Perfect Cheesecake

Cheesecake SquareMy brother John just got old today. I can’t believe he’s 40…

This guy. This guy has taught me more about life, both directly and indirectly, than just about anybody else. He makes me laugh every. single. day. To read his story read this post.

My kids adore him, even if he breaks Liliana’s heart when he tells her “no” to watching Frozen for the fifth time in one day.

He is the most attentive and caring father I’ve ever known. 

He is also the biggest worry-wart I’ve ever met, but I’ll take it because it means he cares about us 

When I asked him what he wanted to eat for his birthday, cheesecake was no surprise. He may not be able to eat real food very often, but you can bet your butt he’s going to get some of this today.

Lacie & John

 

Trust me when I tell you this cheesecake is perfect. Don’t change a thing you guys. I tried and failed, 4 different times. 

It’s creamy, just the right amount of rich and sweet, and holds together very well. You can top it with whatever you like but we’ve been eating it plain, and I’m not one to ever order plain cheesecake. It’s that good.

Perfect Cheesecake
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Creamy and delicious cheesecake that can be eaten topped with pretty much anything or absolutely plain.
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For the crust
  1. 1.5 packages of graham crackers (about 14 crackers)
  2. 6 Tbsp. sugar
  3. 1/2 cup melted butter
For the filling
  1. 3 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  2. 1.5 cups sugar
  3. 4 eggs, separated
  4. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla
For the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and cover the outside of the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Crush graham crackers by placing in a plastic bag and rolling over with a rolling pin until fine crumbs are formed.
  3. Add graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter to a medium sized bowl and mix with a fork until all crumbs are uniformly moist.
  4. Transfer mixture to springform pan and press evenly against bottom and sides with a measuring cup to form crust.
For the filling
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine cream cheese, sugar, 4 egg yolks, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, beat 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour filling mixture into crust and cook in 325 degree F oven for 35 minutes.
  4. Without opening the door, turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake for another hour.
  5. Transfer cooked cheesecake to the freezer for several hours before serving.
Notes
  1. Serving Tip: About 15 minutes before serving, take cheesecake out of freezer and slice with a knife after running it under hot water. Cheesecake is much easier to slice while partially frozen.
Adapted from Stephanie from Plain Chicken Blog
Count the Happies http://countthehappies.com/

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Hope you guys love it as much as we do! Let me know if you try it and how it goes. Also, if you want to wish John a Happy Birthday, please do so on the Count the Happies Blog wall on Facebook. I’d be happy to relay the message and I’m sure he’d appreciate the love 

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Quit Your Job as the Maid: 4 False Beliefs that Got You Here

***This is the first post in a series called Quit Your Job as the Maid. Post 2

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A couple of Sundays ago, I was frantically trying to clean up what looked like a recent tornado touchdown in my tiny little house because I absolutely hate starting the week in a disaster zone. My husband and kids were sitting on the couch, watching a movie together while I resentfully paraded in and out of the living room carrying everything from orange peels to dirty socks to broken toys. Every time I said, “Hey, are you guys going to help me?!” Without looking up my 4-year-old son would say, “With what mom?” Then my husband would look at me blankly, “What’s left?” My 2-year-old daughter would mutter, “Kween up mom?”

Yes, I wanted to say. Yes, mommy is cleaning up because nobody else seems to care. If I don’t do it, it will never get done. And while you all get to sit and watch a movie on a lazy Sunday evening, I get to run circles around this house putting crap away, wiping up sticky messes, and vacuuming up clumps of dog hair. How delightful!

Yeah I know, I sound a little immature. But isn’t there more to being a mother than just cooking and cleaning? It’s easy to get mad at my husband (however, to his everlasting credit, he helps me out A LOT) but I can’t forget that my kids are every bit as capable as I am at putting their toys away and their dirty clothes in the hamper.

“Never do for a Child, what a Child can do for himself.” –Rudolf Dreikurs

How did I get here?

