Kevin and I recently read a fantastic book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book is a perfect guide for ensuring that your spouse feels loved and I can't recommend it enough to a couple going through infertility. In fact, I'd recommend it to any couple, even those who may not be going through something so difficult. But many times during the enormous trials of infertility, making sure your spouse feels loved isn't always at the top of the priority list, even though it should be. And it can be very easy to do if you know how to make your efforts of love most impacting.
The basic idea behind this book is that all of us have a primary love language that we've spoken and understood pretty much our whole lives. Our love language is the way in which we understand and show love to one another. Nearly everyone falls into one of these five: Words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch. And believe it or not, most couples come to a marriage very much in love, yet they do not speak the same love language. It's like one spouse speaking German when the other speaks Chinese. For example, a husband may think that showering his wife with gifts is the best way of showing love to her. But his wife may feel like she is lacking love from him because he never helps her with the dishes or does any vacuuming. If her husband would just do that, she would feel loved. And the unfortunate part about this situation is that the husband does love his wife with all of his heart - he just doesn't understand that the best way to show his wife love is in a way she understands, through acts of service to her. He only shows it in a way he knows, and he thinks that being thoughtful in the gifts he buys her is the right way to go.
This book explains what each of the five different love languages are, and how anyone can easily learn their spouse's love language and unlock the key to showing them love in the language they best understand. When you do this, it fills up their "love tank." And when both spouses love tanks are full, everything else becomes easier and improved in life. Arguing tends to decrease, and each spouse starts to reach their full potential. After reading this book, you can take a free online questionnaire to figure out which language you are. Based on my results, I learned that my primary love language is: Words of affirmation.
What this means is that I like to hear Kevin tell me why he loves me. I love for him to tell me that he thinks I'm great, wonderful, beautiful and how proud he is that he is my husband. I like him to tell me why he thinks that my latest photographs are great, or that the dinner I cooked tastes amazing. He has always done a lot of nice things for me, but we realized after reading this book that when he does these nice things to show me love, the missing piece of the puzzle is for him to tell me that he did it for me and explain why he did those nice things. With just that added piece, I will feel most loved. It's such a simple change, but it has made me feel like a million bucks!
Interestingly, Kevin's primary love language is: Physical Touch. He feels most loved when I hold his hand, give him a massage, sit next to him to snuggle, etc. It's been interesting learning this about him because most of our marriage, I've been showering him with words to tell him that I love him, because that's the language I understand best and I feel most loved in. When in reality, he understands I love him best through physical touch. Who knew?! Such an amazing and wonderful thing to unlock and understand.
I can't say enough good things about this book and how much this has bumped our marriage to a really fantastic level. Infertility and loss sucks the wind right out of a marriage. We've always loved one another and never doubted we were going to stick it out through good times and in bad, through sickness and in health. But I am happy that we've found such an amazing tool to help us feel the most support and the most love through these hardest points in life. And infertility has been the hardest road we've traveled thus far.
We both feel like we are dating again. I even joked yesterday that I am going to start referring to him as my boyfriend. My heart flutters when I think about him. I can't wait to be around him, and I want to do anything to make him happy. He is such an amazing man.
My boyfriend and I decided to go on a date yesterday to some caves near our house. It was a great choice on a hot Texas summer day, because even though it was a humid and steamy 95 degrees outside, the underground caves were at a cool 72. I'll leave you with a few pictures from our exploration! Can you spot the three bats?
Has anyone else read the Five Love Languages? If so, what did you learn about yourself and your spouse? How about any other books that you recommend for a couple going through infertility? Let me know what you've discovered and how it's helped you!