After many years of being in a relationship, you might find yourself not fully understanding and communicating well with your partner. You might wonder what’s wrong with the two of you, and you might feel confused. You’re both speaking the same literal language, but when this kind of disconnection happens between partners, you aren’t speaking the same love language.
There may not be anything wrong with your relationship other than the differences in your ways of communicating and expressing love. You might just be speaking a love language that your partner doesn’t fully understand, or your partner speaks a love language that you have yet to learn.
According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, there are five ways to “speak” and understand emotional love. But many couples don’t know about love languages and are often surprised when they learn about them. Chapman describes those five love languages as:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
As a child, you probably learned to receive and give love in specific ways. Perhaps your parents regularly hugged you and told you how much they love you (Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation). Or, instead, they showed their love by always driving you to and from soccer games and cheering you on (Acts of Service, Quality Time), even if they weren’t the hugging types.
Simply put, that’s how your parents expressed their love for you, and you may have adopted those love languages as your own.
But, later in life, you began a relationship and perhaps got married, and eventually the message you are trying to express to your partner is not received or acknowledged as an expression of love, even if that is your intent.
The reason for that disconnect is that both of you probably show and express love in different ways, or have different love languages. You might question the depth and strength of your love, or you may feel uncared for, which can cause tension. Unfortunately, this can lead to emotional and physical disconnection between you both.
But the best way to find and examine your love languages is to look closely at how you express your love to each other. Maybe you like to be touched and need to hear words like I love you, you are beautiful, you look great, and so on. Therefore, your love languages would be Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch.
But maybe you don’t get that from your partner. Maybe, in the past, you asked for a nice massage but your partner declined to give you one. This could make you feel upset, sad, or angry and, over time, you simply give up and stop asking.
Maybe your partner is expressing their love by doing little things for you here and there, such as folding the laundry or bringing home your favorite snack, but you don’t recognize it or acknowledge it. But Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts might be your partner’s love languages, and your partner might expect the same expressions of love from you.
In this predicament, it’s important to have a calm, in-depth discussion about the ways in which you both like to express and receive love. Try asking open-ended questions about what kinds of words or actions indicate love for your partner, and how they like to express their love for you. See if you can learn why they have a particular love language, where that might come from, and what it means, physically and emotionally, for them.
When you start exploring your love languages with your partner, you might think, wow, why didn’t I know this before?
Being loved in the way that you understand and appreciate is important to any relationship, so it’s in both of your best interests to learn how to speak each other’s love languages. This can help you overcome frustration and disconnection and bring you closer to feeling loved and secure in your relationship.
Pretty soon, you may not feel like you’re speaking different languages at all. You’ll stop feeling confused or like something is wrong, and, in time, you’ll learn how to express love for each other in ways that are more impactful and meaningful for you both.
It may take a few conversations to fully understand each other’s love languages, and it will take practice and patience to put those expressions of love into action, but the end result—feeling loved and secure in your relationship—is worth the effort.
This may be a time of new discovery, and learn to love each other well.
Keep it simple and Create a Great Relationship with your Spouse.
This part of my site will be devoted to the things that I have learned, walked in, and walked out, and the very lessons learned, as I discover what it means to be a follower of Jesus. There are lessons that will be shared, that will be difficult to share, because they were difficult to learn, however, my goal is to keep it simple. And will speak from the heart. There are many lessons that have been discovered in my life that my brain just cannot seem to comprehend, and have discovered that is okay, and to not focus on things that are not understood, but keep moving forward, learning and growing.
It is my hope that you may take a nugget or two from my experiences, on this trail we call life.
Healing a Broken Heart
The path of spiritual healing is a powerful one, and in few places is healing so sorely needed as in the realm of our hearts.
It’s a sad truth that many people live their lives feeling broken-hearted after some major event with a significant other or close relationship. But you can’t open fully into spiritual awakening without your heart. So for this blog post, we turn our attention to all those broken hearts and the spiritual tools that can help them mend.
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Forgiveness and Letting Go
In many ways, the reason that your heart continues to feel broken and so very tender is that you’re holding on to the experience. In your mind, you are replaying the events that transpired and repeatedly breaking your own heart. It is important to feel through and accept what has happened. But the next step after that is learning to forgive and let go.
