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The one book every couple should read

April 16, 2018

The last couple weeks have been full of change for my husband and me. First, and thankfully, my husband got a job!! He is working as a contractor at a financial firm in town. He is a customer service representative and processor. It is only a 2-month job for now, but at least it’s something! We struggled for 3 months with unemployment and it was rough. As my husband is returning to work I am now getting back to making us lunches again. I know in the past people have given me a hard time about still making lunch for my husband and myself, but it’s a blessing in disguise.

 

Have you ever heard of the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman? It is one of the few books my husband and I read together before we were married. It explains there are five main ways that everyone can feel the most loved. For everyone it is different, but they provide a quiz in the book and on their website at www.5lovelanguages.com where you can find out what your primary love language is. This is important not only for you to know, but most importantly for your spouse to know about you. This will help them in their expressing their love to you. My primary love language is acts of service and my husband’s in receiving gifts.

 

In case you are wondering the five love languages are:

 

Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an "Acts of Service" person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: "Let me do that for you." Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don't matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.

 

Physical Touch
This language isn't all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.

 

Words of Affirmation
Actions don't always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, "I love you," are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.

 

Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, "I love you," like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.

 

Receiving Gifts
Don't mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.

 

So what does all of this have to do with me making my husband’s lunch again? I learned early on in our marriage that my husband is a “gifts” guy. It never had to be anything expensive or extravagant. Sometimes the simplest gifts are the most special. When we first got married we worked at the same company and I made his lunch almost every day. I always made sure to include a simple note on the napkin in every lunch to surprise, and hopefully, make him smile. The small act of putting a note on my husband’s napkin every day strengthened our marriage by reminding him he was loved. He has always been great at helping with house work or providing me other small acts of service like getting me more water, or something I need while I’m working to make me feel loved.

 

The Take-away:

First, let me encourage you to read this book if you haven’t already.

 

Second, consider your spouse’s love language. Take the quiz and have your spouse take the quiz. While I believe we can all feel loved by any one of these acts there is a specific one that “fills the love tank” for each of us.

 

Third, and lastly, act on that love luggage. Think of many different ways you can express love to your spouse by “speaking” their love language and do them.

 

I guarantee as you both start speaking each other’s languages your marriage will strengthen and grow in more ways than you never thought possible.

 

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