Monday, February 15, 2010

My Love


(LG and I - Dec 1997 - quite possibly my favorite photo in the world)

Oh the title makes me sing...."My love, there's only you in my life, the only thing that's right".
Am I the only crazy person in the world who hears lyrics in my head on a daily basis?

Now that Valentine's Day is over, I have had a whole half of a day to reflect.
On love.
Who knew it is so complicated?
I learned in therapy last week that I am really not the greatest at receiving love.
Try fixing that one. If you have success let me know.
I am a little worried that I am not going to be able to improve in the area and I'll be left a non-loved hag.
Just call me Grinch, or Scrooge, or even Ornery Old Lady, Maxine.

So, as I told you before, LG and I have been trying to figure out ways to enhance our marriage.
I could tell you all of our baggage, but that seems to bring out some serious haters.
And I am trying to learn how to receive more LOVE not HATE.
So, let's just say that 6 years ago when LG started law school, we hit a 6 year slump.
And we are trying to slowly dig our way out.
It takes individual and combined efforts.
It's complicated and difficult.
And exhausting.
Thank goodness we have a therapist to throw us a line from time to time.

But, I have every reason to believe that we will come out on top.
Together.

Meanwhile, I am spending a lot of time reflecting.
Instead of blogging.
As you have all noticed.
(And I've been spending too much time on Facebook.)
One thing that was told to me on Facebook was to read a book.

The Five Love Languages
by Gary Chapman

I found a copy at the local and awesome used book store, McKay's.
I didn't want to wait behind 32 other people at the local library, so I forked over $7.
I had to search for the book.
It was finally found in the Christian section in the subsection High Demand.
Funny they had only two copies compared to several shelves of Bibles.
Now that's a modern conundrum.
Can I now use my reading of The Five Love Languages as an additional argument for why Mormons are Christian too?

So, I have read a good twenty pages.
I am trying to decide my love language.
The choices are:

1- quality time
2- words of affirmation
3- gifts
4- acts of service
5- physical touch

The earth shattering gospel of the book is that every person has a love language that they understand.
Love languages are learned just as a native communicating language is learned.
If your spouse doesn't show love to you in your language,
it's as if a Chinese person who speaks no English is married to a Spanish person who speaks no Chinese.

Well, because my therapist says I am not good at receiving love.
Which I have come to believe is true.
I am wondering if I even have any love language at all.
LG and I were discussing this little worry of mine.

I was reminded of a little conversation we had recently.
I said, "I think I might have a little of the language of "gifts".

A few weeks back I was telling LG that I had read a great article in Good Housekeeping about the art of the love letter.
I told LG he should read it.
He agreed that he should.
He was distracted at work on the phone.
I didn't think he was listening to me.
I said, "Do you know what would be the best love letter for me?"
He said, "What?"
I said with all the confidence I could muster:
"The dishwasher is on it's way."
He was actually listening because he laughed.
Hard.

LG hasn't bought into the idea that buying me things will make our marriage more loving.
He questioned last night how him bringing me things home from The Dollar Tree could really help our marriage.
I told him that he should try it and see.
And that I think it really would.
Help our marriage.

He said, 'How does some random glass figurine make you know I love you?"
I reminded him that the first gift he ever gave me was a porcelain skunk.
And it has sat in a place of honor in our front room,
for the last twelve years.

He was silent.
As he pondered.
What he is going to buy me at the dollar tree.
Until he can afford the dishwasher.

And, my love language has been uncovered.
Now, we just have to figure out LG's.
We think his might be words of affirmation.
He likes it when I tell him that he's sexy.
I told him that spending $1 on something stupid is sexy.

Watch out therapist.
Gary Chapman is gonna steal your hardest clients.
Please, don't ever argue that facebook isn't good for a marriage.
Because although my therapist helped me to see that my love needed help in the receiving department.
A friend on facebook pointed me in the right direction.
So that I could see that I would most prefer to receive love,
in the form of a gift.

17 comments:

Rita said...

Love this post Alice -- and just for the record, I have a soundtrack going in my head quite often -- usually something maddening which should explain a lot about me... (perhaps you recall my Mario Brothers post on Facebook?!?!?)

That book sounds pretty interesting. I hope you got (or get) something fabulous and thoughtful from the Dollar Tree and that your dishwasher is not too far behind! :)

Jenny said...

Wish I had know you wanted that book, I would have sent you my copy.

Love can be complicated. I know you will master this, because you want it. Beautiful post!

ShEiLa said...

Alice,
I am so glad to hear that fb has done something good for someone. I gave up fb because of all the time I spent playing games and checking up on people.

My hubby started to think that I lived in the computer room aka the 'old boys room'.

