Category: The 5 Love Languages®

Q&A: A Husband Who Plays to Many Video Games

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.

Loving Your Children

“I don’t ever do anything right.” Those are not the words of a child, but of a 35-year-old single daughter who has never felt loved by her mother. “I could never please my Mom,” she said. “Whatever I did it was never good enough for her. I just wish that once I could hear her say, ‘I’m proud of you.’” This daughter’s love language is “word of affirmation,” but she never received them from her mother. Does the mother love the daughter? My guess is ‘yes.’ How tragic that she never learned to communicate her love in a language her daughter could understand. Dr. Ross Campbell and I wrote the book: The 5 Love languages of Children with the prayer that it would help thousands of parents learn to effectively love their children.  Do you know the ‘love language’ of your child?

Improving a Marriage

The first step in improving a difficult marriage is learning to speak the love language of your spouse. I know you would like for your spouse to apologize for all the hurt they have caused. But you can’t wait for an apology to start loving. Jesus taught us to return good for evil. It’s important how you express love. If your husband’s love language is Words of Affirmation, then nothing is more important than looking for things he is doing right and express appreciation. On the other hand, if gifts is your wife’s love language then Words of Affirmation will seem empty. She may respond, “Cut the words. Where are the gifts?” Speak the right love language and you create a positive atmosphere where you can then deal realistically with your past failures. Give love a chance.

Restoring Emotional Love

Can emotional warmth be reborn in a marriage? I believe the answer is ‘yes,’ and it begins with loving actions. If you simply wait for warm emotions to return, you may wait in vain. But, if you choose loving actions, you set in motion the cycle which stimulates warm emotions. I have seen many troubled marriages restored by loving actions. You may ask, “What kind of loving actions?”  That depends on your spouses’ love language. In my book: The 5 Love Languages, I talk about Words of affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. If you want to know the love language of your spouse, listen to his complaints.  The complaint reveals what would really make him feel loved. Speak his love language and you touch his heart.

Q&A: Making Other People Happy

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.

Love Languages & Apology Languages

She was sitting in my office visibly upset. “I’m sick and tired of his apologies,” she said. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” “That’s all he ever says. That’s supposed to make everything all right. Well, I’m sorry, but when he yells and screams at me and calls me names, that doesn’t make it all right. What I want to know is ‘does he still love me, or does he want out of the marriage? If he loves me then why doesn’t he do something to help me around the house?” In that brief statement she revealed to me that her primary love language is “Acts of service” and her primary apology language is “Making Restitution.” How I wished her husband understood this. Learning your spouse’s love language and apology language could literally save your marriage.

Making Restitution

When Dr. Jennifer Thomas and I wrote the book: The Five Languages of Apology, we discovered that one of the strong languages of apology is Making Restitution. “What can I do to make this up to you?” If you don’t offer to make restitution, your apology may seem lame. What they want to know is: “Are you really sorry?” and “Do you still love me?” We also discovered that often what they want you to do in order to “make things right” is to speak their love language. One wife said, “I just want you to hold me, I feel so distant from you.” Her love language was physical touch and she wanted to feel that he still loved her. When you make an apology, don’t forget to ask the question: “What can I do to make this up to you?” Then, honor their request. It makes forgiveness much easier.

Q&A: Multiple Love Languages

Q: I scored almost equally on all five love languages when I took the online quiz. Is this fair to my spouse who has only one primary language?

Gary: In a sense it actually makes it easier for your spouse; his or her speaking of any of the languages will make you feel deeply loved. You have only one choice as to which language will make him feel loved. I would ask yourself one question however: “If I had to give up one of these languages being spoken to me, what would it be?” Repeat this until you’re down to one. Chances are you’ll find that one or two really do stand out. If so, be sure to let your spouse know.

Q&A: Physical Touch and Distance

Q: My fiancé’s love language is physical touch and I travel a lot. Do you have any suggestions?

Gary: It is true that you cannot put your arm around him or hold his hand when you are not physically present. However, all love languages can be expressed long distance. You can say, “If I were with you right now, I’d give you a big hug and a big kiss that you’d never forget.” He will likely get it emotionally, even though you’re not present with him physically. You’re thinking about his love language and you’re verbalizing what you’d do if you were there. I think that at least on short trips away, you’ll find this helpful.

Q&A: When the Feeling Wears Off

Q: How can I know that I’m still ‘in love’ after the feeling wears off?

Gary: Typically, we use the phrase ‘in love’ to talk about the euphoric feelings in the early stages of the relationship. Those feelings fade, but emotional love we really don’t call being ‘in love.’ Emotional love can continue throughout the years if we speak our partner’s primary love language. If you only do for him or her what you think will make you feel loved, he or she will likely not feel loved and the warmth of the relationships will die. But if you learn to speak his or her love language, you can keep emotional love alive even after you come down off the ‘in love’ high.