Tag Archives: communication

Even Great New Relationships Can Be a Challenge

holdinghands

I’m 51 years old and in a new relationship. Joe is 59 and a retired Air Force Sargent. He’s funny, handsome, kind, generous, faithful, affectionate, and active. He’s just what I’ve been looking for these last 7 years of being single. Lord knows I’ve had my share of dysfunctional or loser relationships on the road to where I now find myself. Lived and learned!

Joe and I found each other on a dating site for over-50 singles. We hit it off immediately and spent every day together for the first three months. We definitely have different ways of communication, though. For 90% of the time, we’re laughing and on the same page. The other 10% of the time, we’re like aliens from two different planets who don’t even understand the other’s facial expressions – much less his or her words or intentions. I’ve allowed his words to hurt my feelings and to anger me several times. He doesn’t usually mean to hurt me, though. It’s frustrating. I realize we love each other very much but it’s scary when we don’t know that we’ve even hurt the other person. It’s usually (always) me who is hurt. That must mean something.

I’m having to learn to act like an adult. In my long marriage, I was spoiled and “taken care of.” Mike and I had 25 years of passionless days – yet no arguments either. Kind of a gray zone all of the time. Not an ideal existence.

My second significant relationship was with a big and brawny  mechanic. The passion was intense and much needed. Yet, Steve had no education and was barely literate. We had NOTHING to talk about. It was like living with a rock. Sad but true. He also had an awful temper and liked to live off of my money. NOT cool. He’s history.

So, now that I’ve found Sargent Joe, I see what a healthy relationship can be like. I have to learn how to best communicate with him, though. We’re great together – until we’re not. When we’re “off,” we’re REALLY off. Guess any couple has to work at making things go smoothly.

I’m happier than I’ve been in decades, though. I wake up happy every day and go to bed the same way. I’m blessed. Now to just work on this “talking” stuff. 😉

couple_talking

The 5 Love Languages

Do you believe the claims that there are several different “love languages?” I’d never put much thought into it until I realized my marriage was over. Not that knowing the different ways people process and show love was foreign to me. Of course I noticed that.

After being married for a quarter of a century, I concluded that there was no changing my spouse’s innate qualities. He would never be demonstrative, impulsive, affectionate, or have a positive attitude. If I wanted to be happy in my own skin, I had to make the break.

There are supposedly 5 Love Languages (according to author, Gary Chapman). He says we should speak our spouse’s love language if we are to be effective communicators. An example might be if my husband regularly takes out the trash, puts the lid down on the toilet after he uses it, puts his dirty laundry in the hamper and not on the floor, etc, then he is showing his love by actions that make my life easier. However, I couldn’t care less if the clothes were in the hamper if I never get a kiss, a stroke of soft hand to my face, or an invitation to the bedroom.

Do you see our differences in love language? It never made things easier, though. I never felt loved like I needed to feel. Husband wasn’t comfortable showing me love in the manner I desired. It would have been “fake” or “forced” for him to do so.

So, why does Mr Chapman tell us to communicate in our spouse’s particular love language instead of telling us to choose someone who speaks our OWN language in the first place? ‘Another example – I wouldn’t marry a German-speaking man. We would have great difficulties in communication. In love or not, our lives would be stressed and likely unhappy in the end.

So, are you one who shows love by Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, or Physical Touch?

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-That-Lasts/dp/0802473156/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

Check out Mr Chapman’s book, if you are interested in hearing more. It’s a good read. Fosters tolerance if nothing else.