Once you identify and learn to speak your spouse's primary love language, I believe that you will have discovered the key to a long-lasting, loving marriage. Love need not evaporate after the wedding, but in order to keep it alive most of us will have to put forth effort to learn a secondary love language. We cannot rely on our native tongue if our spouse does not understand it. If we want them to feel the love we are trying to communicate, we must express it in his or her primary love language.
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Respect begins with this attitude: "I acknowledge that you are a creature of extreme worth. God has endowed you with certain abilities and emotions. Therefore I respect you as a person. I will not desecrate your worth by making critical remarks about your intellect, your judgment or your logic. I will seek to understand you and grant you the freedom to think differently from the way I think and to experience emotions that I may not experience." Respect means that you give the other person the freedom to be an individual.
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Love can be expressed and received in all five languages. However, if you don't speak a person's primary love language, that person will not feel loved, even though you may be speaking the other four. Once you are speaking his or her primary love language fluently, then you can sprinkle in the other four and they will be like icing on the cake.
Good marriages are built upon a combination of emotional love and a common commitment to a core of beliefs about what is important in life and what we wish to do with our lives. Speaking each other's primary love language creates the emotional climate where these beliefs can be fleshed out in daily life.
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Often we feel that love results from others caring or providing for us, but our deepest emotional ties usually result from our investment in others. When someone says they've quit loving another, I often sense that the lack of love results from failing to invest in the life of that individual. When we invest patience and kindness and dispel our anger and judgments in relationships, we then find an emotional bond springs forth. Like most business transactions, love has to be invested in before we will discover a payoff. -Steven Thompson
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Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse's perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse. Only then can we give encouragement. With verbal encouragement, we are trying to communicate, "I know. I care. I am with you. How can I help?" We are trying to show that we believe in him and in his abilities. We are giving credit and praise.
In the area of linguistics, there are major language groups: Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Greek, German, French, and so on. Most of us grow up learning the language of our parents and siblings, which becomes our primary or native tongue. Later, we may learn additional languages but usually with much more effort. These become our secondary languages. We speak and understand best our native language. We feel most comfortable speaking that language. The more we use a secondary language, the more comfortable we become conversing in it. If we speak only our primary language and encounter someone else who speaks only his or her primary language, which is different from ours, our communication will be limited. We must rely on pointing, grunting, drawing pictures, or acting out our ideas. We can communicate, but it is awkward. Language differences are part and parcel of human culture. If we are to communicate effectively across cultural lines, we must learn the language of those with whom we wish to communicate. In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other. My friend on the plane was speaking the language of 'Affirming Words' to his third wife when he said, 'I told her how beautiful she was. I told her I loved her. I told her how proud I was to be her husband.' He was speaking love, and he was sincere, but she did not understand his language. Perhaps she was looking for love in his behavior and didn't see it. Being sincere is not enough. We must be willing to learn our spouse's primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love.
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Being in love is an emotional and obsessive experience. However, emotions change and obsessions fade. Research indicates that the average life span of the "in love" obsession is two years. For some it may last a bit longer; for some, a bit less. But the average is two years. Then we come down off the emotional high and those aspects of life that we disregarded in our euphoria begin to become important. Our differences begin to emerge and we often find ourselves arguing with the person whom we once though to be perfect. We have now discovered for ourselves that being in love is not the foundation for a happy marriage.
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I think the tingles are important. They are real, and I am in favor of their survival. But they are not the basis for a satisfactory marriage. I am not suggesting that on should marry without the tingles. Those warm, excited feelings, the chill bumps, that sense of acceptance, the excitement of the touch that make up the tingles serve as the cherry on top of the sundae. But you cannot have a sundae with only the cherry.
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Others who openly discuss matters of spirituality often ignore the warning signs. They are so in love with each other, enjoy being with each other, and can see themselves making each other happy for the rest of their lives, and they close their eyes to huge differences in their views of spirituality.
Before I discovered the concept of the 5 love languages, a bit of advice I was given was to become a student of my wife and to take time to learn what makes her feel loved. I soon learned that what makes her feel loved may not always be the thing I want to do because it may not come natural to me. But learning to love her in the way that makes her feel loved is a greater demonstration of my love for her, because I've chosen to do it with a goal of pleasing her.
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Physician Albert Scheweitzer said. " We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness." Professor Leo Buscaglia notes, "There seems to be accumulating evidence that there is actually an inborn need for this togetherness, this human interaction, this love. It seems that without these close ties with other human beings, a new born infant, for example, can regress developmentally, lose consciousness, fall into idiocy and die.
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THERE IS A RIVER RUNNIN' THROUGH THIS TOWN IT CARRIES THE WATER THERE ISN'T ANY WAY TO SLOW IT DOWN OR MAKE IT STOP I WAS A BABY WHEN THE BIG BRIDGE FELL SO I DON'T REMEMBER BUT I HAVE LISTENED TO THE STORIES WELL AND SO I KNOW THEY WERE FALLING TO THE SURFACE THEY WERE CALLING TO THEIR GOD AND THEIR CRY WAS SWEET JESUS, PLEASE WON'T YOU CATCH US - SAVE US SWEET JESUS, PLEASE WON'T YOU HEAR US CRYING
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Ask yourself: Does the action I am considering have any potential for dealing with the wrong and helping the relationship? And is it best for the person at whom I am angry? The two most constructive options are either to confront the person in a helpful way, or to consciously decide to overlook the matter.
What is emotional intimacy? It is that depp sense of being connected to one another. It is feeling loved, respected and appreciated, while at the same time seeking to reciprocate. To feel loved is to have the sense that the other person genuinely cares about your well-being. Respect has to do with feeling that your potential spouse has positive regard for your personhood, intellect, abilities and personality. Appreciation is that inner sense that your partner values your contribution to the relationship.
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The decision to get married will impact one's life more deeply than almost any decision in life. Yet people continue to rush into marriage with little or no preparation for making a marriage successful. In fact, many couples give far more attention to making plans for the wedding than making plans for marriage. The wedding festivities last only a few hours, while the marriage, we hope, will last for a lifetime
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