Have you ever felt as though your partner is speaking in a completely different language than yours? How about when they say, “I love you”, but you might feel loved if they actually helped you around the house more often? Do they get distracted by their phone while you are talking? What about failing to notice the new haircut you got or didn’t pick up on the hints you were leaving for the birthday gift?
If all of this happens one too many times, you may start to feel as though you shouldn’t have bothered at all. If you want to know how to stay happily married in such a scenario, you should consider the fact that maybe you are speaking in different languages. Want to know how to stay happily married? It is time to look at your relationship in a different way and learn your partners love language.
So, What is a ‘Love Language?’
Gary Chapman, a relationship expert, has found that there are actually five different types of love languages to show us how to stay happily married. It can be quite great if you both speak the same love language. However, you might need a little interpreter if you speak to different ones. The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, his book, outlines the importance of speaking the right language.
It is vital to express how you feel to your significant other in a way that they will most likely understand. How to do that? Well, the basic principle is that all of us adhere to one type of love language. It determines how we want to receive love and how we give/show love to others. Your love life will change completely (towards the positive) if you understand your partner’s love language.
For example, your partner may find love in Caring Acts of Service. This means that it would mean a lot to them if you do small things to show that you care for them. This can include buying their favorite brand of coffee, getting their tennis racket restrung, or making their favorite meal. They may find that you do all of these things for them is a gesture of care and love.
However, other people may have another type of love language. For example, showering them with compliments and gifts may not be quite as meaningful to them as conversations and quality time spent together. They may need your focused attention at all times, so even if you can listen to them while on your phone, it’s not enough; you need to keep your eyes on them. This will go a long way on how to stay happily married.
What are the Five Love Languages?
To understand your partner’s love language, you need to know and understand how their love originates. They were not raised in the same household as you, and with different morals, values and principles understanding what they believe love is – that’s how to stay happily married.
1. Affirmation /Appreciative
Positive comments and compliments are really important for people who have this love language. They need verbal comments to make them feel good, appreciated, and confident in themselves and their relationship. Comments like ‘Thank you so much for planning our vacation,’ ‘I love your new haircut,’ and ‘Thanks for cooking today. It looks lovely’ can go a long way for them.
Cards and love letters are also great presents for them as long as you are being genuine with everything you say. Such people also love giving compliments to their partners, so you have to make sure to accept them in a gracious manner.
2. Conversations and Quality Time
Such partners value the time spent doing things together. Going for a walk, watching a show or movie together, and general date nights are how to show you care. What you are doing doesn’t matter as much as long as you are focused on spending time with each other. In such cases, you should make sure that your partner has your undivided attention at all times. Just because you live together doesn’t mean you are spending time together; you are just living in close proximity with each other. You need to make sure you plan enough one-on-one dates to make them feel loved.
They also tend to have a need for high-quality conversations. They want focused attention and eye contact when they are speaking to show that you are listening. Sometimes, they aren’t looking for solutions when they are talking; instead, they just want to be heard.
For certain partners, gifts can make them feel the most loved and cherished. The point isn’t to buy the most expensive thing in the store but rather just be a strong message of love. If you aren’t a natural gift-giver, you should make a note when your partner says something like, “I really like those.” As long as you are listening carefully, you will have quite a list to revert to.
If you are a saver that has difficulty connecting the idea of spending money to an expression of love, you need to realize that it’s more than that. It is fulfilling the emotional needs of your partner. It is the best investment you can make with your life.
4. Acts of Service/Caring Actions
If this is the primary love language of your partner, you need to make sure you do everything you promised. They can feel unloved and neglected if you never offer to do anything without them asking first. You need to make sure you will complete the list of chores you promised to do and then look for other things that you may not have even promised.
They feel special and cherished when you go out of your way to do something to reduce their burden. Start looking at their nagging as a way of knowing what things you can help them with. Start making an attempt to make notes about all the things they usually complain about. Then do those things as an act of love and watch the response you will receive. Your partner calls this love.
5. Physical Touch
Some partners need affectionate touch to feel cared for. Shoulder rubs, hand-holding, kisses, regular hugs, or running your fingers through their hair, are all acts of showing love to them. They can become quite upset if you reject their advances if you are too tired or busy. You will have to make an effort to keep an eye out for how they tend to touch you since that can be a way for them to perceive the touch too.
