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Monday, November 22, 2004

The Five Love Languages

I have often heard of the phrase "The best thing you can do for your children is to love your wife" Its probably coined by a woman. Haha. I suppose its true that "The best thing you can do for your children is to love your spouse." You will be giving your children the best security there is when your relationship with your spouse is harmonious and your home becomes a safe haven for all your family members.

One relationship book which I particularly enjoyed is "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. The author suggests that there are 5 Love Languages and if your love language differs from that of your spouse, you will have a hard time understanding each other or feeling loved in the relationship. For eg. the author states that "Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other." (quoting from the book).

So what are the 5 Love Languages? They are:

Words of Affirmation (WOA)
Quality Time (QT)
Receiving Gifts (RG)
Acts of Service (AOS)
Physical Touch (PT)

After giving this some thought and analysis I've discovered that my love languages are PT and WOA and hubby's are QT and AOS. Wow, so different. We would have a hard time understanding each other.

Hubby does not speak my love language because they are not his but he speaks his own love language(LL) very well. I only have to learn to "listen" harder. To illustrate this, one of hubby's LL is AOS that means that he feels loved when I do things for him, so similarly he "speaks" his LL to me ie. by doing things for me like making sure my handphone is switched on before we leave the house and off when we return and charging my batteries for me, making sure my car is in good running order etc. Now since AOS is not my LL I do not "hear" it and this may make him feel taken for granted. He may tell me "I do all these things for you and yet you still complain!" After understanding this concept, I now realise that he is telling me in his own way that he cares about me.

When I speak hubby's LL of AOS, I can see that he truly appreciates it and is very happy. I try to make a simple sandwich lunch for him to bring to work whenever I can. It only requires a small amount of my time and very little effort but it makes him content. He says he feels happy eating the simple lunches I fix for him. Ah... my hubby is a very simple man to please indeed.

Another one of my hubby's LL is QT. He likes us to spend time doing things together. Earlier on in our relationship, I never understood this but I've come to appreciate and enjoy these moments. For eg. when hubby used to call on me to help him fix the toilet, I would be a bit irritated to be interrupted from whatever I was doing but now that I understand his enjoyment for doing things together, I've also learned to speak his LL and enjoying it too. We have:

- painted our yard together
- climbed up the roof to fix a water tank
- poked our heads into the bathroom ceiling to fix a broken pipe
- put up mosquito netting for our windows
- played addictive computer games together
- I could go on and on

One of my LL is PT. I have over the years drummed into hubby's head that I like touching and I think he's beggining to get it at last. Hehe. I like it that he puts his arm around me or lightly brushes my hair when we go shopping with the kids. I like that he hits my behind when he passes by me in the house although I always protest with a loud "Ouch".

Another one of my LL is WOA but this one hubby doesn't speak very well. I like to hear I love you's, you are a great wife etc etc but seldom get to hear it. Hubby claims he's shy but shy even to write? Grrrr... Oh well, I will just accept that this is alien language for him so it feels unnatural for him to speak it. He does however show that he appreciates me by thanking me all the time for simple things that I do for him and thats great.

One of the things we have in common is that neither of us has the LL of Receiving Gifts. we seldom give each other Valentine's Day gifts and on certain years we even make a pact not to get each other anything on our birthdays. This may sound very unromantic but it does not bother us as much as it would bother a person whose primary love language is Receiving Gifts. Personally, I would much rather receive a homemade card with his Words of Affirmation than to receive gifts of expensive jewellery from hubby.

Why am I posting this today? I want to remind myself everyday not to take my spouse for granted especially now that we are parents of two little one's who take up so much of our time. Often, once partners become parents, they forget to nurture each other and in the process lose each other and create broken and unhappy homes for their children. So if we love our children, we must first love and care for our spouses and not give them leftovers, leftovers of our children's food, leftovers of our time and our love. :-))

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