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Dear Gary - December

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
December 26, 2020 1:00 am

Dear Gary - December

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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December 26, 2020 1:00 am

The questions are in, your messages have been received, and it’s time for answers. Each month the New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages takes questions and comments from his listener line. And this week, it’s our final broadcast of 2020 and some great questions about marriage struggles, the love languages and more. Don’t miss todays December Dear Gary broadcast on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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People are catching on to "The 5 Love Languages" . We've been talking with Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of the mega successful book, "The 5 Love Languages" . The need to feel loved by the significant people in your life is the deepest emotional need we have. My boyfriend and I read it together and we quickly realized like we are the exact opposite on the love language scale because we took the quizzes. I'm on with the Gary Chapman. I mean love languages and I'm right here in the middle of it.

I don't believe this. Words of affirmation! Today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Is there any way that I can change my love language? Quarantine has really put a significant strain on our marriage. That has really thrown me for a loop. My son is starting to treat me like my ex-husband did. It's our final broadcast of 2020. The last chance to talk with Dr. Gary Chapman before we move into 2021. That's right, it's time for Dear Gary. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Today, on the cusp of a new year, we present new calls, new questions, but the same rock solid biblical encouragement that you've come to expect.

Our host is the one, the only, Dr. Gary Chapman. And I wonder, Gary, if you could go back and look at all that 2020 has been and all the changes and the struggles. Is there a snapshot of this year that you will remember of 2020?

What comes to mind? You know, Chris, I think it is the discovery of the value of technology. Were it not for Zoom conferences that I've had through this year, I would have been silent, except for the radio. Because all of my events from the middle of March to the end of 2020 were canceled. Some of them went virtual, of course, and others were scheduled for next year.

Who knows where we'll be as we move into the next year. But I think learning the reality that you can communicate with people online in a very meaningful way. And consequently, many things I did not have scheduled for this year, folks have called and wanted to do a virtual conference. So to me, that's been very, very encouraging. You know, a new discovery really for me and maybe for a lot of other people.

I think probably people have done more Zooming this year than ever. But it's great to use technology in that manner. I have to ask you, too, though, in your generation, whatever that means, quote unquote, your generation, there is a pushback about technology to a certain extent. So it's almost not a disdain of it, but kind of a fear of it that I'm not going to be able to figure that out. And that doesn't seem to be your outlook. Well, you know, Chris, I'm fortunate enough to have people around me who can help me understand things that I don't understand about technology.

Because my generation certainly doesn't know technology like even the teenagers would today. But as long as you're open for people to help you, you know, you can get the benefits of technology and not get wrapped up in the things that might be detrimental in technology. That's an interesting way to put it, you know, to be open to that.

And I think that's a perfect way to put it, that, you know, when you're open to learning, it takes a bit of humility, too, and getting over those hurdles. So thanks for asking that. Now, our featured resource today at FiveLoveLanguages.com is "The 5 Love Languages" Devotional Bible. And maybe you're looking for a way to dig into God's Word and enrich your marriage. That's what this is all about, isn't it, Gary? Well, it is.

It is, Chris. You know, this devotional Bible I put together, I don't know, just three or four years ago, and those who have read it are finding it very, very helpful. And what we do, we take you on a journey from beginning to the end, Genesis to Revelation, with devotionals.

You're not reading the whole Bible, but selected passages to be read devotionally five days a week. And then on the weekend, for those that really want to dig into it, there's a little Bible study thing for them to do. And in addition to the biblical text, as well as the devotional thoughts that are in the Bible, there are also a number of articles on family life, marriage and family life, and an index. So that if you are struggling, for example, in a particular area, like your spouse going through depression or anxiety or whatever, then you can easily find the articles that we've written.

All of them, of course, based on biblical principles and biblical truth. Yeah, I think this Bible will be very, very helpful to a person who wants to have a tool that a couple can use together. It's designed really to read the devotionals together, but you can also read them individually.

