Using love languages question
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using love languages question

So both my wife and I recently took the love language test. Her love language was acts of service. I'm kind of new to the entire love language concept, but i'm assuming that her results mean I can show her how much i love her by doing acts of service for her.

Going by the love language concept, is this also how she shows her love? In the interest of avoiding becoming the house slave, does anyone have some advice on how to use acts of service to further our relationship and without becoming that guy with the cleaning apron? Thx.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

Acts of service simply means that she feels loved when you do things for her. That doesn't mean that you do everything. She must have given you some clues and suggestions as to what she wants.

Maybe its helping her with chores, maybe its offering to do the dishes after dinner.

Since that is her primary love language she probably does show love that way. That may not be how you accept love though.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Interesting. I always performed a lot of house chores, but apparently this wasn't my wife's language of love. I guess i was dumb enough to think that all women would appreciate such things. I don't know how one would create the balance.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

That's not my love language, but I still appreciate it when my husband helps out. Doing this as showing your love for your wife does not mean she gets to boss you around.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

I think the service aspect of the love language is overemphesized in articles and on tv shows. From Oprah to Dr. Phil to RedBook, I always thought that was a major thing for women. I recently saw an article on line whose title was, "If you want to make her horny, do the laundry." I did enough chores over the years that my wife should have wanted sex three times a day if that had been her language, but I was just too dumb to not catch on that it wasn't what she wanted.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

If her love language is acts of service then i dont get how doing the laundry for her doesnt translate into love for her. Maybe she's come to expect that from you and so its not an act of service anymore.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

Quote:
So both my wife and I recently took the love language test. Her love language was acts of service. I'm kind of new to the entire love language concept, but i'm assuming that her results mean I can show her how much i love her by doing acts of service for her.

Going by the love language concept, is this also how she shows her love? In the interest of avoiding becoming the house slave, does anyone have some advice on how to use acts of service to further our relationship and without becoming that guy with the cleaning apron? Thx.
"Acts of Service" does not mean becoming a house servant. She would have to be pulling her side of the load too! For typical, every-day household chores, I would suggest just making a list and dividing them up equitably (for example, if you work FT and she's a SAHM, obviously she would do more chores, but you'd need to participate in raising the children and taking care of the house). Also, "Acts of Service" must given freely by the giver (you), not things done because she has been manipulated or guilted you into it. For example, "If you really loved me, you would do all my laundry for me and hand-wash my car." Coercing someone to do something for you out of fear by threatening them...is not love.

However, "Acts of Service" DOES mean doing something for your spouse that you know they would like for you to do. Remember that step she's been asking you to fix? When you don't do the chore and ignore it, to her it feels like you are ignoring her. Chances are good that she sort of feels like actions speak louder than words, and if she's been asking you all weekend to put up the Christmas lights, and you've been avoiding it but telling her "I love you," then to her she would feel pretty unloved because actions=avoiding her while only your words said anything about love, and to her words are empty.

Does that make sense? So to really express your love to your wife, here are a few ideas that don't make you a house servant:
1) Ask her to make a list of ten things she'd like you to do and prioritize them #1-#10
2) When she goes out, you and the kids make a "surprise" for her and clean up the house or put her laundry away...and when she comes in, stand by the door and say "SURPRISE! We love you! We did this chore for you!"
3) Cut out a heart and write on it: "Today I show you my love by ... " and add an act like ...walking the dog, ...giving the kids a bath so you can relax, ... putting the dishes away.
4) Do something BIG for her out of love (like wash her car, or paint the bedroom), and leave a sign on the car or on the bedroom door that says "To <Wife> with love!"
5) As a treat, hire a maid for a day with a little card letting her know you are giving her a day off. If you can't "hire" a maid service, maybe arrange to trade with your babysitter or hire a girl from church...that kind of thing.

