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Use the Correct Language Please

By: Donna Martin

Ég elska þig.  Jeg elsker deg.  Ich liebe dich. If you said one of these phrases to your spouse you might be met with a look of bewilderment that is unless your spouse speaks, Icelandic, Norwegian, or German.

Each one of these phrases means “I love you.”  But they have little meaning if you do not understand the language.  Sadly when it comes to expressing love, many people are not speaking their spouse’s language.  Love language that is.

Gary Chapman has written a very interesting book entitled The Five Love Languages.  In the book he explains how people perceive love in different ways.  He has determined that there are actually five different “love languages”.  They are:

1. Words of Affirmation

2. Quality Time

3. Receiving Gifts

4. Acts of Service

5. Physical Touch

For instance, one person might feel loved when his spouse builds him up with words of affirmation.  The other person might feel loved through receiving gifts.  So what happens is they get married and the encourager compliments and encourages maybe even writes little notes and leaves them for the other spouse to find.  But the other person may appreciate the words of affirmation but may not really feel loved because he feels loved when he receives a gift.   He in turn gives little gifts often to express his love and though the other person may like the gifts she does not really feel loved because she needs words of affirmation to feel loved.  This may sound insignificant, but over a period of time if couples fail to speak their spouse’s love language they may become frustrated and start to feel unloved.

The best way to overcome this problem is to communicate.  Talk to your spouse about what makes you feel loved and ask your spouse what you can do to make him/her feel loved.  Often we think our spouse should just know, but remember you were brought up in different homes and you saw different ways of expressing love.  It is always best to talk about your feelings and your needs.  Your spouse can’t read your mind.

If you have not read The Five Languages of Love you might want to read it this summer so you can improve the way you communicate your love to your spouse.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at


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