“Love is a choice you make every day” – Gary Chapman
Love is a very interesting subject. It means so many different things to people. These concepts can be based off of our own experiences, examples we draw from our surroundings and even things that filter into our subconscious mentally, verbally, and physically.
After having my first and then second child two years apart, I discovered just how large the capacity of love I contained was for them and I wanted for them to enact that same love towards each other.
Although they may not have everything in common and could have quite well been the best of enemies if they were to belong to different households, the fact that they are part of the same family and under the same roof, myself and my husband instill in them a sense of responsibility to meet each other in the middle and find ways of resolving any conflicts. We often tell them that no matter what, that’s what family is supposed to be about.
This made me think about my own conflicts with those who weren’t born within my own family. Because they weren’t raised with me, I felt validated to not have the same sense of responsibility to love or work through a difficult matter no matter what. This is where I could see just how detrimental this mindset can be and potentially why so many relationships end up in separation or divorce that don’t necessarily have to. While I know there are circumstances where people split for necessary reasons, there are others where both parties throw in the towel rather than work their problems through.
It really would help to pause in those moments and reflect on where the other person may be coming from, but it requires coming from a place of humility to do so. And even after that, exercising patience if the way they respond to things differ from our own.
Earlier this year I was introduced to Gary Coleman’s “5 Love Languages”. It not only aided me in seeing how I view love and my expectations on how I look for it to be returned but also showed me how my spouse AND my children interpret it for themselves.
This assessment alone may not remove a disconnect between two people, but it does provide some insight. It may even allow us to see ways that we could have misinterpreted another person’s actions or attitude. With enough work on both ends, all our relationships can improve…it just takes LOVE.
To explore your own love language, click here to be taken directly to Gary Coleman’s website for the assessment.