Last week we covered Acts of Service, this week we will wrap up Acts of Service. After reading last weeks article, did you try any of the suggestions I asked you to think about? I got a call from a client who wanted some ideas on how to improve her marriage. We spoke for about 20 minutes and she certainly has several area's she wants to work on, and acts of service was one of those area's!
Let’s review some of last week’s article. Do you like doing things for others, helping them out, maybe by doing the laundry, or planning a special dinner for your spouse? Acts of service are doing things for your spouse or loved ones, without being asked. If you enjoy planning surprise events, or just enjoying doing something special for someone, this is one of your love languages. I think that Acts of service is one of the easiest to incorporate in your life. Doing things for your spouse is a no-brainer. If you look and listen to what your spouse is saying, you can fill their needs by helping out.
I had a client who would get up early in the morning, clean the kitchen, and make coffee for his wife. He didn't know if she appreciated what he was doing until one day, while at a dinner with friends, she shared with the group how her husband would make her coffee in the morning and clean the kitchen. He was so happy; he shared with me that it was worth every morning of making coffee and cleaning the kitchen just to know this made a difference in helping his wife. This is not a major event in their household, but one that made a lasting impression on the husband and wife.
Here is a suggestion for those who have the gift of Acts of Service. Make a list of things you think your spouse would like you to do for them. After this list is completed, then start doing them and see if they notice. Then sit down with them and together make a list that they would like to have you do things for them and watch what happens. Your spouse will be delighted in all the things you are doing for them. Remember Acts of Service are doing things for you spouse without being told, time after time. If that happens that defeats the purpose of Acts of Service.
Remember when you were dating all the things you did before you said I do! You would do anything possible for your love interest, if they liked flowers, and a walk in the park, you made that happen. You were doing things without being asked, remember? So, when we get married what happens, we fall back into old patterns before we were in love and got married. One of the things that couples fall in love over, is the things we did for each other before we said "I do." Make a list of the things that made you fall in love with your spouse. Talk about these things and go over them, think about the fond memories the Acts of Service from your spouse did for you.
One of the problems encountered in defining what each others love language is, can be how we interpret our expressed needs. Sometimes we may convey our needs as demands and when we don't get them start to be critical if our needs are not met. We want to make sure those things we need or ask for are requests and not demands. So, you want to learn what your spouse's love languages are.
I had one client who would use his love language as a way to demand his way and to cause great harm to the marriage. The 5 love languages are supposed to help and improve any marriage, not be a burden to it. I got a call from his wife and she was crying on the other end of the phone. She said that her husband was demanding that she comply with his needs. One of his needs was Acts of service, and that was to run errands for him. He was taking advantage of her and he and she knew it. This is where you have to express to your spouse that you will not be used or manipulated by your spouse. This is not love and a gentle reminder, that you will not be used in any way. The purposes of the 5 love languages are to improve the marriage and getting to know each other in the process.
There must be a willingness to look at the marriage in an honest and open manner. There are incredible benefits to meeting the needs of your spouse. It’s worth going the extra mile and make things happen. This will take time, and as you get to know the needs of your spouse, the marriage will improve. I have to say that I have seen some marriages on the brink of divorce, and when we incorporated the 5 love languages, the marriage turned around. Yes, it takes work, and at times it may seem impossible, but with perseverance, you can save a broken marriage. I get many folks who simply want to make the marriage better, and I suggest the 5 love languages to spice up your marriage. Next week we will be looking at Love Language number 5, Physical Touch. This will help couples in defining what physical touch is in a great marriage.
Are you having a difficult time in doing acts of service for your spouse and need help? Is it difficult for you to know how to plan a quality time event? Do you want help in discovering your love languages or that of your spouse? If you answered yes to any of these questions, call Dr. Mike and set up an appointment to speak with him.
If you want to read past articles you can go to Mike's blog at http://applicablecoaching/blog.php
feel free to post your comments and or questions.
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