14. Living Together Despite Differences

It’s normal and expected in any romantic relationship that each person will have a different definition of love, a different way of living life, a different preference in routine, and a different outlook on how things should be organized and run.

Differences can add richness, depth, and texture to your marriage. If you seek the advantage in them, they can help you grow spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. In fact, your husband’s differences can potentially improve you and vice versa. Often enough, his strengths are your weaknesses and his weaknesses are your strengths.

Your differences are not deficiencies. If you were both the same, you’d have the same blind spots and the same vulnerabilities. When problems occur, you’d have the same solutions and you probably wouldn’t resolve as much as you think you would. Your husband’s differences and your differences make you that unique pair.

Some wives keep a negative attitude towards their husbands’ differences. It persuades them to waste much of their energy and time on trying to change their husbands so that he can be just like them, which often backfires. Instead of working with their husbands and growing together as a team, they fight against the tide.

The truth is that even happy couples have loads of differences, but the secret to success is that they adopt a positive attitude towards them. They accept one another as is and use each other’s strengths where they are needed – no matter how foreign their perks may seem.

By being considerate and thoughtful towards your husband’s differences, you can better give the love that he needs. When you actively show concern that you want to take care of your husband in a way that makes him feel loved and fulfilled, what’s amazing is that he just follows suit – and you reap the benefits of being cherished and adored because he reciprocates the goodness that you radiate inshaAllah.

Thus, it is best to create a culture in your marriage that respects the differences between you and your husband. Use your differences as a way to unite and increase the good in your relationship.

For many relationships, possessing different love languages is an area where tension can arise.

 

What Are Love Languages?

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioners studied individuals and discovered that most people give love according to three distinct modalities. They categorized these distinctions into three languages of love: visual, audio, and kinesthetic.

Visual: Show your love. You communicate love by offering visual evidence. Buying flowers and gifts, dressing up and looking good, being well-groomed, providing a clean house, going on trips, and seeing new places together.

Auditory: Hear the love. You communicate your love through sound. You say it: I love you. You might enjoy soft tones, singing, and engaging conversations to experience love.

Kinesthetic: Feel the love. You communicate love by way of physical touch. Hugs, snuggling, kissing, caressing, spending quality time together, and physical closeness are evidence of love.

Keep in mind that just because you like to receive gifts, it doesn’t mean that you’re visual. A visual person needs to be given gifts in order to FEEL LOVED.

Just because you smile when you hear sweet compliments, it doesn’t mean that you’re audio. An audio person will instinctively feel HEARTBROKEN by not receiving constant sweet talk.

Just because you are comfortable with hugging others doesn’t mean that you’re kinesthetic. A kinesthetic person must be touched in order to feel EMOTIONALLY FULFILLED.

Basically, a love language describes what you need on a daily basis from your spouse in order to feel loved, wanted, and accepted. When you do not get what you need, you think that you are ‘missing’ something vital from your relationship.

 

Love Languages & Conflict

People naturally give their love to others according to their own love language, and they expect to receive love back in that same language. However, it is quite common to be paired with someone who is a different love language than your own.

If you are not giving love in the way that your husband understands love, he won’t feel loved, and if he does not give love to you in the way that you understand love, you won’t feel loved.

Consider this analogy: If you speak English and your husband speaks Chinese, whenever you speak to him in English, he doesn’t understand you. Moreover, you keep expecting him to speak back to you in English, but he doesn’t know how because he speaks Chinese.

By discovering each other’s love languages and giving that type of love accordingly, it can better guide you in finding solutions to strengthen your marital bond inshaAllah.

 

Discovering Your Love Languages

Check out this online quiz to figure out each other’s languages and read our TayyibaatWives’ Love Language Gender Comparison Chart, which breaks down each love language by gender.

 

Speak His Language

It’s not enough to learn what his love language is, but now you have to speak it by offering consistent daily doses.

First figure out how your husband matches up to his love language. Ask yourself:

What exactly does he need in order to feel like he’s receiving love in his language? What is a ‘must’ for him in his everyday life? What makes him feel satisfied and cared for?

Every man has something that’s very, very important to him; so find out what it is and always do it. This is the gift of a woman – that she understands her husband’s desires. Be a feminine detective.

For example:

If he’s visual: Does he need a super clean and organized house? What is considered ‘clean’ to him? Does he need his wife to dress up every day? How dressed up does she need to be? Does he need her to look at him when he’s talking to her? Must she wear or use his gifts often?

If he’s audio: Does he need to be told sweet compliments every morning? In which situations are best? Does he need his wife to listen to him talk about his life daily or sing a nasheed along with him? Does he need her to talk to him in soft tones and not raise her voice, even when they argue?

If he’s kinesthetic: Does he need marital relations daily? What type of foods must she cook to make him happy and how often does he need freshly cooked food? Does he need a hug when he comes home or when he’s feeling down?

 

Increasing His Love For You

It’s a great idea to share the sweet reason for why you’re doing these things for him.

For example, maybe your husband is visual and he needs to have his office desk at home neat and tidy before he starts his day. Make sure to keep it clean and say, “I did this just for you because I know it’s important to you.” Or maybe your husband is audio, so you tell him that you’re scheduling in 15 minutes a day to read to him and say, “I want you to know that I like making you happy.” Or maybe your husband is kinesthetic and he loves food, so you tell him, “I made this dish just for you because I love you.”

Men are big copy cats in relationships. When you make these emotional bids, it registers with him and he will want to send a bid back.

 

But how do you get him to send the right bid according to your own needs and wants?…

 

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