I had the best, eye-opening discussion with my therapist about learning your personal love language.
I believe that everyone has a way of expressing love, and feeling love, that is completely unique. When a couple feels and shares love in the same language, they feel wonderfully connected. When one or both partners speak a different language, one or both can feel terribly alone.
My husband is terrible at gift giving and receiving. He either does not remember the occasion at all, or gets something completely impersonal. My husband is not wordy. He does not share my love of words and poetry and literature.
But this does not mean he does not love and appreciate me. I understand this now, more than I ever have. When I woke up from my so-called life a year or so ago, I realized so many things were making me unhappy. I realized my husband had stopped even attempting to get me gifts – nothing for birthdays, christmas, anniversary, or valentines. I realized I had stopped too. We never discussed it, it just happened.
I used to write him a poem and draw a picture, make a CD of our special songs, write him a sweet story, frame a special moment, or get a gift from some special memory we shared. But I noticed those gifts would lay on the table where he got them, untouched, uncherished, unused.
Last year, I drew a cute valentine card for him, and when the car needed repairs, he used the card I made to write notes as he spoke to the parts guy on the phone. He didn’t even understand why that was hurtful. All of my gifts through the years were not in his love language, and he didn’t know he was saying “whatever, I don’t care about you” in my love language. It was getting lost in translation. He remembers fixing my car, going out in freezing ice storms in our driveway, after working all day at work to fix my car. That was how he said he loved me.
For him, working hard, being a provider, is how he shows his love. On payday, he presents his paystub to me and waits for the attaboys. He needs me to be grateful to him for his hard work and long hours to feel loved by me.
There is so much more to this story, as I go back through our 18 years together, that I now understand, but can’t put all in one post. But I am grateful to have this lead, this way to his heart that I thought was gone. We can learn each other’s love language, I am sure of it. For the first time in years, I don’t feel so completely alone, and have something I can work towards to have a more loving marriage. This is huge!