Love languages aren’t always naturally in sync.
But now, my daughters touch me all the time—or I have to touch them by changing diapers, tying shoes, bathing them, brushing hair. Therefore, by the end of the day, I crave peace and quiet and space. But needing this space doesn’t mean I don’t need or love my children. Needing space simply means I need to refill the well before I begin to pour out again.
Remaining filled with Jesus’ love has become crucial for loving my children well. It has also become crucial for loving my spouse the way he deserves.
The other night, we had a discussion about an imminent medical event that we’ve been facing for over a year. I ended up crying and running out of our apartment into the adjacent warehouse (a different warehouse apartment from the one where we started).
Still crying, I sat down on a large box protecting our new house’s front door, and I expected my husband to come running out after me.
I wondered why, and then I had a flashback to the year we started dating. Our late supper had not digested well. Despite having sipped gas station Sprite, I jumped out of my boyfriend’s Jeep as soon as he parked and threw up in my parents’ bushes.
I expected my boyfriend to hold my hair and rub my back while I wretched. Instead, he darted into the house and closed the door, honoring me by giving me space the way he would have wanted if the roles had been reversed.
But if the roles had been reversed, you’d better believe I would have tried rubbing his back and holding his hand, which would have been utterly comical, knowing him like I do now.
Outside my parents’ house, in front of the bushes, I was a 5’2’’ nineteen-year-old girl flooded with righteous indignation. I wiped my mouth on the back of my hand and marched inside, up the stairs into the den. Hands on my hips, I demanded to know why my boyfriend had left.
He looked absolutely startled. “I thought that’s what you’d like.”
That experience, and his response, foreshadowed our marital journey. It was also the first time I understood we don’t always speak each other’s love languages.
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