So going into this, we had no idea what to expect. We were a little worried seeing as how we were going to a church class.
We are not the most religious people in the world, and we are used to having it crammed down our throats. Jon grew up in a Catholic household, and I grew up in a family with a Baptist background. Hell. Fire. Brimstone.
It was very much a pleasant surprise. It's a non-denominational church, and they really just want people to show up and learn.
So. Marriage class. Now what?
We learned about the Five Love Languages written by Gary Chapman. I had heard about it, but never picked up the book or went to the website.
The Five Love Languages are:
Words of Affirmation: verbal compliments, encouraging words, kind words, humble words.
Quality Time: togetherness, focused attention, quality conversation, quality activities.
Receiving Gifts: gifts are visual symbols purchased, the gift of self.
Acts of Service: helping your mate, using a positive spirit, household chores.
Physical Touch: time to touch/hold, holding hands, hugging, kissing, sexual touch.
The exercise was to rank these of importance to you (from 1 to 5), and then guess your spouse's order of importance, then compare what the answers actually are.
It's actually really interesting to see how your spouse ranks them as opposed to what you think they would rate them.
Beth's Ranking Jon's Ranking
Words of Affirmation Physical Touch
Quality Time Quality Time
Physical Touch Acts of Service
Acts of Service Words of Affirmation
Receiving Gifts Receiving Gifts
So, as you can see, it differs a little bit for us. I didn't really expect Jon to rank them as he did, but that's the beauty of the exercise. You get to find out how your spouse ACTUALLY feels.
It has made a big difference. I think we understand so much more about each other now that we know what is important to make us feel loved by each other.
Men and women are so different. I think that the rankings above prove that. If we try to meet our spouse's needs, then our own needs will in turn be met.
Now that sounds all nice and neat and wrapped up in a little bow. (Maybe even a Tiffany blue box with white satin ribbon).
It's not really that easy, but if you have something to remind yourself about your differences, it makes it easier to try to speak in your spouse's language.
All that being said, our marriage is still a work in progress, but this really helped re-open the door of communication.
You can take your own assessment here!