Tag Archive | questionnaire

The Three Most Critical Languages of Love

The Three Most Critical Languages of Love

We’ve all heard that communication happens via one or more of three ways:

Visual – this refers to what we see and how we present ourselves

Auditory – this refers to what we hear and say

Kinaesthetic – this refers to what we feel and/or do

The impact of the communication will vary depending on each of our own filters ie our past experiences and/or understanding that will vary the way I see, hear or feel something compared to how you see, hear or feel it.

For example, we might be planning to go for a walk and you suddenly come down with a headache. Depending on my previous experience with you, and with other people in my life, my interpretation of that might be that the headache is actually genuine or that maybe the headache is just your way of getting out of it.

The way we experience love is via exactly the same channels:

Visual – what I see in my relationship with you

Auditory – what I hear you say in my conversations with you

Kinaesthetic – what I feel when you touch me or when you do things for me

And just as a piece of communication may be changed, depending on our previous life experience, so too will the perception of the other in the relationship.

To take this one step further; depending on how I experienced, or didn’t experience, love as I was growing up will actually be even more important to how I experience you as you are, what you say or what you do.

My experience of the present therefore is really less about you and actually more about how I was treated in the past and the decisions I made about myself and others as a consequence.

What I missed out as a child is what I crave most now.

Let me take this idea even further. We all know that there are two factors involved in creating who I am as a person. One pertains to “nature”; some quality that is already present at my birth and may in part be genetically inherited. The other pertains to “nurture”; the quality of the physical environment in which I was raised including how my parents and others cared for me. And while the debate still continues about which is most critical my belief is that both are equally so.

So what does all this have to do with Love?

My point here is that if my physical needs were taken care of as a child then it’s fairly likely that that will not be the love language I seek. On the contrary if I was not told, or did not hear, often enough that I was valued and loved and wanted as a child then it is likely that this will still be what I crave most and will be the love language I seek and respond most to.

And if this is the case for me then I might presume that this is how it is for everyone.

But guess what? It’s not. So just because my language of love is for example, to hear words of endearment, my partner may have a whole different love language, for example, his might be to have things done for him, such as the preparation of a nice meal, as he did not receive that as a child.

Additionally I might have several love languages so I might be regarded as bi-lingual or even multi-lingual.

Let’s complicate this a little further.

Now just because I missed out on certain things as a child and these have become my love language as an adult it doesn’t mean that I will accept offers of love in these ways.

Going too far? Ok I’ll save that for another article.

So to come back to the topic; the crux of all of this is for each of us to learn what is our preferred language of love and to ask for what I need in a clear and direct way. Equally it is important for me not to assume that I know what my partners love language is but to ask and, in love, offer that to him or her.

Here are the six possible summary statements of your preferred love language:

  1. What you do affects me more than what you say.
  2. What you do affects me more than how you touch me.
  3. What you say affects me more than what you do.
  4. What you say affects me more than how you touch me.
  5. How you touch me affects me more than what you say.
  6. How you touch me affects me more than what you do.

To find out what your preferred love language is head on over to my site and take the quiz. You’ll find it under the heading of “Quiz’s and Questionnaires”.

Take the quiz with your partner. You may be surprised at what you discover about each other.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Is This Really The End?

Is This Really The End?

Reflecting back to a previous article I posed three questions for you to answer to help you decide whether it really is time to say goodbye. Here they are again for a reminder.

  1. Do you feel that you still love your partner and do you feel that your partner still loves you?
  2. If you had your time again would you still go into this relationship?
  3. If you could leave your partner right now without there being any cost, trouble or ramifications of any kind would you?

If in answering these questions you come to the conclusion that this really is the end then you now have some challenging times ahead of you. This topic will be covered in greater detail in another of my upcoming books but for now let me just say this; while there will be lots of things to take care of legally to separate yourselves from each other financially there will also be lots of things to take care of to separate yourselves socially and emotionally as well.

Of course the biggest hurdle of all will be managing how you are going to continue to be parents to your children. This is sometimes overlooked in the emotion of the day.

While you contemplate finally removing the person that was your partner from your life, you can forget that while there are children to be taken care of the likelihood that you will need to continue to find a way to communicate with each other is more likely than not and may only happen in the event that one of you decides to divorce yourself from your children as well.

It might sound like a contradiction in terms, but separation doesn’t have to be the end of the world if you do it with grace and dignity and respect, even if it feels that there is no love left.

Many couples I work with know that their relationship is over but have still come into counselling to find some understanding and/or some peace and forgiveness of themselves as well as of each other so that they can move on from this.

A Healing Separation

A Program I work with with couples contemplating separation is called “A Healing Separation”. The essence of it is for each of the couple to take some time to figure out what they need to learn from the situation to ensure that they don’t end up in the same place again.

This generally includes counselling each of the couple separately as well as together. And it doesn’t matter if they have kids or not. As the name of the program implies it is about healing and finding forgiveness as it is only through forgiveness that you can truly move on. Maybe this can even be to enter into another relationship that is much more fulfilling than the one you left.

So if you are struggling with a separation maybe you could benefit from some counselling. Alternatively you will find an exercise to help you with this on my website under quizzes and questionnaires titled: “The Unfinished Business Letter”. Try it out it’s free.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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When It Is Time to Say Goodbye (Part Two)

In the article “When It’s Time to Say Goodbye (part One)” I addressed three important questions for you to ask yourself before making a decision to end a relationship. If you haven’t read that article yet go to my page and find it. The questions are worth taking a closer look at if you are thinking in any way that it might be time for you to say goodbye to your relationship.

I know that dealing with these issues is about as much fun as getting root canal work done, but by doing it, you have taken an important step in getting this relationship out of the ditch that you might be seeing yourself in right now.

By getting truthful about your relationship you may have identified some dangerous and powerfully destructive forces in your life that you must deal with immediately if your relationship is to survive.

So the really big question here is: are you in this relationship because you really want to be, or are you here because you just don’t know how to get out of it?

And if you are spending your life with someone because it’s just easier not to get out of it, this is just not a healthy option and if you feel this way, then you’ve got some work to do.

Nevertheless, by asking these three really important questions, you’re recognizing, and acknowledging, how you feel and this is the beginning of the journey towards finding a resolution. This is a much better place to be in than in denial of the truth.

On the other hand, if you have come to the end of these questions and you are thinking, ‘my relationship is far worse than I thought’, I am going to ask you to pause for just a moment. There have been many, many relationships that have been on the brink of disaster, that have found their way back, and I see them in my counselling room everyday.

If you are here maybe the first thing you should do is seek some professional help to determine whether it really is time to quit or to reassess what you are doing that may be aggravating the situation. Sometimes doing some personal work with a Counselor can put you in a better place within yourself without doing much at all to the relationship. As I often say to my clients; sometimes by changing one half of the equation, in this case you, the other half of the equation has to change as well.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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When It’s Time to Say Goodbye (Part One)

When It’s Time to Say Goodbye (Part One)In all relationships there is a time when you will come to ask some questions about whether it’s time to end it or not. The hardest question of all to answer is how can you know for sure when your relationship is just not working and it may be time to get out?

To help those of you, who think you might be at that point right now, here are some questions to ask yourself that might make it a little easier for you.

There are three really difficult questions that you can use as a guide to see how close you are to that point of no return. And, while you contemplate the answers to these questions you also need to remind yourself of what the truth of the situation really is. That is answer the questions from an objective place, as if you were an observer, as opposed to answering them from a subjective place, that is from your own perspective with your own prejudices and judgments.

Also as you answer these questions keep in mind the definitions I spoke about in an earlier article/blog of the five keys to an enduring relationship concerning our basic needs. If you remember, they were recognition of our emotional, physical, spiritual, social and security needs.

The answers must be based on your partner’s recognition of your needs in those areas, as well as your recognition of his or her needs in those areas, and the rights of both of you to have your needs met.

So here are the questions. Take your time to answer them.

1. Do you feel that you still love your partner and do you feel that your partner still loves you?

2. If you had your time again would you still go into this relationship?

3. If you could leave your partner right now without there being any cost, trouble or ramifications of any kind would you?

A word of warning – just be very careful here because when you are feeling unhappy about your personal life, you can also get caught up in the negative aspects of your relationship and forget about all the good things or the good times you might have once had. You can even begin to think that it is your relationship that is at fault when the truth is it is more about you as an individual rather than you as a couple.

