a happy couple thanks to effective communication contributing to their long-term success. this image is being used to illiustrate how ogborne law, phoenix collaborative divorce law firm, is committed to helping couples stay married by helping them learn effective communication skills
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

Communicate for Long-term Marriage Success

What’s the secret to long-term marriage success? Understanding your partner’s love language and appreciating them in meaningful and loving ways. When couples lose sight of each other is when their marriage runs into trouble.

Author Gary Chapman calls the way we interact with spouses The Five Love Languages. (The languages can also be applied to friends or children but for our purposes, we’re talking about spouses.)

Chapman says that whatever we complain about not getting from our spouse is probably our love language.

  • He never helps around the house. (Acts of Service)
  • She never tells me I am handsome. (Words of Affirmation)
  • He never holds the door for me. (Receiving Gifts)
  • We never go on weekend trips anymore. (Quality Time)
  • I wish we had more sex. (Physical Touch)

Once you understand your partner’s love language, you can interact in ways that have deep meaning to them. Chapman believes we each have a predominant love language in which we communicate. If we can sprinkle in the other languages, it will make for long-term marriage success.

At Ogborne Law, we’re big believers in The Five Love Languages because understanding how your spouse communicates (and wants to be communicated to) is a critical component of the long-term success of any marriage.

It’s because we recognize that the single biggest reason for the failure of most marriage is lack of communication and feeling under or unappreciated.

We’re grateful to Gary Chapman for writing his book because it provides an excellent framework to cut through some of the noise and get to the heart of the situation.

Acts of Service

Actions speak louder than words for these folks. It’s not what you say but what you do for your partner that makes them feel appreciated and loved by you.

When your partner asks you to take out the garbage, they might not be asking you to simply perform an action. They see your help as an act of service.

Words of Affirmation

Words mean more than actions to these folks. They love receiving compliments and words of encouragement that are heartfelt. Walking the dog isn’t as important as saying I love you.

Receiving Gifts

This love language isn’t about materialism; it’s about the thought put behind gifts and actions. These folks feel loved when they receive meaningful gifts.

Missing a birthday is as disappointing as a thoughtless gift; they appreciate symbols of love like flowers and chocolates.

Quality Time

Undivided attention is what these folks appreciate most from their partner. Vacations, weekend getaways, and romantic evenings at home are meaningful to them.

Physical Touch

If you think you’re not having enough sex or that your partner isn’t affectionate enough, you’re probably this love language.

It’s not just about sex for these folks. They appreciate hand holding, hugging, and kissing. Rub their back. Touch their arm when you’re talking. They will appreciate your loving act.

The next time your spouse wants to have sex or help cleaning the house, remember they’re likely speaking in their love language.

Learn your spouse’s language

Which love language do you think you are? Which one is your spouse? Long-term marriage success is built on understanding each other even if you speak in different love languages.

We strongly urge you to get a copy of the book and go through it with your spouse. There are a number of exercises in it that can help you better understand each other and maybe learn something about yourself along the way.