Retirement is an amazing phase of life that many look forward to, but its challenges affect every aspect of our lives, even our relationships. As a retiree, there is a higher risk of your love life being negatively impacted by your retirement. For some, it happens ‘within the blink of an eye’, while for some, the breakdown happened over a period of time.
One of the fundamental ways relationships are enhanced or marred is by our mode of communicating the love language of the person with which we are relating. Many relationships begin to show signs of problems even before retirement because many of us do not know that people speak different love languages.
For most of us, our primary language is that of our parents’ or native tongue which we feel comfortable speaking. But when we meet someone who speaks a different primary language from the one we speak, we feel very uncomfortable, and our communication becomes limited. Language differences are an integral part of human culture, and we must do our best to learn at least a bit of the language of those around us.
The differences in language are also reflected in marital relationships – we all speak different love languages. Your partner’s love language may be as different as Mandarin is from Arabic. Thus, if your love language is Mandarin, and your partner’s is Arabic, no matter how hard you try to express your love, they will never understand you and this will negatively impact your relationship.
Research and experience have shown that there are five ways people speak and understand love. However, within the five basic love languages, there are also many dialects. Sounds interesting. Right?
Furthermore, most spouses speak different primary love languages, and it is only on very rare occasions that a husband and wife may speak the same primary love language. Thus, there is a lot of confusion when spouses try to express their love, and the message does not come through because they are speaking a language foreign to their partner.
So, we need to know each other’s love languages to be able to communicate our love messages to them, as the need to feel loved by one’s spouse is at the centre of every marital desire.
An example of love language is “WORDS OF AFFIRMATION”, which involves showing love to your spouse using words of appreciation and giving compliments. Words such as “you look very pretty in this dress” or “I want you to know that I don’t take you for granted” can be lightened to tiny sparks that can keep the fire of romance going in your love relationship.
Compliments such as these provide a spouse whose primary love language is Words of Affirmation the assurance they need that they are loved by their spouses.
The subject of love languages is pretty broad, and we will definitely discuss other modes of expressing love in subsequent publications.
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