Bill and I will be celebrating our 32nd anniversary in a few weeks. I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage, its commitment, and the grace it takes to stay together through thick and thin.
Besides the Bible, there were 2 books that helped me the most throughout the years. “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” by John Gray.
In the first, the author explains five different ways people express love. To find out yours go to http://www.afo.net/hftw-lovetest.asp and take a short test. It would be profitable to have your spouse or fiancé also take it. The five ways are: 1. Physical touch 2. Acts of service 3. Quality time 4. Gift giving 5. Encouraging words
For years I felt that Bill really didn’t love me. I am a touchy, huggy kind of person and wanted to show my affection in that way. He totally wasn’t. But he is an acts of service kind of guy who was always doing things for me; filling up my gas tank, washing my car etc. It was a great revelation to me to see that just because he didn’t like to cuddle didn’t mean he didn’t care. Just that he is different. The funny thing is that over the years of knowing each other’s love languages, we have flip flopped. He is very huggy now and I am more acts of service because we learned how to give the other what was needed.
The other book deals with the extreme differences in men and women. I never could understand why Bill would withdraw so when he was troubled; because of course I needed to verbalize when I was upset. Men go into caves to mentally work out their problems while women get on the phone with their girlfriends. Am I right? There are many more of these gems in book; I only wish I had discovered these early on and not 20 years into our marriage.
I’m sure the local library has both books. I might just read them both again. I am still learning and maybe I can glean a little more out of them at this stage of the game.