The Five Love Languages is a wonderful best-selling book written by Dr. Gary Chapman. Dr. Chapman spent 30 years performing marriage counseling for couples.
Through his experiences, he was able to break down the different ways couples express love for each other. There are five completely unique ways for effective communication with your spouse. Love and marriage do not always coexist, as statistics readily will attest. Couples must constantly work on their marriage to keep it strong and healthy.
Learning how to improve communication with your spouse will certainly help keep the love flowing and the heart happy. Here are 10 things you need to know about the five love languages. To take an assessment test and learn more about the book, click here.
1. Words of affirmation. The most infamous three little words in the world are, “I love you.” Some find them almost too easy to say, and others can’t muster the courage to say them at all. What is most important is that when they are said, it’s genuine and backed up with heartfelt reasons. Your wife, who requires words of affirmation, needs to know why you love her. What is it that makes her special to you? Given reassurance, she will feel buoyed and euphoric. A good marriage is one where verbal communication flows free and honest.
2. Cease using words as weapons. Words can tear down and destroy just as easily as they can build and create. Words are powerful weapons. An unhappy marriage usually includes lots of verbal abuse between partners. These things tend to linger and create large divides that are not easy to repair. If you are in this type of situation, in order to save your marriage, drop the verbal assault immediately. Declare a truce, and begin to address the real issues that lie behind the masquerade of the harmful words.
3. Quality time. The gift of your time and attention shows your spouse that you truly find her important. When your wife has had a bad day at work and just needs someone to talk to, you earnestly listen—not offering solutions but just listening to her. She beams inside when you take a walk with her, talking about anything at all. True-blue quality time reassures her that you sincerely love being with her. It gives her the confidence in you she requires.
4. Avoid the cold shoulder. Try as much as possible to build your lives around each other. When you are both headed in opposite directions, how can you have a strong marriage foundation? Avoid giving your spouse the cold shoulder when she needs your time, such as watching TV and not listening to her. Or breaking promised dates or being constantly distracted during them. These things send the signal that she is not a priority in your life.
5. Receiving gifts. Gifts come in many shapes, forms and sizes. True gifts are ones given from a place of genuine affection and admiration. It shows when you went to great effort to find just the right thing, like a rare book she adores or a beautiful piece of art she longed for glowingly while window-shopping with you. Gestures are gifts as well. A reassuring look when she feels nervous. Strong arms to hold her when she feels scared and tired. Gifts of this nature display great affection and strengthen your marriage immensely.
6. Avoid the bribe. When marriage problems exist, one of the typical ways a man will attempt to smooth things out is with a gift. All the diamonds in the world can’t buy a single drop of true love, but men all over the globe do it anyway. Superficial relationships can co-exist in this manner, but that’s not the goal we are aiming for. We are shooting for the stars and trying to earn real, down-to-earth, genuine love. Dropping a bribe in her lap when we screw up only shows her that she isn’t worthy of your best efforts. Forgetting your anniversary and trying to quickly make up for it with a hastily bought gift at the closest store to your home is a cheap trick. Marriage counseling is in the near future for this husband.
7. Acts of service. Effective communication is also shown in actions. Women tend to put the whole world on their shoulders and attempt to carry it all. She works full time, cleans the house, feeds the kids, plays taxi cab and gets up to do it all over once again. Your assistance is greatly required, sir. Offering to lighten her load in any way at all means the absolute world to her. Take a regular shift on the taxi route. Get up and make the kids’ lunches. Clean the dishes right after you enjoy the great meal she created for your family. Teach your children to pitch in as well, and you will be displaying leadership skills that will make her heart melt with passion for you.
8. Don’t be the lazy man-child. How do you save a marriage? One of your first steps is to not behave like a selfish boy in a grown man’s body. Laziness and selfishness turn a woman off quicker than you can possibly imagine. She’s busy changing diapers, cooking dinner and cleaning the spilled grape juice off the carpet, and you never look up from your PlayStation3 to notice. Marriage is a partnership, not a slavery ring. Do not treat your wife as if she is your mother and you are a spoiled teenager. Doing so typically will lead you back to living with your real mom in very short order.
9. Physical touch. Remember when you first met her? You just wanted to melt inside of her, holding her hand and thinking how it fit so perfectly with yours. The way her hair gently would sway against your skin. Physical touch releases powerful and wonderful feelings inside of us. Making love is only one expression of physical touch. It’s the little things that really display the love in our marriage. When she lays her head in your lap and you gently run your fingers through her hair. The way you grasp the back of her neck just perfectly as you kiss her. She feels secure and very much loved and will return the feeling 10 times over.
10. Never abuse and neglect. On the flip side, physical abuse is a tragic and enormous issue in many marriages. When things reach this level, marriage counseling is not enough. Intervention is required, along with serious therapy for both individuals. Gentlemen, there is simply never an excuse to hit a woman. Ever. Physical neglect is also a form of abuse. Withholding of affection by either spouse is not only cruel; it will also destroy the bond and trust in your marriage. If these problems exist in your relationship, seek out help and resolve them without delay.
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