So yeah, I'm hoping that folks will take advantage of this, because I think it does have a lot of practical value. What a great way to start the new year out as well, and you can find out more about "The 5 Love Languages" devotional Bible at the website, fivelovelanguages.com. Again, fivelovelanguages.com. All right, Gary, we've been doing this program for a long time now, years and years. I don't think I've ever heard this question about the love languages.

Here we go. I have a question about "The 5 Love Languages" . When I took that test back 30 years ago when I first got married to my husband, mine were words of affirmation. I now have three kids.

They're all young adults. And I'm realizing that nobody in the family really knows how to give that to me. And I think sometimes I try to seek for it. And so maybe they think that they don't want to build my ego by doing those.

I don't know. Anyway, my husband's is acts of service. So I do feel that I do that. Give him that more than he gives me my love language. Is there any way that I can change my love language? I think that it would be better off for our marriage if I could have his love language. So and I'm willing.

I just today I realized that I don't want to seek words of affirmation anymore. And I would rather have the same love language that he has because that I think he will do a better job. He already gives acts of service to me anyway.

He's such a great guy. And that's how he receives love. So I think he's more inclined to give it like he receives it. And I would like to give up my desire for words of affirmation so that I don't seek it or crave it so often so that we are just a little bit more harmonious.

Is it possible? So that's what I started to pray today that God would change whatever's inside of me that longs for words of affirmation. And that he would change it so that I could elevate acts of service as the greater love language. Thank you.

Goodbye. Well, Chris, I have to appreciate the spirit of this caller. Willing and warning, even asking God to change her love language so that she will feel loved and not feel like she has to continually bring up the idea that, you know, she's not receiving love in her language. I would just say this to that listener. If God answers that prayer, be sure and let me know.

Okay? Because I think basically our love language does not change. It tends to stay with us for a lifetime. I think it may change momentarily in certain situations.

You know, if you have two or three preschool children, acts of service may not be your language. But during those years, it probably will jump to that because you're overwhelmed. But I think like many, many personality traits, the love language tends to stay with us throughout a lifetime. So it's okay, though. It's okay to ask God.

And you never know. I'm not going to say that God will not answer that prayer because he may well do it. But I do appreciate the spirit, you know, the willingness, the desire to find something that's easier for my husband to speak. I think to me on the human level, the approach to take would be to say to your husband every maybe two weeks or so, on a scale of 0 to 10, how much love do you feel coming from me? And if he says anything less than 10, you would say, well, what could I do this week that would bring it up? And he gives you an idea.

Now, you do that for a few weeks down the road. I have an idea, your husband's going to ask that question to you. He's going to begin to say, well, now, wait a minute, you've been asking me this same question.

Let me ask you that question. On a scale of 0 to 10, how much love do you feel coming from me? And she says, you know, whatever, you say whatever. And then he says, what could I do to bring it up?

And you say, well, honey, you know, if you could give me one compliment a week, I think it would keep my love tank full. And I know you've probably discussed this in the past and you feel like it's hopeless. But I'm saying a little different approach might be the thing that triggers his heart and his mind to say, I need to learn how to speak her love language. You see, love is a choice and he can learn to speak your love language. If he wants, you might make a list of things.

I know you say, I don't want to make a list. But, you know, if maybe he just, it's just hard for him to put things into words. If he has some statements that someone has written out for him, he can learn how to speak this love language and thus deeply meet your need for love. I agree with you. I like her spirit a lot, but there's part of me that pushes back and says, I don't think it's selfish to want words of affirmation if that's deep down inside. It's almost like sitting at a table and it would be easier for me to learn how to write left-handed than right-handed.

So I'm going to change and write left-handed. And she's not going that far, but is it trying to change something on the inside of you that the way that you were made, that God made you to want those words? I think her heart is saying, I don't want to crave this to such an extent that I start not feeling love toward him because he doesn't speak my love language. But is it selfish to just want that?

