The five love languages, many have read this book I presume, quite frankly I normally refrain from reading these love advice books. Many have made lots of money telling us the obvious and worse explaining our very problems in detail without offering a single solution.
200 pages later you are at the end of the book saying what the F….. That word I can’t seem to get out of the same mouth that recites the Lord’s Prayer at least twice a day. I can’t pretend that am done reading the book but somethings caught my attention. I won’t lie, they seemed the normal things we need and should do but well detailed.
What caught my attention most was that you can love someone to pieces but if it’s not the way they want to be loved then you are wasting your time. This seems obvious to many of us but may not be to your spouse. You can take one to expensive dates, trips and costly gifts yet all they need is to be told daily that you love them and they mean the world to you. To them these actions should be accompanied by words, men want sex more than most things but they love their ego stroked too, he wants to be told he is good. Thus praise and affirmation that they are good is how you love them.
I would love to list down the different ways you can consolidate love but instead, I will tell you about my aunt, one of the few still happily married relatives I have. Aunt Sylvia is still a beauty even at 50yrs, she commands respect wherever she goes. She is neither your typical Muganda woman of gomesi all the time as she puts on pants and shorts to the beach with the husband nor is she your quarrelsome what men can do, women can do- so you won’t push me around kind, no.
She is very down to earth and has helped all her maids learn something educative (she home schooled Maria her first maid and encouraged her to go back to school) or even start a business as she did for her namesake Sylvia. My father behaves like we left home after campus to be nuns and my mum at this age instead of encouraging us to grab some idiot and make him Mr. Right, says my daughters be careful you have to study the man well. In a nutshell, they never ask about our love life which is good but also a bit bothersome because it’s like they already gave up on us.
Back to my Aunt, during my leave last year, I paid her a visit and after one day of settling in, she sat us down after downing a bottle of V&A. My cousin was preparing for her Kwanjula that weekend so the advice was befitting. We had enough buzz to ask all the questions we wanted about sex and marriage without feeling shy and to also open up about our experiences.
According to her, to keep her husband still in love up to this age was not because they had the best sex life or that she was the best cook but because they understood how the other needed to be loved.
Thomas from a rich family was a very active man and a workaholic for him love was in the affirmation that he did something right that was very intelligent and hardworking while my aunt from a humble family love was in spending quality time with the people you love, having walks, honest talks. They may have come to this 2yrs after the marriage but it helped a lot.
Dating for my Aunt and Uncle Thomas was very blissful until the first two years of marriage after they had Cara the beautiful girl who took all the attention from him. Then everything changed and there were chaos and constant arguments.
Welcome to the real world of marriage, the walls of each room echoed, where hairs are always on the sink and little white spots cover the mirror and your spouse didn’t clean it, where arguments center on which way the toilet paper comes off and putting down the toilet seat.
It is a world where shoes do not walk to the closet (you have to put away your shoes) and drawers do not close themselves, where coats do not like hangers and socks go AWOL during laundry. In this world, a look can hurt and a word can crush. Intimate lovers become enemies in a Mexican standoff, and marriage a daily battlefield… the walls echoed. Until she went to her aunt to ask for advice. She understood that they needed to love each other according to the way the other needed and wanted to be loved.
They understood that the object of love is not getting something you want always on the receiving end but doing something for the well-being of the one you love. If you do want your spouse would like to be done unto them plus regularly compliment them, they are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate. Having understood this about each other they respected it and put it in motion.
Thomas a once only Easter and Christmas catholic mass kind of guy now went to church every Sunday with her and any available family members. Initially to make Sylvia happy but now he loved going to church and being around people who believed there was someone greater than man pulling the strings.
This fact initially disturbed him as he had succeeded on his own before without so much time spent at church later on praying but he later realized he was now more at peace than ever. Uncle Thomas made time for the family, Sunday was a family day because much as my aunt loved the good life she preferred alone time with the people she loved, after lunch on Sunday they either went to the beach or watched a family movie.
Aunt Sylvia, on the other hand, pampered him, he was a nails guy and had a time table for doing nails from the saloon every Saturday before he watched the game. She decided to learn how to do it probably that he ended up watching the game from home as she took her time to sock, wash and do the Pedi & manicure.
He felt pampered and she had him at home to herself like she always wanted. Always complimented each other which was motivating even at work “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” maybe a compliment a day will keep the counselor away.
Intimacy was emphasized as after watching the match, they went and played their own football match. They regularly gifted each other with preferred gifts as a sign that they were thinking of each other. 25yrs later they are still happy in love.
All in all, if you find speaking “Words of Affirmation, encouragement” difficult for you, practice in front of a mirror or use a cue card, never forget, words are important. Many of us…are trained to analyse problems and create solutions when our spouse shares a problem.
We forget that marriage/dating is a relationship, not a project to be completed or a problem to solve. “ Be a good listener, not adviser always. If your spouse loves receiving gifts, buckle up and learn to even if the gift will be just a cookie or necktie. In a nutshell, spend meaningful time together, communicate, and keep the intimacy on full blast, say kind words to each other.
Many of us have heard and read about this before but many haven’t while others need to re-read it.