The question, “Do you love me?” is one most of us ask at one time or another. To be loved is an important desire for each of us and is vital in a marriage relationship. There is a wonderful scene in the musical Fiddler On The Roof between Tevya and Golde as they are discussing their daughters’ pending marriages. The daughters have said that love is the reason they want to get married. One of the most charming songs in the film is when Tevya turns to Golde and asks if she loves him. She is surprised and tries to brush the question off, but he persists and she sings,
“Do I love you?
For 25 years I've washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house,
Given you children, milked the cow.
After 25 years, why talk about love right now?”
He then says, “Yes, but do you love me?” They talk briefly about the first time they met on their wedding day and Tevya recounts how his parents promised they would learn to love each other. Golde sings,
“Do I love him?
For 25 years I've lived with him,
Fought with him, starved with him.
25 years my bed is his.
If that's not love, what is?”
He then rushes over to her and says, “Then you do love me!?" To which she says, “I suppose I do,” and he replies, “I suppose I love you too.”
Take a moment to watch the film clip together. It will warm your heart.
What is your language of love
Sometimes a mate doesn’t seem to know they are loved. For instance, Tevya kept asking if Golda loved him because he didn’t understand her language of love. There are a number of authors who have attempted to identify the different languages, some say there are three and others point out five. To be brief, we will use the three languages of love referred by Dr. John Lewis Lund in his book, Avoiding Emotional Divorce._
He stated it would be easy if we each were clearly one of the three. However, many of us are a mixture of two or maybe all three with one language being dominant. He further stated:
“It becomes important to understand your spouse’s love language, and to communicate with him in that language. It is unreasonable and unproductive to expect him to change his language. It is not unreasonable, however, to expect him to understand your language and to communicate to you in that language.”
So how do you do this?
Here are three steps to increase your expression of love to each other
1. Have an open discussion asking each other, “What is it that helps you know you are loved?” Listen very carefully to statements like, “I love it when you hug and hold me and when you sit close to me and hold my hand.” “It is wonderful when we make love regularly.” “I need to hear the words ‘I love you’ every day.” “It is so tender when you tell how you appreciate what I do.” “I love to come home to a clean home.” “It means so much when I see how hard you work to support our family.” Looking at the three languages, you can see the first two statements are “touch oriented,” the second two are “verbal oriented,” and the third two are “task oriented.” Remember, you want to learn each other’s language of love. You may be doing some of these already. Just smile inside without saying, “Well, aren’t I doing that already?”
2. Work at increasing your ability to speak your mate's language of love so it flows naturally without having to call attention to what you are doing. As you practice, your mate will see what is happening and there will be more peace in your relationship.
3. Become multilingual. When your mate is speaking in his or her language of love, understand that language and accept it along with the expressions in your language of love. You then get the best of both worlds.
We each want to be loved. So, learn the languages, speak the languages, and understand and accept each other’s language of love. This helps life to be more enjoyable.