I don't think it is. I think it's just human to desire love in the way that really communicates to you. I think also there may be a part of this that she's just tired of having to request words of affirmation. And she feels like it's being selfish for her to keep asking and asking and asking. And if it's not working, then obviously you need a different approach. That's why I suggested what I suggested.

Because if you're saying, I just feel like my tank is empty. I don't ever hear you say anything positive to me. Well, that kind of comes across condemning to him and kind of pushes him away rather than drawing him out. But I think a good open discussion about this, and I don't know how long it's been since he perhaps read the book on the love languages or took the quiz, but that would be ideal to get it back on the front burner as to how important it is in a marriage to learn to speak the language of your spouse. That husband disappeared. And my current husband, I don't know how much longer I can take living under these conditions. So what is the biblical approach to living with someone who has high narcissistic tendencies?

Well, I can certainly identify with this caller and I can sense the pain, the hurt of living with two husbands, both of whom apparently have a similar personality that is very, very self-centered and the world centers around them. The tendency is to criticize them and to give negative words to them and to try to help them change that behavior. Typically that doesn't work because they're not going to take that as something positive and respond to you because in their mind they know they're right already. I think what I would say is you begin with speaking their love language. Now I know that when you don't feel love yourself, it's very difficult on the human level to speak love to another person. But remember, God loved us while we were still sinners and sent Christ to die for us. And his love is poured into our hearts, if we open our heart, is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

So we can be God's channel for loving an unlovely spouse. And if you discover your husband's love language and set yourself a goal, I'm going to speak his love language at least once a week, maybe twice, depending on the love language. I'm going to do this for six months and see what happens.

No criticism, no condemnation, just loving unconditionally. At the end of that six months, if he has not began to change toward you and be drawn to you and asking you questions about what can I do to make your life easier, or how can I express my love to you more effectively, if he doesn't begin to reach out to you at the end of that six months, then you have a hard conversation. And you say to him, I don't know how you're feeling about us, but I really feel like that for the last six months I have done everything I can to show you how much I love you. I don't see anything coming my way. And I don't know if you don't care. I don't know if you don't want to be married to me. But I'm saying something's got to happen in our relationship because love has to be a two-way street. Many times that conversation opens the door in the heart of the other person because they felt loved by you for six months. And now you're bringing up the fact that there's a problem in this relationship. So what you say to them is, I would like for us to go for counseling.

And I'd like to invite you to go with me. If you don't go, I'm going to go myself because I have to figure out what I'm going to do in the light of the fact that you make no effort to express your love to me. It's what we call tough love. But tough love is best applied after you've had six months of giving him tender love. And he's far more likely to respond to the tough love. So that would be my suggestion on the approach you make. And remember, God can change people.

I don't care what personality they have. God can change people and give them a heart of love. And love always reaches out to enrich the lives of the other person.

So that would be my suggestion. And in the meantime, you're praying all along that God will continue to give you the ability to love him even when he's not lovely. And you're praying that God will touch his heart and open his eyes so that you can have the kind of marriage God intended you to have. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, our final program of 2020. And if you go to the website, fivelovelanguages.com, you'll see our featured resource, "The 5 Love Languages" Devotional Bible, a great resource for you and your spouse to go through together. Again, fivelovelanguages.com. Now, here's a question about the quiz that you'll find at that website. Is it a scientific predictor of a person's love language? Well, let's find out. I was calling as I took your five love language quiz. And I'm just wondering if you stand by the accuracy of it based on the questions, because if it comes down to a gift or like a touch, I'm going to pick a gift.

But I feel like that's not indicative of what I look for in a relationship or love. That's all. Thank you, Gary. Well, it's a good question, Chris. You know, that quiz has been out now for a number of years. We have tweaked it a little here and there. In fact, they told me the other day 50 million people have taken that quiz.

And all the feedback we get is that it's really on target. It really does reveal the primary love language. I think when you take it, of course, you need to be thinking about a particular relationship.

