The Five Love Languages: Part 1

So my hubby reads a lot. He has a lot of books from before he got married, and I was going through them the other day and started reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It was a really nice read. It talks about the five different ways people communicate love – which are: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.

What speaks volumes to you may be meaningless to your spouse. The most important thing (that I got from this book) is to recognize which language your spouse speaks. The author says that once you identify and learn to speak your spouse’s language, you’ll discover the key to a long-lasting, loving marriage.

These are some short notes on the book. I’ve added some ayaat and hadith where I thought they were relevant, and observations from my own experiences as well.

InshaAllah I will cover each love language in short points, followed by tips on things you can for your spouse if that language is their primary way of communicating love. Also, at the end, I will put up a spouse profile where you can figure out which language is your (and your spouse’s!) love language.

We will begin with:

Words of Affirmation

What it is: verbal compliments and words of appreciation

They are good for your spouse’s well being, self-esteem and self confidence.

They will motivate your spouse to reciprocate with acts of love. For example, saying, “Honey, I really appreciate you taking the trash out for me” as opposed to, “About time! The flies were about to carry it away!” My husband always tells me that the way you say something makes all the difference.

You should encourage your spouse to do things that he/she is interested in. This does NOT mean you should pressure them to do something YOU want them to do.

Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse’s perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse.

We should always speak in Kind Words; avoid sarcasm and being cruel. Do not bring up past failures; don’t keep score. I’ve noticed that a lot of women have a tendency to do this – bringing up what is in the past. This is pointless; we ruin today because of what happened yesterday. Especially if you forgave your spouse for it and the matter was settled, then it is wrong to bring it up again.

“….let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (24:22)

Use humble words. Remember to request things of your spouse; not demand. For example, if you are pregnant and very fatigued, say something like, “Sweetie, it would help me out a lot if you vacuumed for me today. I feel really weak today.” as opposed to, “You’re such a lazy husband. Can’t you see I’m pregnant? Do you really think I have the energy to vacuum?”

When you make a request, you are affirming your spouse’s abilities. If you make a demand, on the other hand, you are belittling your spouse.

I personally think that this love language is predominantly mens’ love language, because I think they like to hear that they are appreciated. I could be wrong, though 😀 Some women tend to nag, and I think if they were just kinder in their words to their husbands (including me!) it would make their lives much easier and make their marriage happier. Same goes the other way around.

Tips if your Spouse’s Primary Love Language is Words of Affirmation

1.       Set a goal to give your spouse a different compliment each day for one month.

2.       Write a love letter or a poem to your spouse. Put it in a card or make a piece of art out of it and present it to your spouse.

3.       Tell your children how great their mother or father is. Do this behind their back and in their presence.

4.       Take a hadith which praises a good quality that your husband has and make it into a card/letter/bookmark and give it to your husband.

5.       Write him a short email while he’s at work (if he checks his email at work…) – a simple, “I appreciate you” or “thanks for working so hard.”

Remember, words do wonders! It doesn’t even take that much effort! Always be sincere in what you say. 

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