Let’s get real. We suddenly look down at ourselves and realize we have become the maid, complete with frilly little apron. We want to blame our husband or even the kids but if we’re truly honest, it’s really our fault. Nobody strapped that apron on us, we tied it ourselves.

Duct Tape Parenting

A few years ago, I found a gem of a book called, “Duct Tape Parenting” by Vicki Hoefle. It totally aligns with my beliefs on parenting and the fact that we aren’t only loving and caring for our children (although that is obviously a crucial part), we’re trying to teach them how to become responsible and successful adults.

Most of us didn’t purposefully take on the job as maid. Vicki (do you think she minds I’m calling her by her first name?) shows us there are 4 main reasons, attached to false beliefs, that we end up strapping that apron on without even realizing it.

 

Belief #1: Kids just want, and deserve, to have fun

MagicI think sometimes we take on the role as maid because we think it is just part of motherhood. We want our kids’ childhoods to be magical and filled with adventure. They’ll have plenty of time to clean up and be responsible when they’re adults, but let’s let them be children.

While I am all for magical childhoods filled with adventure, I am also an advocate for teaching children to work. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Part of being a good mother is teaching your children skills. If you don’t teach them when they’re young, it will be infinitely harder for them to learn when they’re older.

Let’s not be a martyr. Doing everything for our kids isn’t making their childhood more magical, it’s making them feel entitled, ungrateful, and incapable of taking care of themselves. It’s making us feel resentful, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Let’s do away with this belief and embrace the truth of teaching our children invaluable skills. Childhood will still be magical and now, adulthood will be manageable.

Belief #2 I’m faster, better, neater, and a bit of a perfectionist, and it’s just easier if I do everything

I think we’ve probably all had this kind of a moment. You tell your kids to clean the bathroom and you go in to do your business and can’t help but notice all the filth they missed. So you go back over everything they did and come to the conclusion that it’s just better if you do this kind of stuff.

Or you’re running late and instead of taking the time to let your little one tie his own shoes, you just do it for him. Believe me, I’m totally guilty of this. Sometimes it doesn’t feel worth the fight to get your kids to pick up their messes, it’s just easier to do it yourself after they go to bed.

The problem is our kids end up feeling like we don’t trust them to make good decisions or we don’t think they are capable. How many times a day do you hear your toddler say, “I can do it!” If we deny them this learning period, they will never get it back. There’s a reason our kids want to be independent and we need to allow them that. It’s important for them to develop their own tastes and preferences, not just what works for us.

Belief #3 If my kids don’t look good, behave politely, play fair, and do the right thing all the time, I’ll look like a slacker parent with loser kids

GossipWe have pictures of me when I was little, dressed in all kinds of nonsense. My grandma used to call me, “garberetta.” A staple in my wardrobe was slips; of all sorts. I would wear them like dresses with underwear as a fancy hat. I remember fighting with my mom constantly, about what I wore and how I did my hair. I was curling my hair, with a curling iron, by age 3.

Now I have a little boy-me, his name is Misa. From the time he could walk, he wanted to dress himself. He insists on things like “little pants” (meaning, they can’t be long enough to touch the floor) and all sorts of character costumes. He wants me to draw “whiskers” on his face with my eyeliner pencil and before he goes with his dad to feed the horses, you better bet on him wearing every single article of clothing or accessory that resembles a cowboy.

In the beginning, I fought with him and tried to teach him how to match and the fact that hiked up pants that don’t reach your ankles look ridiculous. I tried to explain that we don’t wear costumes to the store, that being an alligator hunter complete with shorts, cowboy boots, gardening gloves, and a cowboy hat was something we played at home and not when we’re out in public.

Suddenly it occurred to me, am I worried about him looking ridiculous or me looking ridiculous for letting him wear all that garb? It was clear that he didn’t care what people thought, not even what I thought! So I let it go. This kid has his own sense of style and it is constantly evolving. He has now learned how to comb his own hair. I try to ignore the fact that it’s all combed in different directions and standing straight up in the back because he thinks he looks handsome. So be it. I’m not going to fuss over him, or my house for that matter, just to avoid dirty looks or judgmental glares from strangers.

