What kind of Partner are you?
At some point in your relationship, your partner is going to go through a tough time or perhaps already has or is currently in one. It could be a job loss, illness, family issues, addiction or a stressful job. How do act during such a situation? Are you supportive and help reduce the negative effects of the situation or do you add anguish to an already stressful situation?
Below I am going to discuss some strategies you can take to help make a stressful situation a little bit easier for the two of you.
No matter what the situation is, communication is key. Check in with your partner to see how they are feeling and managing the situation. How do you support and love your partner when they are going through a tough time? Do you act as if nothing is going on, business as usual? Or do you walk on eggshells hoping you won’t upset them? Communicating your thoughts and feelings is essential.
Learn Love Languages
Do you know your partners’ love language? Gary Chapman wrote a book The 5 Languages of Love. In this book he describes how people feel love in different ways. In order to show your partner, they are truly loved, you have to know their love language. When your partner is going through a tough time, you can help fill their love tank through their love language.
What is your love language? Take this quiz to learn your love language.
We each recognize love in different ways. For some, it is important to hear words of affirmation where others, spending quality time together makes them feel loved. Once you find your love language, you might find that you show love through your own love language. However, if you practice love through your own love language, your partner may not feel loved by you even though you are putting forth a great effort.
It is possible that both you and your partner, feel like you are giving 100% to each other but the two of you may not be speaking each other’s love language. Speaking a different language will not allow your partner to feel your love, no matter how hard you try. By speaking your partners' love language, they will be able to feel your love and you can help fill their “love tank”.
I am sure you’ve heard couples argue where one partner says you are never home, you are always working. The other partner says, but I put a roof over our heads and have made money so we can buy things. If the partners primary love language is quality time, making money and having a roof over their head, is not going to make them feel loved. It will meet their basic needs but not help fill their love tank. A person with quality time love language, needs to spend time together in order to feel loved.
Let's discuss the five love languages from the book to give you a sneak peak:
Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation: Speaking positive and supportive words to your partner
Love Language #2: Quality Time: Spending quality time with doing things with your partner
Love Language #3: Receiving Gifts: Giving physical gifts to your partner
Love Language #4: Acts of Service: Doing things like washing the dishes, cleaning the house, washing the car, or other chores your partner would appreciate.
Love Language #5: Physical Touch: This can range from a touch on the shoulder, holding hands, a hug, or sexual relations
What is your partners' love language?
In order to speak your partners love language, you will need to know and understand it. It is a team effort to speak each other’s love language. If your partner is unwilling or unable to learn their love language, you can read the book and observe how your partner has shown love to you in the past. This could be a clue to your partners love language. Once you know your partners love language(s), you can now make an effort to show them you love them through their language.
Apply Your Love Language Knowledge
Back to what happens if your partner is facing a stressful life event. First, speaking your partners love language will allow you to help fill their love tank. Helping them fill their tank, can make a stressful situation and the time your together better. Even when your partner is going through a stressful time, it doesn’t mean none of your needs should be met. This is where communication is key. Demonstrate to your partner you are there to love and support them during this time. Utilizing their love language to show them how you love them.
Many arguments, feelings of resentment, and miscommunication happen when we don’t know each other’s love language or don’t take the time to understand or see where our partner is coming from. The key is to not only know your partners love language but also to be able to speak it. The same goes for your love tank. If your love tank is not full, it is important you communicate to your partner, what your partner could reasonably do to help fill up your love tank.
Love languages are not solely for romantic partnerships. Your children, friends, and co-workers all have their love languages and knowing these principals, can help with each of those relationships.
If you would like to speak to a coach and learn more about your love languages, contact Happiness Now!
Tamara D. Small