Relationships. I am a relationship person and when I see unhappy couples having problems I want to share with them what the root of their problem is and how to solve it. I know it is none of my business. I have wonderful relationships with my husband and children and friends. The reason is because I’ve learned how to love them and they return that love.
I have to admit that there were a number of years that I was unhappy in my life including my marriage. But being committed to the marriage I stuck it out. We didn’t talk or spend time doing the things we had when our relationship was new. We just lived in the same house and raised our kids. Actually, I worked and he raised our children. When I was home I would bury my nose in a book to escape from reality. It was a sad time. I wanted more from my life, more love, more happiness, more contentment. I had none of those in the abundance I felt I needed. It seemed that my love tank was always empty.
Then I found a book by Gary Chapman titled The 5 Love Languages. Reading that book I realized that I had not been showing my family the love I had for them in the way that meant the most to them. I recognized just what love language spoke to those I loved. I knew that my husband was a tactile person and that I had been withdrawn and not showing my love in the way he understood. Personally I feel loved through quality time. Those two are quite compatible love languages.
So I started a silent campaign to improve my marriage. Every time I walked past my husband sitting at the computer playing games I would just reach out and touch him. I was practicing filling his love tank in hopes of having mine renewed as well. It took awhile but he began to pay attention to me and talk to me again. Eventually we began taking walks in the evening as we had when we first met. We talked, held hands and enjoyed each others company. That was the beginning of restoring our marriage to the happy and comfortable place it is now.
According to Gary Chapman there are five distinct love languages and everyone fits into at least one.
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
We can tell the primary love language of a person by the way they express love. If touch, then they will be quick to hug, hold hands, touch is an important part of how they show love. With quality time the person will want to spend time with others doing things, talking, just being together. Words of affirmation people automatically will lavish praises and compliments on others. They recognize even the little things and will have a good word to say. Gifts do not always mean things that you buy at the store. A note in a lunch box, a flower picked by a child to give to mom, all these little things are counted as gifts. People who feel loved by acts of service will always offer to help and are doing things to serve others. They will open doors, pick up toys, fix things, any number of small acts of service.
The way to show someone love is to speak to them in their language. Regardless of what yours may be it is important to learn how to love others in a way that they understand. Open communication is important as well. If they do not know how to show you love in your language then they will not be able to love you in the way that you most feel loved. Share what makes you feel loved. Let them know, “I feel loved when…” otherwise how will they be able to love you in a way that makes you feel loved.
I wish I could share this knowledge with everyone. I wish all couples could have the deep and abiding love I have with my husband. It makes me sad to see unhappy people going about their daily lives not getting or receiving the love they could share if they only knew.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (HCSB)
4 Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
5 does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love to all!
Link to Gary Chapman’s books: