So both my wife and I recently took the love language test. Her love language was acts of service. I'm kind of new to the entire love language concept, but i'm assuming that her results mean I can show her how much i love her by doing acts of service for her.
Going by the love language concept, is this also how she shows her love? In the interest of avoiding becoming the house slave, does anyone have some advice on how to use acts of service to further our relationship and without becoming that guy with the cleaning apron? Thx.
"Acts of Service" does not mean becoming a house servant. She would have to be pulling her side of the load too! For typical, every-day household chores, I would suggest just making a list and dividing them up equitably (for example, if you work FT and she's a SAHM, obviously she would do more chores, but you'd need to participate in raising the children and taking care of the house). Also, "Acts of Service" must given freely by the giver (you), not things done because she has been manipulated or guilted you into it. For example, "If you really loved me, you would do all my laundry for me and hand-wash my car." Coercing someone to do something for you out of fear by threatening them...is not love.
However, "Acts of Service" DOES mean doing something for your spouse that you know they would like for you to do. Remember that step she's been asking you to fix? When you don't do the chore and ignore it, to her it feels like you are ignoring her. Chances are good that she sort of feels like actions speak louder than words, and if she's been asking you all weekend to put up the Christmas lights, and you've been avoiding it but telling her "I love you," then to her she would feel pretty unloved because actions=avoiding her while only your words said anything about love, and to her words are empty.
Does that make sense? So to really express your love to your wife, here are a few ideas that don't make you a house servant:
1) Ask her to make a list of ten things she'd like you to do and prioritize them #1-#10
2) When she goes out, you and the kids make a "surprise" for her and clean up the house or put her laundry away...and when she comes in, stand by the door and say "SURPRISE! We love you! We did this chore for you!"
3) Cut out a heart and write on it: "Today I show you my love by ... " and add an act like ...walking the dog, ...giving the kids a bath so you can relax, ... putting the dishes away.
4) Do something BIG for her out of love (like wash her car, or paint the bedroom), and leave a sign on the car or on the bedroom door that says "To <Wife> with love!"
5) As a treat, hire a maid for a day with a little card letting her know you are giving her a day off. If you can't "hire" a maid service, maybe arrange to trade with your babysitter or hire a girl from church...that kind of thing.
Okay? Does this make sense? When she feels like she asks and asks you to do something but you never get around to it, to her that feels like SHE is not valuable. When you make the effort to do little things, or surprise her, not by SAYING "I love you" but by doing a little thing for her (I set the table, babe, cuz I love you!) then that means SHE is valuable to you.