When we are constantly worried about how other people see us, or our kids, we are implicitly teaching our children that other people’s views and opinions about us are more important than our own. We are teaching them that appearances are everything. How do you think that will play out when it comes to peer pressure? How do you think it makes them feel that we fuss over them and are trying to mold them into what we think they should be instead of who they really are? If the only reason we clean our house is to appear clean when we have visitors, I don’t think our kids are ever going to get it.

Belief #4: I don’t want my child to grow up and not want me around, so I’ll just make sure she needs me enough

There is nothing like the feeling of being needed. I have distinct memories of holding my babies and breathing in their absolute innocence and knowing I am 100% responsible for this little human being. I woke up multiple times a night to nurse and rock my babies, change their diapers, and sing to them softly.

The thing is, my babies aren’t babies anymore. While they still depend on me, they are becoming more and more independent everyday. On one hand, it’s kind of nice to not have to be counted on for every little task. On the other hand, it kind of breaks my heart to see they need me a little less every day.

However, it would be completely selfish of me to impede them from learning and growing just because I need to feel needed. I think it’s totally understandable how this kind of thing happens but it’s imperative that we see it for what it is and stop ourselves in our tracks before we sabotage our children’s growth. 

Children will always need their mother, especially if that mother has taught them to believe in themselves. It is a totally irrational fear to think our children won’t come around when they’re older unless we keep them shackled by keeping them incapable.

If we continue with this kind of thought process and continue to do for our kids what they can do for themselves, we will hinder their growth and they will become resentful. It will get to the point that they will either rebel or become incapable of making decisions on their own. Do we want our kids to be willing to sabotage their own happiness in order to keep mom happy? I certainly doubt it.

Why should I quit?

Emotionally Available

“You can be the maid or you can be emotionally available to your children, but you can’t do both.” –Vicki Hoefle

I know that it is much more important to me that my children know they can talk to me, that I love and care about them, than it is to have my house clean.

Not only that, I want my children to grow up to be responsible, capable adults and those kinds of skills are not often taught in formal education. It is my responsibility to teach my children how to survive in the real world. It starts at home.

Kids want to be self-sufficient, feel capable, and take ownership of their lives. They want to be responsible but if we aren’t letting them because we’re being the ultimate “Helicopter Mom” meaning we’re constantly hovering around them and checking up on everything, they’re just going to get frustrated.

I want to live in a balanced home where everybody knows how to contribute, in their own way. I want my children to learn how to care for themselves and pick up their messes. This will allow them to learn and allow me to take a breather in order to ensure I am more patient, open-minded, and loving to my children.

What changes will I make?

This month on the blog, I am focusing on quitting our job as the maid. Each Monday I will be sharing more thoughts on this subject and how to actually execute a plan in order to teach and motivate our kids to help with the housework. Everybody’s situation is different depending on the number of children we have, their different ages and developmental stages, as well as how our home is set up. However, the techniques we will be talking about can be used with all children, no matter what age.

If you want to get the book “Duct Tape Parenting” and read chapters 3 and 8 on this subject, it will be most helpful. The entire book is great but these two chapters are genius when it comes to teaching our children how to care for themselves and keeping us from going insane!

I know I am always searching for ways to be a better mother. Not because I feel like I’m a terrible one, but because my children are my responsibility and I only get this one shot at guiding and leading them into adulthood. I hate to let trivial things, like a clean house, get in the way of spending time with them or listening to them when they want to talk.

One day while vacuuming my kitchen, my son, who was only a year old at the time, came in the kitchen holding a book and said, “Mommy! Weed!” At first I said, “Just a minute buddy, let me finish vacuuming…” Then I looked at his little angel face and immediately turned off the vacuum, scooped him up, and we went to his room to cuddle on the rocking chair and read a book. I don’t EVER want housework to get in the way of making memories with my children.

