Yesterday I said, “your wife wants the same basic things you want, and life is much better if she feels/believes you are working to help her have those things.” I also indicated I was going to discuss how to go about helping your wife believe you are working to help her with those things.
First let me be clear this is not about deceiving her, it is about actually making an effort to help her feel loved, respected, accepted for who she is, and the other things I mentioned on Monday. There is no short cut here, first you have to make the effort, and then if she is missing the effort you can work on showing her what you are doing.
For love and respect, the big issue is figuring out how to do them in a way that she understands. Expressing your love eloquently in Mandarin is useless if she does not understand the language. Showing her respect the way you would show a male friend respect may mean nothing to her.
Start by asking her if she feels loved by you all of the time, most of the time, some of the time, or rarely. This is about how she feels, so don’t get defensive if you don’t like her answer. Instead, ask her what you do that makes her feel loved, and what you do that makes her feel unloved. Do more of the former, and stop doing the latter. When you think you have done well for several days, ask her again how often she feels loved, and what you have done recently that communicated love or caused her to question your love.
Do the same thing with respect. Odds are respect is less important to her than love, but some women are the other way, and both are important.
By the way, two of the must read marriage books I have mentioned this year are all about these very important needs:
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman