Do you and your spouse have any secret signals or code words that you use to convey loving messages to each other? We thought about this after reading a marriage tip from the ministry of Focus on the Family —Canada. They wrote:
“With your spouse, come up with a code word or acronym that’ll be your private way of expressing love to each other. For example, I.L.Y.M. could be an acronym for ‘I love you more.’ Plant this code word in random spots for your spouse to find. Try writing it on sticky notes around the house, in the snow in the yard, etc…”
Here’s another one they give:
“Do you and your spouse have any rituals, like kissing each other goodbye? Perhaps it’s saying, ‘I love you’ before you go to sleep? Or you have breakfast in bed on Saturday mornings [or another time]? Whatever special traditions you have, keep them alive by practicing them regularly. Celebrate rituals that play a fun role in your relationship.”
Sewing Memories With Secret Signals
They can help to “sew” your marriage together in fun ways. Keep in mind what Simone Signoret said, “Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.” After we marry, we need to pro-actively keep sewing those threads.
Steve and I have a few secret signals, and rituals we use together. Mostly, they are flirty signals that convey love. Other times we use certain respectful words or signals to give other types of messages. They are ones that only we understand. But they connect us closer to each other in different ways. They are like a “secret handshake” that only members of a certain club (ours) recognizes.
We’ll tell you a few of them. One “secret” signal we give each other is where we flirt back and forth with our eyes across the room. Steve raises his eyebrows up and down. I then respond by batting my eyelashes at him. It’s silly, but it’s our secret flirting signal of saying, without words, “I love you.”
There is one ritual we always try to keep, whenever possible. It is to follow the other to the garage when one of us is leaving. The spouse who is staying behind blows a dramatic kiss to the spouse who is driving out of the driveway. It’s our ritual of saying, with and without words, “I will miss you.” It’s another “secret” flirt (although it isn’t a secret anymore). We have more, but you get the idea.
There are also other types of secret signals we give. They are ones that give the other dignity. Yet we’re able to give an important, silent message. One is that if we’re talking with others and one of us starts to say something that shouldn’t be said, we have a quiet signal that silently conveys, “Hold back.” The cautioning spouse will discretely reach over to the other and gently give them a firm (yet gentle) squeeze. That secretly means, “Be careful in how much you say.”
One couple I read about became desperate to get away from friends when they argue in front of them. It embarrasses them. So they’ve “developed a secret sign.” It is where, as the author wrote, “one of us removes his or her watch and re-buckles it.” That’s the signal that it’s time to go.
A friend of ours related a communication signal that her counselor uses in her marriage. There are times when she has been talked to all day that she just needs to unwind without any talking involved. So she goes home, checks her email, makes a soothing beverage to sip on, quietly sits, and reads, etc.
She and her husband have worked out a code system when she is in this place emotionally. If her husband approaches her during this time, and she doesn’t want to talk, she doesn’t say anything. Instead, she holds up one finger. This means, “I don’t want to talk.” If he continues to attempt to interact, she holds up two fingers, which means, “I really mean it.” This is her way of communicating that she just needs a time of peace and quiet first, and he honors it. He knows that communication can come later.
Share Yours With Us?
So, those are a few of the “secret signals” couples use to talk with few, if any words. We’d love go hear about any “secret” signals you use that convey love and respectful important messages to your spouse.
“May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)
Cindy and Steve Wright
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