It took a long time for me to believe that Honey loved me like I love him. Actually, that’s part of the problem. He doesn’t. He can’t love me like I love him, because he is him and I am me. Get it? No? Okay, here’s the situation…
Gary Chapman wrote a book, The Five Love Languages, that describes how humans communicate affection with their partners. According to Chapman, most people feel love through physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, receiving gifts and quality time. The author contends that people want their partners to express love in the same way they prefer to receive love and that we generally have a primary and secondary love language.
Contrary to popular opinion, not all women need or want gifts. Likewise, not all men crave constant physical contact. As I was contemplating (stalling) what I would write for today’s post, I reread some notes in my old journals. I came across a song I wrote over ten years ago. It was penned in response to a Sting video that tugged at my heart strings. “Why can’t my husband love me like that?” I whined. As per usual, I wrote my feelings. Not only did I write it, I sang the song into a tape recorder. Yes, I found the original audio too. Hahaha!
If I had to guess, I would say that Honey’s primary love language is acts of service with physical touch as his secondary. He could spend the entire day under the same roof as me but in another room. As long as I do something to show him that I’m thinking of him, and find him for an occasional hug, he feels appreciated.
Meanwhile, I’m on the other side of the wall with fumes shooting from my ears, because he’s been merrily watching tv and scrolling through his phone for hours. My love language is primarily spending quality time. Words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch are tied for second. I’m greedy like that.
For years, I was convinced Honey didn’t love me as much as I love him. He did not need my constant attention, therefore he did not want to be with me, therefore we should not be married. I thought we could both find people with whom we were better suited. I pushed him away constantly and second-guessed his love and devotion, mostly out of fear that he would eventually leave. *Sigh* I have to hand it to the guy, he put in a lot of work to stay with me.
Many arguments could have been avoided if one of us had realized sooner that we were speaking different love languages. As years passed, I understood that Honey’s aloofness was not an indication of his love for me but a symptom of his geeky manboy imagination. If I made him a sandwich and allowed him space to play in his own head, he felt loved. He also grew to understand that I did not need physical affection as much as I desired to have his undivided attention. As long as he sought me out for a ten minute chat, I was good.
It’s funny looking at life retrospectively. We pass judgement on the younger versions of ourselves, because, frankly, those kids were stupid. Seriously, me now rolls my eyes at the bratty childishness of me then. I would advise younger Honey to cut his losses. Man, that crazy chick is not worth the trouble. Of course, he wouldn’t listen. He actually loved that little weirdo. He just didn’t speak Tonyanese yet.
If you and your mate are lost in translation, TAKE THE QUIZ! It may save your relationship. Or at least save you the headache of miscommunication.
P.S. I’m thinking of uploading a video of me singing the song. Hmmm…