You know, if you're thinking about a husband-wife relationship, you're answering it in that context, not just in general. So that may be a little part of the – that stimulated the question on the part of the caller. But I think the accuracy is pretty high on that quiz.

So I would highly recommend, people, if you haven't taken it, I'd take it. It's free. Yeah.

I was just thinking, for a nickel, for a nickel, a click at 50 million. But that's not what you're in this for. This is to connect people together and help you show love. So what's your answer about – he brought up the touch and the gift. You know, I would choose one thing or I'd take another, but this is what the quiz says.

What do you say about that? Well, that's why I said have in mind a particular relationship. You know, if he's thinking about his wife, for example, if he's married, just think about his wife and would an affirming touch from her or a gift from her be what he would choose? If he says I would choose the gift, then that's his love language, you know. But if he's just thinking in general of people, you know, somebody patting me on the back or giving me a gift, I'd take the gift.

So it could be a little different if you're just thinking generically. But if you take the quiz thinking about a particular relationship, a spouse, somebody you're dating, I think you're going to find it's going to be pretty accurate. Oh, that is really, really helpful. So go to FiveLoveLanguages.com, take the quiz and think about that other person that you really want to show love to you.

Again, go to FiveLoveLanguages.com. Gary, you talk about the process of healing after divorce. We've done that time and time again. And you caution against jumping right into a new relationship. But even if you take your time, it can still be difficult. Here's our next call.

Hi, Gary. I am a 47-year-old single dad. I live in the Midwest. I have four children who spend their primary care time with their mother, live in another town not so far away. But I don't get to see them very often just due to complications there with their mother.

I have been divorced five years now after 16 years of marriage and she left and took the kids. That took quite a while as you can imagine to recover from. But by God's grace and the help of some good friends, really did reach a healthy place to where just about two years ago now, online for a Christian dating site, met a Christian woman in another state but really clicked and connected. And that launched into a very reciprocal, positive, God-honoring, just fun relationship. She had been married before as well, but we were open about those things. And really, just beyond what I could imagine, it was great. Until this fall, after 18 months of being connected with her and I would travel back and forth quite often on weekends and that kind of thing, she called to say she was going to be stepping back, not stepping out, but stepping back and wanted me to work on some things in my own life.

And boy, that has really thrown me for a loop. And it's been four months now since I've seen her and that's been rough. I have a local counselor that I meet with and actually was able to go out to a Christian retreat center in Colorado to do some intensive counseling, just to help me walk through a lot of the pain and those issues, but it's hard. And I don't know, after having read your book and listening to your program, if the 18 months or two years of kind of the euphoria, if that caught up with us, I hope not, but my heart really hurts.

And I have a local counselor, like I mentioned, that I meet with and that helps and some good friends, but nothing really, you know, resolves the pain. But the reason for my call is just to say I am very appreciative for your program. I would listen on Saturdays as I would travel often to get together with this young woman. And then more recently, I've tuned in to your podcast, but it's amazing how God uses the guests that you have and the questions that your callers bring to really minister. So I just want to say keep up the good work and and I'll keep listening. You're making a difference. And I am grateful. God bless, Gary.

Thanks. Well, I really appreciate this call and I certainly can identify with the pain of a broken dating relationship. I think many people have been through that. It's more difficult, I think, at the age of 47 in a second dating relationship than it is when you're 16 or 21. No matter the age, anytime you are really emotionally involved with another person and that person is the one that breaks up with you. It's a heartbreak.

It is painful. And so what you're going through is a perfectly normal response to a broken romantic relationship. I think one of the things you want to do is to try to learn. And I think that's what you're doing.

Try to learn from this experience. That is, when she broke up, it appears that she said there's some things she wants you to work on about your life. And these are apparently some things that she's observed in you and in the relationship. And she's saying, I can't go on with this relationship until these things are dealt with. And the fact that you are going for counseling and you went to an intensive counseling experience as well is very, very positive.

