Imagine saying something to your spouse in English and him or her responding in Urdu? What would happen?
Would you ever get anywhere as a couple and would you ever be able to communicate and peacefully coexist, without constant tension, stress and frustration?
I don’t think so.
But as obvious as this is, many of us are faced with a similar situation without even realizing it. We speak a different language from our partner and it leads us to get our wires crossed, causing an unnecessary strain on our backs, not to mention the damaging effects it has on our relationships.
Countless couples find themselves entangled in a mess of destructive emotions and pain, not realizing that they could be causing their own distress. If only they knew their love languages! What is this, you ask?
Love languages are something inherit in everyone, yet most are unaware of it. Just having knowledge of what it is and knowing how it works can make or break a marriage, which is why it’s vital for every individual to be schooled about it, if they want a healthy and successful relationship.
Don’t know what love languages are? I have great news for you! After reading this article you will not only have a clear understanding of what love languages are but you will be able to pinpoint the love languages of you and your spouse and work in sync with him or her to bring out the best in your relationship, Insha Allah, with the help of Allah.
For most of my marriage, I had no clue about what love languages were. It wasn’t until recently that I had the privilege of learning about it and I feel honored to share this very useful information on to others. I was blown away when I learned about this; my mind was open and my heart was ready to learn the secrets that would take my marriage to new heights.
In the enlightening marriage and intimacy series called, “Like A Garment,” I was able to get a rundown of love languages. The well-respected scholar, Yasir Qadhi is the most qualified to give a course on this as well as the many other avenues of marriage because he teaches it from an Islamic point of view and thus, we do not have to worry about him taking Allah out of the equation.
Also, he has done exhaustive research on marriage and intimacy and has only included scholarly and credible references, which are worth mentioning and have much relevance to us today. He gives a detailed, yet simplified explanation of love languages and shows how having knowledge of this can have a great impact on the nourishment of our marital relationships.
Suppose the wife is saying “I love you” in Chinese and the husband is saying “I love you” in Swahili.
“If the spouses don’t understand the languages of love, the affirmation of love will fall on deaf ears,” says Yasir Qadhi, “So the wife can be screaming ‘I love you’ but it’s not registering in his radar and vice versa.”
That’s why the wife and the husband need to learn the languages of love. Put simply, the love language is how love is expressed and its importance can never be devalued. If the couple is aware of this simple thing it could make the flow of the relationship easier. On the other hand, if they are devoid of this knowledge, it could possibly be the cause of disputes, conflicts and miscommunication, which only makes sense because the individuals are not speaking the same language.
There are five love languages: verbal communication, time, giving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. These are five ways that people show love, yet some people prefer to express their love one way over another. What happens when one person is used to showing love one way and their spouse prefers to receive it in another way?
Is it possible that a person expressing one love language doesn’t recognize another love language used by their husband or wife? Could it be that a person is craving for their partner to show love in one particular way, yet they are not even aware of it? Don’t think love languages are important? Think again!
The primary love language for women is verbal communication, though this is not exclusive to them. This love language is all about verbalizing your feelings for your spouse, whether male or female. When you are using your words to tell your mate that you love them or compliment them, you are using the verbal love language.
“Never underestimate opening your mouth and using a positive sentiment,” says Sheikh Yasir Qadhi.
“One of the most important ways to show your appreciation and use your words is to compliment your spouse on how good he or she looks. Never underestimate the power of saying ‘you look beautiful in that’ or ‘how gorgeous you look,’ and husbands need to generally affirm the way they feel about their wives. This should be a regular routine.”
Yasir Qadhi also highlights the importance of showing appreciation to your spouse.
“Never underestimate the value of appreciating who your spouse is and what they do for you and realize the best motivation is positive reward, not criticism or negative. When I know my spouse will love me more if I do something and that love will show itself that will motivate me to do it,” states Yasir Qadhi.”
Finally Sheikh Yasir Qadhi advises us to have variety and vary the words and phrases we use with our spouses. For example, sometimes we may say: “You look beautiful,” “I love you” or “Thank you for doing this.”
“Try to mix it up and see what works best,” advises Yasir Qadhi. “Variety is the spice of life. You can’t use the same words over and over again.”
We only have 24 hours in a day so naturally, who we choose to spend our time with demonstrates a lot. The second language of love is time. The most common complaint for women is that their partner does not spend enough quality time with them.
