Face Time Verses Shoulder-to-Shoulder Time
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
Marriage Challenge #4 Speak love to your spouse in a way they will hear you loud and clear!
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” When I follow this rule, there is usually smooth sailing, well, that is in all relationships, but one very important one. You guessed it, when it comes to my husband, I’ve realized the golden rule is not so golden!
If you have read Gary Chapman’s book on the five love languages, you probably know what speaks love directly to your heart. The basic premise is you are bent to hear love in several different ways and most people have a preferred way of receiving love.
The Five Love Languages
Acts of service
Words of affirmation
The easy part is identifying your own love language and maybe that of your spouses’ love language, but the hard part is choosing to speak their love language to them consistently over time.
My husband and I are both quality time. We are at our best when we take time to hang out. We simply enjoy being together. Whether it is hanging out in the kitchen, watching TV, sitting on the front porch...we handle life much better when the time tank is full. You would think this would make life easier and we would be a match made in heaven. Wrong! While quality time is what we both identified as our number ones, our definitions of what quality time is way different.
Early on in our marriage, when my tank was getting low… I would randomly straddle Stewart on the couch and say “Face-time”. Where I would continue to block his view of the TV until we had talked enough and my tank was in a more comfortable spot. As you can imagine this resulted in several arguments, apparently, he didn’t appreciate me disrupting his TV time. I would end up feeling hurt and unloved...the pity-party taking shape inside my head had a life of its own.
A long time ago, our pastor was preaching a series on marriage and mentioned a woman needs face-time and a man needs shoulder-to-shoulder to time! Stewart immediately elbows me when face-time is mentioned. Matt, our pastor, went on to say that wives want to feel connected, whereas men crave time conquering together as shoulder partners. (What does what that even mean?) Part of his sermon series came from the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. He went through an acronym called C-O-U-P-L-E, as the path to a woman's heart. Which stands for Closeness, Openness, Understanding, Peacemaking, Loyalty, and Esteem. These words were music to my ears! Stewart, on the other hand, rolls his eyes when romantic notions come up anywhere.
Needless to say, I bought the book immediately! This book is for anyone wanting to have a stronger marriage. I read the book thinking I would be able to change Stewart, but God changed me! I was excited about the C-O-U-L-P-E chapter but instead learned the most from the chapter on what most males need in the form of C-H-A-I-R-S stands for...Conquest, Hierarchy, Authority, Insight, Relationship, and Sexuality.
The book gave me insight into how even though both of us value quality time spent together, we have different ideas about what quality time actually is. His idea of quality time is me just being by his side.
Looking back I see clearly these times when we would seem to be fighting about nothing, we were really having a misunderstanding about how-to meet each other’s needs.
Importance of Shoulder to Shoulder to Time
So, now I finally understand what quality time means to him. The book spells out a guy’s need for companionship as shoulder-to-should time. He needs me to just be there. If he is working on a project in the garage, he likes me to be in the garage too. I can sit in a chair and read my book and that is enough. If he is about to grill, he likes it when I walk outside with him and watch him light the grill. Seems weird to me, I don’t like people watching me do things. Somehow this shoulder-to-shoulder thing is what boys call friendship. They watch a sporting event together, shoulder-to-shoulder, they play a game together, they are accomplishing a task together. All he needs is for me to “just be” with him.
I ask you to stop and consider your own husband or boyfriend...do you know what they consider to be the best quality time spent with you? His answer just might surprise you and his favorite moments with you might not even make your top ten! Our definitions of quality time are different, but at least now, I can make sense of it. I can make more of an effort to just simply be with him more.
So, you see the golden rule, is not so golden in this instance. Get ready, I’m giving you homework! If you already know what speaks love to your husband, then your homework is to do more of that this week. But if you do not know, what speaks love to him, find out! Be intentional! Take the time to show him love in a way he will hear it. It just might be what you need to take the next step in your marriage. Taking the time to reflect on what you need and what your spouse needs are vital to the overall health of your marriage.
The way I see it, we must speak love to our husbands in a way that they will hear it loud and clear.