If you haven’t read the book, “The Five Love Languages,” by Dr. Gary Chapman, I suggest it as excellent reading to continue to grow a healthy relationship, or help to heal a broken relationship. While it takes more than a book to build our relationship, one thing is certain, there is action required to serve another human being. There is no way around it. Our narcissistic nature encourages us to put ourselves over others, even when we are not aware of it. It’s important to address one of the five love languages, “acts of service,” by learning what it means to put your spouse’s needs before your own.
Selflessness vs. Self-preservation
I was having a discussion with a client recently about putting her man’s needs above her own. She couldn’t totally grasp the concept. It wasn’t that she was out of touch or clueless, the fact is, she is used to putting herself first because she never saw anyone else put her first. She was taught to look out for number one by default. This mindset is a commentary on our relationships as a whole. What I wanted her to see was conflict between selflessness and self-preservation. Self-preservation says I take care of number one. Selflessness says I take care of my significant other or my spouse above all else. Self-preservation presents the message that if my needs are met, then and only then can I meet the needs of others. Selflessness says by meeting the needs of those I love first and foremost, I am meeting my needs.
Every woman’s love language is not acts of service. That’s ok, because every man should still desire to serve his woman.
Putting someone else before yourself is not a list of things you check off. It’s a complete change of how you think about the world. One of the things I was taught years ago in sales training, is that people are most often not listening to what you are saying. People are actually waiting to talk. This is an example of our selfishness. Great salespeople ask great questions and listen more than they talk. They listen to the customers and find their pain points and needs, instead of forcing a solution or product on a customer. The same should hold true for relationships. Men, if we are thinking “what can I do to help her” before I think of what I can do for myself, then the act of service comes naturally.
Selfishness is the Biggest Challenge
Every woman’s love language is not acts of service. That’s ok, because every man should still desire to serve his woman. She will love and appreciate you for it. If you read my articles here and in other places, I write about selflessness and service quite a bit. The reason for this is, selfishness is the biggest challenge I see in the relationships I work with. If we think of our spouses and significant others more and ourselves less, we could alleviate a lot of the challenges we face in our relationships.
If you ask her what can you do for her today, each and every day, eventually, she’s going to take you up on it. When you follow through on serving her, she’s going to realize how considerate you are and appreciate you for it.
There are two important things we see when we put our mates first: We find that when we work to fulfill the lives of others, in that humility, our lives are ultimately fulfilled. The second thing we find, is that if both parties in the relationship are truly selfless, all of our needs are met. When two people are striving to meet each other’s needs, they are satisfying the ultimate needs of the relationship and they are providing those needs with humility and sacrifice which are great expressions of love in a relationship.
BMWK, Do you put your spouse first?