The breakthrough came twofold. First, learning about myself. That I receive and feel closer to Matt through spending quality time together. And from there learning that there are other love languages out there and not everyone speaks the same language. Matt receives love differently than I do, through physical touch. He’s the best hand holder in the world! But before, I had such a difficult time understanding (especially over our time of long distance dating) how it could be so easy for him to go right back to the same, close hand holding after not having much time together (in person or over the phone). Without the quality time, I felt more distant. Likewise as the cycle continues, Matt felt more distant when I distanced myself physically from him (not holding his hand as tightly). We were both experiencing feelings of neglect rooted in misunderstanding.
Because we both naturally show and receive love differently, does that mean our relationship, our marriage, is a lost cause or a road set for misery for the both of us? Not even close! Marriage is one of the catalysts God uses for us to grow and to be refined. To become less “us” focused and more “others” focused. To serve. We can put effort into deepening our relationships by learning about the other’s primary language and being intentional about giving to them in the ways they receive love best.