The love language of the other

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No matter how old you are, you are never too old to learn to speak the love language of your other half. Gary Chapman, the oft-quoted author of the 5 Love Languages, has influenced many with his teachings on the way we give and receive love. Namely, though: (1) Quality time (2) Physical Touch (3) Receiving Gifts (4) Acts of Service and (5) Words of Affirmation.

I have had the benefit of speaking with an elderly man recently, who wished to rekindle the love with his wife of many years. The couple had sacrificed much of their lives for their children in their growing up years. Ever since husband and wife relinquished their traditional roles of breadwinner and homemaker respectively, they suddenly found themselves on divergent paths.

The husband decided to take my advice to start dating his wife again, and to make effort to speak her love language, even though she was not able to speak his. Let me just say this – it is not easy to speak another’s love language, when it does not come naturally to you. Take for example – if your spouse is someone who loves words of affirmation, and you are not someone who naturally speaks out praises and words of appreciation, then you need to make effort to start learning such words and giving them, no matter how clumsy you sound at the start.

Apart from taking the initiative to speak his wife’s love language, this man also accepted that she might not be able to reciprocate using his preferred love language. However, his efforts had started to pay off. He found that as he increasingly spoke to his wife in her preferred love language, her heart had started to soften towards him, and their relationship was making progress in the right direction.

Acceptance of the other and humility to change oneself – these were also two qualities that were key in accompanying this man’s use of the love languages. It is my hope that he will unearth more of that love and connection that he yearns so deeply for in his relationship with his wife.

Perhaps also, it is time for you to think about whether you have been speaking the right love language to your spouse and loved ones. You can take the love language test here if you are game for it!

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