Ramstein Family Advocacy offers relationship enrichment classes

by Carmen Schott
Ramstein Family Advocacy outreach manager

Members of the Ramstein Family Advocacy Program realize the importance of fostering healthy relationships. Whether you are married, dating or single, you can benefit from learning more about yourself and others. One of the most popular classes offered is called, “The Five Love Languages.”

Every person in our life expresses love in different and unique ways. Often, the way we show love and need love is not the way our partner, friends or family feels comfortable showing it. It often feels like we speak different languages and have a hard time getting others to show love to us in the way we need.

“The Five Love Languages” is a book and curriculum developed by Gary Chapman. This approach describes four primary love languages or styles individuals use to show love in their relationships. These languages are used with our spouse, intimate partner, children, parents and co-workers.

Once we know our own love language, we can accept that others are not going to always be like us. We have to compromise and develop an understanding that we are all speaking different love languages, and the key is to tailor our language to those around us so they will feel love. We also have to know their love language so we can begin to appreciate the things they do for us to show love — often the very things we miss or ignore.

I will share a funny example about my spouse. He grew up on a farm and his family did not really talk or hug. They worked hard, did chores daily and were practical in the way they showed love. My family on the other hand was loud, talkative and very affectionate.

I remember the first time my husband came to meet my parents. My brother began to initiate a hug and he froze up and just kind of stood there in shock. I remember not understanding why he did not have a need to talk and discuss everything about his day with me. I would get home from work and he would have the dishes done, laundry going and dinner cooking on the stove. I liked that, but often ignored this and wondered why he did not say welcome home and give me a hug.

I realized after reading “The Five Love Languages” book that we were totally different love languages. I was “Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch” and he was “Acts of Service.” He showed love by performing tasks and by doing practical things to make life easier for me, whereas I wanted to hug him and communicate about our day. We had to learn to compromise and change our style and adapt to each other. Once we did that, we appreciated each other’s differences a lot more.

There will be a class about “The Five Love Languages” from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Ramstein Health and Wellness Center. The class is open to the entire community. We welcome couples, singles, families and teens. To register or to find out more about “The Five Love Languages” class, call 479-2370.