Gifts are not the same as affection.

Can our elder help a newly married couple speak the same language?

Dear EWC

Hello, I’m 21 years old and have been married almost a year. For the most part, I love my marriage. However, my husband really lacks in showing me affection. My love language is touch and words of affirmation. My husband’s love language is gift giving. While I do enjoy him bringing me lunch every so often and a few gifts, my needs are left unfulfilled. I’ve talked to him about this many times and I feel as if nothing changes. I tried directly asking for the attention every so often, but it doesn’t work. For example, I’ll ask him to cuddle or rub my back, but most of the time he groans and say he’s too tired. To be completely honest, we haven’t had sex in over two months. I just feel neglected and unloved. I don’t know what to do because we don’t believe in divorce and I do love him. I know this might be a tough one, but I really need advice.

Dayle replies

It’s true when you hear people say the first year of marriage is the hardest. Learning to live with someone else and how they do everything that may be different from you is a real challenge. There is a book called Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman that I would recommend to you. Perhaps you can get your husband to read it with you (maybe not at first). However, I think if you put these “languages” into action, your husband will see the difference, and may simply start doing them too. 

Often we think that the one or two things we do are enough or should express everything we think and feel. But marriage isn’t about 50/50, but each giving 100 percent, even when it seems unfair. And while sex may have been exciting before marriage, it’s easy to get in a rut after because 1) now you’re together 24/7, 2) work/chores/personal time gets in the way, 3) the same ol’, same ol’ gets boring. So that’s another area where it’s time to put some romance and/or fun back in your lives. Promise yourselves special time with each other, whether a date night out on the town each week, or a surprise for the other. Some couples give each other tickets to redeem, such as a 10-minute back rub, or a boys’ night out as gifts to make the other feel special and cared for.

If these things don’t work for you, do consider professional counseling. It’s way too early for your marriage to tank, and if the two of you just can’t seem to work it out between you, a neutral third party can work wonders.

Letter #: 425203
Category: Marriage

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