That being said, I also know that my anxiety level goes waaaayyyy down when my house is clean. I feel like a better person all around and have more patience in general. However, it isn’t my sole responsibility to keep my house clean all the time, I need to share the love and allow my children to learn in the process. I hope you’ll try it too!

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Am I the only one who is like this? What does housework look like at your house? Do your children help? Is it a screaming fight or do they do it willingly?

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Can Moms Have Dreams?

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Do you remember when you were just graduating high school and part of you was so excited to be on your own while the other part was terrified about what you were going to do with your life?

I remember being so torn about what I wanted to study in college. I wanted to study everything! I wanted to be everything! I had so many dreams and goals and plans. Then life happened. It happened in its own way which was nothing like what I had on paper.

Part of my life is exactly what I wanted: a loving husband, sweet and adorable children, and a cozy home. However, as difficult as it is to say out loud, part of my life plan was left out.

For a while I was totally fine with that. I was busy learning to be a mom and adjusting to this season of my life. I gave up all my hobbies and all my friendships because I felt like I didn’t have time for those things. My husband and my kids were my friends and that was all I needed (or could even handle to be perfectly honest).

Then something happened. I started feeling kind of depressed and a little resentful. Be prepared, the not-so-perfect mom and wife part of me is about to be uncovered.

I went through a short period where I would daydream about what it would be like to be just me again. Not mom-me or wife-me, just me. Single, free-me. The me that only had to worry about, me. I would daydream about going back to college and enjoying all the things I felt like I missed out on. I would daydream about traveling to Europe, skydiving in New Zealand, and doing humanitarian work in South America. I dreamed about writing a book, like I’ve wanted to do since kindergarten. I dreamed about having the financial freedom to enjoy life a little more. I even dreamed about renting a hotel room and having a spa day, all by myself.

I think part of this came from turning 30. Man, remember when 30 was old? There’s this scene from the movie, The Switch. Jason Bateman is explaining to this little boy why adults don’t like people to know when it’s their birthday. When the little boy asks why he says, “Because getting old sucks. Most people don’t accomplish what they’d hoped to and they realize that they are most likely not going to. They end up living these quiet lives of denial, and uh… brushing birthdays under the rug just becomes a big part of that.”

I suddenly realized that I was 1/3 of the way through my life and I had failed to accomplish so much. Being a mom is wonderful, but being me is important too isn’t it?

I had to come to grips with the fact that it wasn’t my husband’s or my kids’ fault. It was my own. I squandered my single years. I accomplished a few things but mostly I just got myself into mounds of student loan debt and took too long to graduate from college. Then there was this attitude I was dealing with now. As if my life was basically over. I’m turning 30 and already thinking about life as if I’m 90.

It occurred to me that I still have 2/3 of my life to be more intentional about accomplishing my goals. I can be a mom and still be me, I just have to make it intentional and quit floating through my life as if I have no control over it.

I realize that being a mother is the noblest of callings. It requires tremendous sacrifice and hard work. But does it really mean we can’t do anything else?

I attended a conference a little over a year ago and one of my favorite bloggers spoke. Cara brook from maskcara.com explained how she had to decide whether or not she was going to go forward with her business even though she was a single mom at the time. What she said struck a chord with me and it was the permission I needed to make some changes in my life. She said, “I realized that if I want to encourage my son to dream and to work toward accomplishing his goals, I have to show him that by example. I can’t give up on my dreams or I will be giving him permission to do the same.”

Writer

That was when I got serious about blogging. It seemed an ideal outlet for me and a way to work on my writing. I know I have a book in me someday and I felt like this was a great starting point. It’s something I can do on my own time, in my own way.

It’s been a process of trial and error to balance blogging and motherhood but I feel like I might be getting the hang of it. It’s refreshing to be doing something that makes me feel more like me and being able to connect with other women and old friends through this kind of a platform. Of course, I’m still in the infancy stage but I have big plans and I’m excited about what the future holds.

