Have you ever read Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages? Based on Gary’s ideas, if we can understand what the dominant love languages of the alcoholic are or anyone dear to us, we will be able to express our affections to them by communicating our love in a way they can really understand.
The Five Love Languages Are:
1-Acts Of Service
5-Words Of Affirmation
How are you expressing love to the alcoholic? What languages are you using on a daily basis to tell him/her that you love them? Are you communicating your affections to them through using their primary love language or are you speaking to them in a foreign language?
I’ve taken time to think of my three adult children and how they express their love to me. The one dominant language all of them use is “gift giving.” For any occasion that involves giving a gift to a friend or relative they participate in, I see their entire countenance light up when they are showing or telling me what they bought or made to give to someone. Both of my daughters and son will spend hours shopping for the perfect gift to give to someone.
Gary’s idea is that if I want to say; “I love you” to my children in the most effective way, I should communicate it to them through giving gifts to them because that’s their dominant way of expressing their affections to others. “Gift Giving” is their primary love language.
My significant others expressions of love are different from my kids. She communicates her delight through spending quality time with me and physical touch. So, in order for me to express my sentiment to her in the most effectual manner, I must set aside quality time for her and also take time to cuddle, hold her hand, give her warm bear hugs and play footsies with her.
Another one of my friends is in her eighties, her and her husband have always encouraged me to endure life’s difficulties through their words of affirmation and acts of service. There was a time in my life when I was going through a horrid divorce (separating from the alcoholic) and needed a place to live. The elderly couple offered a spare bedroom to me without me asking to stay with them. During my stay they treated me like royalty. I sat at their table and had meals with them regularly as they encouraged me with words of affirmation that built me up during a very low time in my life. Years later, I found myself expressing my love to them through acts of service as they were getting too old to do some of life’s simplest chores, like changing light bulbs or taking the large trash cans out to the curb.
If one of your goals is to learn how to express unconditional love to the alcoholic, consider taking some time to reflect on what the alcoholic’s primary love language might be. Once you identify which of the five ways of communicating love are the most important to the alcoholic, in chronological order, put forth concerted effort to express your love to your friend, spouse, child, relative or coworker in your life who is the substance abuser.
What are is your primary love language?
What is the addicts?