” Welcome to the real world of marriage , where hairs are always on the sink and little white spots cover the mirror, where arguments come on which way the toilet paper comes off and whether the lid should be up pr down. It is a world were shoes do not walk o the closet and drawers do not close themselves, where coats do not like hangers and socks go AWOL during laundry. In this world, a look can hurt and a word can crush. Intimate lovers can be enemies and marriage is a battlefield.”
- 5 LOVE LANGUAGES
Marriage is indeed a battlefield. But if both spouses are good warriors, you realise that the enemy is not each other, what you are fighting for is your love for each other. Falling in love maybe fun, but for me, being married is much better. Don’t get me wrong, marriage is hard. But I went into marriage with a realistic view and wiped my rose-colored glasses clear of fairytale love. They say the average life span of romantic love is two years. I think if you stick around after two years, it evolves into something more deep and comforting. I like marriage better because it is more stable, predictable and reliable. I know that might sound boring but in life, those are more valuable than fleeting romantic love. But yes, you would need a gallon of patience, a litre of understanding and lots of sprinkle of forgiveness. For marriage to work, you must really “work” for it. Make it a priority.
We have a saying among Filipinos,”Ang Pag-aasawa ay Hindi Parang Susubo ng Mainit na Kanin at Iluluwa na Lamang Kapag Napaso.” (Marriage is not like a hot rice that you can just spit out because it’s too hot.) If you are not willing to make an effort then better not enter into it at all.
Gary Chapman, a renowned marriage counsellor, formulated the 5 LOVE LANGUAGES primarily for married couples. He wrote a book about these 5 Love Languages and because a bestseller in no time. It is an invaluable discovery for married couples and resurrected & saved a lot of marriages. A husband would say I say I-love-you all the time to my wife, why does she still doubt that I don’t love her. A wife would say, I am slaving away in the kitchen for my husband and our kids, why doesn’t my husband appreciate that. Mr. Chapman can answer those questions. You see people are wired differently so they receive and give love differently. Hence, the 5 love languages. First learn your love language and then earn your partner’s love language. Believe me, this little knowledge can save you marriage.
1. WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
This love language is by showering your spouse genuine praises and compliments.You use words to communicate how much you love your spouse. You should never get tired of affirming your love for your partner with constant I-love-yous. A person whose love language is Words of Affirmation would often ask you, ” Do I look good in this?” “Do you really love” “What do you think of my cooking”. They have this innate need to hear you assuring them with your gentle loving words of affirmations.
2. ACTS OF SERVICE
A wife would receive a lot of gifts from his husband and would hear her husband saying “I-love-you”s to her constantly but she still feels unloved. She realised that she feels more love from her husband when her husband would help her in taking care of their children or would offer to vacuum the living room or mow the lawn. For her actions speak louder than words. Offering to help out in a project, fixing broke cabinet or driving your partner to word are gestures of love for a person whose love language is Acts of Service.
3. RECEIVING GIFTS
Don’t be quick to judge that a person whose love language is receiving gifts are materialistic. The gift can even be a simple paper flower or a card with loving dedications. For them it is priceless like a diamond necklace. These person with this love language prefers something tangible for them to grasp the love of their partners. A surprise gift are welcomed with immense joy that they know they are loved.
4. QUALITY TIME
Person with love language wants their partner’s undivided attention when they are together. It is important that you would give the time to be together. So turn off the TV, don’t fiddle on your phones or don’t be distracted. Focus on your partner when you are together because that is what your partner’s needs from you. Bond together with deep conversations or meaningful shared activities.
5. PHYSICAL TOUCH
I am not talking about sex. Physical touch can be in a non-sexual way. Person with this love language feels more love if he/she is being touched. Humans are born with a need for physical warmth. That’s why you see babies love to be carried or snuggled up in their mom’s embrace. When a person with this love language noticed the lack of physical intimacy from their partner, they feel unloved. So a hug, a kiss and even a light playful pat on the bottom sends so much happy signals to this person.
If you want to know your love language, take this QUIZ.
Below are tips for you to use once you know your love language and your partners.
You can also get a copy of this devotional book based on the 5 LOVE LANGUAGES. Pretty wife of PBA player Doug Kramer, Cheska Garcia-Kramer reads this book daily as her guide for a loving married life.