Marriage & Love
Communication: The Five Love Languages
Do you know what "love languages" are? Taking the time to discover the love languages of yourself and your husband will not only help your communication with each other, but will help you develop a more meaningful relationship. In his book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Dr. Gary Chapman says a love language is how someone wants to be shown love because it satisfies a deep-seated need.
According to Dr. Chapman, the five love languages are Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. While some people may need a combination of these love languages to varying degrees, you will find that you and husband will each have at least one dominant language.
Quality Time refers to spending time together as a couple. People who have this as their love language feel loved when they are taken out on special dates, when their spouse clears the calendar for them, or when the television is turned off in order to have a conversation.
Words of Affirmation
Others prefer Words of Affirmation as a way to be shown love. Telling your husband how you appreciate him, encouraging him, and general words of praise and acceptance all show your love.
If Gifts is your husband's love language, then you need to understand that for him, gifts are not simply material objects -- they are expressions of your love.
Acts of Service
If your husband's love language is Acts of Service, he will appreciate your help more than anything. Help him with the yard work. Prepare him a nice lunch to take to work. Offer to pick up his clothes from the drycleaners or take the car for an oil change.
Some people prefer Physical Touch as their love language. A simple touch on the arm, hug or backrub will convey your love to your husband.
Love Languages in Marriage
Problems occur when spouses do not recognize each other's love language and attempt to show love in ways that are less meaningful to the other spouse.
You may understand how you want to be shown love, but you might assume your husband has the same needs. And when your attempts to show him love aren't met with the response you had hoped for, you become frustrated and blame your husband for being ungrateful.
For example, consider if your husband has the love language of Acts of Service, and you personally prefer Gifts. Because you feel cherished and loved whenever your husband surprises you with flowers, you think he would like gifts from you in return. While he might be appreciative of your presents, your love would be more obvious to him if you helped him with a household project or errand. To him, weeding the front yard means more than receiving a new tie.
And in the same way, sometimes you may feel your husband isn't demonstrative of his love, yet in his mind he is putting much effort into the relationship. But because he is showing you love in a way that is not your primary love language, you don't recognize his attempts.
So discover your husband's love language and show him love in the ways that he can best understand. And let your husband know your own love language to help him communicate his own love better.
This article is based on the book, The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.
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