• Ashley Simpson

Communicating Love Effectively

Relationships are so important in our lives. At times when we are stretched thin (like when we have a new baby, start a new job, move to a new place, etc.) our relationships can take a back seat to caring for a newborn, adjusting to a new routine and new role, and our own basic survival. During these times we also have to rely on each other. We need to take breaks. We need to shower. We need a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear. Times of high stress are also times where relationships can be strained. If you had any problems in your relationship before the added stress, the experience can bring the previous issues back into the forefront. It is often a good time to check in with each other, and maybe with a couples counselor.

One way to check in with each other is to read the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book was given to me by my sister-in-law when I got engaged to my now husband. And it was given to her as a gift when she got engaged to my brother. Since having success with this book in my own relationship, I have also effectively used it in couples counseling. It is a wonderful book to learn about yourself, learn about your partner, and to learn how to effectively show each other your love for the other. You can access the book by clicking on the image. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my disclosure in my "Disclosure and Privacy Policy" section for more info.

The 5 love languages (also written on the cover) are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. The book says that these 5 ways comprise how individuals give and receive love. Depending on your friend or family member's love language, that is how they best receive love. If you show someone love in a way that is not their love language then the message can be missed. For example, if your partner's love language is acts of service, they would feel more loved from say you doing the laundry for them than giving them a gift. If you give them a gift, they may appreciate it, but then look over at the pile of laundry and feel defeated.

The book contains a quiz to find out what yours and your partner's love languages are. Then you discuss the results of your quiz with each other, talk about what you learned about yourself and your partner. This exercise is sure to create an "Ah ha!" moment. Another tip... your love languages over time will change. With different life circumstances and physical changes, what we need to feel loved can change. So this is a good exercise to do together every once in a while as a check-in.

Gary Chapman has written many other books about relationships and marriage. One I am interested in is The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively.

You can access the book by clicking the image. In this book the 5 love languages are the same, but it also incorporates how this impacts disciplining and teaching your child. Every child is different. They need to be loved differently, taught differently, and supported differently. This would be a great way to reflect on your child's personality to help effectively raise them.

Keeping our relationships strong is vital to happiness in life. Humans are interconnected beings and need social support. If one partner is not interested in working on the relationship then it would be a good time to check in with a counselor. Both partners have to decide whether they are willing to continuously work on a relationship, because healthy relationships require nurturing. Just like a garden. One person cannot sustain a relationship on their own. This book is a great tool to help you on that journey.

Be well.


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