I recently read an article ridiculing Robin Thick for giving his estranged wife, Paula Patton, gifts and public apologies to woo her back. What I found so interesting is the obvious derision the author had for his attempts.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning cheating. I’m also not ignoring the fact that it takes a lot of hard work by both parties for a relationship to survive an affair. What I am surprised by is how the author of the article assumes that Thicke’s attempts are obviously wrong.
Gary Chapman has done some important work on love languages that is important to consider before an outsider can make any judgments on the validity of Thicke’s or anyone else’s attempts at showing love and apologizing.
Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, identifies five different ways that people give and receive love: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. We each naturally express love in the ways that we prefer to receive love.
Considering Thicke’s attempts to woo Patton back involve public apologies and lavish gifts, I’m guessing that two of his preferred love languages are words of affirmation and receiving gifts. Based upon the reporter’s article and Patton’s reported response to the gifts, I’m guessing that neither one has receiving gifts as their preferred love language.
What does this have to do with you? A lot! Knowing your love language is a critical step in recovering from divorce.
Being clear about how you receive love can help you know how to make sure you still feel loved despite the end of your relationship. You’ll be able to discover ways to show yourself love. You’ll also be able to explicitly ask your family and friends (a.k.a. your support team) for the things you need to feel loved.
For example, if your preferred love language is words of affirmation, you could speak words of affirmation to yourself as you look into your eyes in the mirror.
If your preferred love language is physical touch, you could get a therapeutic massage or ask your support team to give you more hugs.
Discover your primary love language. Take this quick on-line quiz and discover your primary love language.
Think of one way you can show yourself that you’re loved. Once you know one way that you can show yourself that you love you, do it!
My primary love language is acts of service. A couple of ways I let myself know that I love me are having a housekeeper in to clean my home and daily exercise.