Blog Marriage

Oh Crap.  I think My Love Language Changed.

oh crap. my love language

I have been a physical touch addict for about twenty years now. Yes indeed, since diagnosed by Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages) in 2007, I’ve told every gent coming my way to count his blessings because I am neither an acts of service, nor a gifts girl. Just wrap those tree trunk arms around this needy Cancerian and we’re good to go.

Then I entered my 40’s with a new marriage, a magical new blend of five kids, and a sense of general exhaustion frequently leading to uncouth slumbering over the steering wheel at 9 pm basketball pick-ups. And somehow, some way, it has happened. I’ve become an acts of service girl. Ugh. I always thought acts of service people were so… I dunno. Lame. Like the kind of wives who won’t give it up unless their husband’s washed an equal amount of Tupperware that day and gets the hots watching daddy de-leaf the gutters. Ewe. But after the umpteenth recurrence of me pacing the house, spewing Shakespearean-esque monologues about being the only one scrubbing the base boards and taking the dog out, my husband had to break it to me: “Babe. I think your love language changed.”

And right in line with most biannual occurrences around here, I saw his point. Mommy doesn’t want hugs. She wants help. She wants mutual accountability on the piling heaps of junk perpetually amassing on the kitchen table and someone else to broker snack requests and juice refills. And yes, I want my car to be cleaned just once and a while, to communicate love and devotion through the anointed oil of Amor All.

I share this dire confession not only because it feels liberating, but I think it’ll help others who struggle with advocating for themselves and voicing their own needs because we feel silly, selfish or awkward about it. But if we don’t take the time to think about what’s working/not working in our marriages, problems arise. We get stuck in patterns of thinking and behaviors that might’ve worked, or sustained us ten years ago, but nowadays we’re like, ‘meh.’ We might have differing needs surrounding date nights, alone time, family time, spiritual activities, etc. but how often do we take time to intentionally adjust?

Frankly we’re usually just too busy to stop and reflect on what makes us happy, and what really does fill our love tank so to speak. But this is super important, when it comes to marriage. For years now, I’ve been feeling guilty and ungrateful that hugs and flirty texts weren’t cutting it, when really, I’ve just been feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and totally unsure how to communicate my feelings and needs.

We shouldn’t get stuck in a rut, or unsatisfied in an area, when we don’t need to be. We just have to take the time to think about what would make us better versions of ourselves and/or our relationships.

What do you want more of, or less of? How do you want to spend your time differently? What areas of your relationship do you wish you could grow more in?

Easier said than done, like sticking to the Keto chips, but we should at least try to do self check-ins once and a while. Do the enneagram test with your spouse. Or the Gottman or love language test. A lot of times our relational frustration stems from “cooking with expired ingredients.” I’ve only been re-married three years and in that short time so much has changed. Don’t run on auto-pilot. If you need more personal time to fulfill your hobbies and ambitions, don’t be afraid to ask. Or maybe you’re lacking physical connection, or now that the kids are finally a bit more independent, you’re craving more emotional intimacy than you have in years past.

When we’re in tune with our own emotional, spiritual and physical needs…and actually do something about it… we become better, more present and giving spouses. It took me years to ask for more help in the “domestic” (so like, everything) arena of our lives, and in tandem my husband’s opened up with areas he’d like me to be more involved in. Please Lord, not the Target budget….

Let’s start taking stock of our lives and avoid resting on our emotional laurels. Life’s too short to live tired, bored, disappointed and unfulfilled lives throwing resentful glances at the laundry piles. Change can feel difficult and uncomfortable, but stagnancy and apathy are worse. Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear the kids asking for Daddy. He’s in the garage guys…go get ’em!…xo

For more on marriage, check out my “5 Marriage-Killing Habits to Avoid, Daily.”

Take the 5 Love Language Test

Take the Enneagram Test here

Learn more about the Gottman Assessment ($40)

Best podcast out there on Christian marriage & intimacy: The Naked Marriage podcast


Jessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist, author and contributor to the Christian Broadcasting Network, Huff Post, God TV, Beliefnet, Crosswalk and many more. When she's not burning dinner, daydreaming about the beach, she can be found on the trampoline with her copious amount of children, wishing she'd ordered the turbo shot.

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