“Primarily, the wives want to receive this love language, says Yasir Qadhi, “But to the husband, by and large, this is not his best way of expressing love. Therefore, the husband needs to learn the importance of showing love through this language.
Sheikh Yasir Qadhi gives recommendations of an implementation plan.
“Time has to be given regularly, says Yasir Qadhi.
“There should be something called daily time. Everyone should have 10 to 15 minutes each day where it’s literally meant for the two of them to connect. Don’t let a single day go by except that you talk to your spouse about your concerns, your desires, etc. This will cement the bonds of love between you.”
“The Prophet said: ‘Give gifts. You will love one another,’ ” says Yasir Qadhi. We use this hadith all the time to talk about giving gifts to our friends but who should we love more than our spouses?”
This is an excellent point. I never thought about this until hearing Sheikh Yasir Qadhi mention it. Many times, we would give gifts to friends before we would even consider giving a gift to our husbands or wives. Why is that? Interestingly enough, the third love language is giving gifts.
Giving someone a gift shows the person that you were thinking of them and the very fact that you were thinking of them and this alone is a demonstration of love.
“But what if I can’t afford to buy my spouse a gift?” you may ask.
“It doesn’t mean that you have to save for something expensive,” advises Yasir Qadhi.
“It can be something free, a pebble, a flower, something you make yourself, a poem or something. You should keep them in mind. Think about what they would like.”
Also Sheikh Yasir Qadhi recommends that we think outside of the box in terms of giving gifts. There are plenty other type of gifts that we can get our husband or wife without even leaving the house.
“Once in a while, semi-regularly it’s a good idea for spouse to help other in what’s standard for them because you’re demonstrating to them you’re not taking them for granted,” says Yasir Qadhi.
Acts of Service
Acts of service include doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You express your love for him or her by doing things that will please them.
Actions such as cooking a meal, setting a table, vacuuming, doing the dishes and changing the baby’s diaper are considered acts of service. They require time, energy and effort and in some cases even thought and planning.
This can really be appreciated when the person has difficulty doing something themselves or could use assistance. For example, a man who works really hard for countless hours outside of the home will really appreciate a home cooked meal when he gets home.
Even if he has the ability to cook himself, knowing that his wife took time out to make sure he had a nutritious, delicious meal would not only warm his tummy but it would warm his heart as well. Showing him that you care about him and his needs is an expression of love.
Likewise, a woman who is busy all day tending to the affairs of the children and house chores would welcome her husband changing the baby’s diaper or washing the wishes without being asked. It lets the wife know that she is appreciated and the services that she does on a daily basis isn’t taken for granted.
As a result, these acts done with a positive attitude are considered expressions of love as well.
Last but definitely not least, the final love language is physical touch. This can be divided into two parts: non-sexual nature and the touch of intimacy.
“A physical touch demonstrates a warmness, solidarity, ex. I care about you. It just shows recognition of the other. It’s amazing that weeks go by and some couples don’t even touch one another, says Yasir Qadhi. How do you expect romance to develop?”
Out of all the love languages, generally speaking, the primary language for the man is physical touch.
“If women need to be touched, men need to be satisfied sexually.” Yasir Qadhi says.
“It’s important for the sisters to understand if they deprive their husband of this, the husband will automatically feel that their wife does not love them. She could do everything else. She could have the house running like a smooth oil machine, everything else is there, but if she doesn’t take care of his physical desires, all of those languages will fall on deaf ears.”
It is very important that regardless how many articles or books that you read, or how much advice you take from older, successful couples, you keep the following in mind. Some of information may be general but there are always exceptions.
What may be the case for most men may not be the case for your husband, or what may be the case for most women may not be the case for your wife. The only way you’ll know for sure is if you do one thing: ask your mate!
After taking the marital courses, reading articles online and doing additional research, I felt much more confident in my ability to navigate my marriage with competence. I initiated a conversation with my husband about love languages.
I shared with him my discoveries and was shocked after inquiring about his love languages. After learning that physical touch was the most important love language for most men, I assumed that this was the case for him too. I had no idea that his most important love language was the Acts of Service.
This is why we should never assume and always seek clarification, even if we think we are sure of something, especially if it’s regarding our marriage. Find out the love languages of your husband or wife today. It could make a huge difference in your marriage!