This morning I spoke to a client who complained of lack of emotional connection and fulfilment in his marriage.
His wife said “I love you” but he didn’t feel her love.
After a bit of asking and probing, I realized that he and his wife spoke different love languages.
She was expressing her love verbally but he needed her to express it through touch.
(If you’re not familiar with 5 love languages, definitely read the book “5 Love Languages”, it will explain a lot and save you a lot of frustration in your relationship!)
Apart from the value of recognizing and using each other’s love languages, what became apparent in our session were his many misunderstandings and misconceptions about human nature.
He said to me:
“Surely, there must be something wrong with whoever doesn’t express their love through touch!”
I laughed and explained that human nature is very complex and that we’re all very different.
We tend to perceive others through the lens of our own experience but it almost never serves us and we need to enquire with curiosity about others’ needs and wants instead of assuming they would want the same things that we do.
I also explained that he absolutely needed to tell his wife how he needed her to express her love so that she could properly “fill up his love bucket”.
She was giving him love in a way that she wanted to receive it.
But in case of most couples, the partners speak different love languages and need to communicate about their emotional needs in order to get them satisfied.
He blurted out:
“I could never ask her for something like that! She would think that I was weak!”
I knew that I was about to change his life!
I said to him:
“You not only need to tell her that you need touch, you also need to explain to her exactly how to touch you.
You need to say:
Darling, I’d really love you to hold me right now… or I’d like you to hold my hand… or I would love a massage tonight… or could you please hold my face and stroke my hair? etc.”
Asking for things can be scary.
It takes balls to be vulnerable, particularly in front of someone we care about.
We want our partners to see us as smart, handsome, brave, courageous and strong.
But vulnerability is not only needed in a relationship, it’s essential!
We’ll never be able to reach depth of love and connection if we’re unable to show our partners: “this is who I really am! sometimes I’m strong and sometimes I’m weak; sometimes I’m sad and sometimes I need you to hold me; sometimes I can conquer the world and sometimes I want to cry.”
THERE’S NO WAY OF BUILDING TRUE INTIMACY IF WE CANNOT SHOW OUR PARTNER OUR TRUE FACE AND ASK FOR WHAT WE NEED!
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