We can look on as an aunt and uncle berate each other year after year and know that, despite appearances, they love each other. There was the time when he thought he was going to lose her to cancer, or the time when she jumped to his defense when somebody else attacked him.
Nonetheless, we don't want to (SET ITAL) be (END ITAL) that couple. So, if the scenario is starting to feel a little too familiar, don't wait any longer to get off the path.
(SET ITAL) "I know she loves me, but it sure doesn't feel like it when she continues to reject 70 percent of my physical advances," writes a reader.
"The man must love me -- he'd do anything for me. But I swear he responds to less than half of what I say," writes another. (END ITAL)
We're not content to simply know somebody's love is there for us, should we be in dire need. We want to (SET ITAL) feel (END ITAL) the love and take pleasure in it, day in and day out. That desire is fundamental to being human.
Unfortunately, many people live without the warmth and nourishment of feeling continually loved, despite the fact that they, like the miserable aunt and uncle, (SET ITAL) are (END ITAL) loved. Why? One useful explanation is found in Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages."
The premise is that you might express love in a language your partner isn't fluent in -- and vice versa. In other words, you could be thinking, "I don't know what else I could possibly do to show the man I love him," while he's thinking, "All I want is more physical affection from my wife, is that asking too much?"
So, take a look at the "five languages" and see which one is yours and which one is your partner's. … But, don't assume too much. Talk to your partner and ask questions to learn how to express your love in a language he (or she) understands.
Words of Affirmation
Quality Time
Receiving Gifts
Acts of Service
Physical Touch
You might want to hear all of the languages. I do. … I love words! But they have to be backed up by quality time together. And with gifts, I act like a little girl when I get to open a surprise. Ah, and a massage is one of my favorite things in the whole world. It's an act of service, as well as physical touch.
But which one is (SET ITAL) most (END ITAL) critical to your feeling loved? Maybe you're happy to pay somebody else for his or her services -- the yardman, the housekeeper, the secretary. And maybe you grew up believing words were cheap. Maybe you can buy whatever you want (except love). That leaves you wanting quality time and physical touch from somebody else. But which one would you be least likely to sacrifice?
In any case, you get the idea. You want to know what love looks like, or what language it speaks in your world. You also want to know what language love speaks in your partner's world. If you're both willing to learn a second language, just think about how much more love and understanding will flow between you.
You'll be saying "I love you" in a language that most resonates with your sweetheart. (SET ITAL) And (END ITAL) you'll be hearing those words where you never heard them before. Maybe, all those times he worked late he was, in the way he'd been taught, expressing his love. Oh, and maybe she was, too.
There are at least five "languages" of love, and we can use all of them. But it makes sense to speak your partner's language and teach him yours. Then, you can perpetuate happy, instead of miserable.
Jan Denise is a columnist, author of the book "Naked Relationships," speaker and coach based in McIntosh, Fla. Please e-mail her at jandenise@nakedrelationships.com, or visit her website at www.nakedrelationships.com. To find out more about Jan Denise, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Author's Bio: 

Jan Denise is a nationally syndicated columnist, author of the book "Naked Relationships," speaker and coach based in McIntosh, Fla. Please e-mail her at jandenise@nakedrelationships.com, or visit her website at http://www.nakedrelationships.com.