Practical Tips that Make a Happy Home
Author: Christine McLean
Finally, he popped the big question and, after a wonderful wedding, you and your new husband moved into your first home as a couple. The joy of newlywed bliss consumed your relationship for the first few beautiful months but after that period ended, you began to notice some things about him that you never saw before. You can’t believe that he doesn’t understand your desire to keep a clean home and your need to spend quality time with him. After all, aren’t these things he should already know about you?
There are many couples that find themselves in this situation and, if they don’t find a way to make things work, their relationship becomes bitter. There are three things that I believe a couple can do to create a happy home and a loving marriage.
Understand Your Spouse’s Love Language
Gary Chapman, a world renowned minister and author, coined a very interesting concept that I believe should be the foundation of every relationship. This concept is the five love languages which, when understood by both partners, can lead to a happy and fulfilling marriage. The five love languages are: “words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.” Each individual places greater priority on at least one of these languages. For example, if you are a woman who feels loved when her spouse spends time to help you wash the dishes, take out the trash and do the laundry then your primary love language is “acts of service”. If your partner is not expressing his love to you in this way then you will begin to feel unloved and neglected and this leads to an unhappy home. Conversely, if your partner feels loved when you give him a light kiss on the lips before he leaves for work or hold his hand as you walk down the street, then his primary love language is “physical touch”. If you aren’t making the effort to fulfill the needs of his primary love language, he is going to feel unloved and neglected regardless of how many other things you are doing for him. Getting to know your spouse’s primary love language and helping him to understand yours is the beginning of creating a strong and lasting relationship.
It has become almost cliché to say that communication is integral to a relationship. However, finding a couple that communicates very well is rare. Some couples believe that the only way to get their point across is to argue while others attempt (often successfully) to avoid confrontation. According to Robinson, Segal and Segal (2013) effective communication occurs when you actively listen, control your non-verbal communication, manage stress, and have a good sense of emotional awareness. When you are upset with your partner the best thing to do is to approach him or her calmly regardless of how angry you feel. Use “I” instead of “You” statements to convey how you feel and allow him to express his viewpoint. For example, instead of saying “You always neglect to take out the trash. I do so much in this house and this is the thanks I get.” You could say “I feel very hurt when you don’t take out the trash. I really appreciate when I get help with these small tasks.” If your husband really loves you then he will listen to what you’ve said without interrupting and provide his thoughts thereafter. Oftentimes, he probably doesn’t realize that he is causing you so much hurt. Learn to communicate well and you will have a happy home.
Have Realistic Expectations
As you grow in your relationship both you and your husband’s lives may take different paths based on your careers and the challenges of raising children. Understand the limitations of your spouse and don’t put pressure on him to do things that you know he won’t be able to do. If he has no time to fix the back porch because of work then the best thing to probably do is to either hire someone to do it for you or ask a relative who can do it to help. Understand the present constraints of your spouse and learn to work with them.
It is not impossible to create a happy home. Learn your spouse’s love language and help him to understand yours, communicate effectively with him, and have realistic expectations of him and you will have a good marriage.
 Robinson, L., Segal, J., Segal, R. (2013). Effective communication. Retrieved, September 18, 2013, from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/effective_communication_skills.htm.