When Aaron and I first got married I thought I had love all figured out. You just hug, kiss and talk about how much you love being together and "Bam" that's it. Happy happy marriage... Right?
Enter: The rude awakening. Marriage doesn't always work like that. Communication can be as different from one person to the next as a parrot is different from a donkey. This sure didn't make our lives easy in our first few months of marriage. A lot of important stuff got lost in communication. Some communication even flew over our heads entirely.
This is why I was so happy when I learned about the concept of love languages. That's right: It's true. Love is a language and there's more than one dialect! Ha ha!
Aaron and I picked up the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and started reading it together. The book basically outlines five ways to express and experience love: gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch (intimacy).
Once you learn each other's love language, you can really start to pinpoint how to express love to your spouse/significant other.
-Want to find out what your love language is? You can take the quiz to find out right here. Little did we know how much this little teeny-weeny book would change our marriage. Here's just a few ways it did:
Brynn: I feel like we all want our significant other to feel our love for them. At the beginning of our marriage, I was sending my love to Aaron, but, in many ways, I didn’t feel like he was receiving it. For instance, I would buy him little gifts all the time, hoping he would appreciate the expression of love. I felt like I took care of a need he had by giving him something special. While he appreciated each gift, it wasn’t his love language.
When I found out Aaron’s love language was words of affirmation, I made it a point to tell him I respected, appreciated and loved him (or I tried to... most of the time). I left little notes for him in the morning. They gave him more authentic joy than I had seen before. This has really made all the difference.
Long term marriage is a challenging commitment, I will not lie, but the benefit of working to communicate love and acceptance in a marriage has a lifetime benefit.
No relationship is always peaches n’cream for sure, but it is always better to know how to express significant love to the ones you care about most. You will never regret learning to express love....and you will be creating a long-lasting legacy.
Aaron: When we first got married, I thought that as long as I was just telling Brynn that I loved her, then things would be great. I thought to myself, I love it when Brynn says she loves me and writes me notes, so I bet she will appreciate it in the same way! I didn't really know what I was talking about. I didn't quite know how to communicate well with Brynn's love languages.
After we started reading The Five Love Languages book together, I began to realize what the issue was. Brynn doesn't care as much for the words of affirmation as I do. Brynn loves acts of service. I used to try so hard to think of the right words to say to Brynn, but nothing worked as well as doing the dishes and taking out the trash. So guess what? Every day you can be sure to find me doing the dishes and taking out the trash, because nothing says "I love you" to Brynn like an empty sink and a clean kitchen!
Understanding each other's love languages has been a huge blessing in our marriage.