are meant to be together through the trials and joys of life. We are going to stick together and work together on the issues that arise along the way because we are a team. And not only do I believe in us, but I also love us. I love the way we share inside jokes and adventures. I love the compromises we have made during times of conflict as we have learned to love and be loved by each other. I love the way we complement each other. I love us.”
Our marriage is a safe place.
Your spouse needs to know that your marriage is a place where intimate thoughts and feelings can be communicated without fear of judgment or criticism. It is a place where you can confide in each other your deepest feelings, hopes, dreams, and desires. A relationship in which you can be authentic and honest with each other. An environment where ridiculous puns and goofy gestures are not only allowed but welcome.
You have my trust.
Does your spouse know that they can count on you to not speak ill of them or blab their sins and intimate details to anyone? “You have my trust” communicates that your spouse can trust you to care for their heart with respect and tender cherishing. It means letting them know that they can count on you to be their confidante and that everything from their secrets to their secret quirks are safe with you. You will never embarrass or belittle them.
If you are not already doing it, begin today to verbally express these five things to your spouse and watch your relationship deepen.
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