Have you heard of or read the bestselling book 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman? No? Get it. Read it. Digest it. Meditate on it. And of course, implement it. I read this book on my Kindle after one of my first Marriage Chats and it was while I was reading it that I realized that 1) I was married for real and 2) my husband and I weren’t on the same page. Do we love each other? Gobs! We’re the best of friends, and each other’s heart and soul. However, there are times where we butt heads and could feel slighted by the other person. For a long time in our relationship, I often found myself struggling to assure myself that he really did love me. As I mentioned, my husband is emotionally constipated so getting him to do and say the mushy stuff isn’t easy. But it’s not until I read this book that I understood him, and myself, a lot more clearly.

What Are the 5 Love Languages?

Dr. Gary Chapman has defined 5 “love languages”, explaining different ways people show and feel love. These love languages are:

  • Acts of Service
  • Gifts
  • Physical Touch
  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
They’re pretty self explanatory, and just about any person can identify what their primary love language is. It’s very possible to have more than one. For some, it’s not as easy to figure out which love language they “speak” the most, so there’s an assessment you can take online. Upon reading, I was pretty confident of what my primary and secondary love languages were, and which ones were my husband’s. After taking the assessment, I was correct for both of ours.

My Love Languages

My primary love language is words of affirmation. My secondary is acts of service. I enjoy compliments and being told how much I mean to my husband. If he were to say “You’re beautiful” or “You’re so smart”, I’ll instantly melt. This is why for my birthday, I requested a list of reasons why he loves me, especially since I don’t hear it often. About a month ago, hubby told me I was a great writer. I rode that high for the rest of the day. When I cook, I’m always anxious to hear what he thinks about the food. So when I cooked a new chicken dish the other day and he told me it was “amazing” and to “cook it again”, rest assured I slept with a smile on my face. As for acts of service, this is just as huge for me. When my husband cooks or cleans without me prompting him to, it always makes me happy. When he fails to take out the trash or help me with Frankie, it makes me irritable. He catches on more to acts of service than words of affirmation.

Hubby’s Love Languages

Hubby’s primary love language is quality time, and his secondary is physical touch. He enjoys having me in his company, even if it’s to take care of business. I usually ride with him to appointments and can be seen by his side almost wherever he goes. He likes watching TV with me (he even sits and watches my girly shows like Real Housewives or Oprah’s Lifeclass), and teaching me about nerdy things he likes such as history and science. When I’m more focused on the computer than on him, you can tell he’s a bit hurt. For physical touch, he holds my hand when we’re in public, or puts his arm around my waist. He’s not afraid to kiss me in front of others, and he enjoys back rubs. Of course, there’s also love making, which made me a bit weary of the no weight loss, no sex challenge, but he’s supportive.

What About Gifts?

Now that I know both of our love languages, I realized that gifts wasn’t on either of our lists. It’s funny, because early in our relationship, we both assumed gifts would be something substantial. It’s not that we don’t enjoy gifts, we just understand now that it’s not a major way to show how much we love each other. We’ve both bought each other expensive gifts over the years like game systems, jewelry, purses, and concert tickets. While we were appreciative, it didn’t scream “I love you” like spending time with each other or an unprompted massage would. And that’s okay!
What is your spouse’s primary and secondary love language? What is yours?