"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Love Languages {day 8}

I know I've talked about love languages before, but it's definitely important enough to talk about again!

I’m fairly certain that Logan and I would have a completely different marriage had it not been for me learning about the love languages. There’s a book called The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman and the basic premise is that we all have one or two top love languages. We should strive to “speak” to our loved ones in the love languages that touch them the most.

Before reading that book, I never understood why Logan got so mad when he would try to hug me and I would pull away after a few seconds. Logan didn’t understand why I appreciated him washing the dishes or vacuuming more than I responded to his sweet compliments.

Well, now we know. His love languages are Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation, while mine are Acts of Service and Quality Time. He feels most loved when I touch him or compliment him, and I feel loved when he does things for me or spends time with me.

I first read the book when we hadn’t yet celebrated our first anniversary, and when Logan and I were having a conversation about which love languages were ours, I told him Acts of Service was my number one. He rolled his eyes and said, “Yeah, yours would be Acts of Service…”

Needless to say, it’s taken a lot of effort to focus on each other’s love languages, and we still have to be reminded of it sometimes. Honestly, I still struggle, because Logan’s love languages are not mine at all. I’m not a touchy feely person and I don’t care either way if I receive compliments or not. Logan, on the other hand, very much thrives on both of those things.

I’m not sure if it’s because my family wasn’t big on words of affirmation growing up, or because it’s just not my love language, but complimenting Logan and affirming him feels really hard sometimes. I feel silly saying that, because it doesn’t seem like it should be that hard. But it is! So I’ve learned to focus on ways that don’t feel as hard.

Thanks to a friend in my church’s mom group a couple years ago, I found an empty photo frame, printed out a piece of paper with the words “I love you because…” at the top and cut it to fit in the frame. I try to keep it next to Logan’s sink in the bathroom, where he will see it every single day, and use a dry erase marker on the glass to write him a new message whenever inspiration strikes. So he’s often pleasantly surprised by all the ways I love him - and it’s easier for me to affirm him that way because, well, I’m a writer. (Let me just admit that I go through phases where I’m really good at this and other phases when I, um, forget. But I definitely notice a difference in Logan when I do it!)
In that same vein, sometimes I send random text messages with cute Bitmojis (it’s a fun app) that say “I love you” or “Miss you” or something equally cheesy. Logan loves it. It’s something so simple but it makes a huge impact.

The trick is to find ways to speak your spouse’s love languages without it feeling like too much work. Obviously, marriage does take work, but by finding easier ways for me to show Logan love, it increases the likelihood that I will do it on a regular basis. And that means a happier marriage for the both of us.

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