It kind of revolutionized our marriage in the early years.
The basic premise of the book is that there are five main love languages, and while we "speak" a combination of several of them, most people have a predominant one that when "spoken to them" makes them feel most loved and appreciated. We also tend to speak the love language that we most want to have spoken to us...so it's helpful to know which is most important to your spouse, because you may be showing love in a way that speaks to you...but doesn't necessarily speak so much to him or her.
Clear as mud?
Let me break it down. So the five love languages are as follows:
Acts of Service
Touch - Not necessarily sexual - but hand holding, hugging, public displays of affection etc.
Words of Affirmation
When Kev and I read through this book together with some other "seasoned" couples in year one or two of our marriage, I couldn't really put my finger on which one exactly meant the most to me. And I remember a lady speaking up and saying: "If you're not sure which love language is your predominant one, just think about what irritates you about your spouse, and chances are...that's your love language not being spoken!"
And sha-zam - just like that, I knew what mine was.
And so did Kev.
From day one in our marriage, there were tiny little things that irritated me to no end...but because they were so tiny, I didn't feel like they were worth mentioning. Things like: If he took a glass of water with him to the bathroom in the morning -- why on earth couldn't he bring it back out and put it in the kitchen sink when he was finished? And...if he was the last one out of bed, why would he leave it unmade? This was beyond me. And...once you're done taking a shower -- why in the world can't you just put the bath mat back over the end of the tub? I just didn't get it. And. it. bugged. me.
You know - really earth shattering kinds of matters.
I knew - in the grand scheme of things - that they were little, so I didn't mention them...because I didn't want to get into a fight, but they irritated me to. no. end.
So, when this wise, wise woman made that comment - I had a lightning bulb moment - and knew without question, that my love language is "Acts of Service."
And for Kev -- when he came home from work, I was always home about an hour before him...and without fail, he would always find me reading a book in a chair in the corner. I was a teacher at the time, and I was with crazy kids all blessed day, so when I got home, the first thing I would do would be to completely lose myself in a book. So, when Kev came home, I was far away in La-La Land, and all he would receive from me would be a serious of grunts and "that's nice, Honey," and whatever else I could muster out that would make him think I was paying attention to him.
His love language? Quality Time. Before reading the Five Love Languages, it was beyond me as to why my reading a book would irritate him. Here I was minding my own business and not causing any trouble...and he was frustrated.
Well, glory be.
Sounds like the silliest, most simplistic thing, but that book completely changed the course of our marriage and the habits that we have to this day. No joke. From that day on, things changed. But little things can become big things over the course of time...and when you know what makes your man or your woman feel loved, and when you learn to speak the love that they really need to hear....well, things change.
Kev knows that I find it far more sexy if after I'm gone for a few days I come home to a picked up house and dishes that are caught up than a dozen roses sitting on my kitchen table. I feel far more loved if he makes the bed and puts his dirty laundry in the hamper than if he brought me home a piece of jewelry. It's just the way I'm wired. And he feels loved if I am present when he comes home. And if I protect our family time when life has gotten out of control. He feels respected if I check with him first before planning our week's schedule, and he feels loved if I ask him out on a date instead of it always being vice versa.
Super long intro to what I was really going to write about today -- which was having Mom & Dad over this weekend. Let's just say that my love tank is filled up to the tippy top brim.
Well, they just kind of swooped in like little nesting fairies and kind of conquered my house.
It's white. Who knew?
And my most favorite thing ever: when I woke up one morning, I noticed that while I was sleeping, a little cleaning fairy had tackled my atrocious stove top where applesauce and maple syrup...and baked on eggs...and who knows what... had been baked on and left for dead.
Now gone and gleaming.
Now I like to walk by and just look at it...
And then, to top everything off...not only did they slave away the whole live long weekend, and not only did they stash away in my downstairs freezer: two homemade loaves of bread, a lasagna, and a double batch of cookies and muffins...
They decided that wasn't quite enough, and they needed to go out with a bang...
Acts of Service, Baby.
And then some.