I haven’t been speaking my husband’s love language. We do have a fairly strong relationship. We think alike on most issues, especially regarding our future and our children. He helps me with housework (he’s the laundry man) and I let him watch SportsCenter in bed. But, although I think our relationship is thriving, I am always looking for ways to make it better.
How I started speaking my husband’s love language
A few months ago, we joined a small group through our church. We meet up every monday night with other couples with young children, and we speak about our relationship to Christ. We have opened up with our new friends about several serious issues, both as couples, and as children. I thank God every day for the group. It has brought me closer to God, closer to Jeff, and we’ve made some great friends because of Him.
During these months, I discovered a book called The 5 Love Languages, written by Gary Chapman. It states that not everyone has the same “love language” to make their heart tank feel FULL.
The author lists 5 languages. I won’t go into much detail, because it really is a book you need to a) read and b) read as a couple.
1. Words of Affirmation
Words are important. Letting your husband or wife know that you appreciate them is incredibly important if this is his or her love language. (jeff’s love language)
2. Quality Time
For those with a love language of Quality Time, making it a point and an EFFORT to set aside time with your loved one EVERY DAY, will help to meet his or her emotional need to feel loved.
3. Receiving Gifts
The act of gifting, even something as small as a note, is a gesture that your spouse will feel in her heart. It shows her that you were thinking of them.
4. Acts of Service
The act of pleasing by serving. To do things you know he would love for you to do. ( my love language).
5. Physical Touch
For some, without physical touch, they feel unloved. Kissing, hugging, and sex help him to feel secure in your relationship.
This book has been life-changing for me and us. Not because I couldn’t handle our relationship without finding out each other’s love language, but because now we know how to fix the kinks.
I love my husband. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s responsible, he’s motivated. I’m just not so good at telling him. That doesn’t make me awful. There are other ways I show my love and appreciation for him, but not always the right love language. Being able to categorize and figure out what makes him feel MOST loved has been a world of difference. For somebody with this love language, words are everything. And it’s not hard. It’s just work, which is worth it.
If he’s working late one week, and gets home 20 minutes before the kids go to bed, THANK HIM for working so hard for your family.
If he replaces the toilet paper before you, thank him.
Compliment her on how great she looks (in her sweats)!
Thank her or him every night for making dinner.
Having someone tell you regularly how appreciated you are is what makes them feel loved and needed in the relationship. When we were reading this together, I knew immediately that this was Jeff’s LL. As the sole provider of our family, he has a lot on his plate, and a lot of responsibility, and it’s been this way since our oldest was born. I think i’ve just gotten so used to THAT being his job and the HOUSE (and everyone in it) being my job, that we forget to still verbally appreciate each other. Words are important though, especially when they help to make someone feel loved. And I will do my best to always make him feel loved.
Before we even got to the 4th Love Language, I knew it was mine. Jeff is always telling me to just ASK HIM for help if I want or need it. And I am always telling him that I just want him to KNOW that I want it. So I was really happy to know that it was one of Chapman’s 5 LLs. With all of the chapters, Chapman talks about how we do almost ALL of these love languages during our infatuation stage before marriage. And then something after marriage, just makes you stop. Constant compliments, gifts of flowers, hanging out 24/7 because you can’t get enough, helping to grocery shop, it all starts to fizzle when you get more comfortable in the relationship. You assume they know you love and care for them.
When Jeff and I were dating, he would plan dates for us without telling me. He’d find the movie times, pick a show, call the restaurant, make a reservation. And tell me when to be ready. 5 years later, I would just kill for him to pick a restaurant for me to call for take out. I make decisions for my children all day long. The last thing I want to do when I’m starving is have a 45 minute conversation about what to cook for dinner or where to order pizza. Having somebody help to take some things off of my to do list means the world to me. I like having a teammate and a partner.
If I smell that my son has a dirty diaper and then 5 minutes later, he’s changed. That makes my heart happy. Because I know that he’s doing it to help.
If I go downstairs to get some coffee and he’s prepped my cup with cream and sugar, I die.
I love this book for so many reasons, but mainly because now our Love Languages are OUT THERE. There’s no guessing where to try to work harder. We make a conscious effort to speak each other’s languages and keep our heart tanks full. It’s also been a great way to show our kids the meaning of love in all 5 languages to each other as husband and wife, AND to them. Every one of these points is a crucial emotional need for children and now that I am familiar with all 5, it’s been much easier for me to show how to express my love to them in as many ways as possible.
In my short 6 years of marriage, We certainly don’t have it all figured out. There are ups and downs, and bumps along the road. But the one thing we have figured out, is that being in love isn’t enough. It takes time and effort to make our marriage what we want it to be. And I am enjoying that time because I know he’s really trying and he sees the same from me. Effort is such an important role in any relationship and something that will help to make anyone’s heart tank full. My heart stays full because of Jeff’s hard work. He works hard at the office, at the gym, with the kids, around the house, and every Monday night; I see a side of him at small group that makes me love him even more. He lets his guard down and he speaks from the heart about everything important to him, most importantly this marriage.
If you are interested in getting the book yourself, you can get it here!
There is also a book called The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. I’m totally reading that one too!
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