love languages

i’m not sure how to approach this topic since my first impression of “love languages” was that it was some kind of pop-psychology over-simplification of communication in relationships. but it’s come to my attention again through a drama filled column i read for the lulz. this week, Dear Prudie featured a woman (“Giftless”) who wants her husband to give her gifts each month to her that she’s loved and on his mind. basically, Prudie told her she was being stupid, demanding and insecure.

contrast this with the advice she gives to a woman (“Q. Marriage, Sex”) when she writes in about a lowered sex drive caused by stress and wants advice on how to get her husband to quit pestering her. that is, Prudie tells her to just schedule sex and do it anyway.

i don’t doubt that people want love and affection dished up in different ways, and that certain acts mean more to different people. i think it’s silly that Prudie insists in one case that the wife should do her best to communicate in her husband’s love language (physical intimacy) and in the other case, claim that the wife is stupid for wanting her husband to communicate in hers (receiving gifts).

it’s all too easy to talk about “normal expectations” in a marriage, but i don’t think it’s useful. each person has different expectations and part of being with someone is trying to figure those out and try to fulfill them. monthly gift-buying sounds much less demanding than weekly sex, especially if the wife is willing to provide ideas (as this wife does). unless they’re poor, a monthly gift should take no more effort than a few clicks of a mouse. it must be disappointing that her husband isn’t willing to do even that much for her. i think we’re better off treating all the love languages as valid, rather than only upholding physical touch as a necessary part of a healthy marriage.

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