Words of Affirmation: Love Language Support for Your Spouse

Is Your Spouse’s Love Language Words of Affirmation?

Words are powerful. They are used to encourage or to destroy self-esteem. The words you use have energy with the ability to help, to heal, to hurt, or humiliate. In marriage, the words chosen are incredibly important to build a unified team. When words of affirmation aren’t used, it can tear down your spouse and cause them to feel worthless. As a married couple, we should always encourage our teammate instead of competing against them.

Support your spouse's love language with these words of affirmation! Click To Tweet

Is Your Heart Ready?

When I first began to focus on praising my husband, I thought it would be easy. I thought how hard is it to say “I love you” or “I am proud of you”. Those two phrases aren’t difficult but when he made mistakes or if I didn’t agree with the way he did things, praising seemed impossible. There wasn’t anything wrong with my husband, the problem was within myself. To truly give affirmation to your loved one, you need to get rid of your wants and needs and put your spouse first.

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Proper Ways to Praise

To give praise the right way, you need to get out of your own way. It can be difficult to give words of affirmation to your spouse because you feel they need to earn it. We can easily think, “Why should I give a compliment until he does something to deserve it?” I guess we could say that for any of the love languages but this one especially. What we say does have more power than what we do.

Proverbs 18:21 states, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [death or life]. Words can help you believe you can conquer the world yet also prevent you from wanting to get out of bed in the morning. So, if your spouse’s love language is words of affirmation, then it is even more important to word hard on praising them the right way. 

Know Your Spouse

To praise your husband properly, you need to understand what he wants. First and foremost, he wants to be respected. The man of the house has many pressures he must carry. He was built to provide strength for his family but he also faces difficult days and negative thoughts about himself too. The role of the wife is to come underneath him and lift him up.

Praise your husband and strengthen your marriage! Click To Tweet

The impact of words of affirmation are depend on our delivery skills and the types of phrases we use. There are different types of phrases you can use to help encourage your spouse: thankfulness, humility, optimism, empathy, and admiration.

1. Attitude of Thankfulness

Don’t you love it when your family thanks you for making a nice meal, keeping the house clean, or doing the laundry? Everyone wants to feel appreciated for what they do and telling your spouse you are thankful for them will place them on top of a mountain. A simple heartfelt thanksgiving gives extra meaning and purpose to our daily actions.

You don’t have to give a long Thanksgiving speech every day, just pick one thing and be specific. It’s a wonderful gift to show your spouse how much you care about their role in your life. Here are some example phrases to use.

I am grateful when you help me do…
I appreciate that you…
I couldn’t ______ today if it weren’t for you . . .
I am thankful that you . . .

2. Attitude of Humility

All of us struggle with pride or have an ego. Don’t we all want to be right and be the best most of the time? In a marriage, it is important to be vulnerable and acknowledge any mistakes you may have made. By sharing your imperfections on a regular basis, it  
opens the door to receive forgiveness, understanding, and a chance to try again the next day. This is also a good opportunity to air out any troubling annoyances or hurt feelings so that they don’t blow up in your face in the long run. A small problem can stew inside and build which can cause distance in the marriage.

If saying sorry is hard for you, please remember that there is nothing like a humble heart to break down a wall between two people.

A humble heart will break down any wall between two people! Click To Tweet

I made a mistake today that I regret…
I wish I would have ______ today
I am so sorry for . . .
Next time, I’ll try to . . .
You must have been (hurt, confused, etc.) when I…

3. Attitude of Optimism

Your partner isn’t always going to do the right thing or put your feelings first. If you have that expectation, then I am sorry to say you will be disappointed. When we have an attitude of optimism, then we will always first believe they had good intentions. This helps us to seek and learn more instead of assume they did something wrong on purpose.

Also, when you believe in your spouse, then you can keep a positive attitude and encourage them. When your spouse has a good heart, but may have fallen short of your expectations, focus on the intention and not the outcome. This way you can use some of these phrases to keep them encouraged for next time.

I believe in you because . . .
It impressed me when you . . .
The good news is . . .
When you need something to lift your spirits, just remember that . . .


4. Attitude of Empathy

It can be very difficult to show empathy to our spouse. If you haven’t truly walked in their situation, then you may honestly not understand how they feel. I struggle with empathy. I tend to show an attitude of let it go and suck it up. That is a horrible way to show love when your spouse thrives on words of affirmation. Showing empathy is a way for us to show that we understand. Even if you don’t completely understand what your spouse is going through it is comforting to them to have someone help them through their struggles.

A great way to empathize with someone’s emotions, even if you don’t quite understand them, is to reflect on what they may be feeling or thinking. Paraphrase what you can tell they might be going through.

It must be tough that you . . .
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to . . .
I could see how you would feel that way because . . .
I can see that you are hurting, how can I comfort you?

5. Attitude of Admiration

Everyone wants to feel loved or to be admired. The best way to show this is through respect for who they are. When you admire your spouse, then you respect the differences between the two of you and you don’t try to change them. Be specific when you give them a compliment about how they do things. Try to make notes of when they did something differently than the way you would yet still have got great results.

Great job with . . .
I’m so thankful to have you in my life because . . .
I wish I could ___ the way you do.
It makes me happy when you . . .
I’m proud of you for . . .

Praise Delivered in a Unique Way

There are many ways to deliver words of affirmation. Even though you should say them, there are other ways to praise your spouse through words delivered in an unique way.

  • Send flirty texts during the day. A quick text relaying “I can’t wait to see you tonight” is sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face. It will certainly keep the dialog going and make that boring board meeting go much faster.
  • Note on the car window. When we were younger we would leave notes on our crush’s car. Leave a fun note like, “You look hot behind the wheel”.
  • Post it on the bathroom mirror. If you must leave early one morning, leave a sweet note on the mirror. Or better yet, leave 25 on the mirror with short sayings. You rock, you’re the best, nobody does it better, etc.

Believe in Life’s Unlimited Possibilities,

Cheryl Stinchcomb

About The Author

Cheryl

Cheryl is a blogger and online trainer that her closest girlfriends describe as the "strongest woman I know". She has experienced big losses in life and learned that being a perfectionist is exhausting and a joy killer. She wants to help other Christian women to learn from her mistakes by trusting God and staying determined to believe in limitless possibilities in life & career!

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