Okay? Does this make sense? When she feels like she asks and asks you to do something but you never get around to it, to her that feels like SHE is not valuable. When you make the effort to do little things, or surprise her, not by SAYING "I love you" but by doing a little thing for her (I set the table, babe, cuz I love you!) then that means SHE is valuable to you.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

My love language was acts of service as well. I don't work..I was forced into early retirement b/c of health issues. My SO works hard. So doing the dishes is a bonus for me, since I don't expect him to do much housework. I mean..the man worked over 170 hours the last two weeks...I'm sure not going to expect him to do much around this house.
But..when he keeps gas in my car, b/c he knows I hate to do it..I HATE pumping gas.. that's an "act of service" for me. When he hauls stuff around, b/c he doesn't want me picking up anything heavy (nor should I)..that's "acts of service" for me.
If you know the things that she HATES to do, and you do them for her..that could be an act of service for her. Now if she hates doing everything (lol)..then you're going to have to get creative.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

Affaircare has done a great job answering and explaining this post. As "an act of service" person myself, I can really relate. We aren't wanting a slave. We like to be surprised by having something done. It means far more to us, if we don't have to put things on a list or nag......and it's not always the day-to-day things we want done. Unfortunately we do tend to show our love by trying to reciprocate love by acts of service.

lovemywife4life520, what is your love language? Is your wife doing her part by trying to speak your love language? In theory, this is supposed to be a "contagious" process. The more acts of service you do for her, the more she does to meet your love language. And the reverse also applies--the more she does for your love language, the more you are willing to do for her in return.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

For me, I'm an Acts of Service person as well. I receive love this way, and I give it this way as well. My husband and I actually have discussions about this pretty often. When I do the laundry and fold, organize and hang his clothing neatly, I'm saying "I love you." I could just fold things and throw them in a drawer and be done with it, but I don't. I even hang his clothes up by color and style and the clothing as well as the hangers always face the same way. Its how I hang my clothes as well as our daughters as well. Again, I could just toss them on a hanger and put them on the rack and be done, but taking my time about it is something to show I appreciate him as well as his things. Anyway, there are times when he rummages through all his clothes and leaves them in a giant pile on the floor! It makes me angry because I have to do it all over again, but I also feel like he is throwing what I have done for him in my face.

Kind of crazy.

He doesn't at all mean to hurt me by doing that, nor does he feel like I'm loving him by doing it. He feels I"m just being anal and OCD as usual. So finally, I stopped putting so much effort into it. His love language is touch. Why the heck would he care how his clothes are hung when touch is what makes him feel loved?!

I'm not sure how much this example is making sense, but the point I'm trying to make is while you may have different love languages you HAVE to find out what really matters. I know now that I can fold his clothes and set them on the bed for him to put away how he feels like it. He does appreciate that over having rumpled clothes in a bin. I show him love, he accepts and respects it.

In terms of what he should do for me to feel loved, all I need for him to do is not undo all I've done during the day. I'm mostly a SAHM, but I work part-time a few nights a week. Nothing major though. So I appreciate it when he puts his dishes in the dishwasher, puts his shoes on the shoe rack and hangs up his coat. Not leave his dirty dishes on the table or counter when the dishwasher is ready and waiting for dirty dishes.

You need to find out what REALLY REALLY matters. There's a lot of compromise to be made. I have most of my life been called a "touch me not" because I value my space. Huge problem for us until we worked it out. For me, there's a time and a place for physical caresses and touches. I mentally have to be in a place for it as well. He knows this and kind of tests the waters. He doesn't feel rejected anymore if I don't dive right into a bear hug and make out with him on the spot lol. He tries again later, or if he needs it because he's having a rough day or whatever, I put my issues aside and give it to him.

Have an in depth conversation about it, and it should become a lot more clear


Sorry this was so long!! Such a deep and, for me, very important discussion to have Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

I really don't have a good understanding of acts of service as a love language...I took the quiz and touch, quality time, and words of affirmation all ranked pretty highly for me, while acts of service and gifts basically didn't matter at all!

