What says "love" to you within marriage? It differs between couples — and even so between men and women. But let's make this one thing is clear: men who do chores are sexy. What woman wouldn't love it if her husband made her daily chores a little more manageable by doing the following activities?
- Helping unload the dishwasher instead of planting himself in front of the television to watch ESPN after she cooked his favorite dinner
- Starting a load of laundry without having to be asked and without a helpless, "I don't know how to separate the clothes" attitude.
- Making the bed if he's the last one up in the morning
- Helping out with meal preparation instead of asking every 3 minutes when the food will be ready
- Running the vacuum occasionally because he knows it's your least favorite chore
These are all gestures that proclaim love and appreciation. Even if your husband is good about thanking you and being sincerely grateful for your daily efforts to make your lives comfortable, helping with the chores communicates "We are a team; I love you." No one wants to feel taken for granted in love, and an overload of household chores can easily dampen the desire for romance.
For a lasting, loving and rewarding marriage, each spouse needs to feel appreciated, loved and respected. Every relationship has its own manner of relating and conveying appreciation, which allows the relationship to flourish. It is the lack of balance that can easily create resentment. When bitterness takes root in the heart, a breakdown of that shared intimacy is dangerously close. Working with individuals and couples over the years as a relationship coach, I have seen the consequences of taking each other for granted. It is in doing the little things and being attentive to one another over time that can add up to a loving marriage. If you need help in this area, I can show you how to reconnect and revitalize your relationship.
The key is to openly communicate when you feel overwhelmed with too many responsibilities. Traditional gender role models work for some couples, but are not for everyone. Expressing to your spouse what says "love" to you and taking the initiative to show your love in the manner they want to receive it will lessen the likelihood of resentment from forming in your marriage.
Emotional fulfillment is an essential element toward romantic connection and strong intimacy. Marriage is not exclusively for you; each spouse should be committed to making the other person feel content and fulfilled. Becoming less focused on What's-in-it-for-me and turning toward How-can-I-help will lead you to the desires of both your hearts.
Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships through her practical Christian-based advice. Visit her website for coaching options and recent books. Subscribe to her free report, Is He The Right One or schedule a free coaching session with Nancy.
More relationship coach advice on YourTango: