Summary of this Episode

In this first episode of the Generous Marriage Podcast we discuss:

  • The story of John and Mary who felt unloved and underappreciated in their marriage, even though they were showing love to each other; how understanding the simple concept of love languages helped them understand how they keep missing each other; and how they could get much more effective results for their efforts, making a huge impact on their level of satisfaction from their relationship.

  • The simple and highly effective tool of The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Chapman
  • Research that validates the existence of Love Languages. See details and links below.

 

The Research details

Egbert, Nichole & Polk, Denise. (2006). Speaking the Language of Relational Maintenance: A Validity Test of Chapman’s (1992) Five Love Languages. Communication Research Reports. 23. 19-26. 10.1080/17464090500535822.  Leaver, Echo. (2015). Psychophysiology and The Five Love Languages.

 

 

 

Find Your Love Language Quiz

In order to discover your Love Language, you may go to Dr. Chapman’s website and fill up a quick quiz.

 

 

 

 

The What-Makes-You-Feel-Cared-For Conversation

We also recommend doing a more specific exercise that will help you understand your partner’s and your own love languages better.  

The full transcript of the show:

Welcome to the Generous Marriage Podcast, my name is Ziv Raviv and this episode is all about loving effectively, together with me is my partner in crime, in investigating all things about generous marriage is my co-host, Shachar Erez, hello Shachar. Hi Zivi, great to be here, I’m excited. Yes! And today it’s all about getting less fights, more intimacy and more connection with your spouse and that is, you know, our journey on the overall. We’ll talk at the end of this episode about what is this journey, what are we trying to accomplish with the podcast? How are we trying to bring you value? When you’re listening to this and you’re investing time in getting the generous marriage podcast, what will you get out of it? But before that, let’s just dive into this episode today where we will share with you a story from your practice, Shachar, where you, as a counselor, where you basically get to work with a lot of people. Of course we will not use the real names, but share with us the story about the problem that you know and later on we’ll talk also about a tool of how to make your marriage more generous and we’ll wrap up with a research related to the tool that we’ve mentioned. So let’s start with the story. Take it away Shachar.

The Story of John and Mary

Sure. As I said I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist and a counselor and I work mainly with couples and today I’m going to tell you a story about a couple. Let’s call them John and Mary. They’re in their mid-thirties. They have a cute two-year-old. When they came to me, it was evident they really love each other, but something was off. They were frustrated, they were hurt, she was feeling very lonely. He was feeling under appreciated. Even though they were showing love to each other, they didn’t feel loved.

What happened to John and Mary

And that sounds very familiar, honestly. Like on a personal level as a 40 year old dude that is married to Rotem and has three kids feeling under appreciated and seeing Rotem feel under loved, I relate to that. What happens with John and Mary?

You know, I started asking them questions, what’s going on? And it appears that he was working hard to make her feel loved. Well, he was working hard to be a provider. First of all. He was working in tech, working many hours, but even when he got home he would work in the yard. He’s a builder. So he built, kid’s stuff for the two year old and built a pizza oven, quite cool the things that he was able to do. He would cook for them many times. He would do a lot. She appreciated it, but she didn’t really feel loved. Thanks to all these things that he was doing. She kind of appreciated it in her mind. Not so much in her heart. It didn’t fill her up with with love and feeling cared for. On the other hand, she made sure to express her love by telling him I love you and sending him messages throughout the day of how she cares for him and he enjoyed that. But still something was missing there. When I introduced to them the concept of love languages, it became clear what was off.

So basically they were both communicating in a way where the were expressing love. They were working on the relationship and on the family. They were investing a lot of time. John was cooking and building toys before the two year old and Mary was texting all sorts of love message, but both of them felt something is lacking. What we’re going to talk about the five love languages in more details in the next section, but before we go there, after you worked with them with that tool and shared with them a deeper understanding of the love languages, did you see any results in their life?

Yes, you know, they didn’t really have to change much. They just have had to pay attention to their partner’s way of feeling cared for. So John kept on doing stuff that they are captured and cooking. He loves doing that. She does appreciate it, but he also understood how much it’s important for her, for Mary to have quality time with him. time when it’s just her and him. No distractions, no parenting, no phones, no screens, just intimacy, emotional intimacy. That’s her big thing. That’s what makes her feel alive and loved and cared for and sexy and capable. Really good stuff. When she feels this way, it’s easy for her to tell him how awesome is because it is awesome. He’s a great guy and he loves hearing that. You know, he works for points like many men do.

That sounds like me too. Like except for the building part. I don’t build. I do like being appreciated with the stuff that I do because you know, I built businesses instead of toys, but still I want to be appreciated and that’s something that’s very important for me. But it turns out that not everyone are built the same in terms of how they feel loved and they also not all expressed love the same way, which is very interesting. So let’s go right into this tool of how to improve your marriage, how to experience a more generous marriage.

Let me start with the challenge and the challenges that people tend to express love the way they want to receive love, or the way that makes them feel loved. That’s how they express love. They think that everyone is like them. If I feel cared for when someone tells me good things, I will just tell other people good things all the time and make them feel loved and cared for and important. But as you said, it’s not that way. We have different ways of feeling loved and Dr Gary Chapman and American pastor found out that there are five main rounds in which people tend to feel loved and express love. Then they call them love languages.

The Challenge to find out what is your preferred Love Language

Let me start with the challenge and the challenges that people tend to express love the way they want to receive love, or the way that makes them feel loved. That’s how they express love. They think that everyone is like them. If I feel cared for when someone tells me good things, I will just tell other people good things all the time and make them feel loved and cared for and important. But as you said, it’s not that way. We have different ways of feeling loved and Dr Gary Chapman and American pastor found out that there are five main rounds in which people tend to feel loved and express love. Then they call them love languages.

The 5 Love Languages

That’s interesting. Those five love languages were defined by this Pastor many, many years ago, by Dr Chapman and they are suffering that I feel pretty much universal wherever you are. You either like to be loved in one of those five languages in the and before. Before you go into the details of that, I just want to portrait a picture for yourself, like imagine you are serving ice cream to someone and you have like 20 or 30 options of which ice cream flavor you’re going to give away, but when someone comes to you and say, Hey, I want some ice cream, you cannot just give them what you love. You need to listen and see what the other person loves and this is important. They will not accept your ice cream if it’s not the right flavor. Now this is when you have like 20 or 30 different flavors with ice cream. Luckily enough with love, there’s only five different languages, so it’s actually there’s a good chance that if you are aware of that, you will improve your relationship and your marriage to be something which we call a more generous marriage. I Love it Shachar, give me the tools. What are those five love languages?

So those five love languages are words of affirmation, which is just, you know, kind words that we use to affirm other people and make them feel good and show them that we appreciate them. And how great they are. The second is acts of service. When we do stuff for other people, you know, for some people, actions speak louder than words and acts of service really worked for them. Uh, the third is about gifts, receiving gifts. This is not some sort of capitalistic gifting. It’s more about the attention that the gift represents, that someone thought about me and invested time and energy and money and finding just the right thing for them. The fourth is quality time. Like I said before, this was Mary’s love language and this is about undivided attention. Really looking at your partner’s eyes and listening as if she’s the only one that’s out there in the world. Creating this bubble of intimacy around you. No distractions, no kids, no screens. It’s quality time. And the fifth is actually, I think the most universal. Almost everybody enjoys this love language and that’s just physical touch. I feel like many times touch is just so much stronger than words. When someone is activated with, with a small touch, we can make them feel loved and cared for and come back to their normal state.

You know about physical touch. It’s funny how I noticed there are times when I fight with my wife or feel unappreciated and then become distant from her for long stretch of time. Even like two weeks we have our own hurdles and then I will find it very hard to touch just to touch his shoulder or just a hug in the morning and that something that was one of the reasons why I went on this journey, to understand relationships better and to understand what is a generous marriage. So this is you know one of the reasons why I’m here, but I also noticed how when you do give a physical touch, it’s. It’s much more than the touch. This is not just about, you know, the intimacy that can later even become something else like cuddling or hugging or kissing or, or even having sex. This is all about being two people in the world that have decided to be partners, to be a part of something bigger and to be married and that is, you know, that the act of touching is that shows by itself a lot of generosity.

The Physical Touch

You know about physical touch. It’s funny how I noticed there are times when I fight with my wife or feel unappreciated and then become distant from her for long stretch of time. Even like two weeks we have our own hurdles and then I will find it very hard to touch just to touch his shoulder or just a hug in the morning and that something that was one of the reasons why I went on this journey, to understand relationships better and to understand what is a generous marriage. So this is you know one of the reasons why I’m here, but I also noticed how when you do give a physical touch, it’s. It’s much more than the touch. This is not just about, you know, the intimacy that can later even become something else like cuddling or hugging or kissing or, or even having sex. This is all about being two people in the world that have decided to be partners, to be a part of something bigger and to be married and that is, you know, that the act of touching is that shows by itself a lot of generosity.

A problem shared

I see a problem here because I’ve been through researching my own five love language and my wife Rotem’s love languages and we’re not aligned and when we went through the process of learning what are our love languages, we found out that actually it’s not just about this one leading love language, but you also have like a secondary love language and in the third love language that you still, you know, appreciate, love being expressed by not just quality time but maybe quality time and then the second one is physical touch or whatnot. But then the chances of alignment between two people. It’s almost like an impossible task. Like mathematically speaking. It’s like one out of 60 couples actually have a good chance of being exactly the same first, second and third. Because what happens is, let’s say my first love language is words of affirmation, but even if it’s number 3 for Rotem, she will still not show it in the quantity and quality that I am looking for. Because for me, it’s number one and every time that you express love in a way that is not aligned with what the other partner wants to receive, that creates friction and that friction can later become feelings of disappointment and it can become something that’s makes you feel unloved even though the other partner just tries to express love for you.

The Tool

It’s a lot how John and Mary were when they came to me. Yeah.

Yep. So what is the tool? How can we use knowing what our five languages and improve ourselves?

Well, coming from a generous perspective, first it’s about the understanding that what makes me feel, it doesn’t make my partner feel loved and coming from a generous perspective, I want her to feel loved I’m doing so much anyway to make her feel, um, so maybe I can do things more effectively and maybe I will have to work less actually and get better ROI or you know better results on my investment. There is a really quick with, on Gary Chapman’s website, fivelovelanguages.com. It takes about a minute to fill it up and understand your love language and that’s very cool. I recommend doing something more effective even which is sitting in front of each other and asking your partner what makes you feel loved or what makes you feel cared for, and she gives a short answer and then you ask why? What does it symbolize? You know, if she says gifts, so you ask why and hopefully she explains what gifts means for her. And then you do it. Five rounds of this. Each one of you, she goes five times, you go five times and there’s a big chance. Most of it you will know already, depends how well you know each other, but still it will be a good reminder and there’s a big chance. You don’t really know why. So this will help you understand your partner better, which is very important. This is called love maps, which is how your partner thinks what makes your partner feel loved or field, whatever. That’s really important.

So basically the process is you can go into the link that we will put in the show notes were in Dr Chapman’s site. You can go through a quiz and find out what is your love language, but what’s important even more than that is what your, your spouse, your partner, what is their love language, and compiling this love map and understanding the why, so basically the game, it’s kind of like a game. It feels very, very nice. You ask your partner what makes you feel loved and then you shut up. If you’re listening to this and you are the why part of the partnership, then I want you to know as a man how important it is to listen for a long stretch of time to your men to give them the chance to find the words because we struggle with was it takes us longer, especially with this question of why.

Why you need this

Why do you want that? We need to connect to ourselves and it takes us time and I think it’s true for both sexes like men and women. When they ask how do you feel loved, you then shut up and then when they answer, you ask them why? What makes you feel loved with that? Again, just listen, just listen and then do this five times each and every one of you and you might be surprised by the amount of information just filling open in front of your partner like that. That by itself is an act of generosity and by implementing, what they say by changing your day to day and putting more emphasis on what they need instead of what you like that will improve your marriage and that helps John and Mary, isn’t it

Beautiful! That’s very well said. I just want to add two more things about that before we go to John and Mary that shut up and listen. I agree with that and listen with curiosity. Curiosity is super important in relationship and the other person can tell if you’re curious or if you’re being defensive and defensiveness is not one of the good things in a relationship. Curiosity. Awesome. Another point that is important to say here, if you’re in distress, some couples may use this conversation to criticize each other for the stuff that’s missing. That’s another ineffective way of creating change. If you want your partner to do, to show you love in a specific way, criticizing them for not doing it will not make them do it more appreciating and giving positive feedback when they do, that’s what will create a positive change that’s a much more effective way to creating generosity in a relationship and that was able to say that on John and Mary, they did very minor changes and wow, they. They created this cycle of generosity and love which became bigger and bigger as as he gave her the quality time that she wanted. She gave him more compliments and they both shared touch. For him, that touch was important just to feel safe and loved and for her it also created the emotional intimacy and it was just beautiful to see how easily this change occur.

And I want to share another tool that me and Rotem use and that is like we have our own whatsapp group that is just the two of us and it’s called look what I did and that is because I need appreciation. I need them to say, wow, look what you just did. You cleaned up the dishes and now for Rotem it’s. It’s absurd because she does so many things that around the house that I don’t notice, but she doesn’t really need me to see that as much what she needs is quality time, but we made this whatsapp group and I take pictures. She takes pictures of stuff that she does too and we have opportunities to say, wow, you did an amazing job for us for making our life better, for, for cleaning up the dishes or cleaning up the house or whatnot, and just another channel to show the appreciation.

