Have you ever read The Five Love Languages? If not, stop reading this. Go buy it now. Read it cover to cover.
He needs, on the other hand, for me to show him through acts and time. Lately, this means doing the dishes whenever I can help, picking up P from cheer practice, and helping him clean up the house. His bilingual love language is tricky for me, though - because I try to find ways to do these services while still ending my day with one-on-one time with him after the kids go to bed. I've recently failed at the latter. I spend so much time making sure I bond with the kiddos and help around the house, I neglect his need for quality time. Essentially, I need to do a better job at being a good parent and a good girlfriend. The two things are related, but require very different attention. The daddy in him needs me to speak in Acts of Service, but the man in him needs me to speak in Quality Time.
Why is this important? Because even though he and I are fantastic at speaking the other person's language to them for the purpose of showing love, I still tend to show respect in my own love language, rather than his...
Instead of showing him that I respect him through acts of service, I tend to verbally express my respect. For example... when I made the colossal mistake of invading the ever-sacred privacy of his phone (ladies: big no-no!!), I decided that telling him about it was the best way to show respect. In my mind, I was sure that being honest was the right thing to do - one respectful action cancels out a disrespectful action right? Wrong. Even our 4 year old knows that. And since Chris is an acts-of-service-kinda-guy, he would have preferred me to show respect by not looking in the phone in the first place.
[Side note: In hindsight, I agree. I trust him completely and there is nothing in his phone or Internet history or school record or grocery list or any other crazy thing that my nosey little eyes need to be a part of!]
I am now working my way through learning to respect in different languages - especially if it saves us an argument and the back-pedaling-hogwash of asking for an apology rather than permission. Our different languages were very apparent - and at the same time, completely irrelevant - to me after the apologies had been shared and I sent him this cutesy-ooey-gooey picture:
"love is trust."
Brain, I beg you: Please etch this in stone somewhere and repeat it daily. Perhaps love languages don't always take precedent. Maybe respect doesn't necessarily have a language. Or maybe Chris said something even truer than true - if love is trust, then the languages we speak to each other are trust languages. The only reason you even learn the other person's language in the first place is because you love them enough to be faithful, respect them enough to make an effort, and because you trust that they will do the same. Your love language is the very core of your trust in the other person.
Love is trust.
love is trust.
l o v e. is .t r u s t