Valentine’s Day is the one day each year designated to celebrate love. For many, it’s highly anticipated. The chocolates, the flowers, the romantic, dim-lit dinners without kids—all something we (especially women) look forward to. Who doesn’t love romance and attention? Unfortunately, our relationships and marriages are not always in the best condition so to speak. If you are like me, the military lifestyle began to put my marriage through the ringer. Not on purpose, of course, but deployments, crazy hours, and TDYs certainly didn’t help. As the military lifestyle started wearing on me, both my husband and I let it wear on our marriage. Communication ceased and left us living like roommates with our marriage tearing at the seams.
Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to receive assistance on the Oprah show from Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, a New York Times bestseller. His insight on relationships and marriages is brilliant. With the help of Dr. Chapman, my husband and I were able to see what was tearing us apart and obtain the skills to piece our marriage back together.
We all need to be loved and have certain ways that we express our love, but the problem is that your spouse might not feel loved by the way you show it. Most likely, you are not speaking their individual love language, you are speaking yours. Have you ever gone to another country and the people spoke a different language and it became frustrating when you could not communicate effectively? That is how it is in our relationships. We normally use our own love language to communicate love and affection even if it isn’t necessarily our spouse’s love language. This approach can leave you tired and frustrated – I know it did that to me! But there is hope.
Dr. Chapman says there are five love languages that we use:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
His book teaches you how to speak your spouse’s love language, and who doesn’t want to learn how to make their relationship with their spouse better? It can be fun and exciting learning how to relate to your spouse, especially if their love language is physical touch (wink, wink). With the help of Dr. Chapman, my husband and I are now better able to communicate. We can’t let the lifestyle that we military spouses endure affect our marriage!
Learn your spouse’s love language and how to express it to him or her. Marriage is beautiful and coming together for a common purpose with a partner that loves and cherishes you is incredible. It is a rocky road sometimes, but learning how to communicate effectively will make your marriage stronger and unstoppable. Speak one another’s language and feel the success in your marriage that will come from it.
Do you know what your love language is?
Guest Post by Amber Turner, Air Force spouse, hippyfitmom.com