Are you familiar with Gary Chapman’s best selling book, “The Five Love Languages”? I haven’t read the whole book but was intrigued by the idea that everyone experiences and expresses love differently. I downloaded the audiobook from my public library’s Hoopla system (LOVE HOOPLA!) and listened for a few chapters until I discovered my love language along with my husband’s. If you look at the list of the five love languages and can’t tell immediately which is the way you express and experience love, you can take an online quiz to figure it out.
My husband’s love language is Words of Affirmation. This means…“Expressing affection through spoken affection, praise, or appreciation”. He often says wonderful things to me like how beautiful, funny, strong, and dedicated I am. He tells me I’m an amazing mother, and that I’m one of the primary reasons he is so successful professionally. He laughs at my jokes and thanks me for our children. He tells me I’ve opened his eyes to new ways of thinking and processing information and he feels like a better human being simply because he knows me.
I’m a lucky girl, right?
While I bathe in his compliments, I don’t show my love the same way. Giving a lot of compliments is not natural to me. I struggle to get the words out of my head. I’m an introvert and my world exists in the private thoughts in my mind. It’s exhausting to talk, to share words. While I THINK the world of my husband (and often feel like I don’t deserve someone like him) I don’t TELL him as often as I should, because Words of Affirmation is not MY primary love language.
Chapman’s decades of research indicate that people identify with a primary love language and sometimes a secondary love language. The idea is that people give and show love the way they want to be loved. AND THIS MAKES COMPLETE SENSE! It’s human nature. When I engage in conversation about my husband’s interests (racing, trucks, sales, hockey, history, etc.) or ask him a specific question about his day (to prove I was paying attention), or tell him how great of a father he is, or how well he handles confrontation, or how safe I feel with him, his whole demeanor changes in a positive way. His tone of voice changes, and he becomes more animated. He literally feels how much I love him through my words. And he responds in a really sincere way. For instance instead of just saying “thank you” (like I do) he’d say something like “Katie that means the world to me. I’ve been having the worst day and not feeling very good and you saying that changed everything and I don’t know what I’d do without you”. Yes, even when he has bad days he still speaks to me with such kind words.
It’s hard for me to remember to TELL my hubby why I love him; it’s easier for me to SHOW him I love him. (When I’m not uber pregnant) I am more prone to DO something to save him time or effort e.g. feeding the kids breakfast on the weekends so he can snooze a little longer, doing an extra daycare pick up or drop off, preparing a meal just for him, moving lawn furniture and cleaning up outside toys to make it easier for him to mow, etc. (Have you guessed that my primary love language is Acts of Service?) Acts of Service means, “Actions, rather than words, are used to show and receive love.” Luckily, I found something on Pinterest that I consider to be a nice combination of both of our love languages.
So without further adieu, I’d like to show off our family’s version of the “I love you because…” printable/dry erase board. It’s a cute way for us to remind each other how much we love each other.
Our family’s version is pretty simple and I’m happy to share our template with you. Download this PDF file and print it on the paper of your choice. Then cut as needed to fit a 5 x 7 frame. If you love the idea but want to step it up from my basic font/frame, my template is inspired by printable templates and frames I saw on Pinterest.
Tell me what you think! Is this a Pinterest DIY you can manage? Is Words of Affirmation a primary love language for you or your partner? Hope to hear from you in the comments below.