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Weekend: Mental Health Moment

By KATHY FOUST
Gary Chapman authored a book called “The 5 Love Languages.” It discusses the secrets to love that lasts. Often two people fall in love, and realize over time they have fallen out of love.
So what is it that causes marital love to last a lifetime?
Chapman has defined five ways of communicating love to your spouse, based on their love language. The five love languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.
Each of these are very important, however, one or two will be at the top your list. It is crucial to know your love language as well as your spouse’s, so you can each speak the language best understood by the other. By doing this, you will be communicating love to your spouse.
Words of affirmation are words that build another person up, such as compliments, words of appreciation and praise. Encouraging, supportive and kind words give great strength to your spouse on a daily basis, especially if he/she is struggling.
Quality time means undivided attention. TV and electronics are main intruders of quality time.
Uninterrupted time of sharing thoughts and feelings is important if this is your love language. Spending quality time together and enjoying each other’s company demonstrates love.
Receiving gifts means love to some.
I can hold the gift in my hand and appreciate the time and thought that went into purchasing it. Gifts are a strong symbol of love, if this is your love language. Gifts can also be the gift of self.
Being there for your spouse at a time of need or celebration says, you are important to me and I love you.
Acts of service is a gift of love when you do something for your spouse with a positive attitude. Yes, vacuuming, cleaning, paying the bills or doing laundry will send a message of love to your spouse who has this love language.
Physical touch is very powerful due to tiny tactile receptors located throughout the body.
Nerves carry the impulse of touch to the brain which interprets the touch as warm and pleasurable or cold and hostile. A person with this love language is very sensitive to the type of touch he/she has received.
Chapman said, “Love touches are the emotional lifeline of the person for whom physical touch is the primary love language.”
We have a daily choice to love or not to love our spouse. Learning the love language of your spouse and choosing to speak it, will make a significant difference in the longevity and depth of the love in your relationship.
Foust is owner of Lighthouse Counseling Services, Findlay, and is a licensed professional clinical counselor. If you have a mental health question, please write to: Mental Health Moment, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839.

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