The 5 Love Languages that saved my relationship.
I have never heard of the “5 Love languages” until my husband and I went to our second session of marriage counseling. In the beginning, we honestly didn’t think we needed counseling. We went simply because we had to in order to be married by our minister. But after the first 2 hours, we quickly realized the importance of it and noticed that it was actually more beneficial than we thought. It helped us communicate effectively and we actually learned more things about each other that we (a) didn’t understand or (b) never realized. On day two, we took a test created by Dr. Gary Chapman (marriage counselor and author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts) that helped us determine how we like to receive love. Dr. Chapman, addresses that a lot of people tend to give love the exact same way they like to receive it. My husband and I are definitely guilty of this, and after learning more about the love languages and how they pertain to our relationship it helped us love each other the way WE want to be loved and not how we feel we should love the other person. Don’t know the 5 love languages, well here you are.
Words of Affirmation
This happens to be my primary love language. I need to hear the words “I Love You”, “I appreciate you”, “You mean the world to me” everyday. For this person, words actually speak louder than actions. Compliments are the way to your heart and hearing these phrases everyday makes mine melt. Now, my husband is not an overly affectionate person, so he could never understand why every day I would ask him, “Do you love me?” He would always say "of course I love you, I told you yesterday I love you". He didn’t understand the need to tell me he loved me every day because in his mind, I should know he loves me and that him stating it every day was becoming redundant. But after our minster broke it down that some people like to receive love this way it began to make sense to him. Even though I know he loves me I still need to hear it every day. As well as I’m beautiful and I’m appreciated. All of these compliments make me feel more loved.
Now the downfall to this is that negative or insulting words can cut you deep. Even if it’s a joke or the other person apologizes, those words can have a huge impact on your moral and tend to be hard to forget.
Acts of Service
This is my secondary love language. Whenever my husband goes out of his way to help me with the kids, cook dinner, or even clean the house without me asking, boy does that make me feel good. In my eyes, anything to help ease the burden of my responsibilities as a mom and wife really shows how much he loves me. Now, this was another thing my husband struggled with and at times still does. He always thought; well if you need my help just ask me, you know I will help you. And yes he is right, I do know he will help me, but I get a different feeling of love when he offers to help me versus when I ask him to help me. It shows me that he cares and actually noticed that I do a lot around the house and that I may need his help. Again with every language there is also a negative reaction. When a significant other is lazy, makes things harder for you, or doesn’t fulfill commitments, we tend to think our feelings don’t matter to our mate. And in turn begin to feel unloved and unappreciated.
Now I know when you hear the words receiving gifts you’re automatically thinking “Now I aint saying she a gold digger, but….”. That is not the case when it comes to this love language. If a person likes to receive love in the form of gifts, they are basically saying to you that the perfect gift or gesture proves to them how much they are loved by their significant other. They look at the effort, love and thoughtfulness that was given behind the gift. They also tend to compare the love you have for them to the amount of work that was needed to acquire this gift. For example, before my husband and I were married, I went to the mall at 8:00am and stood in line for an hour, with a boot on my foot and crutches, just to surprise him with the newest Jordan’s he wanted that was being released that day. When he received those sneakers he couldn’t believe that I went through all of that just to make him happy. Right there he knew that I would do anything for him because I loved him. Now keep in mind, when you’re dealing with a partner whose primary love language is receiving gifts you better make sure you NEVER EVER miss their birthday, anniversary, or any other important date that requires acknowledgement or it’s going to be hell for you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
This one is pretty much self-explanatory. Make time for your significant other. That’s it. If your mate loves to spend time with you and they need that to know they are loved by you, then take a break from your busy schedule and give your mate your undivided attention. Just being present doesn’t suffice. You have to actually focus on that person, show them that you are listening and show them that they are the only thing on your mind. So turn the TV off, put the phones on silent, take a break from work, get off Instagram and focus on the time that you are spending with your significant other. This will make your mate feel truly loved and special.
Now for this person they don’t just want lovin in the bedroom, they actually want everyday physical intimacy, like hugs, kisses, holding hands, back rubs, or if you’re like me butt rubs. Shoot, a good butt rub can really show how much he loves you. But anyways, these physical touches are all ways to show how much you care, love or even your excitement for your significant other. In addition, these actions help this person feel secure and safe in their relationship. Any lack of physical touch makes the significant other feel neglected and can cause serious harm to a relationship.
To Dr. Chapman, it’s extremely important to understand and address all the 5 languages of love. Just because your primary language is physical touch that doesn't mean you neglect quality time. Prime example, my primary language is words of affirmation, but I still love to spend quality time with my husband. Now I may not need it as much as someone whose primary is quality time, but at times I like for my husband to give me his undivided attention. Following these love languages will definitely help you understand and love your partner better. Shoot it did for my husband and I.
If you are not aware of your love language you can take the quiz here to determine where you stand.
I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.