April 14, 2014
Q: How can our distance relationship last if we both are not touched by Words of Affirmation?
Gary: If you scored low on Words of Affirmation, that is, Words of Affirmation are not very important to either one of you, then what are your love languages? The good news is that each of the 5 love languages can be spoken long distance. In a recent edition of The 5 Love Languages we address this for those in the military. In it we talk about speaking the love languages when your partner is deployed. If you are in a distance relationship, it may be helpful to you even though you aren’t in the military.
April 11, 2014
Q: How do I get my husband to help around the house? I feel like his mother more than his wife.
Gary: Perhaps your love language is Acts of Service and you’re really feeling unloved because your husband is not helping out around the house. It makes sense that you feel more like a mother than a wife, but you need to express this to him very clearly; he needs to understand that you want him to help out around the house. You should also learn his love language and speak it on a regular basis, because your love for him will likely stimulate his love for you.
April 7, 2014
Q: My husband spends more time playing video games than he spends with me. I’m tired of it and I need to know if there’s anything I can do.
Gary: It sounds to me like your love language is Quality Time and your husband is not giving it to you. I would first suggest that you make sure you know his love language and that you speak it on a regular basis. Do not ignore him because you feel ignored; doing so will accomplish nothing. Love stimulates love; if you speak his language you can then make requests for him to speak yours. He’ll be far more likely to respond positively because he feels your love.
April 4, 2014
Q: My boyfriend and I have been dating for three years post-college. He says he wants to be married but he’s not acting on it. How long do I wait?
Gary: The important factor is why he is waiting. Many times people say they want to be in a better financial state than they currently are. Sometimes people are afraid of breaking off a long-term relationship, even if they don’t see it leading to marriage because it is still meaningful them. Some people never intend to marry. If you feel that it will never lead to marriage, you need to express that and back off the relationship. If he’s really sincere, you may warm his cold feet by doing so.
March 31, 2014
Q: My boyfriend has asked for some time away from me because of the amount of physical temptation. How do I relate to him during this time?
Gary: My first question is, is that the only reason he’s backing off? Maybe he feels that the relationship isn’t leading to marriage and wants some time to evaluate this. In terms of how you relate to him, it’s up to him to decide what would be appropriate. If he’s taken the initiative to back off, you need to know what kind of contact he wants. Does he want to have no contact during this time, or is he OK with limited contact? Work together to decide what the relationship should look like in terms of where to go next.
March 28, 2014
Q: My husband and I are in counseling because of an affair he had in the past. Is it still right to be intimate with him during this process?
Gary: When a spouse has been unfaithful to you, it takes time to work through the pain of betrayal. Your husband must understand this. There has to a measure of healing before sex can be a part of the relationship again. However, when you come to the place where you can be intimate without feeling used, it is a positive part of the healing process. All healthy marriages have a sexual aspect.
March 24, 2014
Q: I seem happiest when other people are happy. Is there a sixth love language to reflect this?
Gary: I would say that by nature most of us feel good when we make other people happy. The question is, what do you do to make other people feel happy? Chances are, it’s speaking their love language. For example, if Receiving Gifts is their language and you give them a gift, they feel a positive emotion. I would say there’s a good chance you are speaking four or five different languages on a regular basis. The general idea of doing for others, no matter what the language, is a way of making other people happy. This is certainly a good pursuit, so continue to do so.
March 21, 2014
Q: Is it really important for you and your partner to have at least a common idea of God before getting married?
Gary: What you believe about God affects everything else in life. You see, if you believe that the biblical God exists, and that he is the creator of the universe and of life, that affects everything because the Old and New Testament scriptures tell us how to live life and what is most meaningful in life. However, if you discount that concept of God, or you’re not sure what you believe about God, that too will affect the way you live your life because you’re not inclined to take seriously the teachings of Jesus. Take time to dig deeply and find out whether you and your prospective spouse have a spiritual foundation on which to build a healthy marriage.
March 17, 2014
Q: My wife is friends with two past boyfriends on Facebook and it makes me feel comfortable. What is your advice?
Gary: I think most husbands would feel uncomfortable with this situation; your feelings are valid. If in sharing these feelings with her she says that they are just keeping up, don’t assume that she is being disingenuous. However, even if she is being honest she should still be respectful of your feelings and wishes. Be open about your feelings about it. Don’t demand that she unfriend them, but sincerely request it.
March 14, 2014
Q: What are some safe ways to convey appreciation through physical touch in a work environment?
Gary: This is a good question. We have all heard of sexual harassment in the workplace and we are sensitive to physical touch. However, there are appropriate touches, even in the workplace: a firm hand shake, a high-five, a light tap on the shoulder. Don’t allow fear to prevent from expressing appreciation through touch, especially to those who’ve indicated that physical touch is their primary language of appreciation.