Discovering your spouse’s love language.
Part 1 in the “5 Love Languages” series.
Discovering your spouse’s love language is a great tool to have for a connected marriage.
But if you’re marriage is trying to heal from infidelity, mastering your spouse’s love language will be even more important.
The 5 Love Languages concept has been around awhile, you’ve likely heard of it.
Gary Chapman has sold like 12 million copies of the book.
You can get a copy of the book through this link.
But just in case this is foreign, I’ll explain briefly.
Everybody has a primary ‘emotional love language’ that they feel most in tune with.
They usually have 1 or 2 primary ways of feeling loved. I’ll get into explaining what those are in a minute.
Some people ask ‘can you have all 5 love languages?’
Most people usually don’t have all 5 love languages at once. They might identify with most of them,
but there’s still often just a primary one or two.
Discovering your spouse’s love language is good for any marriage,
but even more so if you’re healing from infidelity.
It’s one of the first group studies we did when we were healing from the affair and it really helped us to reconnect faster.
Let me illustrate with a story.
My husband has told me stories of his Navy days, when he was deployed with his aircrew squadron in Spain and Italy.
When he, and his Navy buddies, would go into town during liberty they found it hard to communicate with the locals
since they didn’t speak their primary language.
This was primarily Spanish, and my husband knew it more than the other guys,
so he was often the ‘designated interpreter’ for the group.
But when they deployed to Italy, it was a little harder to communicate because nobody knew Italian.
Since Spanish is as close to Italian as it comes, they were able to figure it out but only with many hand gestures,
and trying to find the closest word in Spanish or English, so they muddled along.
But it would have made their liberty days so much easier if someone really knew their native language, Italian, well.
Mastering your spouse’s love language is a skill just like mastering another spoken language.
Just like my husband and his Navy buddies struggled to communicate in other countries, you’ll struggle to communicate effectively
with your spouse, if you don’t know they’re love language.
If we don’t know HOW they most feel loved by us, we’ll end up doing things that aren’t expressing love the way they interpret love.
Then all those ways we think we’re depositing into the “love bank account” they have for us, really isn’t depositing much.
But imagine, truly knowing your spouse’s love language.
If it’s ‘words of affirmation’; just writing notes of encouragement and love,
would mean more to them than any gift you can give.
Although hey, what girl would refuse a flower or your help around the house or, guys?
Once you know how to show your spouse they’re loved, you’ll have a much easier time healing from this affair,
and more likely to have loving and fulfilling marriage.
Here are the 5 love languages and their descriptions.
Which ones do you relate to the most?
1. Words of Affirmation-
If you respond more to words expressing your value, compliments, and listening to someone say to you what you mean to them,
then this might be your main love language.
Another clue is, you really light up when you get love notes and hear them say how special you are.
This is arguably the easiest of the 5 to do, but also the easiest to fail at.
What does it really take to tell your spouse what they mean to you? Not too hard right? You can get creative with notes, like I said.
But it’s equally easy to make love bank withdrawals with careless words of anger, insults, impatience and rejection.
Insults aren’t forgotten as easily for these people, so take be aware of that if your spouse’s love language is words of affirmation.
2. Quality Time-
This might be your love language, if spending time one-on-one with your spouse is very important to you and when you don’t have it,
you start feeling disconnected. Craving your mates undivided attention without distractions, like phones, TV’s and children
is important to you that you’ll get upset or frustrated if your spouse is easily distracted, not fully ‘with’ you or cancels date nights.
Taking the time to put your phone down, and have a meaningful talk with your spouse will go a long way.
You might have to work at getting a babysitter or making that time when kids are in bed, but doing so will pay off in dividends.
3. Receiving Gifts-
Probably the most misunderstood of all the love languages because it would appear on the surface that this type
of person is just materialistic. But that’s simply not true. It’s really the thought and effort behind the gift, not the dollar amount,
that makes this person feel special and loved.
Someone who has this love language really loves even small things; their favorite candy at the store,
a magazine or personalized coffee cup (just examples). So don’t get hung up on the amount spent and feel it’s not worth
getting if it’s inexpensive. Your spouse will likely have their love bank account deposited just by the thought behind your gift.
If this is your language, you might be hurt if someone misses your birthday or throws a thoughtless gift your way. Don’t feel guilty is this is yours.
4. Acts of Service-
If you feel loved and appreciated when your spouse helps out with responsibilities this might be your love language.
It might mean going grocery shopping, vacuuming, laundry, helping with the kids, etc.. but these things go a
long way in your eyes and how you feel loved. You might even feel upset (more than is typical) if your spouse
neglects helping you or doesn’t do something to help when they said they would.
Hearing the words “how can I help you, honey?” or, just taking the initiative to serve and do what needs to be done,
is gold in the eyes of these partners.
5. Physical Touch-
Just like ‘Gifts’ this is the second most misunderstood love language.
Physical touch doesn’t mean just sex. If this is your love language, you feel most loved when your spouse takes the time to
hug you, back rubs, hold your hand, snuggle etc.. Although all of us married couples need physical touch,
people with this love language yearn for it most.
Physical touch and connection fuels the emotional connection for these people.
RELATED: Read this post on top 10 most important emotional needs in men and women in a marriage.
So why is love languages so important in marriage, especially in affair healing?
Well this love language concept hasn’t been around forever, so what did people do to heal from affairs before, you might ask.
I’m not sure, maybe they suffered longer through trial and error.
But I do know, it’s a great tool to have now. Plus, anything that’ll help us reconnect with our spouse,
especially if there’s been any infidelity to recover from, is worth learning.
Why you need to know your spouse’s love language.
You’ll both be able to communicate your needs more.
once you recognize which love language is most important to you, it takes the guessing out of the equation for your partner.
I think it also helps us understand ourselves. Instead of feeling like I’m a materialistic brat who likes to feel special with gifts,
I can understand that it’s okay, and it’s how I feel loved.
Or, once you know that your spouse really feels loved when you hug and touch (or whatever your spouse’s is),
you won’t feel like all they want is sex, it helps to understand them more.
Communicating your needs isn’t so vague for you both now.
Try saying “it really makes me feel loved when you empty the dishwasher…” etc..
Your spouse will know how to love you before you ask (and vice versa).
Well, that’s the idea anyway.
It might take some getting used to and learning, just like learning a new language takes practice,
so does learning your spouse’s love language.
But discovering your spouse’s love language gives you an edge and will help deposit into that love bank account.
You won’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t resonate ‘love’ with your spouse.
Have you ever done something for your spouse that you thought was awesome and would score you some brownie points, but they reacted like meh?
It’s discouraging and can often be the reason some couples give up trying to please their spouse.
When actually, if you just tweaked your efforts a bit, and did those things that really showed your spouse they’re loved (in their love language),
their reaction will likely go from “meh” to “YEA”.
Yes, I’m corny I know.
Fun Fact- in case you’re wondering what’s the
most common love language of the five love languages:
According to Huffington Post:
- Words of Affirmation=23%
- Quality Time=20%
- Acts of Service=20%
- Physical Touch=19%
- Receiving Gifts=18%
Which is yours and your spouses? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Discovering and mastering spouse’s love language helps you make more love bank deposits than withdrawals, then our can heal faster from an affair.
So, once you finally know what theirs is, how do you actually show your spouse they’re loved in their love language?
I’m so glad you asked….
Check out Part 2, in this ‘Love Languages’ series is
“Learn to speak your spouse’s love language” with actionable, ideas and tips, you can start doing today.
And if all this talk of love languages feels overwhelming right now, don’t let it be.
You can take the 5 Love Languages Quiz free here.
It’s fun and easy to do.
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.