This article is part of a series called Abstinence and the love languages.
Some people disregard compliments as flattery, but people who are fluent in Words of Affirmation take kind words to heart. In fact, actually hearing or reading affirmative statements from their spouse provides them the proof and reassurance that they can feel safe in the relationship, that they truly are valued for who they are. And when they feel that safety, they are more free to give back to their spouse what they need as well. If your spouse values this love language, don’t worry if you feel like you’re saying the same things over and over again — just like food is nourishing every time you eat it even if it’s the same meal, words of affirmation fill your spouse’s love tank every time you say them.
That said, we’ll try to help you spice up your vocabulary. 😉
Here are just a few practical suggestions of ways to express affection for your spouse using words of affirmation:
- Leave a sticky note with kind words in your spouse’s purse
- Text him “I love you” randomly throughout the day — even from next to each other on the couch
- Take a moment in a busy day to pull her away from what she’s doing, make eye contact, and really tell her how grateful you are for her sacrifices
- Have you noticed how hard he’s been working to get in shape? Let him know.
- Each night before bed, write a one-page love letter to your spouse in a notebook. When it’s totally filled up, wrap it in paper and present it to him or her.
- Keep a dry-erase marker in the bathroom and leave a quick “I love you” on the mirror for him to see
- Make a list of the different ways she inspires you and write them on small slips of paper. Add them to an old jar until it’s full. Give her the “Bad Day Jar” to brighten up her day when she’s feeling down about herself.
- Fill out one of these books for him
- Write a simple love poem and decorate the paper (start with a haiku if it helps)
- Tell him if there’s something particular you’ve noticed he’s done for your family that you’ve appreciated
- Cup her face in your hands while you tell her how much she means to you
- Work with your kids to write down and illustrate all the reasons you love him. Bind it into a book with ribbons and present it to him at bedtime to read aloud.
- Brag on your spouse to friends and family — eventually word will get around him that you think he’s amazing
- Write down kind things you often say to him. Get out a thesaurus, and replace overused words with new ones, then scatter the new notes in places he’ll see them.
- If he’s having a bad day, telling him how much you admire him — even if he already knows — will lift his spirits
- Make a list of positive adjectives that describe her. Fold it up and stick it in her purse.
- Compliment him in front of other people
- Is there a little quirk she has that you love? Tell her.
- You just can’t say “I love you” enough
- Before her birthday, collect notes and letters from her loved ones telling her how much she means to them. Give her the collection as a gift.
- Use your words to admit when you’re wrong. Hearing it out loud it will mean a lot to him.
- Pick up a yearly planner and write something you admire about your spouse at the top of each page. Wrap it nicely and present it at the beginning of the year.
- Use the 1 Second Everyday app to record yourself and your kids saying a word or phrase that describes your wife, and send her the composite video
- Encourage him with a comforting text before that big interview
- Say thank you and mean it
- Get a magazine spread telling her how amazing she is
- Remind him what things about him you find attractive, especially as the years roll on. For her, this is especially important as both age and childbirth change her body.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a genuine smile or a flirty wink just when she needs one — words aren’t always needed
- Tell him how happy it makes you to see a positive trait of his showing up in your child
- When the opportunity arises to compliment or praise her in the company of others, a gentle and genuine affirmation will warm her heart
— CCL Staff Member