By Shari Miller, Contributing Writer
The bride of two years wondered why things were so different in their marriage. Her husband was not as affectionate any more, and he rarely gave her flowers or cards like he used to when they were dating. The arguing seemed more frequent and the good times seemed to have vanished along with the fading dreams of their happily ever after life together. She asked her husband, “Do you still love me?” “What do you mean do I still love you?”, the husband said in anger as he began to raise his voice. “I show you I love you all the time. I’m always helping you around the house. I mow the lawn, wash the car and help you with the grocery shopping. I’m always showing you that I love you!”, said the husband with a now exasperated tone and red face.
Have you ever been in this couple’s shoes? Sometimes it seems as if a husband and wife can speak totally different love languages and neither one can understand what the other one is saying. A valuable resource for learning and understand your spouses love language is called, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The “Five Love Languages” is an amazing tool that has breathed fresh new life into many marriages and has given couples the hope of a brand new start.
Within this book, Chapman explains that each one of us has a love tank, that can be filled and overflowing, if we are shown love in such a way that we can understand and relate to. Before marriage, and during the first two years of marriage, it’s very easy to have these tanks filled to the brim as both husband and wife are still experiencing the euphoria from the “in love” feelings that come with a new relationship. However, once the newness has started to wear off, and those little things that used to be endearing traits about your spouse have now becoming annoying habits and the Cinderella and Prince Charming fairy tale you thought you had, is suddenly shattered, you know things need to change.
When things get to this point it’s time that we have to come to the understanding that, “Love is a choice”. It’s not something that will always come naturally, but it is a daily choice of choosing to love your spouse and looking out for his or her best interest before your own. One of the best ways to do this is to understand which love language they speak. The author covers each one of these languages in detail.
1. Words of Affirmation
Words are so important. They have the power to give life or death to a human soul. It can be so easy to let slip out of our mouths the first thing we may be thinking. We need to be careful to train ourselves to speak words that will support and build up our spouse. Taking the time to encourage and compliment one who thrives on affirming words will benefit both parties in the marriage.
2. Quality Time
Some individuals flourish when their spouse spends quality time with them. But it’s more than just being with them, it needs to be a time of focused attention on that person. Find out what that person likes to do and go out of your way to meet their needs by trying new activities that will bring them joy. When you’re with them, make eye contact with them, show them that they are what’s important.
3. Receiving Gifts
Gifts are an important part of a relationship. They are something that can be kept forever and looked back on and treasured for the person who loves to receive them. A gift doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It can be a homemade card, or even the gift of self to bring meaning and fulfillment into the relationship.
4. Acts of Service
Chapman states within The Five Love Languages, what he means by this language. “By acts of service, I mean doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for here by doing things for her.” Many spouse feel loved and taken care of when their spouse takes the time to make their life easier. It can be in the form of helping out with chores around the house, cooking a favorite dinner, or helping with the children.
5. Physical Touch
Most marriages start with a high degree of physical touch being shown to the other spouse; however, after time and the struggles of life this can quickly fade. Physical touch within a marriage can take the form of holding hands, kissing and intercourse. A spouse should never withhold physical affection from their spouse.
Finding out your what your spouse’s love language is does not have to be a difficult task. Most often, it ends of being the love language they try to express themselves. For example, if a husband’s love language is acts of service, many times you will see him performing acts of service for his wife, because that’s the type of love he would like in return. In order to determine what your love language is, take a moment to think about what makes you happy and the most fulfilled when you’re with your spouse. Once you determine this, then you’ll know what your love language is. If you would like to take a test to determine your love language you can go to The Five Love Languages website to narrow it down even further.
Once you’ve determined your husband’s or your wife’s love language, ask him or her what things that they would like you to do in order to fill their love tank. Make sure you take the initiative to follow through and watch them transform as your love grows into a healthy, thriving, marriage that can stand the test of time.
We are excited to announce that we are having a giveaway for a copy of the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The giveaway will run from today, March 19th, 2013 12:00 am EST to March 26th, 2013 12:00 am EST. The winner will be contacted via email, and have three days to respond. If the winner does not respond within this time period a new winner will be chosen. Please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter.
What’s your love language? What is your spouse’s love language?