Writing has made me even more aware of the priceless blessings I have. It’s fun to write about things I’m learning and sharing that with other women. I have been lucky to have so many people who support me and uplift me with their sincere encouragement. Long story short, I’m a much happier mom now.

So can moms have dreams? I say absolutely YES. In fact, I think it should be required for motherhood. I don’t think it’s healthy for us or our kids to be so consumed with their needs and wants that we lose our own identity. I think it’s powerful for a child to grow up with a mom who works toward her own dreams and inspires him to do the same. 

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What is your secret dream? What are you going to do to work toward it? Do you think it’s selfish to think this way?

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Dreams FB

10 Tips to a Better Night’s Sleep

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Whenever you get a group of moms together and they start swapping stories and chatting about the hard-knock life of motherhood, you’re bound to hear about sleep deprivation. It is a universal struggle. We know to expect it with our newborns but what about when we can’t use that excuse anymore because our kids are now sleeping through the night? Why is it that we still don’t feel rested in the morning?

I’ve put together a comprehensive list of some things we can do in order to make sleep more of a priority and for those of us who might have a harder time making it to bed early or falling asleep once we’re there.

1. Assess Sleeping Environment

Your bedroom is a sacred place. Use this checklist to create a fortress that will induce sleep:

•   Keep the temperature lower, between 60-67 degrees preferably.

•   Keep it dark with blackout curtains if you need them.

•   Make it a rule that your bed is for sleep and sex only. Creating any other associations (such as working, watching TV, or browsing Pinterest) will create a discord when you climb into bed to sleep.

•   Is it comfortable? Do you look forward to crawling into a soft, lush bed with cloud like pillows and warm blankets? If not, make it a goal to create that, STAT.

2. Calming Nighttime Routine

Just as the parenting books say it is important to create a nighttime routine for your kids to help them sleep, so it is with your routine. If you like to have a few minutes to yourself once the kids are in bed, find a calming activity that you can make a part of your routine. Reading, crocheting, writing, yoga, or stretching are all great ideas. Try not to include electronics in your routine as they can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.

3. Same Sleep Schedule

Part of your nighttime routine will include a non-negotiable bedtime hour. Which should follow with a non-negotiable wake up hour. Working toward going to sleep and getting up at the same time everyday will pay off great dividends in life. It’s difficult when you have young kids who sometimes wake up in the night and require your attention. However, making it a goal and protecting that time as best you can is one of the smartest things you can do for your health.

4. Exercise Daily

Daily exercise has proven to help most people fall asleep at night. It’s a good idea to do something, each day, that gets your heart rate up. It doesn’t have to be a marathon run on the treadmill but something that gets your blood flowing. Try to do it earlier in the day for the best effect.

Electronics

5. Power Down Electronics

Screens from any of our electronic devices are a huge problem when it comes to sleep. So many of us plop ourselves in front of the TV, flip open our laptops, or grab our phones to “unwind” at night. The problem is, these activities don’t help us unwind, they stimulate our brain and tell it to stop producing melatonin because the light from these screens suggests it’s daytime.

Try turning these devices completely off or plugging them into a central charging station for everyone’s devices an hour or so before bedtime. This is sure to help you get to bed on time and fall asleep quickly once you’re there.

6. Close the Kitchen

I want to scream every time my kids tell me, well after dinnertime, “I’m hungry!” My response is always the same, “Why didn’t you eat when it was time to eat?” I have made it a habit to warn my kids when they’re ready to get down from the dinner table, “Are you sure you’re done eating? The kitchen is closed as soon as you get down from the table, understood?”

Not only is it annoying to feed my kids when we’re in the middle of our bedtime routine, going to bed on a full stomach can make it difficult to fall asleep. Drinking too many liquids too close to bedtime can cause us to get up in the night to go to the bathroom. If we make it a habit to “close the kitchen” after dinner, we’re much less likely to suffer from these things when we’re trying to fall asleep. I make it clear the kitchen is closed by turning off the lights.

