The 5 Love Languages Series: Part I

[[ This is a series of summaries and personal "confessions" and opinions on "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman ]]

I have to start with the acknowledgments. Why? Because there were some key points that immediately caught my attention and made me want to continue reading this book.

Let me start with the main idea:
"We must be willing to learn our spouse's [or insert partner/friend here] primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love."

"People speak different love languages ...
Most of us grow up learning the language of our parents and siblings, which becomes our primary or native tongue. Later, we may learn additional languages but usually with much more effort."

"In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other."

Wow. Is that what has been wrong all this time? We become frustrated that we are "doing all we can" to show them love and even sometimes think they "take it for granted," when in fact -- we're speaking a foreign language to them!

Here is the last section that I love (summary):

"We have long known that in early childhood development each child develops unique emotional patterns. Some children, for example, develop a pattern of low self-esteem whereas others have healthy self-esteem. Some develop emotional patterns of insecurity whereas others grow up feeling secure. Some children grow up feeling loved, wanted, and appreciated, yet others grow up feeling unloved, unwanted, and unappreciated.

The children who feel loved by their parents and peers will develop a primary emotional love language
based on their unique psychological makeup and the way their parents and other significant persons expressed love to them. Children who do not feel loved by their parents and peers will also develop a primary love language. However, it will be somewhat distorted in much the same way as some children may learn poor grammar and have an underdeveloped vocabulary. The poor programming does not mean they cannot become good communicators. But they will have to work at it more diligently than those who had a more positive model."

*The goods* (yikes! Talk about honesty...)

I consider myself in an "in between" model. I was raised by a single mother and this was an eye opening experience beyond my relationship with my fiance. Growing up, my mother became frustrated easily, criticized us
a lot, and was very sensitive. I, growing up, was a pretty temperamental child. My mom yelled = I yelled. At the same time, my mom was incredibly supportive of my dreams and SUCH a proud mother. She always, always, always talks about her kids. Ask her. She will beam.

However, reflecting on my childhood and applying the way "love" was shown in my house, there are many things that I have taken into perspective. I realize how sensitive I am to criticism. In respect to my relationship, I became very defensive when Jose was critical of something that I did. He is a rational minded individual. At times when he would simply be questioning out of curiosity, to me felt like an interrogation and questioning of my motives (in a negative way). I then would become upset and answer irritated, to which then he would become defensive and ask why I was so upset. The funny thing is, I grew up as the "attitude" child that when I LIVE up to this "expectation," I become really upset = I encourage my stereotype. I think "ugh! I'm proving them right" and I get so upset at myself. But unfortunately, I am portraying a negative attitude because I dislike that Jose surfaced these emotions, when in fact, the only person to blame is
myself.

My whole life, the relationships I was closest to surfaced my "attitude" -- the part of me that I battle with, trying to keep her in the closet. Unfortunately, that "attitude" is so closely tied to my language of love because of the criticisms I received so much as a child, it is
bound to surface with the people that I love. Ask my family. Ask Jose. It's pretty retarded how defensive I get when I it APPEARS (key word: appears) that I am belittled, disrespected, or judged by the people closest to me. Why? Because my childhood was full of opinions and criticisms (negative) that I associate that with being "unloved."

This is just the beginning. I felt empowered when I read this chapter because there is logic to my behavior. What this means is that there is a
solution. I thought "I can let go. How can I move past that?"

Next sections:
"Keeping the Love Tank Full"
"Falling in Love"

Then we start with the
Love Languages -- #1 Words of Affirmation