4 ways to guarantee your spouse feels loved

Everyone feels loved in different ways, so when it comes to loving your spouse, make sure you're doing it the right way.

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  • Your relationship with your spouse is important and needs to be nourished and strengthened daily. The question then becomes, "How do I help my spouse feel loved?" Since each person feels loved and appreciated in different ways, the answer is not straightforward.

  • As you work at things and try different ideas, you will figure out the best way to make your spouse feel loved. Here are some ideas to begin your journey.

  • Be observant

  • Know that your spouse may feel love differently than you do, and be observant. Observe how he or she shows you love. We generally show love the way we feel love, so recognize the little things your spouse does for you. Does she write affectionate notes? Does he text you in the middle of the day for no apparent reason other than to say "I love you?" Understanding how your spouse shows you love is a big hint as to how he or she wants love shown in return. Once you've figured out how your spouse wants to be loved, continue being observant. Never stop increasing your knowledge about your spouse's needs and feelings.

  • Identify love languages

  • There are five love languages as described by Dr. Gary Chapman: words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, acts of service and quality time.

  • Once you determine what your spouse's love language is, begin showing love and appreciation through those means. Realize, however, that no one feels love only one way. Use all the love languages, but focus on your spouse's number one preferred language.

  • Communicate with your spouse

  • There are several ways to communicate your love and appreciation for your spouse. Listening without your own agenda getting in the way will make your spouse feel loved in ways you do not realize. The number one cause of marital issues is bad communication. Or, it may be a lack of communication — not talking or listening at all. Either way, this causes difficulties. There are specific communication danger signs. By learning to overcome these danger signs, you will improve your relationship.

  • Tell your spouse how much he or she is loved by you. Express your admiration and show how much you want to spend time together. You may even want to say, "Thank you for being my spouse." It is important that your spouse can sense you are authentic. Share your thoughts, struggles and emotions, and listen when your spouse shares the same with you. Good communication will make your relationship strong and will help your spouse feel that he or she is the most important person in your life.

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  • Let go of the small stuff

  • Do not dwell on the little imperfections in your relationship. No relationship or spouse will be perfect, but treat your relationship and your spouse as if they are perfect. Learn to forgive. Once a situation is discussed and resolved, do not bring it up again. When something from the past keeps getting brought up in arguments, the relationship and communication become unsafe. To help your spouse feel loved, keep your relationship safe and free from past issues.

  • Continually work on, improve, nourish and strengthen your relationship. Make it a daily goal to make your marriage stronger than the day before. This is done through the little acts you do every day. Share your feelings and help your spouse understand just how much he or she is loved. The chorus of the song, "All of Me," by John Legend says, "All of me loves all of you. Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections." Help your spouse feel perfect "just the way they are."

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Russell Gaede is a licensed mental health professional. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology. He is the Executive Director for the Life Enhancement Center.

Website: http://www.drrussspeaks.com

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