Now I don't spend nearly the time that I used to in that room.

ToOdLeS.

mother goose said...

yes, dang! we should really phone chat! my love language isn't gifts, groping or words of adoration. My love language is service. help me with the house, the kids, if i'm swamped or behind in my calling and I'll make you a happy man later.
Mr. Incredible's love language is to feel needed and pretty much adored. (shallow, I think) it feels odd for me to do it or say things like that. I just wasnt brought up that way. But, he likes, loves to feel needed. Sooooooooo, because this is his language. I am ever mindful and try and make efforts, just as I know he tries and makes efforts to speak my language but when we do speak the common language the bond is something amazing and helps me over look the little incidentals.
just really having him respect and know the work I do is enough. Even if I manage to work so well at home that I can spend a few hours on the computer. Hey, I'm efficient. He can't fault me for that! LOL

Lori said...

I loved reading about the skunk. How have I never noticed it before?

cally said...

So when you want to show love to someone do you want to give them something?

Can I borrow the book when you're done?

You're so great Alice.

I love that picture too.

Bunch of Brooks' said...

That is one of the BEST relationship helping books we've read. Our three oldest children all have different love languages and that's helped us to deal with them better too. Mark and I learned a lot about each other by reading it. We used to be soooo focused on ourselves and what WE wanted that we weren't giving love to the other person in a way that was beneficial. It seems now that when trials come up, we can make it through so much better now that we can fulfill each others needs in a successful way. Good for you guys with working on this:) Have I ever told you that I want to get a Master's in Marriage and Family Counseling when Briar is in Kindergarten? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this stuff and have seen the immediate blessings of dealing with the struggles in my own life through great counselors...Good Luck!

JR Morgan said...

The therapist is going to take all this as a compliment.

:0)

b/c the best therapy REALLY is the therapy you do yourself, I'm glad you reflecting and reading!

And the love language is a GREAT book! I can't think of everything. Plus if I had told you to read it you'd probably hate it :0)

JR Morgan said...

Oh, PS LOVE THE PHOTO! Thanks also for the gifts ;0) The razor is the best! LOL! AND I love you and LG, you guys will make it partly b/c you so hard core! Be well.

One Happy Family said...

I'm going to find a copy for myself. I love reading your blog. I LOVE that you are so courageous to put it all out there. I learn so much. Everyone has tough times and we all have to learn and relearn things about our relationships. I've heard about love languages, but I'm not sure which I am. Can you be all of them? That's how complicated I am.

Lovable Lies Family said...

There are few books that Taylor has ever read, and he read this one. He says I am too complicated and can't figure out which language I speak. But I think I am kind of like you. I like little gifts, it is nice to know that he's thinking about you amidst the million other things that go through his head daily. Any way, keep reading and have LG read it too:)

MiaKatia said...

I love this book! I love how easy it is to follow and how it makes so much sense. I am without a doubt, quality time. I even think of gifts as "oh they must have spent so much time finding something I love" or "how thoughtful that they too time out of their day to think of me". My husband is words of affirmation. I can make his day by telling him he rocks, or is the best. It seems so simple, but you really do have to understand their language so that is means that much more to them.

Klin said...

OOO ooooo ooooo. I love that book and recommend it often. Remember I am a therapist.

Here is how to explain this to LG. It isn't the cost of the gift that makes you feel loved. It is the time it takes to find that ONE gift that is for you that makes the difference. That is why it doesn't matter if it is from the dollar store or the Maytag store. Although the gift of a dishwasher could be both acts of service and gifts love languages.

You will likely find you are bilingual. one dominant and one more secondary.

Did your book not come with a test. You can fb mail me your email addy and I can see if I still have one in word or word perfect. It's way easier than reading the book and trying to figure it all out the hard way ;)

Donna said...

They have that book for children too! I have a copy if you want. I'm not good at recieving love or compliments. Maybe thats why we got along so good. We are too non loving hags!!

jordan said...

Now I fell bad because I totally made fun of whoever it was that suggested you read a book, oh well, in my defense, I was trying to make you laugh...I think my language of love is service...That comes the most natural to me...

Laura said...

Dear Alice,

My name is Laura-use to be Richardson but now is- Clapp. I met you a long time ago. You probably don't remember me. I came to your house one time with Austin Cruze. You had less children then, so it has been a while. I also had institute classes with your husband. Any whose. I came across your blog from another blog and have been anonymously been reading it and I find it very witty and good. I saw your husband at the stake training thing this past weekend, and I thought to myself that I should really come out and tell you I read your blog. And even though we really don't know each other and it's kindof stalkish. I enjoy reading your thoughts. So hi! And I will comment more now. Have a good day!

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