I believe l am one of those who have been through a rough patch in my relationship…until the day l decided to change and do something about it. In the 8 years of our relationship, we have broken up 3 times and were often quarreling over the most trivial matters. I often get unhappy whenever he doesn’t call or message me enough. Needless to say, l could not save our relationship until the day l learn some simple, hard truths and make some positive changes in my life.
1. Speak his Love Language
I stopped trying to change him. I know a lot of women love to change their man and had unknowingly nagged at them but the man does not need another mother, he needs a loving wife, a soul-mate. I started to change my attitude towards him and stop demanding/expecting so much out of the relationship. I studied his love languages and asked him what he likes me to do for him. He told me he disliked all the name-calling and sarcastic remarks l used to hurl at him whenever we quarrel. A relationship does not need to be a fighting match and never-never put him down in front of his friends or in public no matter how much you feel like taking revenge. Wait till you are in a private place to discuss the matter peacefully.
The 5 love languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
Praise your partner lavishly and affirm him/her when they did something right (no matter how small it may be). This will help build up confidence in your partner and in the relationship.
- Quality Time
This is one of the most common love language. People enjoy being with great company, doing things that interest them or learning a new skill together. If this is your partner’s love language, it’s time to stay off from your phone, internet and TV and give one another some precious, undivided attention.
It is human nature to want to feel loved and receiving gifts is one of the most tangible ways to feel loved and remembered. A gift does not need to be expensive, just thoughtful. There are apps that can be installed in your smart phone to remind you of the important dates in life.
- Acts of Service
A little act of service goes a long way. Once, I was feeling sick after eating too much street snacks in Taipei and vomited in the basin at the unearthly hour of 2 am. I was so touched when he used a toothbrush to help me remove the puke and choke in the basin. You will need to spent some time and creativity to do some thoughtful acts of service for your partner, such as cooking for him/her, walking the dog, household chores, etc, if this is his/her love language.
- Physical Touch
A pat on the shoulder, a hug, a peck on the cheek or just simply holding hands will satisfy this need.
2. Be Interested in his World
The man and his toys are inseparable. I used to wonder why does he need to spend so much money on those figurines (Transformers, Macross, Gundam, Kamen Riders) but when l learn to accept what he loves, l told him he can have an entire room to display all his figurines in our new house. I am sure he was a happy man that day.
Being interested in his world for me means watching his favourite cartoons with him (i.e. Ghibli Studios), asking him about the characteristics of each figurine and showing him that l care. I remembered that he told me he was very deprived during childhood as his parents would not buy him toys even when he did well in school. Hence, he now has an entire collection of toys in the Storhub warehouse. My father said the same to me when l asked why he needs to buy so many expensive fountain pens.
3. Forgive…and Truly Forgets
I know this is easier said than done but seriously nobody likes to be reminded of what they had done wrong 10, 15 years ago. You may feel that you are punishing them when you keep bringing up the matter but you are actually tormenting yourself by reliving the memory each day. The other party had most probably forgotten that he had ever offended you. Someone once said…unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and wishing that the other person would die…After all, everyone makes mistakes – so forgive and also truly forgets…
4. Stop Comparing him with Someone else
I used to make the fatal mistake of comparing my current boyfriend with all my previous ones. Now when l put myself in his shoes, l understand perfectly why he can get so mad at me for doing so. He used to hurt me by saying, “That’s why they had all left…” Ouch. We need to guard our hearts and cherish the man we have chosen and always speak positively of him. After all, if we keep wishing that he is more handsome, fitter, romantic or richer, some other women out there would be more than willing to have him…
5. Be Honest and Transparent with One Another
Men are not wired like women to multi-task and yet engage in meaningful conversations all at the same time. I used to make him second guess my thoughts and actions and would get very frustrated when he could not. Now, this isn’t fair to him. The best policy would be to tell him plainly and simply in the face what you want to save you both a lot of headaches and heartaches.
My Advice for Women
Do set aside 1 or 2 days each week for date nights where you can forget about work, children and other mundane things but just focus on the both of you. Rekindle the first love and romance.
Share your dreams, goals and aspirations with each other and always speak positively of him in front of others. And oh, did l mention, after l change the way l think and act, the messages and calls all come automatically! Your loving actions will only beget more loving actions from the other party. However, if your partner is violent and abusive towards you, you should seek professional guidance.
Remember ladies, beauty is fleeting and at the end of it, it is your true character and inner beauty that will stand the test of time and last an eternity...
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