Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages? Before we read the book and watched the video series, we had heard about it but didn’t know much detail.
You’ll be surprised to know that it’s really a pretty simple and easy to understand formula for marital harmony. We have found it to be extremely helpful in understanding what our spouse needs and possibly even when they need it.
In a nutshell, according to Gary Chapman there are 5 Love Languages:
- Acts of Service – Doing things for our spouse like chores or cooking dinner.
- Quality Time – Focusing all your energy on your spouse.
- Words of Affirmation – Verbal appreciation and compliments.
- Receiving Gifts – Visual symbols of love.
- Physical Touch – Physical contact like holding hands, usually not sexual.
For almost every person, one of these five is their primary language and it can be determined by taking a survey. Though, you may very well be able to figure it out on your own.
Our Languages were confirmed with the survey, Michael is Words of Affirmation and Joya is Quality Time.
So Michael feels really loved when Joya encourages him with words of appreciation for what he does at work and at home. And Joya feels most loved when Michael spends quality time (alone, one on one time) with Joya talking, doing something special or just being together.
Why is it so important to know and understand your spouse’s love language? Everyone “receives” love differently. And although you may feel like you are being loving to your spouse, they may not receive it that way because you aren’t speaking their love language. For instance, Joya will make dinner, wash the dishes and vacuum the house every week. She is doing that FOR Michael so he has a nice dinner and has a clean house to live in. While Michael appreciates it, his love language isn’t Acts of Service. And if she doesn’t speak words of affirmation, like “Thank you for working so hard and paying the bills. I really appreciate you.”, he still won’t feel like she is being loving toward him.
When you speak the other one’s love language, you are building up their “love tank” and showing them how much you care. In fact, when you build up the “love tank” you are building so much goodwill that you will find you will have less conflict and be able to handle conflict with more compassion for each other.
You can learn much more detail about these languages, like how it can be difficult to learn the other’s love language because it may not come natural. Speaking Spanish doesn’t come natural to English speaking Americans. Joya doesn’t naturally speak words of affirmation to Michael so she has to make a conscious effort to try to do this. And Michael needs to remember that he has to build alone time into their busy schedules so he is meeting her need.
We encourage you to check out the 5 Love Languages in more detail! It is very much worth knowing what your love language is and how you can best speak your spouse’s love language.
You can also take a free love language test here!