Because it means you're taking this seriously. And you are trying to learn from this experience. Now, whether or not this will eventually lead to reconciliation in this relationship, of course, none of us know. But you will be a better person for having gone to counseling and working on the issues that she shared with you. Because if there were a problem with her, then there would probably be a problem with someone else. So if you can deal with those things now and have substantial growth in those areas, it is for your benefit as a person and will also enhance your relationship with either her or someone else on down the road.

So it seems to me like you're responding well to a very painful experience in terms of a breakup of a romantic relationship. So I would just encourage you, keep your hand in God's hand, let your trust be in God, that He will work this out in a way that is best for you and for her. Because you certainly don't want to go into a relationship and have it restored and get married and it not be God's direction in your life. So don't put all your stakes in this relationship with this lady.

This relationship may not be restored. But God has a plan for your life, whether it's with her or with someone else or whether it's to walk alone. And I know we don't want to think about walking alone because we're built to have relationships with people. So let me just thank you for calling. Thank you for listening on a regular basis.

And I trust that you will continue to grow through this experience. And what he said there about Gary and the program, we love to hear that, not just because he was encouraging, but that it's making a difference in your life. And if you have that same kind of feeling about Building Relationships, give us a call, leave a message, a note of encouragement or a critique of the program.

We'd like to hear more of this and less of that. 866-424-GARY is our number. That's our listener line. 1-866-424-GARY. Our resource for our last program of 2020 is "The 5 Love Languages" Devotional Bible.

Find out more at FiveLoveLanguages.com, FiveLoveLanguages.com. There is a strain on military marriages. And Gary, I know you have a heart for those who are in the military, spouses. In this call, you'll hear how deeply they are involved in the service of our country.

And if you add a pandemic to the equation, that's a real struggle. Here's our next call. I have been married to my husband for going on three years. We are both active duty military, we're both active duty Air Force. And currently, we are separated by 3,600 miles. We have three children, ages seven, six and one and a half.

At the moment, my husband is at home with the youngest under quarantine. And it has really put a significant strain on our marriage. When we first got married, "The 5 Love Languages" was what we wanted to build and base our marriage on. I was familiar with the book through my parents. And my husband and I read it together.

We had our own little study group, just him and I, we read and then discuss. So it's been really part of our marriage from the very beginning. Lately, with the tension and the stress of being so far apart and the stress of our jobs, we're having a really hard time communicating our love languages to each other.

And a thing that I struggle with is showing him love the way that he needs to be shown love. We feel like we've hit a wall. And we're at the point in our marriage where we're thinking maybe it's time for some counseling. Because what do you do when you feel like you are giving your partner what they need and you're speaking to them in their love language, not in the love language that I think they want? I'm at a wall. I don't know what else to do.

I'd really like some advice from you. Your military book was really helpful to us and our situation was just a little stressful. So thank you. Well, I was glad to hear just toward the end of that call that she has read the military edition of "The 5 Love Languages" . Because in that particular edition, we use military illustrations. And also, we have a section on each of the love languages and how to speak those love languages when you are deployed. And sometimes people think, well, you can't speak physical touch when you're half a world away. But we have really practical ideas in the book on how to do that.

I'll just share one of them. And we got all these illustrations from military couples who have the concept. One lady said, I knew that his love language was physical touch. So while he was deployed, I put my hand on his sheet of paper. I traced my hand and mailed it to him with a note that said, put your hand on my hand. I want to hold your hand. When he came home, he said to me, Gary, every time I put my hand on that paper, I felt her. You see, it's not a literal touch. It's emotional touch. But that's what we're talking about. And so there's plenty of ideas in that book on how to express love in all five languages when you are deployed.

Now, let me go back to the caller and the basic heart that I feel her sharing. And that is they're now deployed in separate places. They're both in the military. He is in the pandemic now. He is quarantined at home with one of the children. She's, as she said, 3,600 miles away.

This is hard. You know, the pandemic has changed the playing field of what's going on, whether it's military marriages or non-military marriages. And we're all having to make adjustments during this period.

