Learning A Foreign Love Language

He just doesn’t understand me!
I have no idea what she wants from me?
I try and try and try but it’s never enough.
Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus.

It’s like you are speaking a different language!

different love languagesMy husband and I have an amazing relationship. He is my best friend, my confidant, and my favorite person in the world. He’s intelligent, hilarious, handsome, supportive, an amazing provider, a wonderful father, and an all-around good person. Yet, there are times, every day, that it feels as if we are speaking different languages. I ask him to bunt and he swings away. Right ballpark, wrong play. When we were younger, it felt like he just didn’t listen. He felt like I didn’t care about what he was saying. 

Five Love Languages

Early in our marriage, we learned about the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. For anyone who is interested in learning more about Chapman’s book, check out this article from fellow Omaha Mom Blogger, Elizabeth.

Reading this book felt like a revelation. My love languages are acts of service and quality time. His love language is physical touch. We were speaking different languages. We were both shouting at each other using our own love language, but only hearing gibberish from the other.

We had figured it out.

We weren’t inconsiderate. We weren’t uncaring. We were misunderstood. And like anyone trying to communicate with someone of another language, we just spoke our own language louder. Didn’t work. Over the years, we have gotten better. We’ve learned a few key words and phrases in each other’s love language. However, I still wish sometimes that we spoke the same language. A foreign language never feels quite natural. 

I decided to ask around.

I wanted to know if I was the only one who struggled learning to speak their spouse’s love language. I developed a simply survey with almost 100 respondents. Now, this is no scientific double-blind study with a control group and government funding. It’s a simple survey shared through social media. I found that couples with the same love language are few a far between.  Between 4% and 5% of the respondents reported the same love language as their spouse.

But, those lucky few are quite different than the rest of us.

Spouses with the same love languages reported satisfaction in their marriages emotionally and sexually on average 20-25 points higher (on a sale of 1-100) than those couples with different love languages. When asked how often their spouse meets their needs, same language spouses reported that their needs are met on average 24 points (on a scale from 1-100) more than different language spouses. Finally, same language spouses reported that their spouse shows love using their love language 33 points (on a scale from 1-100) higher than different language spouses.  

What does that mean for us with different love languages?

For the rest of us, it means we need to go back to foreign language class. And who better to teach us than a fluent speaker? Teach your spouse. Learn from your spouse. You are both the teacher and the student. It is important to put as much effort into the student role as the teacher role. I tend to forget that sometimes. It’s easy to point blame and accuse your spouse of not doing their homework but slacking on my own.

Learning a foreign love language is hard, but it can be done.

I wish this article could be titled 10 Simple Steps to Learning Your Spouses Love Language. However, it’s not simple. It takes patience, communication, diligence, and love. Love is a choice, not a feeling. I choose my husband every day, every hour, every minute even when I don’t feel like it. I choose to speak a language that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. And I will continue learn and study his love language as long as we both shall live. 

I am the mom to four amazing kiddos. Isaac (2012). Eli (2013). Anna (2017). Ava (2019). I have been married to my husband Jonathan since 2009. I was born and raised in Nebraska and am a cornhusker through and through. I am also a local speech-language pathologist. I specialize in working with kiddos ages birth to seven, specifically children with autism spectrum disorder, apraxia of speech, articulation/phonological disorders, and developmental delay. You can also follow me at https://morethanmama.weebly.com/