They may additionally like it if you don’t shy away from physical attention in front of others. Putting your arm around them in front of friends and family or even holding your hand can be the best thing for them.
So, How Do You Discover Your Primary Love Language?
There are three main ways to approach understanding and discovering your own and your partner’s love language. The first thing you should do is to observe how you or your partner expresses love to others. For example, if you tend to offer compliments and verbal affirmations a lot, it can be your primary love language.
Secondly, what do you find complaining about the most? The statement, “I don’t think we would ever touch if I didn’t initiate it,” reveals that you think Physical Touch is important. When your partner returns from a trip and you say something like, “You didn’t get me anything?” it can signify that your primary love language is Receiving Gifts. “We don’t spend enough time together” can mean that you prefer Quality Time. These complaints can be an indicator of the inner desires you have. You can listen carefully to the complaints your partner makes to discern their love language too.
The last thing you should observe is what requests you make of your partner the most. If you find yourself reaching out for their hand or asking for back rubs, you are seeking Physical Touch. Requests to go on date nights or going away for the weekend signify Quality Time. Asking to drop the kids or take over for dinner can express your need for Acts of Service as a show of love.
Other times, the process of elimination can also help you out. You can work it out one by one. Does receiving gifts make you feel loved and cherished, or is it just a simple thing for you? Move on and answer which one of the rest you would give up first? Maybe it’s Quality Time and conversations since they don’t seem like the most vital part of the love for you. Maybe you can even get along with your partner without hugs, hand-holding, and massages.
In the end, you may appreciate all the small things your partner does for you, but verbal affirmations of her love may really get to you. A small positive comment from them can make your whole day. This means that Words of Affirmation can be your primary language of love, while Acts of Service are secondary to you. How to stay happily married means feeling loved and giving love.
Can Your Love Language Change As You Get Older?
If you want to know how to stay happily married, you have to consider everything in the long term. As experiences and years develop, you may think that the love language changes too. However, a lot of basic personality traits tend to remain the same. Love language is the same way since they stay consistent and develop early.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of common life examples that can begin to make other love languages seem more attractive to some people. For example, your primary love language may have been Words of Affirmation but may change to Acts of Service when you have children. If your partner continued to say verbal affirmations but never offers to help you out when you are struggling with work and household chores, you can get tired.
It may feel like their love is a tad convenient, and you may feel neglected. During such times, it can feel like your primary mode of love has changed; however, a lot of people realize that if Words of Affirmation ceased to exist, they will quickly miss it.
A lot of love languages seem relevant according to the context too. For example, when you experience the death of a loved one, the most meaningful thing during this time can be getting an extended hug. Being held in such a way during grief can communicate love. While it may never be your primary language, Physical Touch may mean a lot during this hard time.
What If Your Partner’s Love Language Seems Difficult to You?
How to Stay Happily Married
A lot of times, the love language of your partner can seem quite difficult to affirm. Maybe you didn’t grow up in a family where physical touch was normal, but your partner may require you to initiate physical touch. Or you may have grown up as a saver and don’t see the need for gift giving as a primary love language.
The best part about love languages is that you can learn them. It’s true that a lot of us only grow up seeing a few of these love languages. The ones we see growing up are the most natural for us and are relatively easier to perform. Other languages need to be learned.
You can off slowly by doing small things. For example, if you are uncomfortable with initiating touch, then you start with simple ones like patting them on the shoulder as they walk by. Such small touches can start to break the barrier you have until you are more comfortable with things like holding hands and shoulder rubs. Every new touch will make the next one much easier.
The same is the case with love languages. Words of Affirmations can be learned by taking notice of the things you hear from your partner or shows that you watch. Make sure you are comfortable with such words before you say it to your partner. Every time you say them, it will be easier.
How to Stay Happily Married
Understanding your partner’s love language is the answer to how to stay happily married. Now, this can be a difficult task but the rewards you will reap by understanding your partner is the key to how to stay happily married. Need to talk with a professional relationship coach to speak your partner’s love language? Contact Marriage Means Moore for a FREE Consultation!