The story is told of a woman who planned a huge surprise birthday party for her husband who had never had one. Even though he had told her many times that he didn’t like surprises, she didn’t think he would mind this special celebration just for him.
When he walked into the room, greeted with shouts of “Surprise” by a large gathering of friends, his reaction was unexpected. He angrily looked at his wife, trying his best to control himself in front of the group; but it was clear that he was not happy.
What happened? Why was the husband so ungrateful after everything his wife had done to celebrate him? Why did he misconstrue something that was good into something horrible?
Individuals perceive love differently, based on how they saw love expressed growing up and how love was expressed to them by others.
When couples marry, they bring their individual perceptions and definitions of love – their lovelanguages – into the home. Soon, many find out that their love languages aren’t the same. When that happens, something that is seen as “loving” by a wife or husband, could be seen as just the opposite, or treated indifferently, by the other. Thus, the husband who got the surprise birthday party, instead of feeling special and celebrated, felt disregarded.
Learn language differences
Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, states that couples perceive love in one of five ways: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. One of these “languages” will be the main way they feel love, and one or more will be secondary ways that they feel love.
It’s important, then, that a spouse speaks – shows love – in the language that is heard by the other. If not, a couple is probably headed for misunderstandings that can end in hurt.
Accept the differences
Once you know what love language your spouse speaks, don’t insist on speaking to him or her in your love language. That’s being selfish because you’re loving your spouse in ways that make you feel good rather than in ways that make your spouse feel good.
Instead, choose to speak your spouse’s love language to him or her, and you’ll see the love between you grow stronger and deeper.
What is your spouse’s love language and how do you speak it to him or her? – Post a response.