I am pretty sure most people are familiar with the concept or the book the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman, now whilst I may not agree with everything he says and am not myself religious or am not Christian this book has had a profound effect on my life and the way I navigate the relationships emotions and feelings within our home.
There was a point last year where my hubby and I went through a very bad patch if you will, it was really bad we were so out of touch with each other, hardly on speaking terms fighting all of the time, I saw so many things from my failed first marriage reoccurring and I could not understand why, here I was running our household, running the kids around ensuring everything was done, our bills were paid etc and my hubby would get home and go straight to his pc emerging to fall into bed at the early hours of the morning I couldn’t understand why, why me , why us why were we failing, I didn’t want us to fail, I loved my husband and I wanted our marriage to work, the more I did the more I gave the more my husband pulled away and shut down I did not understand what he wanted or needed or that by doing everything I wasn’t involving him I wasn’t affirming his importance in mine and our lives.
In between then and now so much has happened and we are in a better space now than I think we have ever been.
Now what has this got to do with the 5 love languages, if you haven’t do yourself a favor and head on over to Gary Chapman's website and take the quiz to see what you and your partners love languages are, you see Dr Chapman speaks about each of us having a love tank now our love tank starts off full and throughout our relationship we show and give love to our partners, now if we receive love back preferably by the way of our primary love language our tank will replenish and thus the cycle will continue and allow you to fulfill and continue a loving and healthy relationship.
Now I have taken the test and my primary love language was unsurprisingly acts of service and my secondary was words of affirmations, way down at the bottom was personal touch, my hubby on the other hand now his primary and secondary love language are touch and quality time.
I am by no means a touchy feely person, I didn’t do public displays of affection and it takes a lot for me to allow a person into my personal space so whilst we were going through that rough patch I was shelling out love by way of my primary love language ie acts of service and the more my hubby shut down the less inclined I was to personal touch and the less inclined he was to help out around the home and within our lives, ie both of our tanks were running on empty. Dr Chapman talks about how we are prone to displaying love in line with our own personal love language but that we need to learn the love language of our partner I order to fill their tank and allow them to fill ours.
The concept is so simple and yet it isn’t an easy thing to do by a long shot, I can honestly say that understanding these principals has changed the way I look at our relationship and has encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone in order to show my husband the love that he not only wants but deserves.
The same can be said for my children, understanding that Loghan thrives off of tokens/gifts and affirmations or praise whilst Gabriel thrives off of touch and time, Jesse is still too young to take the quiz but I can tell already that acts of service as well as affirmations are very high ranking for him, these have helped me understand why my children react to my love or displays of love in different ways and has helped me to understand them better, it has helped when there are things I need them to do or when they seem to be down in the dumps I can reach out to them in a way I know will lift their moods or encourage them and it does make a big difference.
Self-care and ensuring that your tank/well is full as well as your partner and children’s is so incredibly important if you are in a relationship whether things are great or not take the time to think about what love means to you how you show love and what way you think love should be shown then ask your partner to do the same think, see where you match up or how you differ and if you are struggling with your child/children think about it in terms of them as well.
If you are single I highly recommend giving the book a read as well as I said there were a few things I personally didn't agree with but as a whole the concept and lessons learned are great and I highly recommend it.