7. Avoid Caffeine, Tobacco, and Alcohol

Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can all have a negative effect on our sleep habits. If Diet Coke is your vice and you’re telling me there’s no way you’re going to give it up, consider giving it up after a certain hour in the day. These things can stay in your system for many hours so at least try eliminating them in the afternoon and evening hours.

Lamp

8. Dim Lights

A really good way to change gears at home when it’s time to start getting ready for bed is to circle your house and turn off all the overhead lights. I usually leave a lamp on in each room but the difference in brightness is a good sign to your brain that nighttime is approaching and to start producing melatonin.

9. White Noise

The other night, my mom and her sister were talking about when they were young they used to listen to the radio or their records at night to fall asleep. Now they both have this major problem where they can’t sleep some nights because they have a stupid line of a stupid song that gets stuck in their heads. I’m no expert so I can’t say listening to the radio causes this weird problem but I will say, white noise is probably a better idea.

You can use an app on your phone or purchase a white noise machine. This kind of noise isn’t stimulating like music or TV, it’s background noise if you have a hard time turning your brain off at night.

Reading

10. Don’t Lay Awake in Bed

If you still can’t sleep and you’re laying awake in bed, don’t lay there and stress about how you can’t sleep. Get up and do something relaxing for a while. If you’re worried about something, write it down on a post-it note and tell yourself you’ll think about it in the morning. The more you lay in bed stressing, the less likely you are going to fall asleep. Interrupt the pattern and get up for a minute to distract yourself. Try some relaxing yoga or a low-key book.

Of all the things we can do for our health, sleep is one of the most important. It helps regulate every process in our body and mind and helps us to be more effective during our waking hours. With all of the demands of motherhood, we have to commit to protecting this precious asset. If we don’t, it is far too easy to let other things get in the way.

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Have you tried any of these suggestions to help you get a better night’s sleep? Do you have any others? What is the one thing that most often gets in the way of you getting a good night’s sleep?

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Sleep fb

5 Love Languages: Physical Touch

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***This is the sixth post in a series of 6 about the Five Love Languages in marriage. I suggest reading them in order. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

It should not surprise you to know that physical touch is an important part of love and marriage. However, for some people, it is the most important part. A loving hand, kiss, or full body contact can fill this person’s love tank faster than any other expression of love.

Let’s get real ladies. We all know what people, even experts, say about men and sex. They say it is an actual physical need. But let me assure you that not every man’s primary love language is Physical Touch, although sex may be extremely important to him. Dr. Chapman even points out that many men mistakenly believe, right off the bat, that physical touch is their primary love language based on the importance they place on sex. However, if you were to take away the expression of love in their actual primary love language, with sex still being available to them, they would most likely withdraw.

What are the different dialects?

There are many different ways to touch someone in order to make them feel loved but here are the basic 2 in marriage.

1. Making Love

Making love is a critical part of marriage but it is even more significant for people who speak this dialect of Physical Touch. If this is your spouse’s dialect, please remember that every time you deny him that, he will feel more rejected than most. It is common, in marriage, to allow external pressures to take away from our intimacy with our partner. Perhaps you feel exhausted after a day of work, cleaning, and putting the kids to bed and sex is the last thing on your mind. Do not forget the power you have and the love you would be denying your spouse if you ignored his advances. If this is the way he feels loved, you must decide how willing you are to fill his love tank. Just as with any other love language, this one act of intimacy can be the difference between a thriving marriage and a dying one.

2. Other forms of touch

You may be surprised to realize that although making love is definitely important, your spouse actually speaks another dialect in the love language of Physical Touch. When I was dating my husband he would often ask me to rub his back. I knew he worked hard and was often sore at the end of the day so I would gladly rub his back for him. When we got married, he continued to ask for back rubs and to be frank, with time it got annoying. Sleep is critical for me, so I would sometimes turn down his request and tell him I was too tired.

