Episode # 2 – Do you know your spouses’ love language?
In this episode we talked about Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages
He actually has an entire series of books centered on this concept, which I have listed below. We only discussed one of his books in this episode. In addition to The Five Love Languages, we have also read The Five Love Languages for Children, but that will probably be the subject of a later podcast.
The 5 Love Languages of Children
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts
The 5 Love Languages Men’s Edition
The Five Love Languages Singles Edition
The 5 Love Languages Military Edition
The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers New Edition: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively
This podcast is by no means a replacement for the book. It is just going to be a teaser to encourage you to go out and pick up a copy for yourself.
The Five Love Languages: How to express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
Leh keeps a couple copies of this book in his office at work. Last year, he knows that six couples read this book after he suggested they read it. All of them dismissed their divorce after reading this book. Only one of them re-filed for divorce. That’s a pretty good success rate!
In his book, Dr. Chapman starts with a description of the “In Love” stage and why it seems to disappear after two years of marriage. There have been a few psychological studies on this and they have found, in fact, the bio-chemical ‘in love’ feeling does wear away after approximately two years. Then what? Are all marriages doomed to dwell in some mediocre or unhealthy state? Absolutely Not! But, it will take you some work to make sure you each know the other’s love language so that you can keep each other’s love tank full.
The 5 Love Languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. The following is just a summary touching on each point. There is much more to these love languages that you will have to explore in his book.
1) Words of Affirmation. This is made up of encouraging and kind words. Always making compliments. “You look nice today.” “Your new hair cut looks fantastic . . . you are hotter than ever.” “That tie brings out your beautiful eyes.” “You work so hard and the kids and I are so proud of your new raise, let’s go out and celebrate.” Words of Affirmation also includes humble words. In other words, making sure you ask for things politely rather than demand them. “Would you please take out the trash today?” “Can you do me a huge favor? If you have time, can you take my clothes to the dry cleaner today?”
2) Quality Time. Quality time involves togetherness, but it is more than just sitting on the couch together watching TV. It involves quality conversation, which includes:
- Maintaining eye Contact
- Listening to your spouse and not trying to multi-task while you are listening
- Listen for feelings
- Observe body language
- Don’t interrupt
- Learning to talk
- Engaging in quality activities
3) Receiving gifts. This is arguably the easiest love language to master. It does not mean purchasing an expensive gift for someone’s birthday or Valentine’s Day. It involves buying random small, thoughtful gifts at random points. They say to the person whose love language is receiving gifts that you really love them. Of course, a huge gift can be the gift of self. Just being there when your spouse needs you. That means canceling a huge golf or fishing trip when your Wife’s favorite aunt has died to go to the funeral with her. That means canceling that Girls’ trip you had planned for a year to be there for him if he got laid off from a dream job.
4) Acts of Service. So many times, people do things when they are married during the courting period. You do something you normally would not do just because you want to be with him or her. But, when you get married, you stop helping your spouse because you are now living together and that ‘in love’ feeling has gone away. For those whose love language is Acts of Service, their love tank starts moving towards empty because the other is no longer speaking their love language.
5) Physical Touch. This is not just about sex. It is sooooo much more. It is holding hands. It is rubbing your hand on their back as you walk by them in the room. The physical touch invokes an emotional response that tells them you love them.
So what do you do with this information? Act on it! Here are three common scenarios:
A) You think everything is fine in your relationship. But, what does your spouse think . . . really. Sit down with him or her and ask, “Do you feel that I love you?” Notice that the question is ‘feel,’ not ‘know.’ I am sure you have heard people say “I love him but am not ‘in-love’ with him.” That is the difference.
- If the answer is yes, what makes them feel that you love them
- If the answer is no, ask them why. What have you done that makes them feel like you don’t love them.
B) You love your spouse, but you are not sure if they love you. Have them same conversation that we listed above.
- Try to determine your spouse’s language and pour it on.
- You can’t change your spouse, but you can change you by learning to speak a different language. Usually the natural result is that your spouse begins to change because you changed.
C) You both are at a point where you ‘love’ or ‘hate’ each other, and not ‘in-love’ with each other.
- Go through the same steps as B) above.
- It may be difficult at first, and you have to commit to it for a minimum of six months.
Reality Check Segment
Stephanie’s Reality Check was to make sure that when the kids are having a bad day, don’t take it personally. Just because they are misbehaving one day does not make you a bad parent. The kids were just being kids (which does not mean they don’t get disciplined for their bad behavior).
Leh’s Reality Check arose out of the same incident involving the kids and he remembered that he can’t put his projects and personal plans above the children. If necessary, sometimes you have to put your personal plans on hold to make sure that they children are properly disciplined, even if it means that your plans for that day are ruined. After all, how could he podcast about a healthy married life if he was ignoring his role as a parent.
We have not put this together, yet. But, we are planning on it for the next episode.
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Thanks for listening and until next time, we wish you a healthy married life.