Articles

By Alexandra Khoo
 

Just like a plant will only grow with water, sun and fertiliser, your marriage needs to be nurtured to grow in love. Here are 5 simple ways to brighten your spouse’s day!

 

Words of Affirmation

Verbal appreciation – unsolicited compliments and encouragement mean a lot versus insults that are hurtful.

 

A Way with Words


For Him

  • Pay a compliment on something specific that you like about him or simply say “You’re handsome.”
  • Write him an encouraging note for an important presentation that he has at work or sticky note love messages in his wardrobe.
  • Use your lipstick to draw a heart shape and write something nice on the bathroom mirror or toilet paper.

For Her

  • Thank her for something that she does for you or the kids to show your appreciation. You can even do this on Facebook!
  • Write a nice quote on a post-it and stick it on the inside of her lap top to surprise her when she opens it at work.
  • Whisper to her that she’s your best friend and playmate.
 
Acts of Service
“Actions speak louder than words”– simple efforts of doing things for your spouse speak volumes about your love and concern.

 

Act A-way


For Him

  • Make him a cup of coffee and decorate pancakes for breakfast or a meal to take to work.
  • Take care of his parents’ needs or do little things for his sibling/s.
  • Be kind to him – give him a massage before bedtime or rub ointment on his muscle aches.

For Her

  • Take the kids out and let her have a much-needed nap.
  • Pick her up to and from home whenever you can.
  • Be kind to her – check to make sure that she has everything she needs for the day e.g. laptop, money, keys and so on.
 
Receiving Gifts
Visual symbols of love – where gifts are expressions of devotion, effort and thoughtfulness.

 

Way Easy Gifts

For Him

  • Get him that little something that he mentioned casually.
  • Buy a DVD; make some popcorn and a drink for him for a relaxing movie night at home.
  • Send him a “Box of Sunshine” containing all things yellow e.g. sun-shaped cut-outs, a banana, one of your yellow g-strings, yellow snacks, and so on.

For Her

  • Buy her a strawberry milkshake and a pretty pink cupcake.
  • Make a card with foot or hand prints of the kids and yourself and write individual messages to her beside the prints.
  • On her birthday, or your wedding anniversary, prepare a basket of food and drink and take her for a romantic night picnic by the beach under the stars.
 
Quality Time
Full, undivided attention – quality conversations and activities without distractions like the TV or smart phone make you feel special.
 

Two-Way Time


For the both of you

  • Do something together e.g. take a walk, go for a swim – it helps the relationship to exercise together or something silly e.g. pitch a tent in the room and sleep in it, dance madly to fast music.
  • Cuddle up with one another on the living room sofa!
  • Create a scavenger hunt with clues that only two of you understand and have him find little memorabilia or old photos that mean something to both of you.
  • Look into each other’s’ eyes when you hear that special song on the radio. Shake it up by doing something out of the ordinary e.g. a pizza making class, biking, or walk barefoot in the grass.
 
Physical Touch
Where receiving hugs, pats, and holding hands show you care for your spouse.
 

All The Way


For Him

  • Give him a back rub or pet his back while he’s driving.
  • Hug and kiss him like you mean it, not just that usual customary peck.
  • Text him a naughty message or email him a nice note to his office email address.

For Her

  • Give her a long full body hug or kiss out of the blue.
  • Touch her shoulder, her face when you hear something funny or when your wedding song plays on the radio.
  • Help her rub lotion on her hands and feet before she goes to sleep.
 
Jonathan Siew, senior counsellor from Care Corner Counselling Centre, shares: “Build your ‘love units’ – a concept used to understand the need and benefit of doing things for our spouse to show our care and love. The more we do so, the more we deposit ‘love units’ into the love bank account. As our spouse feels loved and cared for, the happier he will become, making the relationship stronger.”
 

Jonathan shares the top 3 must-dos:

 

1. Understand your spouse
Know his needs and how he experiences love. Don’t offer something that you think is important to you but not important to your spouse. It is important to cater your ‘doing’ to match your spouse’s needs and ‘love language’.

 

2. Be respectful and appreciative to your spouse
Respect is about honouring and not undermining your spouse’s judgement and abilities. Most of us need to be validated by one another and do not like being taken for granted. So cherish your spouse by being encouraging, respectful and appreciative.

 

3. Have good self-care
A person who feels that he is unlovable tends to use ineffective ways to source for love from his spouse or to avoid being too emotionally intimate with his spouse. So having a good sense of self allows the person to offer love without seeking a return from the spouse.

 
Maybe Baby thanks Mr Jonathan Siew, Senior Counsellor from Care Corner Counselling Centre, for his professional input in this article.
 

The 5 Love Languages, Dr Gary Chapman, Author of The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Discover your love language here! 

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