So before you do anything else take a moment right now to think about these questions. Maybe you could even write down any thoughts you have as you contemplate these issues. Then take some time to project yourself one, two or five years into the future and be really honest with yourself as you take a look to see clearly what is there for you in your relationship.

Look out for part two in these series of article/blog entries to learn what to do with the results of this questionnaire. If you can’t wait till my next entry you can subscribe to my mailing list. Then you will receive the free e-book that this questionnaire comes from. It’s titled “Relationships – A Couple’s Journey”.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Are You Marriage/Relationship Ready?

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This week I attended two days training on the topic of preparing couples for marriage/relationship. We had some lengthy discussions about what the benefits of this might be for couples and who would want it.

With this in mind I thought this would be a good time to address my thoughts on the topic and I’ll speak more about the service at the end of this article/blog.

Reduce Your Likelihood of Divorce by 30%

Research has shown us that the divorce rate of those who have done a preparation for marriage course cuts the divorce rate by more than thirty percent.

Every couple hopes that they’ll live happily ever after. Fewer than one in three actually will. What makes the difference? Is it love? Is it luck?

Did you know that most affairs and divorces occur during the years just after the wedding? That living together before the wedding does not increase marriage success? That marriage satisfaction can plummet when a child is born?

Transition from the romance of the pre-wedding period to married life can be much more challenging than most couples expect.

Premarriage preparation, or premarital counseling, is a form of counseling that can benefit every couple planning to marry or enter into a long-term relationship. This is not the same as couple therapy, which may be what’s needed when more critical issues come up. Premarital counseling tends to take on more of an educational role. Its purpose is to help you discover things about each other that you may not have known before giving you an opportunity to confirm for yourself that this person really is the right person for you.

Premarital counseling is also about teaching you the skills you will need to support each other in having a happy and lasting marriage.

So, just like life, the marriage certificate doesn’t come with a set of operating instructions. And, just like life, the skills you need to make a successful relationship aren’t necessarily learned from observing your parents. The truth is that most of them may also still be trying to figure out how to be in marriage/relationship. The skills really are best taught by someone trained who has the knowledge of what it takes to be a couple.

The philosophy behind premarital counseling is that it highlights the strengths of a couple before you marry and to anticipate and prepare you for the challenges and conflicts that could arise in the future by drawing attention to your growth areas.

Premarital counseling will help you identify and communicate your fears, desires, beliefs, values, dreams, needs, and other issues that may have been previously avoided or denied or maybe even never discussed.

Research into the benefits of premarital counseling has found that there is a window of opportunity that exists during the year that precedes the wedding as well as the first six months after the wedding when the most benefits from premarital counselling can be gleaned. As time passes and more stress comes into the relationship, a couple can find that negative habits and unhealthy relationship patterns can develop that can become well established and very hard to break.

Research has illuminated seven areas of knowledge and relationship skills that help contribute to the development, success and lasting quality of a happy, loving marriage.

Planning a wonderful wedding is great, but investing just a little in the success of your marriage and long-term relationship is at least as important.

Anyway let me get back to the training day. The workshop was teaching us, the participants, how to use a software program called “Prepare-Enrich”. We further learned how to read the results, facilitate a feedback session and to discuss with the couple any issues that became evident from those results.

This program begins with having each member of the couple complete a very detailed inventory. While this was developed back in the 1970’s by David Olson Ph.D., as a paper and pen exercise, it is now completed on the computer in your own time. The inventory is designed specifically for your situation based on the details you enter into the computer in the first instance.

The intention of the program is to help build stronger relationships through the following avenues:

  • Explore Strength and Growth Areas
  • Strengthen Communication Skills
  • Identify and Manage Major Stressors
  • Resolve Conflicts using the Ten Step Model
  • Develop a more balanced relationship using the Couple and Family Maps
  • Understand personality differences and maximize teamwork

The follow-up sessions address every one of these areas in order to be of the greatest help to couples.

I’m feeling very excited about being involved in the great work that David Olson and others are doing and would like to offer my readers an opportunity to complete the program as well.

If you would like some more information about this program contact me or check back at my website. We would be happy to help you complete the inventory.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Exercise 15: What’s Your Favorite Position?

The Martyr’s Checklist

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Here, “X” can stand for your partner or for any other person you choose.