Doug and I have been married for almost 26 years, and for the most part we get along pretty darn good, in fact I’ve had people ask me what the secret is, or tell me they wish they had a relationship like ours. To say that our relationship is perfect would be a huge lie, I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect couple. You have to work hard at it. Just because you’ve been together for so long doesn’t mean you don’t have to work at it any more.
Every once in a while Doug and I will fall into a funk and we just don’t seem to quite gel together. It usually lasts a day or two and then it somehow just works itself out. And sometimes we have to have a big ole guns a blazing fight. A couple of months ago we were in one of our not gelling phases and then a big ole fight and back to not gelling, which isn’t normal for us, Usually after the big blow up we understand what is going on with the other person and we work it out. This time things were still not cool. While nothing we were fighting about was super important, we just weren’t getting along. It scared me, I thought, is this it? I always wondered how people who were married for 25 or 30 years got divorced. I was starting to understand how it could happen, I am NOT saying I was considering divorce, I’m just saying, I can see how people who aren’t willing to work at it, might throw in the towel. Now Doug and I love each other, there is no question about that, but we are two very different people who act and think very differently, so sometimes, things get lost in translation.
While we were in our slump I stumbled upon The 5 Love Languages book by Gary Chapman.( I now know that everyone In the world has heard of this book but me) I decided to order both Doug and I a copy so we could read it together to see if it could shed some light on our situation. I got almost done with my copy before I could even get Doug to sit down and read his, I think he thought I was crazy, I have never in my life done something like this, I don’t really like to read, let alone buy a self-help book! LOL! He finally got into it and started reading it. At the end there is a test to see what your love languages are. While I could easily tell you without reading the book what mine and Doug’s are, It was awesome to read about it and see that we aren’t crazy, we just have different love languages.
My Highest score was Quality Time. Doug’s was Physical Touch ( is there really a man out there that isn’t this?) My next highest was a tie between receiving gifts and Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service and Physical Touch were at the bottom. Now I bet you can guess what Doug’s next highest is… yep, Acts of Service! So there’s no wonder we struggle, we don’t speak the same languages at all! It all started to make sense to me. You see I will go shopping and see something I think Doug will love and I will go home and lay it on his bed and I hope for a big thank you and happy dance, he will say thanks and go about his day, I will secretly be sad. Doug will come home from work and see that the laundry needs to be done and will start a load, I see him doing the laundry and I take offense, like maybe I am slacking in my wifely duties. Both of us are just trying to communicate our love to each other but because they aren’t our love languages they don’t mean the same to the other person. Knowing that has helped us out. While I have always known that Physical Touch is important in our relationship, I have to remember that is even more important to him. Doug has gotten better at remembering I need quality time with him, he has even turned down a golf game or two to be with me, which means more to me then anything… which in return gets him more Physical touch, If you know what I mean 🙂
If you haven’t read this book yet you should pick it up, it’s an easy read, you can read it in an hour or two. It not only helped me understand my husband it helped me understand my kids, I wished I would have read it earlier when they were little. It actually can help in any relationship. If you know what someone’s love language is, you can show them the kind of love they want and in return you will receive more love from them.