Speaking Your Lover's Language

In his book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Dr. Chapman writes that spouses may not feel fully loved because each is not expressing love in a way the other prefers.

We all have a primary love language, a way we want love to be shown to us. If your spouse does not express love to you in your primary language, you may feel unloved even though s/he cares deeply for you. It is as if you speak English but your spouse speaks to you in French. Alternatively, you prefer oranges but she gives you apples instead.

The five primary love languages are as follows:

Words of affirmation. You tell your spouse how much you love him, or how handsome he looks to you, or how glad you are you married him, or how much you appreciate what he just did for you.

Quality time. You spend quality time with your spouse when you are focused on each other and are not distracted by other activities. An intimate dinner, time to listen deeply to her talk about her feelings, a walk together holding hands

Receiving gifts. Those small, unexpected gifts may help your spouse feel more loved by you. Flowers, a card, which expresses love or a gift you give him after returning from a business trip are examples of presents that express love.

Acts of service. You do these little things for your spouse to show caring. Cooking his favorite meal, sewing a button on his shirt, having the oil changed in his car or bringing him a cup of coffee in the morning are examples of acts of service.

Physical touch. This is not only about good sex, although it may be a part of it. Hugs, kisses, backrubs or touching her shoulder as you pass her by are other examples of physical touch.

Just as you want to express love to your spouse in his primary love language, you also want him to express love to you in your primary language. Each of you can determine what your primary love language by asking yourself several questions.

How do you usually show love to your spouse? The way you express love may be the way you want love shown to you but it may not be the way she wants to receive it.

What do you most frequently request from your spouse? Do you usually ask for more touching or time or verbal expressions of love?

What does your spouse do or say, or fails to do or say, which wounds you most deeply? If harsh, critical words are deeply hurtful, perhaps words of affirmation are your primary love language. If you are angry when your spouse spends too much time at work or play, then quality time may be your primary love language.

Finally, what might you not have received in childhood as expressions of love from your parents? Did you want them to spend more time with you playing games? Did they criticize more than praise you or fail to hug or kiss you often? What you missed in childhood may have become your primary love language in adulthood.

For more info visit Chapman's new interactive website