That said, today, my SO took my car in to get winterized, cleaned up my apartment, and drove me to work and back. Basically he ran a TON of annoying errands and got everything taken care of for me--and I really appreciated it! It meant a lot that he would sacrifice his time to do all those things for me without even asking. It made me really happy. So I think part of that love language involves doing things voluntarily and as surprises for your spouse. Don't just say "do you need me to do X? Ok I did it, there you go." Surprise her instead!

I guess this is kind of like paying attention to what someone likes/hints at for gifts...Pay attention to what chores she hates the most or what errands need to get done, then help her out when she's not expecting it.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

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Originally Posted by 827Aug View Post

lovemywife4life520, what is your love language?
Mine are physical touch with quality time/words of affirmation a pretty close second.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

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Originally Posted by lovemywife4life520 View Post
Mine are physical touch with quality time/words of affirmation a pretty close second.

I think people instinctively BE and ACT what their own love languages ARE.

I even asess my children, I can already tell that my daughter is a "Toucher" , she loves when I brush her hair, scratch her back, she touchs ME alot, hugs, kisses. And one of my sons is a definete "Words of Affirmation", he hates touch but is always seeking verbal attention. I think we are BORN with these.

When we marry someone who does not instinctively have the same languages as us, usually we will have alot of clashes until we realize we have been missing it /missing each other for some time. We have to unselfishly change our thinking & actions to please the other. Even if some of these things are not "natural" for us to think about so much. LIke I hate to buy Gifts, I do not care at all about receiving gifts either, but I would have to get over this if my husband had this for one of his primary love languages. Thankfully it is not.

Your wife probably tries to help you alot, doing little things - maybe a little like a Mother Hen -- and she loves this in return, it FULLFILLS her love tank. I have a friend like this, she used to get SOOOOO upset with her husband, always wanted help around the house, and she was always helpful herself -to everyone, almost too much, but that is HOW she SHOWED & showered love to others. But her husband did not care about this at all, he even used to yell at her at MY house about being too intrusive helping me where I didn't need. He was all Physical Touch, they missed it so much it eventurally led to constant fighting, resentment & Splitting up. This was many many years ago now, I bet they never read the book. They never "got" each other.

If you are BOTH committed to understanding and acting on each others' Love languages, you will have a bright future together.

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Old 12-14-2010, 12:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

Is your wife on board with this program? If so, she should be doing those things which fulfill your needs. In theory then it makes you want to do more "acts of service". And by you doing those things for her, it is supposed to become a cycle. By this becoming a cycle, both parties' "love tanks" stay on full.

My husband and I had very different love languages. I tried to show my love by doing things for him that were in my language. He likewise did things for me that were in accordance to his love language. It left neither of us feeling loved.

Hope this theory works for you and your wife.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using love languages question

I thought my wife's love language was acts of service. Maybe a better way to explain it is I wanted acts of service to be her language because I was good at acts of service. Either way, I was wrong. Her language is words of affirmation. We poorly communicated love for each other because I always tried the acts of service way of showing love and it all went by the wayside because, while she appreciated the things I did, she didn't see those things as an expression of love for her. Since words of affirmation were for her, the things she needed from me to understand that I loved her, but were for me a difficult thing to do consistently, we entered a spiral of declining communication and marital difficulty.

Since my love language is touch and words as a close second, but she is not a "touchy" kinda woman, I was always starved for confirmation of love from her to me. Augmentation of the declining spiral.

We are today having great difficulty maintaining the marriage and are talking openly about divorce. It's probably not salvageable at this point.

My point in writing this is that - even as hokey the 'love languages' concept may seem, it has a strong element of truth when used to describe in a broad spectrum, how people relate to one another in loving relationships. Failure to understand the simple facts about styles of communication can ultimately lead to a failure to communicate and huge problems for being able to carry on a relationship in a meaningful and honest manner.

After enough water passes under the bridge, I think it can get to a point where it becomes impossible to swim back upstream.
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