Marriage Monday: The Five Love Languages and How it Affected My Marriage

Marriage Monday

The way I view my marriage is the same way I view anything that matters to me; hard work pays off. A marriage is not something that you can neglect or expect to run itself. It takes dedication, constant care and attention.

With life being as busy as it is with children, careers, finances, extended family, friends…the list goes on, it is far too easy to take for granted the relationship that exists between the two individuals in a marriage.

Quite simply put, if you want something special and amazing, you have to work at it.

One of the ways my husband and I keep our marriage running smoothly is by attending communication counseling. At first we went regularly. Now, we go occasionally to keep things “tuned up” much like one keeps care of his/her car engine.

Through our training we have learned so much about our marriage, our unique traits and how they compliment and contrast each other’s. We have learned many strategies to keep the lines of communication open and perhaps most importantly, we’ve learned that most marital issues arise when there is a breakdown in communication.

THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES

The Five Love Languages

One of the tools that was recommended to us was a book by Gary Chapman called The Five Love Languages. If there is one thing that you could do today to improve and/or strengthen your relationship it would be to read this book.

My husband and I bought the Audiobook version and listened to it while doing other tasks. We found this really helpful because it is hard to make time to sit down and read an entire book but listening while doing laundry or dishes etc. was really easy to do.

WHY I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK

My husband is one of the most hands-on Dads I know; he does so much around the house for both me and Little S. He keeps our household running smoothly, does the grocery shopping, laundry, housework; the list goes on and on.

I have always been so thankful for this fact and it even caused me to feel selfish and spoiled to ask for more. You see for me, while I was so appreciative of all he does, it did not translate to me as love. It was something that troubled me for quite some time as I was left feeling like I was missing something.

After reading The Five Love Languages, it all became clear; my primary love language is Words of Affirmation while my husband’s is Acts of Service. What does this mean? To best understand it you need to read the book in its entirety but I will summarize it for you today to give you a snapshot of why I think every couple should read this book.

Imagine if you spoke English and your partner spoke French and neither understood the other’s language. Can you picture how the communication could become misunderstood and even perhaps start to breakdown? Well, our love languages work in the same way. Without identifying your individual love language (and your partner doing the same) you can’t communicate to your full potential and your relationship could suffer.

Back to my example above: because my husband’s love language is Acts of Service, he believed that he was expressing his love for me through all the things he does to care for us. Each act was done with love and affection.

And while I appreciated each act he did, it just didn’t come across as “I love you”! For me, as a Words of Affirmation speaker, I would understand phrases such as “I love you because….” or “you make me feel…” etc. as signs of love and appreciation.

On the other hand, I can best show my love for my husband by surprising him and doing the grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon and letting him stay home and relax or do all the laundry before he gets home.

IDENTIFYING YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE

The Five Languages of Love is a really easy and enjoyable read as Dr. Chapman uses real-life examples of couples he has counselled. He shares stories of marriages that were on the brink of destruction that were reconciled because of love language identification and he shares stories of other couples who are just plain happier and more fulfilled in their relationship because their “love tank” is constantly full.

You will be able to easily identify your own love language and probably that of your spouse’s after reading this book. You are then given the tools needed to start speaking your partner’s language on a daily basis. It is not an overwhelming dump of information as each language is thoroughly explained in individual chapters with a list of 10 tips to make it easier to start speaking your spouse’s language.

You will discover that you and your spouse each have a primary love language in one of the following categories:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Physical Touch
  • Quality Time

Whether your marriage is doing really well or in a state of struggle, I highly recommend this book for every couple. My husband and I have had great success with the skills we learned from reading it.

I would also recommend this book to those who are single as going into a new relationship with the knowledge of your love language identified is invaluable. Dr. Chapman obviously agrees because he has created a version of this book for singles called The Five Love Languages Singles Edition.

I hope that you find this recommendation useful for your relationship and that you enjoy a greater bond because of it.

City Mom

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