In Houston marital counseling, I get couples coming in all the time who say that talking to each other is like talking to someone who speaks another language. Funny thing is, no one ever realizes how right they are.
Obviously, I’m not talking about “language” in the typical sense. Nor is this meant to be some kind of tacit agreement with the Mars and Venus books, arguing that all men behave one way and all women another. People are different, plain and simple – ask gay and lesbian couples if their relationship issues go away because they’re both the same sex.
No, what I’m talking about is our own personal love language, and how ignoring these differences can lead to disaster.
Learn Your Love Language in Houston Marital Counseling
Let me give you two examples from the same relationship:
Marty can’t believe how in love with Terri he is. All he wants to do is spend every second of every day with her. They eat together, sleep together, and spend their nights huddled around the TV. It’s perfect. But lately Terri seems distant, and it doesn’t seem to help no matter how much of his time he gives to her.
Terri, meanwhile, is terrified that things are going wrong. They started out great with Marty always taking her out to nice restaurants and buying her things, but now all they do is sit at home around the stupid TV. And when she buys him gifts, he barely seems to appreciate them. Does he even care about her anymore?
Clearly, Marty and Terri need to talk, or very soon they are going to have pretty big relationship issues. And why? Because what denotes “love” to one of them isn’t the same to the other – they speak different love languages.
Here’s the good news – Marty and Terri should be able to easily overcome this! All they have to do is talk about how they are feeling and what kinds of things make them feel the closest to each other. There’s no right or wrong, it’s just what works for them.
In general, love languages consist of:
Quality Time – Feeling loved simply by spending more time together, whether it’s grocery shopping or cuddling on the couch.
Acts of Service – He did the dishes for you because you were tired. She let you sleep in and took care of the kids.
Physical Touch – Cuddling, kissing, holding hands, having sex. You feel close when you are close.
Words of Affirmation – These people need to hear it – compliments and words of love work wonders.
Gifts – It’s not that these people are greedy or material; your gifts are tokens that show them how much you care.
Once you learn each other’s love language, you can alter your behavior to display your feelings in a way that speaks to your spouse. If you still have difficulty, don’t be afraid to try Houston marital counseling.