But when you're deployed in separate places, it's even more difficult. Let me say that what you're going through is probably not abnormal, okay? Anyone in your situation would be struggling right now.

But I would come back to the fundamentals and perhaps remind your husband, let's go back to the fundamentals. I really want to communicate love to you. I know this is a hard time for you.

And I know that being quarantined and all this makes it even more difficult for you. But I want you to know how much I love you. And you communicate love in his language long distance. Get the ideas out of the book and communicate it to him. And say, I hope you want to do the same for me.

And, you know, maybe we ought to pick up that book again and look at it. I would take kind of that approach. You know, you're taking the initiative to tell him you want to be there for him during this time. You mentioned counseling. And certainly, if there's opportunity for counseling, it can always be helpful.

Now, when you're in one place and he's in another place, it's a little more difficult. Now, you can do counseling on Zoom. I mean, there are counselors that do that and probably military. I would check with the chaplain where you are and see if there's some counseling that can be done online.

Because the chaplain is pretty much in touch with what's available in that. But having a third party with whom each of you can kind of share what you're struggling with at the moment can be extremely helpful. That's why counseling is so popular in our culture. It's because it's so helpful. So, I would certainly encourage you to see what possibilities exist for you all to have some perhaps online counseling until you can be back in the same place.

Those would be my thoughts. And don't forget our featured resource today, which is great for marriage, "The 5 Love Languages" Devotional Bible. We have it right there at the website, fivelovelanguages.com. And for this caller and others who are in the military, thank you, thank you, thank you for your service to us, to our country. And keep going, keep on going. Thank you for tuning in today, too.

Here's a great call. And I love the spirit of this mom. She's going through a struggle. And all of the callers today, Gary, there's just this spirit of, I want to do whatever I can in order to make things better, but I'm struggling here. And here's a mom who's struggling, who has a son, and she's not being treated as she wants to be treated. So, listen to this question.

Hi, Gary. I was in a very difficult marriage and I'm divorced and my son is starting to treat me like my ex-husband did. Very disrespectful and very cold and distant from me, doesn't make any contact. I just had a big birthday and he didn't even send me a card. I do take care of my two grandchildren that are, he's the father of twice a week. And when he comes home from teaching, he always says, the door is open, the garage door is open.

In other words, go ahead and leave right away. Doesn't show any concern or interest in me or wanting to spend time with me. If I try to communicate with him, he rolls his eyes or cuts me off or doesn't even respond exactly like his dad did.

I know he had the example set, but he's choosing to follow it. So I guess I would love some advice. I would love to talk to somebody about this. I want to honor God in my communication and my dealing with relationships. Okay, thanks so much.

If there's any way you could be of service or help to me, I'd really appreciate it. Take care and God bless. Bye-bye. Well, you have to feel the pain in the voice of this caller. And I think any parent, not just a mother, any parent who has a son or a daughter who has now grown, but is showing no respect, no honor of parents, can feel that pain. And many, many parents have a fractured relationship with their adult children.

I think the place to begin is to ask, why? Now, one possible explanation is one that the caller suggested, and that is he simply saw this in his father, and he is now repeating the pattern. And that's very, very common. That's why, as parents, we need to realize the example we set for our children is going to greatly impact and influence their behavior as adults.

So that certainly could be the root of the problem here. That he's simply following his father's footsteps. On the other hand, I would also ask yourself, is there something about the way I have responded to him or treated him that might cause him to be treating me the way he's treating me? I'm not saying there is. I'm just saying it's worth thinking about and asking God to help you see it if indeed it is there.

Another possibility is that your son is involved in destructive behavior of some kind that he doesn't want you to be aware of, and so he's staying away from you because he doesn't want to hear you condemn him for drinking or whatever else might be going on in his life. So I think that's a possibility. And you have to reflect on whether or not this is true. You see, if an adult child is not living a lifestyle of walking with God, and they're living their own life doing what they want to do, and they know that their parent does not approve of what they're doing, they will tend to stay away, draw back, not have contact with that parent.

