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After I got married I found out there is something so much more important than being “right.” It’s being “loved.” I discovered that when I was committed to being “right,” it always meant making someone else “wrong.” As you know, feeling wrong does not go well with feeling loved.
So many of us like to assume a rigid stance and “dig in our heels” to fight for our point of view and prove how “right” we are — often about some pretty stupid stuff. The cost of needing to be right is hurting, harassing or humiliating the ones we claim to love the most.
I have finally learned to manage my mind and my mouth. Most of the time it’s not necessary to “correct” anyone on what I think is right or wrong unless it’s really pertinent to someone’s wellbeing. Now, when I am smart enough to “catch” myself and I am about to blurt out something in order to be “right,” I slap some imaginary masking tape over my mouth and choose love instead.
We all express and receive love messages differently. Figuring out how you and your partner experience love can help tremendously in strengthening your relationship. My favorite book on this topic comes from Gary Chapman, PhD, The 5 Love Languages.
After 40 years as a marriage and family counselor, Dr. Chapman had heard a lot of couples’ complaints from which he saw a pattern. When he reviewed more than a decade worth of notes, he realized that what couples really wanted from each other fell into five distinct categories:
According to the concept, the way you feel loved is also the way you show love.
Figuring out your partner’s primary love language requires you listen carefully, both to how they positively respond to you and also how they complain to you.
When I first read this beautiful book, I took the quiz and discovered my number one and number two were tied: I am a Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch gal. My husband Brian’s two forms of love are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. Even if you and your partner have completely different ones, you can learn to speak your partner’s “love language.”
It is one of the fastest methods to bring you closer together.