Love Language? How ‘Bout Being Kind To Your Partner?

So outta the blue, a co-worker says to me “I see you finally changed your last name”.

Yeah, six months after the fact – deed is done, I joked. Ha ha.

She was not amused. Cause she said “Clearly the name change is very important to Malcolm. You? Not so much. You two aren’t speaking the same love language. For the sake of your marriage, I suggest you learn each other’s love language.”

Love Language? Le français n’est-il pas la langue de l’amour?

I didn’t remind her that she’s never met my husband so she has no idea what she’s talking about. Bloody hell she doesn’t know me like that – yet here she is, careening down the rabbit hole – and dragging me with her.

“Denise,” she went on, “There are 5 different love languages. If you don’t speak his, and he doesn’t understand yours, your marriage is already doomed”.

“I appreciate that” I lied, “But we’ve been together since 1984 so – I think we’ve got the language thing down. We’re good”. Cause, you know, the last thing I’m doing is taking advice from someone who’s second marriage is wobbling precariously off the edge of madness.

But Denise…..

Oh Lordy. Here come’s the snark.

Do you ever stop to think about why it took you 34 years to finally marry the man, hmm?” 

Oh for fucks sake she went there.  

Why?

Cause eventually everybody goes there. This waiting forever to jump the broom makes no sense to some folks. I don’t know why. It’s one of those things I’d never lose sleep over, you know? You waited half a century? Two days? An hour? Rock on you badass!!! But me? I’m some kinda freak (okay maybe I am but that’s totally beside the point) to have waited soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long?

Reasons I waited to marry my soulmate

1- We spent a lot of the early years fighting, making up, fighting some more, making up, breaking up, making up, separating, getting back together. In other words – we were both immature dolts who had no idea what in hell we were doing.

2- No way was I marrying ANYONE while my toxic parents were still living. Seriously. I wouldn’t zip tie that brand of hell on anyone – especially Malcolm.

3- As a single mom – I was determined to complete my education and land a cush job. No way was I going into marriage without a way out. Ever. Ever ever.

4- I had to get over my deeply entrenched beliefs that marriage is slavery – a legal way of owning someone else. I fought hard & bitterly for independence from my shitty family – I wasn’t about to hand it over to somebody else. Granted, it took awhile but – I did, eventually, get over it.

5- I can’t come up with a 5. So let’s move on….

Curiosity got the best of me so I looked up this 5 Love Languages thing. I did. And I decided to take the quiz – with Malcolm. You know, just to see. There’s 30 pairs of statements and you choose the one that best describes you. I haven’t taken self help / awareness quizzes since I was 14 and going through puberty with my mom’s Cosmo magazines –  What Your Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish Says About Your Sex Life! Are These Real Kama Sutra Sex Positions or Nah? What Christmas Movie Should You Watch Based on Your Favorite Holiday Dessert? You know what I mean. Stupid shit.

The 5 Love Languages is a best selling book by Pastor & Marriage Counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman, who’s making a fortune telling folks how to be good to each other. Not saying that’s a bad thing – it’s not. Just sad that human decency and kindness has to be taught. Cause honestly? That’s all I really took away from my 10 minute research on the guy.

So what are the 5 love languages? The good doctor breaks them down like this:

l. Words of affirmation – using words to build up the other person. “Thanks for taking out the garbage.” Not – “It’s about time you took the garbage out. The flies were going to carry it out for you.”

2. Gifts – a gift says, “He was thinking about me. Look what he got for me.”

3. Acts of Service – Doing something for your spouse that you know they would like. Cooking a meal, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, are all acts of service.

4. Quality time – by which I mean, giving your spouse your undivided attention. Taking a walk together or sitting on the couch with the TV off – talking and listening.

5. Physical touch – holding hands, hugging, kissing, sexual intercourse, are all expressions of love.

Knowing that my hubby is loathe to any type of pop quiz involving relationships – the timing of this experiment was crucial. So I waited until we were in the car and on our way to the mall to spring it on him. You know, entrapment. Which I’m sure falls nowhere in the love language skills but anyway…….

Barely two questions in and Malcolm was already cringing. Seriously. He hates this kinda stuff, I know he hates this kinda stuff and it felt like we were losing ourselves in translation:

Statement: I feel loved when you give me practical help. Malcolm “What the fuck does that even mean? Practical help?”

Statement: I like to receive gifts from you. Malcolm “Is this a gold digger test?”

Statement: Your words of acceptance are important to me. Malcolm “What is this psycho babble bullshit?”

Statement: I value your praise and try to avoid your criticism. Malcolm “If this is the language of love, I’m illiterate”.

I knew we were 4 (me) & 5 (him) before asking the first question. That’s just who we are and have always been. We don’t need a test for that. Quality Time and Physical touch – we’re all about that. All the time. And that’s exactly what the results of quiz show.

The thing is, to me, anyway, just treat your partner the way you want to be treated. Have fun. Laugh, A lot. Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty. I mean really. It’s so simple.

Sometimes it just takes a really looooooong minute to get there……

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