Giving affirmations can change your relationship

As pleasant as it is to feel appreciated and loved, many of us are uncomfortable when giving or receiving verbal affirmations. Whilst we rarely take time to give compliments, we often hear ourselves and others denying, belittling, or excusing compliments we receive.

Here are some ideas on how to give and receive affirmations:

1. Take time to write down the things you love and cherish in your partner. Consider physical, emotional, and spiritual qualities as well as particular actions.

2. Talk to you partner about the list. Make physical contact such as holding hands and take turns going through your list, mentioning all the things you love and cherish in each other. While your partner is telling you these things, your role is to listen and receive, not to analyse or question.

3. When both of you have completed your lists, share any feelings you have about the exchange and talk about them together.

Individually complete the following sentence with at least five actions or behaviors your partner has done (at any time) that helped you feel loved or that you have especially appreciated. Take turns telling your partner what you wrote.

4. I feel loved when. . . (or) I appreciate it when. . .

5. Which one of the behaviors your partner stated would you be willing to repeat more frequently?

6. According to marriage specialist, Dr. Gary Chapman, there are 5 Languages of Love: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

Based on your statements to Item #4 above, what is your primary love language? What do you think is your partner’s primary love language? Share these answers with your partner.

Adapted from the resource files of the Better Marriages Couple Dialogue Exercise.

More tips at

Consider the Better Marriages, Australia Conference in Sydney 7-8 September 2013 at the Newport Mirage, details on the website at: Better Marriages, Australia Conference 2013

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