Love Languages: Dealing with 0% Words of Affirmation

posted 3 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
630 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - City, State

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@rockymtnbee:  Honestly, I don’t know… it doesn’t sound like his ex was criticizing him. She was telling the truth. I wouldn’t worry about coming off like his ex. Maybe he needs to hear it from several people to realize that he’s not really behaving like a boyfriend. That being said, I don’t think you can force someone to change how they express love and affection. Even if you ask him to do certain things, he will have to remember to do them and it will not be his genuine way of showing care. If it were me I would move on and find someone who is more naturally in sync with what I want in terms of affection.

Post # 3
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 1999 - Tacoma, WA

In my experience, your love language is supposed to be how you like to be treated, not how you treat others (although, naturally you will treat others how you want to be treated). Ex: my love language is Acts of Service, so my husband shows me love by doing things for me. His is Words of Affirmation, so I show him love by praising him, recognizing him, etc. 

Do you have the book? If you do the book together, you will both know exactly how you’d like to be treated. I don’t think that is needy in the least. IMO, it is very healthy and proactive. Now, if he is completely unwilling to love you how you need, that might be a different issue.

Post # 4
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee

I think you can only control your own actions and not change another person. I would speak up about your needs. He might not realize how little he’s providing in this way! If it’s in his wheel house/ability, it’ll come through. If not, the next decision will be whether or not you want a life that does not include compliments or other forms of affection. This was a challenge in a former relationship and it ended up being too challenging to overcome. I never felt secure with him! I hope you two are able to find middle ground in this area. It doesn’t have to be perfect to feel good or to work out. Best of luck to you both! 

Post # 6
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee

If you need some metaphors to make sure he doesn’t feel attacked, you could talk about your inner well and that some things fill it faster than others. Your well is filled by these acts of kindness, but would be completely filled by some extra compliments. If he is more mechanically minded, you could always compare this to a car engine and compliments make you go vroom vroom! 😀

Post # 7
Member
3906 posts
Honey bee

I am sort of bothered by the fact that he talked about his ex in that way and it’s making you tiptoe around your feelings about it.  You should be able to communicate this to him without worrying how he will react.

But on the other hand, to me personally, love languages are a compatibility issue.  I was married to someone who didn’t share similar love languages and it caused a lot of resentment on both ends.  I am now with someone who shares similar love languages and it really works for us.  I’m not saying it’s a deal breaker for you, but it can become a point of contention between the two of you.

Post # 9
Member
288 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

Words of affirmation is my #1 and I had to beat my husband to death about it while we were dating.  He thought I was silly, but he was so opposite about it and NEVER gave compliments “unless he was feeling it at that moment.”  He had some weird hangups about it.   Anyway, MANY conversations later, he understands why I want it and he gives me WAY WAY WAY more words of affirmation that he used to.  We read about each other’s personality types and love languages and just talk about them all the time.  Communicating without blame is key.

Post # 10
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 1999 - Tacoma, WA

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@rockymtnbee:  I get it, and I think a deliberate and thoughtful approach is a great idea. Because his Love Languange is WoA, use that to your advantage… something along the lines of how much you appreciate everything he does for you and how it makes you fell loved, and then maybe add how you would really like if he were to x, y, z. If that feels too direct, maybe go over-the-top when he does use words. My husband is similar. WoA are NOT his thing to *give*, so when he does, I let him know how much it means to me (even though it isn’t high for me). With anything, though, we want to feel loved all-around. I mean, my “Gifts” is a big fat ZERO, but of course my feelings would be hurt if he never gave me any!

Post # 11
Member
9182 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Actually you have that the wrong way around. It is supposed to be used to show the different ways people express love and not to dictate how someone must show you affection. It is one of my pet peeves that this has been so twisted. It is purely a tool to explain how love is shown in many different forms. 

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@mtnester:  

Post # 12
Member
1053 posts
Bumble bee

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@rockymtnbee:  

Physical touch, closely followed by words of affirmation, is my primary love language so this relationship would drive me stark raving mad! I can honestly take or leave acts of service, lots of time together and gifts for the most part. But that’s an aside; I realise we’re talking about you here and not me!

Love languages, like other human needs, are on a continuum. That means that, while your primary love language might be acts of service, it doesn’t mean you need zero amount of the other things; it just means you need less than someone else whose primary love languages might be touch or words of affirmation.

Introverts need a lot of alone time, but it doesn’t mean that they never want to socialise and spend time with others. Quite the contrary; an introvert enjoys socialising often every bit as much as an extrovert, they just can handle less of it. And likewise an extrovert also needs time to themselves; they just don’t need as much as an introvert.

Perhaps you can try explaining it to him in these times. Tell him that, while you know that the primary way he likes showing his love for you is by doing things for you, and that it is a stretch for him to cuddle you or compliment you, you would nonetheless appreciate it if he did these things occasionally. You would like him to compromise a little in these areas; not a lot. Just a little.

He should be able to understand that and be willing to extend himself a little for you. If he insists on seeing things in black and white terms where it’s all or nothing, then that is very concerning. You’re not being unreasonable in the slightest, nor are you criticising him, and if you communicate in a clear, calm way where you are making requests instead of attacking him, you need not worry about that.

Then again, as others have said, this may either be something you have to remind him of regularly, or something he may never really get. If so, you need to decide whether you can accept him as he is. I couldn’t because these things are too important to me, but you need to make your own choices.

Post # 13
Member
543 posts
Busy bee

He is probably not able to be affectionate. It’s not about love language, it’s about how he is. I have been married to someone who didn’t express care and affection, it was very lonely to me personally. I realized I should have considered this way in the beginning. I used to give him the excuse of it’s just his love language. It isn’t about that. It’s just how they are. They can’t change who they are. So if you really don’t want affection it’s great but if you want it, you won’t get it from them. I also don’t mean this as saying “settle” or deal with it. In speaking with him about it you’re going to become hurt and upset because you’re going to have to face the writing on the wall. It’s also not anything to do with his ex or any past hurts. Again, not saying settle and accept but he isn’t going to be able to be someone else. 

Post # 15
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 1999 - Tacoma, WA

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@j_jaye:  That is incorrect.

 

“He theorizes that people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love, ** and better communication between couples can be accomplished when one can demonstrate caring to the other person in the love language the recipient understands**. An example would be if a husband’s love language is acts of service, he may be confused when he does the laundry for his wife and she doesn’t perceive that as an act of love, viewing it as simply performing household duties, because the love language she comprehends is words of affirmation (verbal affirmation that he loves her). She may try to use what she values, words of affirmation, to express her love to him, which he would not value as much as she does. If she understands his love language and mows the lawn for him, he perceives it in his love language as an act of expressing her love for him; likewise, if he tells her he loves her, she values that as an act of love.”

 

A tool is something that is used. How is simply explaining how/why someone does something useful unless it is put into practice?  The actual application of knowledge when it comes to LL is the point.

 

It’s like the whole ‘Golden Rule’… treat others how you would like to be treated. Disagree. Treat others how THEY WANT to be treated.

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