Craig and I had a good discussion (well, started as an argument since we were both hurt about some things and morphed into a good conversation) last night and one thing I thought was really interesting was the subject of love languages. Of course we didn't say, "you're not speaking my love language!" But one thing Craig did say is, "I work so many hours and try to take care of the house and yard and all the things I do because that's how I know to show you and Eliana that I love you." Ok yes I was crying and thinking, why could I not have heard that earlier? Who knows, maybe I wouldn't have listened anyway. But it made me think about love languages. It's ironic and a little twisted that often in relationships the way we know to show love is not the way the other person knows to accept it. And btw, if you're not familiar with love languages, check this out- http://www.5lovelanguages.com/learn-the-languages/the-five-love-languages/ . Craig was doing everything he knew to do and yet it was like he was speaking Mandarin to me. Don't get me wrong, I do love and respect him for being hard working. I noticed that about him on our first date and knew I wanted those qualities in my spouse. However, that isn't what makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside or totally loved. As I've told him often, I'd rather be in a happy marriage in this tiny house than a miserable marriage in a mansion. I think this evolves and changes a little over the years, but for me I think it's pretty much about Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. I appreciate Gifts and Acts of Service but they don't scream LOVE to me. It's just not how I tick. I have a dear friend that speaks gifts as her primary love language. We're all different which makes it tricky :) Physical touch fits in there somewhere for me as being important as well, probably in between the ones I've already said.
Although it's not one of the 5 love languages, the huge thing for a man is RESPECT. And while I do respect Craig as a hard worker and provider, I was feeling jipped in the lovey-dovey side of things and then stopped showing that I respect him. That just makes him want to be less lovey-dovey, etc etc. You see the cycle? I'm writing about this because I know 100% it's not just Craig and I that deal with this miscommunication, but neary every marriage at some point and some level will have this 'crossing of wires'.
Let's say you have someone with gifts as their primary love language and someone with acts of service as theirs, in a relationship. Typically (until we learn otherwise) what happens is we try to show love in the way that we best receive it (even though our spouse might be speaking a totally different language than us). So, the person who speaks 'gifts' will try to show love by giving gifts. But their partner speaks love by 'acts of service' and is grateful for the gifts but not hearing I LOVE YOU even thought the 'gifts partner' feels like that is what they are screaming. Conversely the 'acts of service partner' might be changing the oil in their spouse's car, filling up their gas tank, taking out the trash, scrubbing the bathtub, emptying the dishwasher, etc, all in an effort to say I LOVE YOU but the 'gifts partner' is simply wanting a bouquet of flowers on their counter or a new book, etc. Talk about mixed wires, huh?
So, I implore you to think about what your language is and to think about and ask your partner what their's is. It's amazing how much more loved we feel when we're speaking the same language.