Languages of love
It’s the love month of February, a fitting time for me to take a break from writing on political issues that have been making blood boil on both sides of the partisan divide. There’s life that thrives with vibrant color and poignant drama outside the mudslinging arena of politics.
Since I’m a newly married man, every now and then I will write about new adventures and fresh discoveries that I find on this path that has diverged from what I thought would be my life in quiet solitude.
Days before our wedding, my fiancée and I attended the marriage counseling seminar that was required by my longtime friend, Cleve de la Calzada, who is a pastor of the Victory Christian Fellowship church, and who we asked to be our officiating minister. I went to the seminar with an indifferent attitude, thinking that I would be hearing the usual lecture. After all, I have handled a sizeable number of marriage dissolution cases as a trial lawyer, and I thought I had already heard the whole range of possible issues on marriage.
I was pleasantly surprised that the counseling yielded insights that were both new and helpful to me. In addition to reminding us of the religious foundations of marriage, Pastor Cleve told us of the different languages of love that are used by each spouse in communicating to the other, or that spouses expect from one another.
Underlying any good relationship is healthy communication, my pastor-friend pointed out. He led us to read a counseling manual which says that often, spouses “leave too much to assumption, presumption, and preconceived notion.” The manual urges men “to listen to the words and listen to the emotion behind words.”
According to Pastor Cleve, communication in the context of marriage consists of 7 percent verbal, 38 percent tonal, and 55 percent body language. In other words, we will understand little of what is being said by our spouse if we merely listen to his or her words. We will understand more if we read our spouse’s tone of voice and body language, which both comprise 93 percent of communication.
My fiancée and I were made to answer 30 written questions that aim to discover the “love language” that each of us instinctively prefers. Here is a sampling of the multiple-choice answers that we were made to choose from: “I feel loved when people affirm me.” “I like to spend time with friends and loved ones.” “Several small gifts mean more to me than one large gift.” “I feel loved when a person helps me with my chores or tasks.” “I feel secure when a special person is physically close to me.”
It turned out that each answer choice corresponds to a particular category of love language. These categories are words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts, and are based on the book titled “Five Love Languages” and written by Gary Chapman.
Our answer choices were then grouped and totaled based on the five love-language categories in order to find our “primary love language.” Both my fiancée and I garnered our highest scores on “quality time,” which means that spending time with each other is our “primary love language.” We likewise similarly obtained our lowest scores on “receiving gifts,” which means that we derive the least satisfaction from receiving material gifts.
I found the test useful because its revelation on my wife’s preferred love language serves as a helpful guide on the
language of endearment that I should employ in order to earn back pogi points or obtain the fastest restoration of love when I find myself accused, tried, and convicted of any sort of shortcoming, as all husbands experience.
Most of all, the revelation that my wife does not fancy material gifts led me to heave a big sigh of relief. I take this to mean that I will never need to sell my body or mortgage my soul to buy her an Hermes bag, a Patek Philippe watch, or any other unconscionably expensive gift which I can never afford.
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