Dr. Gary Chapman’s bestselling book entitled, “The Five Love Languages” is a game changer when it comes to the way we understand love and marriage. It has become a must-read for engaged and married couples for many years. The basic premise of the book is that couples experience challenges when they don’t understand each other’s love language.
The five love languages Dr. Chapman identifies are Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Words of Affirmation. He includes a quiz at the end of the book to help you determine what your primary love language is.
The book is very eye opening, to say the least. I’d describe it as enlightening, even. What I have come to realize over the years, however, is that there’s a problem with learning your love language. While a useful tool in understanding a little bit more about what makes us who we are (as individuals) and the way we interpret love – the message of the book often gets lost between couples. Essentially, you have to remember that the book is not about you. It’s about learning how to love your spouse in the way they desire to be loved, not about what they’re doing wrong as it pertains to you.
I have heard so many wives and husbands say: “My love language is this and my spouse doesn’t understand that.” Or, “My love language is that, and my spouse needs to learn how to give me what I need.”
You see the issue there? Learning your love language shouldn’t be used as a method to measure where your spouse is lacking. Instead, if you take the focus off of yourself and apply it to your spouse, having this new knowledge will become much more effective.
For example, change your thoughts to say, “My spouse’s love language is this, and I want to learn more about it.” Or, “My spouse’s love language is that, and I want to find new ways to love them better.”
If both of you are willing to do that, I’m willing to bet that you’ll see an improvement in your marriage. Consider your partner a foreigner from another country. You’re simply a tourist in their world, and as a tourist, it’s up to you learn all there is to know about what makes that country special (i.e. the language, the food, the music). Immerse yourself in the culture of your spouse’s world and learn to live each day in harmony!
Tell us, BMWK family: Are you guilty of using your love language as a weapon against your spouse or have you tried to use it as a way to understand them better?
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