We know the statistics: over 50% of marriages end in divorce. And yet, people are getting married all the time, thinking that they are “truly are in love and nothing will happen to them”.
So what happens to “happily ever after”? There are thousands of books and hours of research on this subject but my personal belief is that we really don’t know all the emotions and feelings of our spouse. Even those who live together before marriage don’t have an edge: more divorces occur from this group than any other.
I also believe that as tiny hurts and misunderstandings start to creep into a marriage, bricks of resentment and unforgiveness begin to build up until the couple is only going through the motions of a life together without their heart and soul or love there.
What is the answer? One book that has been a huge resource and help to millions is Dr. Gary Chapman’s, The Five Love Languages. He writes that each person speaks a different emotional love language and if we learn, understand and know how to speak the particular love language of our spouse and they speak ours, that special intimacy and connectedness will stay.
There are 5 love languages:
1. Words of Affirmation
- – These can be verbal compliments as words of appreciation
- – Encouraging words. These inspire courage
- – Kind words. And words of justice or forgiveness
- – Humble words, requests, no demands
2. Quality Time
- – Togetherness. Focused attention without distractions
- – Quality conversation and sympathetic dialogue
- – Learning to give self-revelation, emotionally open
3. Receiving Gifts
- – Visual symbols of love
- – A different attitude about money
- – A gift of self – being there in times of crisis
4. Acts of Service
- – Do things you know your spouse would like
- – Not a door mat but showing your love by service
- – Doing for the person without worrying about stereotypes
5. Physical Touch
- – Different types: Holding hands, kissing, embracing, act of sex
- – Not all touches are equal
- – Wanting to be touched in times of crisis
Of course, this is just a brief description of the Love Languages. I highly recommend getting the book and taking the test with your spouse to find out what your love languages are. Understanding their language could be a breakthrough for your marriage. (I also recommend finding what your children’s love language is.)
You might find out that your husband’s Love Language is Acts of Service and that a home cooked meal is more important to him than something else that you thought would make him feel loved. Once you begin to do for him in his particular language, the more he will feel loved by you and the more you will both begin to have the feelings of understanding and connectiveness in your marriage.
God also created all of us differently, with different and unique gifts. You may want to find out what your spiritual gift is through this site or one of many others that are available: http://www.stonebriar.org/helping-others/service-opportunities/spiritual-gifts-inventory
And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor. Romans 12:6-10
We all have different Love Languages. But in a new book by Val Walker, The Art of Comforting, he writes that the language of comforting is a least 80% non-verbal and is very important in any relationship.
“Being there for someone does not necessarily mean being always there, but it does require us to be all there, with our undivided attention, using facial expressions, eye contact, gestures and voice intonations to convey empathy.”
So, even if Quality Time isn’t your spouse’s main Love Language, we all need to be completely there when communicating with our love ones.
February is Heart Health month so I wanted to share some tips on what is a heart attack and how to prevent one:
1. Warning signs of a heart attack: chest pains, with uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest, typically lasting more than a few minutes and possible recurring.
2. Other pains may show up. Discomfort might be present in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
3. Shortness of breath.
4. Other symptoms. Extreme weakness, anxiety, sweating, nausea, vomiting or lightheadedness.
What should you do if you have any of these symptoms?
1. Don’t dismiss symptoms especially if you are woman. A woman’s symptoms are usually different than a man. Minutes matter so call 911 if you think you might be having a heart attack. If someone is with you, inform them of any medical conditions you have or medications you are currently taking.
2. Once EMS professionals arrive, they can administer immediate treatment, and the hospital’s ER staff will likely tend to you more quickly if you arrive by ambulance.
3. Each minute your heart is deprived of oxygen your changes of damaging or destroying part of the heart muscle, so time is crucial.
Are you at risk for a heart attack?
1. If you have a family member who had heart disease at an early age you should tell your doctor.
3. High blood pressure
4. High blood cholesterol
6. Being overweight or obese
7. Physical inactivity
Preventing a Heart Attack
Since more than one million Americans experience a heart attack each year, every step you can take toward prevention works in your favor. One of the simplest ways is to change your eating habits. These nutrition strategies can help:
1. Eat more fish, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and bean.
2. Eat a low-calorie diet
3. Limit total fat grams
4. Cut back on saturated and trans fats (butter, margarine, salad dressing, fried foods and desserts)
5. Choose fats wisely so cook with olive oil.
6. Balance animal, fish and vegetable protein sources
7. Limit cholesterol consumption. Get your energy from complex carbs such as whole-wheat pasta and whole-grain breads
8. Don’t skip meals; instead eat five to six small meals to control blood sugar, cholesterol levels and burn calories.
(from Living magazine, Feb. 2011)
I hope you learn what your Love Language is and what your spouse and children’s are. I believe it will make a difference in how you relate with one another.