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What's Your Love Language?
by Chris Wesley
Has Love A Language?
Ask any couple who has been married for about 40 or more years the secret of lasting love, and you will hear replies like: Overlooking the little annoyances of life; entering marriage with eyes wide open and living in marriage with eyes half shut!; learning to be patient; remembering to appreciate each other often; learning to understand how the other likes to be loved and then doing it; holding tight during the tough times when it seems like love has died, and nurturing it until it re-awakens; trusting and protecting each other. Love which has lasted is rarely described as being a lovely feeling which has never waxed or waned.
Fiddler on the Roof
I love the part in Fiddler on the Roof when the husband, Tevye, quite out of the blue asks his wife if she loves him … She is astounded by the question and blusters a reply: Do I love you? … You're upset, you're worn out, Go inside, go lie down! Maybe it's indigestion. But Tevye persists and she answers: For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned your house, given you children, milked the cow. After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now? Then I’m your wife and finally For twenty-five years I've lived with him, fought him, starved with him. Twenty-five years my bed is his. If that's not love, what is? They conclude by supposing that they do in fact love in each other, and although nothing has changed, after 25 years it was ‘nice to know’.
Am I Speaking Your Language?
If you have ever thought you were speaking a different love language to your partner … then perhaps you are! In his very helpful book “The Five Languages of Love”, Gary Chapman (www.fivelovelanugages.com) identifies ways in which love is generally expressed in a relationship and states that most people have an individual strong preference for one area.
A key to a successful love life is to find out what the love language of your partner is, and then express love in the way your partner most appreciates!
The five ways he categorises are:
Investigation and Observation
To find out what your partner most values, observe him or her and see which is most offered to you as an expression of love. We nearly always offer to others what we most consider to be loving ourselves and what we most would like to receive ourselves. Are there areas which your spouse often complains about: We don’t talk anymore; You prefer the football to me – this person may crave quality time as an expression of love. If there are frequent requests for help, with children or household jobs for example, perhaps Act of Service is a longed for love expression. Does your partner always like to sit close to you, hugs you when returning home, hold hands … physical touch may be the primary love language here.
Your Coach can Help You
While all relationships, at whatever level, will improve from these simple and relatively easy-to-do suggestions, others, as we all know, can be just a bit more complicated! At times it is hard to know where to begin and this is where coaching can help you. Your coach can guide you to take a closer look at troublesome relationships, examine your expectations as against the present reality, explore what belief structures and feelings you have within those relationships, and help you decide what your next steps might be.
A huge advantage of discussing relationships with someone you don't already know - whether that is on the phone, by email or face to face - is that your coach is an impartial listener and genuinely interested and accepting sounding board. The other person cannot be changed by coaching, but your perspective and approach can. So if you are struggling with a particular relationship (or more!), why not get in touch today.
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