Do you sometimes feel like you and your spouse are speaking different languages? In his book, "The 5 Love Languages," Gary Chapman outlines five different ways people send and receive love. The five languages include, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts, and shed insight into how individuals communicate affection.
Learning about your husband's love language lets you understand him better, while mirroring your husband's love language empowers you to show him love in meaningful ways.
Identify your husband's love language
The first step in mirroring your husband's love language is to figure out how he receives love. You and your husband can take the free, online love language quiz at www.5lovelanguages.com. This quick survey identifies your primary love language as well as giving you scores for the other four categories.
If your husband isn't willing to take the quiz, you can still get a pretty good idea of his primary love language. Chapman suggests asking yourself how your spouse expresses love, what he complains about most often and what type of loving behavior he requests to identify which of the five love languages he speaks.
What to do if your languages don't match
We all default to sending love in our primary love language. For example, if your primary love language is Acts of Service, you may show your husband love by making him an elaborate dinner. Unfortunately, unless your husband's primary language is also Acts of Service, he may not see your carefully prepared meal as a loving act. He might just see dinner as dinner.
Before you get discouraged, you can learn to send love in a way that your husband does understand. Intentionally sending love in your spouse's primary language is called mirroring.
Learn how to mirror
Mirroring a love language takes thoughtfulness and practice. Grab a small notebook and jot down some ways to show love in your husband's language. Try to carry out one loving act each day and see how your spouse responds.
For example, if your husband's primary love language is Words of Affirmation, make a goal to give him one sincere, heart-felt complement each day. This focus on the positive aspects of his character will bolster his sense of self-worth and give you a deeper appreciation for all he does.
Be aware, when you first start trying to send love in another language, it may feel awkward or forced. Our primary love languages come very naturally to us, but mirroring another language requires learning how to speak in a new way. Just as you couldn't learn to speak French in a day, you also can't expect to mirror perfectly right away.
Even if your attempts aren't perfect, your spouse will appreciate your efforts at mirroring. You may not see immediate results in your marriage, but most husbands will start to mirror your love language when they see how hard you're trying. Give your husband positive feedback when he mirrors your love language, and acknowledge his consideration.
When you make mirroring a daily priority, you'll start noticing the good in your spouse more often, and he'll feel greater acceptance and security in your relationship. The greatest benefit of mirroring is that both partners learn to show love in a way that is meaningful to the person they love the most — their spouse.