Do you and your partner speak a different love language?
And if you do, what do you do about it?
Hang on – what is a ‘love language’?
Yes, all perfectly valid questions and now let us explore the answers.
I came across the expression ‘love languages’ a couple of weeks ago while researching for an article.
Suddenly, a lot of things about my own relationship made sense.
Things like feeling frustrated that, despite having been together nigh on 20 years, the husband does not seem to grasp my need for verbal affirmations of love and affection.
You know, things like being told you look good in something. Or are attractive. Or a general combination of both.
A few years ago I was going through a stage where my body image was at an all time low. I was larger than I should be, in fact pushing the biggest I have ever been. In part because I had never really lost the fat from my two pregnancies.
I was also suffering from hip pain that lead to two arthroscopes and basically meant I could not do any exercise for months.
I remember one day standing in front of the wardrobe, as most women are wont to do, trying desperately to find something to wear out that night. “I’ve got nothing nice to wear” I cried out in the husband’s direction.
“Well that is your own fault” says he. “Maybe if you didn’t buy so many Nanna clothes, you wouldn’t have this problem”.
Not exactly the loving affirmation I was after. Still, I guess I should thank him. After that, I did go on a diet and over a few months, dropped a few dress sizes. And I did progressively buy a completely new wardrobe, one which I am still adding too.
Exhibit B. Last week I was on my way out for the night, and I had a new frock I was planning to wear. But I had bought it in a hurry one day, and although the 12 yr old daughter thought it looked good in the change room, I was worried how my chest looked in the strapless number.
I mentioned my concern to the husband, and decided to give it a test run for him before I headed out the door.
So it came to pass that I pranced in front of him, all dolled up, arms throw wide and asking, “Well, how do I look?”
“Cold” says the husband.
Recounting this story to a girlfriend, it suddenly occurred to me that what the problem is – the husband and I speak in completely different love languages.
A love language is the way in which we communicate our love for another. For some, physical affection is their language, for others it is doing things for their partner (like cooking them dinner, helping with the housework) or buying their partner gifts. For people like me, the preferred language is affirmation.
Sometimes I feel the husband not only speaks a different language, but one with forked tongue.
As to the ‘what to do about it’ question?
Failing any other solution, buying yet more clothes is looking like the best option.
After all, damage to his wallet is one conversation he does hear and understand.
Cheers till next time,