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Is Different Compatible

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

You may have lived under a rock if you haven’t heard about “Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.

John and I learned about the 5 love languages when we were coming out of the 11 year pull as I like to call it.

Gary says that each of us gives and receives love differently, and to know how our spouse receives love can make a difference in our relationships. I recommend the book to discover what yours is.

The 5 love Languages whereby each one of us expresses love.

  • Acts of service

  • Quality time

  • Gifts

  • Physical touch (and I do t mean just sex)

  • Words of affirmation

We found that how we received love in our early years of marriage is not how we receive love today. Not only is knowing your love language and that of your spouse essential but knowing how your children receive love is also critical.

When we got married, I couldn’t handle being held close. I preferred gifts and a little act of service. However, John was physical touch and words. We often battled because I wasn’t feeding into him, and I felt like he didn’t appreciate me enough to give me even a little trinket. Little did we know.

Many times, we will give love based on how we receive love and wonder why our spouse or children are disappointed.

As John and I have matured and our marriage has evolved, we often reevaluate how we receive love. Now, I’m quality time, and gifts are a close second. As John has matured, he values words of affirmation and physical touch is now second. Being able to know the other’s love languages gives us a greater knowledge of how to keep each other fulfilled.

What happens when a gas tank is low? The car will cease to move, and so is the same with your marriage. If you’re not filling each other up, the tank runs dry, and you become frustrated and disappointed, with bitterness beginning to set in.

The same is true with your children. The LL they had as children changes when they become teens and when they become adults. My daughter, who is 25 now with our new granddaughter, loves to give notes to people. Words for her fill her up, and she shares words, but she understands as well that not everyone will appreciate a hand-written card about their value. She will spend time with those that value quality time or bring me a Starbucks because a kind act goes a long way for me. If I had the knowledge she had at her age, how much further ahead in relationships would I be?

So, we do what we can with the knowledge we have and grow from there. To grow in our marriage, John and I have developed a routine to ask one another, “how are you doing?” Road trips are key times to evaluate our marriage and continue to be sure we are walking out the way that fulfills the other person.

The same is true with your children—the LL they had as children changes when they become teens and when they become adults. Reevaluate what makes them happy. I may very well make for a happy home or workplace.

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