I love it. It also touches on another topic that we should probably do another session on, which is gratitude, which is something that is quite research now in positive psychology world and it just makes you feel better. It makes the relationship stronger. It has effects on the same day. It has effect six months later. Gratitude is just awesome and we should do. Yeah,

Let’s do that. Even next week. This is one of the advantages of these journey. We’re exploring the world of the generous marriage and this concept is not easy. It’s not something that you can just grasp in five minutes. There’s all sorts of tools involved and all sorts of practices and you know what? It’s not even just to learn this and then you’re done. It’s all about the process of continuing to implement and restarting the concepts and really implementing and creating a positive change in your marriage and in your life and this is something that is so important, so Shachar. You have actually prepared a document that has a really good, clear and easy to understand. Short, concise explanation on how to conduct this conversation of how do you feel loved and the why question and all of these process. There’s a few tips there from your experience as a counselor and you have refined this document with so many married couples that by now, it really works and it is something that you can download. If you go to generousmarriage.com, there’s a podcast tab. Just go into episode one and download the tool on how to conduct a what make you feel loved conversation. We’ll put all the links inside, including for the quiz, which again, you can do the quiz by yourself, you can have your spouse do the quiz too and we’ll also put one more piece of information inside, which is the research, so let’s go right into the research part of this episode.

The Research

Yeah beautiful, there’s actually a couple of research done on validating this theory. One by Egbert and Polk attempted to validate and got some success and then that there is a love language and then there was a research done by leaver and Greene who did the research from my psycho physiological perspective, very interesting, and they measured the skin conductance, respiration rate and pulse rate that actually found that their physiological responses indicated a significant increase in arousal. When participants listen to their primary love language imagery,

Basically people actually physically respond. The body responds they’re aroused. They feel better by just imagining receiving the specific love that they need in their love language. I would say they feel more alive. Wow. That’s something that we all want. So this research basically confirms what the Pastor Chapman have discovered. We just see that there’s so much research being done all around the world on relationships and when we’re investigating tools for generous marriage, we want to bring you stuff that is not just working for your customers, for your patients in your counseling, but also that are proven tactic that we researched, uh, there was one additional thing you found on the research, isn’t it, about the leading like certain type of thing .

That’s actually quite interesting. There wasn’t a. yeah, there’s another thing, another interesting thing. This research found that the research had 89 participants. So it’s a preliminary kind of research what they found that by far touch and then quality time are the most popular, the most common, a love languages. Then words of affirmation and actually acts of service and the gifts were quite low. So that’s an interesting piece of information that needs to be further researched. One thing that is clear for me by this research is that how much touch, how touch is so important?

Ending

Wow, so guys, I welcome you to go into generousmarriage.com. Download this free tool that gives you, you know, all the explanation on how to conduct the what makes you feel loved, conversation It will expose you to know actually what your partner’s love languages that are preferred, their primary love languages, but more importantly what specifically you need to do inside that specific love language, because that is also important. Not all gifts are the same, not all words of affirmation are the same and it’s really important to you know, to know what is the good quality time, how do you conduct the quality time with your spouse? Does that include putting your phone on airplane mode? Does that include maybe making sure that the kids are not between your legs like seriously? There’s so many details involved and that document will help you all finding out what are those details? Shachar, thank you so much for today, for investigating together the topic of love languages. If you stay around after the music, you could hear a little bit about who is Shachar Erez and who is Ziv Raviv. Thank you guys and see you next week on the Generous Marriage Podcast,

Thank you Zivi. See you guys.

Hi, my name is Shachar Erez. That’s an Israeli name the Shacar and the America people call me Shahar. That’s fine as well. I live in Israel now. I’m married for 12 years. We have two kids, a six year old and a two year old and I have been interested in relationship and masculinity and femininity for more than 15 years. I’ve been leading groups about these topics and I also made it my profession as I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist in California and in Israel and I just love working with couples and have them fall in love again with each other.

That’s wonderful. I’m. Ziv Raviv, I’m a father of three kids and I married ever since I was 24, so now 16 years of marriage. I actually married my high school sweetheart. I am a podcaster. This is my third podcast that I’m involved in I ran online schools and I found out the hard way that my marriage is strategic to my well being, and to the success of anything I do in my life. I cannot be successful with my kids and with my businesses without reworking and rewiring my marriage. And that’s how I found out the passion to research this generous marriage concept. And that is why we’re here together, Shachar and me on a journey that I think would help you guys on understanding how to improve your marriage as well. Thank you guys for listening for this first episode of the generous marriage. Don’t forget to go to generousmarriage.com to download this special tool that we prepared for you. See you guys next week.

 

Podcast

Weekly episodes with stories, tools and research that will help you make your marriage generous

By

Shachar Erez, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, 12 years married, father of two

Ziv Raviv, 16 years married, father of three