So some of that may be what's going on here. I would just try in your own mind to think that through and ask God to help you understand what's going on. I am encouraged by the fact that you say you're keeping his two children. Your grandchildren, twice a week. I don't know if you're keeping them all day or evening or whatever, but I mean that's an act of love. That's an act of service to him.

You would think if things were normal, he would be very grateful to you in expressing positive regards to you for what you're doing, which makes me think there's something going on in his life that he knows you would disapprove of and maybe have already disapproved of, and consequently that's why he's drawing back. So, how do you fix that? You know, that's difficult. It won't be fixed without communication, but negative communication makes it even worse. If you have a pastor or counselor in your area, I would encourage you to share this with them. Let them help you think your way through what is the best approach with this. Obviously, if your son would go with you for counseling, that would be even better, but I'm not thinking that he will, because normally if a person's drawing back, they're not going to go for counseling with you.

But at least you would have someone that you can process your own emotions with, and they could perhaps give you ideas week by week on things that you might try to enhance the relationship. The worst thing you can do is condemn him. Give him a speech about how he's not honoring his mother, etc.

That's the worst thing you can do, because that will simply drive him further away. If you can find things to be positive about and make comments about them to him, that is, if there are things in his life that you really appreciate, verbalize them, as opposed to giving condemnation. You see, positive words give life. Negative words give death. Proverbs 18, verse 21.

Life and death is in the power of words. So the way you speak to him will have an awful lot to do with whether he begins to warm up to you, or whether he draws even further away from you. That's not the whole problem, not the whole situation, but it's a significant part of how to bring healing. The other question I had was, does he treat anybody else this way? Is it just his mom, or are there other people that stand in line and say, he does the same thing to me.

Is this a personality thing? Maybe it comes out more to her, and she feels it more deeply because of the past. But we don't know that. We don't.

It's a good question, but we don't. It is sad, Chris. It is sad when there's a broken relationship between parents and their adult children. Listen, there are thousands of parents out there who are experiencing similar things with their adult children.

And there's no easy answer to it, but I do know that condemnation of that child is not going to make things better. Well, can the love languages rekindle a fire that has gone cold? A lot of people have asked that question. Here's our final caller for today. Hey, Gary.

Just got a question. I read your five languages book. I'm actually not 100 percent through it, but close to it. And I'm not really 100 percent sure how I can figure out what my wife's love language I'm talking to her without because, you know, a few weeks ago, she just said she doesn't have the feelings for me anymore. You know, she still loves me as a best friend, but she just doesn't have the same feelings for me. And so I'm trying to figure out, you know, what is her love language? What can I do to change her the way she feels about me, you know, to bring it back? Because I know emotions change. So I would love to know if there was a way to figure out her love language or see if there's a back door into that to try to get her to rekindle that love that she once had for me back.

Thank you. Well, it's always painful when a spouse says, I like you as a friend, but I don't love you anymore. But it's a very, very common statement that people make because they don't understand emotional love and relational love.

You know, the in-love experience, which you've discovered if you've read the book, has an average lifespan of two years. And we come down off that high. And we don't have those love feelings that we had during that stage of the relationship. And if we end up arguing and having disagreements and we create a negative atmosphere between the two of us, we get to the place where we say things like that. I just don't love you anymore, which means in their mind, I have no love feelings towards you. I have negative feelings towards you because of things that have happened in the relationship.

So while it's a common experience, it's a very painful experience. The question then is of the caller, what do I do about this? And I would say two or three things. One, I'm glad you're reading the book, "The 5 Love Languages" , because many people have told me "The 5 Love Languages" saved our marriage. I think the reason that is true is because the deep emotional need that all of us have is the need to feel loved by the significant people in our lives. And if you're married, the person you would most like to love you is your spouse. And when they say, I don't love you, it's like a dagger in your heart.