Our first major fight was actually over this. I remember he was so upset and said that I had spoiled him and gotten him used to back massages and it wasn’t fair. I thought he was acting like a child. He left the house in what I considered to be a tantrum. Finally, after 6 years of marriage and reading this book, I realized how important back massages were to him. It wasn’t just because he was sore, this was a legitimate concern for him because when I denied him a back rub, he felt that I didn’t love him.

I asked him to take the love language profile and physical touch came in first, with quality time a close second. I already knew what dialect he spoke and so in the last few weeks I have made sure to take 5 minutes or so at the end of most days to offer him a back massage. In the beginning, it was kind of a joke. He would say, “Wow, I feel so loved!” You wouldn’t believe my delight when walking through the door after work one night, I saw what had once been a sink full of dirty dishes, all washed and drying. He smiled when he saw my reaction. I think we finally get it.

Of course, there are many dialects and ways to express love through Physical Touch. Some are more explicit such as love making, cuddling, and back massages. However, sometimes touch can be more implicit and casual such as running your hands through his hair, a quick kiss before he leaves, or even a hand on his shoulder as you pass by. It may take a little time to figure out what kinds of touches communicate love most effectively to your spouse. Once you find them, use them often and see how your spouse’s attitude changes.

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How do I know if this is my or my spouse’s love language?

Dr. Chapman offers a few different ways to check if this is either your or your spouse’s love language. 

1. Do either of you express love in this love language? Do you feel that your spouse is often hugging, kissing, or touching you in some way? Do you try to cuddle with your spouse every chance you get? Is it critical for you to hug or kiss your spouse before you part?

2. What are your complaints like? Does your husband ever mention how much it hurts him when you turn down his advances in bed? Do you feel offended when your husband pulls away from you when you’re trying to cuddle or hold hands? Does he complain that you are not responsive to his touches?

3. What kinds of requests do you make? Does he ask for back massages? Do you ask for a kiss when you come home? Does your spouse ever request you make love more often?

How can I express it?

So let’s say you have discovered that your spouse’s love language might be Physical Touch. How do you speak it then?

Here are a few ideas:

•     If back massages are a big deal to him, invest some time and maybe even money in learning to be a good masseuse. Then make sure you get lots of practice in. I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to be your guinea pig.

•     Make it a point to initiate intimacy with your spouse the next time. For someone whose love language is physical touch and love making is their primary dialect, this will speak love louder than ever to him!

•     Try making a conscious effort to touch your spouse more frequently. Making your kisses more available, your hugs more heartfelt, and random love touches more significant.

•     Try asking your spouse how he wants to be touched. If he’s open to talking about it, this will put you on the fast track to finding what works and what doesn’t.

No response?

So what if you feel like your spouse isn’t really responding to your loving touches? The most likely answer is that it isn’t his primary love language. If this is the case, check out the other posts about the other 4 love languages.

If you’re sure it is his primary love language but he still isn’t responding, there may be more going on. If you have struggled in your marriage for a while, it is possible he is interpreting your touch as manipulation. He may believe the marriage is over and it’s too late. Either of these options doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage. Stay consistent in expressing love in the language that means the most to him, without expectation of receiving anything in return. Do this for an extended period of time, Dr. Chapman suggests at least six months. It is hard to maintain a cold heart when a person is loving you, in the way you understand and appreciate, without conditions. 

Experiment!

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not Physical Touch is your husband’s primary love language, try an experiment. For an entire week (or more if needed), try some of the above mentioned ideas for ways to express love to your spouse through touch. Do at least one every single day. Do it with the desire to make him feel your love, without expecting anything in return. Make a note on your phone to write down your observations. If there is a drastic shift in his attitude, you’ve probably found a winner. If not, check out the other posts about the other 4 love languages to see if there is one better fitted to your spouse.

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Is Physical Touch your love language? Or your spouse’s? I want to hear about it! How do you feel loved? How do you express love through touch?

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