“How come you don’t love me anymore?” Soo Eng questioned Eng Kiong.
“I have constantly told you that I love you, how come you say that I don’t love you? Can’t you see my love? I have bought you so many presents.” Eng Kiong retorted.
Soo Eng gave him no chance to continue, “But I don’t feel your love, I don’t care for the presents you have given me. All I want is some time with you alone.”
“Am I not spending time with you now?” Eng Kiong replied, getting frustrated.
During chat sessions with couples, I heard many of them expressing sentiments similar to Soo Eng and Eng Kiong. More often than not, their problem is not the lost of love for each other. In fact, they still truly love one another and “express” their love to one another frequently. However, love expressed but not received equals no love expressed!
This happens when love speaks a different language.
Michelle and I took Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages seriously. We fully subscribe to his teaching and we practice “speaking” the right love language to each other daily.
If your spouse complains that you are not showering him or her with love when you think that you have been doing it constantly, go read that book immediately. It will do wonders for your love life as it did for Michelle and I, and for the many couples whom I have introduced it to.
For those who are yet unexposed to love languages, let me quickly summarize what Gary teaches. Humans respond to different expressions of love and Gary names five:
- Words of Affirmation.
- Acts of Service.
- Receiving Gifts.
- Quality Time.
- Physical Touch.
Each of us has an innate way of feeling loved and thus expresses love in the same way to others. For example, my innate love language is words of affirmation. It simply means that I will feel that I am loved if someone spoke words that affirm me or words that fuel my self-esteem.
So, if Michelle says to me, “Steven, you are great and I am so proud of you,” I feel loved. For the same reason, I will naturally express my love to Michelle by saying words of affirmation to her. I do so because that is what I think will express my love for her. It is a bit myopic but most of us are like that; living life with the filter of our heart.
The problem arises if Michelle’s love language is anything else but words of affirmation. Let’s say that her love language was physical touch, which means that she will feel loved if I held her hands, hugged her or gave a pat on her shoulder. If that is how she feels loved, then no matter how much I shower her with words of affirmation or buy her presents, it will not make her feel that I love her.
The only way then, is for me to express my love for her physically. In the same way, she must express her love to me with words that affirm me. Only then, will the two of us feel that we love each other.
Thankfully for the both of us, our top two languages of love happen to be the same – Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. And so, we encourage each other a lot with good words and we give each other strong physical expressions constantly – we even hold hands to sleep!
One husband came to me and said that his wife has been asking him to go for supper after the children were put to bed. He is not in the habit of taking supper and has rejected her many requests. But one night, he finally relented. What he could not fathom is that when he finally brought his wife out for supper, she said she was not hungry and did not want to eat. He got quite frustrated with that.
I told him to check what her love language was. I suggested to him that it was Quality Time and her request to have supper with him is really a cry to have quality time with him. He and his wife did the test and it showed exactly that. And since understanding what would make her feel loved, he has been spending quality time with her. He told me recently that they are much happier now.
Do you want to discover what you and your spouse’s love languages are? Go take an online test at www.5lovelanguages.com and find out immediately. Do the test together with your spouse and learn together what love languages do you speak.
And once you know your spouse’s love language, start to “speak” it to him/her immediately. I will guarantee you that by so doing, you will experience an immediate improvement in your relationship and it will save you a lot of unnecessary pains and troubles.
Let not your love speak a different language.