But if we understood that we all come down off the high, we all get to the place where we don't have those euphoric feelings. And that's where the love languages is really the key, because now we understand that if I want them to feel loved, I've got to communicate love to them in their love language. And they communicate love to me in my love language. Now, I don't know what the relationship is and whether she would respond to you on this or not. But I would say, honey, would you be willing before we make any rash decisions, would you be willing to read a book that has sold 14 million copies and been translated in 50 languages around the world and save many, many marriages?

Would you be willing to read it and tell me what you think about it? Now, if she's super, super negative towards you, she may not do that. But if she's not super, super negative, she may do it. The other approach would be if she has a close personal friend, would be to ask the friend to read the book and then would they give her a copy? So she may be more likely to read it from a friend than from you.

But at any rate, if she could read the book and get the concept, what happens many, many times is the lights come on in her mind and she realizes what's happened and she sees how it can be different. So that would be the best scenario is for her to read it, get the concept, take the quiz and you reading it and you take the quiz on your love language. Then you can discuss it openly, honestly. You can begin to try speaking each other's language and see what begins to happen. And it does make a difference when you choose to speak each other's language. Now, if she's not willing to do any of that, not willing to read a book, not willing to even talk to you about the topic, I think there's three ways you can determine her love language. One is to look back over the time you spent together and ask yourself, how does she respond to other people?

Is she always giving people encouraging words? Then that's probably her language. If she's always giving gifts, that's probably her language. If she's always giving people hugs or pats on the back, physical touches, her language.

So just think about the past. And secondly, what has she complained about most through the years? The complaint reveals the love languages. If she says, I can't ever please you, she's telling you that words of affirmation is her language and she doesn't hear words of affirmation from you. If she says, we don't ever have any time together. If you've heard her say that through the years, we just don't have any time together. She's telling you that quality time is her language.

The complaint reveals the love language. And then what has she requested of you most often through the years? If she says, honey, can we take a walk after dinner? She's asking you for quality time. If she said, honey, can we go out for dinner? She's asking you for quality time. So you put those three things together, you can probably figure out her primary love language.

Then you begin to speak it. Whatever opportunity you have, even though she said she has no feelings for you, you begin to speak that love language and begin to see what happens. If she says then, what's going on with you? Why are you treating me so differently? You can just say, well, I read this book that it opened my eyes and I realize I have not loved you in a way that's meaningful to you. And I have let you down. And I deeply regret this. But I'm learning what I should have known many years ago, but I'm learning it.

And I don't know, honey, you might want to read this book. I think you might find it helpful also. You see, your behavior toward her paves the way to open the door for her to hear this concept and what's happening in you and why you're changing. So those are my suggestions on the steps you can take. Obviously, we cannot make someone return to us or go on living with us, but we can change ourselves and we can begin to treat them differently.

And we can, by loving them unconditionally in the right love language, have a tremendous influence on their thoughts and their feelings. So to me, that's the direction to take. What a great way to end the program today.

There's a lot of hope here. And Gary, you told the mom who had the struggle with the son, the worst thing you can do is condemn him. Would that be the same thing here? The worst thing that the husband could do would be to, you don't love me and you don't, to condemn his wife? Absolutely, Chris, because condemning her simply pushes her further away.

But to speak her love language has the potential of drawing her closer to him. Well, thank you for that question that you called in at 866-424-GARY. Maybe today you say, I've got the perfect question for Dr. Chapman.

1-866-424-GARY. We'd love to hear your call and your question in the new year. Don't forget to check out our featured resource, Five Love Languages Devotional Bible. You can find that and a whole lot more at fivelovelanguages.com. And next week, what we can learn about relationships from an Old Testament prophet named Habakkuk. Don't miss a conversation with Dana Gresh in one week. A big thank you to our production team who worked hard all year, Steve Wick and Janice Todd. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening and Happy New Year.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-21 03:57:14 / 2023-08-21 04:15:30 / 18

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