Forgiveness is one of the most powerful tools on the spiritual path. It can transform your life. And you need to forgive the person who broke your heart. Many people don’t even really understand how their actions affect others, so letting them know how you felt can potentially be healing for them too. If this person did it intentionally, then let them now carry the full burden of that crime and broken trust. Forgive them. Let them go, and your part of the relationship can complete and heal.
Facing Yourself and Your Complicity in Breaking Your Heart
A lot of times, forgiving someone else is actually the easy
part. The harder part can be forgiving ourselves. Some of you may be saying,
“What did I do?” But you know. You let it happen, and a part of you
hasn’t forgiven yourself for letting it happen, not seeing it coming, not
preparing, and for half a dozen other things that the mind thinks it can
predict but actually cannot. Your heart was broken. An event happened. You did
the best you could at the time with the tools that you had. It’s now time to
Breaking Your Heart Again and Again
It gets worse. You had the event, and then you replayed it
over and over in your mind. You turned it into a thought pattern. You replayed
the whole set of scenarios over and over. You told it to your mother, your
brothers, close friends, and everyone else who’d listen to try and find a
mental way out of it. But at night when you’d close your eyes, the mental movie
was still playing. In this way, you continued to break your own heart again and
again. What was probably a relatively short time period in your life got a
long, long extension. So along with forgiving yourself in the moment, you need
to forgive yourself for all the moments that you replayed and mentally re-lived
the pain. Because each time you did, you shrunk a little more. You closed off
your heart from others a little bit further until your heart started to have
almost nothing left to give to anyone lest yourself.
Giving Your Love Away
The idea of giving your love away is sitting down at the root
of the problem. You can’t give your love away. Not like people have been
thinking, anyway. There’s a wonderful story in Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Mastery of Love. In this story, a
man finds a beautiful jewel that descends from the sky. It’s so perfect and
pure that he has to go show his love this jewel. He finds her and gives it to
her, whereupon she drops it. The jewel shatters.
In this story, we have the allegory of giving love away. Initially, we all want to blame the woman for breaking the jewel, breaking his love (you can switch the roles and have the man drop the jewel just as easily). But the problem that Ruiz points out is this issue of giving love away. When we try and make someone else responsible for our happiness and love, we give up our accountability to our hearts. We make ourselves dependent on someone else, and if they have a bad day, then we’re angry that they aren’t giving us what we need. And if they drop the jewel and break our love, then we’re angry at them for hurting us. But you can never expect someone else to make you happy and fill you with love. That love is always within you. You have to learn to own it.
The Healing Power of Owning Your Love
When your loves, partners, and external experiences are no
longer necessary for your love, you have started to free and awaken your heart.
The bondage and the pain of the heart in this world come from placing this love
in other things and people. Take back your heart. Own all the pain and feelings
there, and then let them wash away. You can shine your love in fullness on
others, but do not give it away or expect it to be returned. When you begin to
take actions and do things that align with your heart and what you love, your
world starts to shift. People will be drawn to you who can reflect you in this
higher way, although it will take some work at first. You probably haven’t been
resonating at this level before and have attracted other people with broken
hearts and victim stories around you. Don’t worry. The best way to heal is
often letting go, and in letting go, you may find that the people around you
will have more permission to heal as well.
Clearing Heart Wounds
As you own what you love and what nourishes you, you’ll begin to have more energy to clear the wounds in your heart. If you have to confront someone who hurt you, then your heart will guide you to do that. Learning to love yourself is a big piece in healing a broken heart. It rebuilds your foundation in your heart, shifting it from an outward focus to an inward focus. Keep in mind that this is authentic self-love. This is about total acceptance of you in this moment. It’s not about saying how great you are. That’s the ego trying to create love, and it doesn’t work. You are already great and amazing in this moment. As you come to appreciate that, you’ll also see very clearly what darkness and things that don’t serve you are in your life. You will need to fix them.
There are a lot of wounded hearts in this world. It is time to let go of the pain. It’s the only way we can stop perpetuating cycles of pain, hurting ourselves and others. In doing so, you clear the way for more love to enter your heart and to fill your life and all those dear to you.