Learn Your Spouse’s love language

If you genuinely love your spouse, you will take time to learn your Spouses love language and communicate it. If you dont, then you wont and that will never bring any positive results in your marriage. I believe it’s our duty as husbands (and wives) to learn how to best communicate love to our spouses. Once learned, it then becomes our glad obligation to speak their language regularly. If your spouse only spoke Swahili, you’d probably start learning Swahili right? I personally think that the lack of understanding of each others Love Languages is the root cause to 75% of the conflict that exists in marriages. At the end of the day, if you choose to be with someone for the rest of your life, you are choosing them because you want them to love you. We all want to feel loved, and when we dont we are not happy and have different ways of expressing this unhappiness. How do we express love to our spouse? And how can we be sure our husband or wife really feels our love? Without feeling loved, misunderstandings in a marriage can sometimes become magnified. Even though we tell our spouse we love them and do what we can to show it, he or she still may not feel loved. Saying I love you isn’t always enough.

Many of you know about “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. If you’ve read it, great! If you haven’t read it, you’ll definitely want to. If you don’t know your love language or that of your spouse, you have homework to do. Dr. Chapman has an excellent (and free) quiz on his site where you can learn your language

Assuming you know your spouse’s love language, it’s now time to learn to speak it. Speaking a new (literal) language means learning the right things to say as well as the wrong. Languages are rarely simple – you have to learn cultural idioms, faux pas, and taboos so you can avoid them. The same is true for your spouse’s love language. Just as certain behaviors will make them feel incredibly loved, other behaviors will be devastating.

So, for your benefit Talking Marriage Today has compiled this graphic & following list to illustrate things to do and things to avoid when communicating love to your spouse based on their love language. This is based on the concepts presented by Gary Chapman.

Graphic Complied by Talking Marriage Today from Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages Book.

My wife and I are still learning our love languages, even though we have a general idea. Knowing the Love Language is one thing, implementing it is always the hard bit. Life can get ahead of us sometimes, between domestic chores, work and hectic schedules, and we technically take each other for granted, because we just assume the other is OK. Well, truth is, when we don’t feel loved, we are not happy.

So how do we show love to our partner in a way that will be meaningful to them? How do we apply these love languages to our relationships?

Quality time – When a person’s love language is quality time, they feel loved when their spouse wants to spend time with them. If a husband or wife is too busy at work or devoting time to the children, the spouse may feel neglected. Quality time does not just mean sitting in front of the TV together, it means actually spending time interacting. It can be sitting and talking, going to dinner or a movie, riding bikes together or taking a walk – anything in which you can actively enjoy each other’s company.

Words of affirmation – If words of affirmation is your spouse’s love language, he or she will feel loved when you pay a compliment, offer encouraging words, say “I love you,” or speak with kindness and affection. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Positive words always carry power in a relationship, but for those whose love language is words of affirmation, encouraging words are even more important. In our upcoming book, “Stop Marriage Fights” – A 30 Day Action Plan to Stop Persistent Fighting in Marriages, my wife and I spend an entire chapter on this subject. Positive and affirming words can make an enormous difference in whether or not your spouse feels loved.

Acts of service – Those who have this love language may have just the opposite reaction to what is described above. If you tell your mate you love her and pay her compliments, but she doesn’t see your words backed up by actions, she may see the words as meaningless. She (or he) feels that if you really loved her (or him), you would do things to show it. When you don’t, your words or other gestures seem empty and your spouse may feel distant from you. As a result, feelings can grow cold. Taking your spouse a cup of coffee in the morning, doing the dishes for her, making him a nice meal speaks of love to someone whose love language is acts of service.

Gifts –  If one spouse looks forward to receiving nice gifts on special occasions, but gift giving is not a part of his spouse’s repertoire, a spouse may feel ignored and unloved if gift giving is his love language. Receiving a thoughtful gift from his spouse makes him feel special. He feels loved when you’ve taken the time to think about getting a present and then go out and get it. A spontaneous gift for no reason is a special treat as well as remembrances on special days.

Physical touch – Some people crave physical touch like hugs, hand holding, or a sweet kiss. If you are not a touchy feely person, times together with your spouse may lack physical touching. But if physical touch is your spouse’s love language, your husband or wife may have experienced feelings of rejection if times together lack this physical dimension. Sex may be one “dialect” of this love language, but more often it refers to non-sexual touch like an arm around her shoulder, a back rub, or merely holding hands.

Without understanding your spouse’s love language, you may have inadvertently neglected to show love in a manner your partner understands and appreciates. Consequently, reaffirming your love in a way that shows it rather than says it, speaks volumes. Fighting for your marriage by using your spouse’s love language whenever you have a chance can promote healing and, if you are separated or going through a troubled time in your marriage, speaking the right love language can possibly reignite the love that has been lost.

Just remember, just like my wife and I, it is not always in our nature to do some of these things, but because we love each other and we want the best for the other person in the marriage, and we are committed to making this marriage and relationship work, then we will go the extra mile to make sure we learn and communicate the right love language to each other.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Wilbert Frank Chaniwa – Talking Marriage Today

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