As a newlywed, my husband and I surely have a pretty good understanding of one another. He could tell you the foods I go nuts for, the place I'd love to go on our next vacation, and the fact that I really hate shopping. But sometimes, I feel like we keep from going as deeply under one another's surfaces as we should. Spouses are meant to be kindred spirits - "one flesh" - who know the other as well as themselves, but often we settle for knowing facts, habits, and routines. Encourage your new husband to learn the following five aspects of your life (by whatever creative means you can pique his interest), and you might just bring your relationship to a whole new level.
1. Your love language
Each person has a "love language," according to author Gary Chapman. The five love languages - physical touch, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, and receiving gifts - dictate how a person desires to be shown love. My husband and I learned about each other's love languages during our pre-marriage retreat, and that information helps us understand each other's actions and desires. Your husband should take the time to learn what your love language is and to "speak" that language when showing you his love.
2. Your menstrual cycle
Each woman's menstrual cycle is different, and where you are in your cycle will greatly influence many aspects of your life. The delicate balance (or imbalance) of hormones in your body will change your mood, your sexual desire, and even your digestive tract functioning. Your husband should be aware of your typical cycle length and what happens to you during different phases of your cycle. Personally, my husband can always tell when I'm about to ovulate because I start to get anxious and moody. Learning more about your cycle and your hormones will also help you to keep an eye on your reproductive health and fertility.
3. Your job
Every husband should have a good understanding of his wife's job. If you work outside the home, he should know a little about your closest coworkers, the general skills you use, and any big projects you have going on. If you work as a homemaker, he should know what a typical day is like for you and all of the accomplishments you have made in the home and with your children. This will help him to have an appreciation for your talents and skills, a deeper understanding of your stress level, and the ability to offer you more support in such a significant aspect of your life. Try to avoid answering with a simple "Good" when he asks you about your day. Offer him some details!
4. Your temperament
Authors Art and Laraine Bennett introduced me to the idea of the four temperaments through their book The Temperament God Gave You. Though medieval philosophers originally identified the four personality types outlined in this book, the temperaments have recently made their way back into mainstream culture, particularly in Christian circles. Learning your temperament - sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, or a combination of two - will teach your spouse about your natural personality tendencies, reactions, desires, and more. Not only will he be able to understand you better, but he'll also be able to help you overcome the weaknesses of your temperament, augment the strengths, and ultimately lead a more balanced life.
5. Your birthday
OK. This one is mostly just a joke. But still, six months into our marriage, my husband was still unsure of my birthday. (I tested him today just to make sure it had finally stuck.) Make sure he learns your birthday and honors it as he should!
Bennett, Art and Laraine. The Temperament God Gave You.
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