What would you do if you learned that your spouse needed something from you that you weren’t currently giving them? Would you try everything in your power to accommodate them? I like to think that I would. During a Marriage Oneness study recently, I learned that my guy has a second love language that he’s never mentioned: physical touch.
For years I have tried to support his language of acts of service, having a cleanish house as he walks in each day, dinner planned, etc. But recently he said that I could communicate love to him by touching him more. This is easier said than done for me, although I tend to hug a lot of people, I’m not a big toucher. Honestly, somewhere along the way I have identified touching with desperation or neediness. That’s my problem, not his. So, if I need to re-wire my brain to realize that reaching for his hand or rubbing his back will communicate some of what I feel for him, I will do it. Choosing to not after I know this could inflict a deep wound.
Wounds can come in many forms, but the deepest are from those we love the most, inflicting heart pain and potentially crippling us emotionally, or at least handicapping growth in the relationship. There are as many ways to wound another as there are people, because we are all different; what can hurt one person may not even appear on the radar of another, But when we are in close relationship, we know what it takes to hurt someone else.
A man knows that his wife loves to talk about matters of the heart, to go deeper into conversation instead of talking about shallow things. Yet he refuses to share his heart, claiming that he doesn’t want to stress her out when in reality, he is afraid to be vulnerable with her. He has decided that she cannot be trusted, or that it’s not worth it to invest in the relationship.
A woman knows that her guy loves for her to dress up and wear colorful clothing, and is guaranteed to notice every time she does. She gets tired or resentful or angry and begins to wear drab, colorless pieces that mix and match with little to no thought to her appearance. She has decided that he isn’t worth honoring anymore.
These choices cause deep wounds. If you don’t know what your spouse wants, I don’t believe the wound is nearly as deep as when you do realize and intentionally hold something back from them. This doesn’t excuse us to stay ignorant, it should compel us to study our spouses and ask questions, find out what really matters to them and then work hard to provide it, even if it doesn’t come naturally.