I found it! I found it!
Ever since reading Dr. Chapmans The 5 Love Languages, I knew there was something off. NOT that the information was not great and would help couples communicate their feelings of love with one another, but it seemed like there was more that was missing.
Most of you know that I first saw there was a need to show how those “languages” change and transform depending on the life circumstance and created the Emotional Currency model that we teach in the Business of Marriage live events and on our CD’s. However, that feeling of something being left out has still been nagging at me…until now.
Thanks to the emotions and fluctuating hormones of my teenage daughter, I now see the 2 new languages that couples need to know when the original 5 don’t quite fit the mold.
#1 -Responsibility/ Feeling Needed
Recently I was frustrated with a cell phone challenge I needed to repair. However, I was either too busy or to uninterested to put my time and focus on it. As I was walking out of the house to run an errand my eye caught said phone on the shelf it had been on for the last few days. Feeling the pressure to get the repair done, yet lacking the time to do it, I also noticed my daughter sitting on the couch watching television. In a moment of desperation I asked her for her help. I explained what I needed her to do and why it would benefit her. She took to the task with a little trepidation but for the most part was excited to do so.
As I spoke with Shannon about this, we both recalled that when given real responsibility in her life our daughter really excels. As a matter of fact, if she feels needed in some way, her whole demeanor changes. She feels loved.
This experience opened my eyes to challenges some of my clients have when it comes to feeling love with just the 5 at hand. Not that those are not appreciated, but when it comes to really feeling love from their spouse, give them a responsibility and they thrive.
One client was even frustrated with his wife when she, thoughtfully in her mind, took away any need for him to do the house hold “honey-do’s” due to his busy schedule and hired them all out. He suddenly felt un-needed or un-loved. She didn’t realize, although it was done out of love, she was taking away an expression of love that he thrived on.
Some people need to know that they are needed through responsibility in order to feel loved. So how do you show that to them?
Another “language” that can be used is that of letting your spouse have Experiences. Recently we were at a hot air ballon festival in Havasu, AZ. Part of the festivities included the opportunity to sky dive from an airplane. As we were talking with the instructor and a few of the soon-to-be divers about their upcoming jump, a couple in their 70′s came up to the booth. The wife excitedly asked if this was the place to sign up for the adventure. When asked if they were both planning on jumping, he exclaimed, “Oh no. Just her. I jumped out of enough planed in Vietnam.” She was beaming with excitement over her first time jump. After further questioning by myself, I learned that in their 47 years of marriage, she was the one who loved to take risks and have extreme adventures while he sat on the sidelines and watched. I asked if he felt left out or if she felt like she sad that he was not joining in on the adventure. They both quickly said, “No”. She then went on to express how much love she feel from him by letting her have these adventures. That she would feel stifled if she had a spouse who would not support her in doing them. He talked about how happy it made him to see her have fun and challenge herself, even if he was not one to do it.
This made me think of the many couples who I have spoken with over the years who were upset that their spouse did not have the same interest as them. The spouse who was jealous of a hobby, a sport or an adventurous spirit and felt as if they were “growing apart”.
The key in that skydiving couple example of the Experiences Love Language is that the husband was fully supportive of his spouse. He did not bemoan her spirit and encouraged it because he knew it would make her feel how much he truly loved her.
If the original 5 Languages work for your spouse, don’t stop showing them. If they are not quite hitting the mark, try these two and see if that is a better fit.
Love languages can be powerful and I know, if used correctly, they can change a relationship for the better with a spouse, child, or friend.
What do you think about these 2 new languages? We would love to hear your feed back.