The 5 Love Languages

Training Day, May 2, 2016

training

Maximus was traveling home Sunday from the East coast, so we did my training Monday.

First, He wanted to share with me how proud of me He was, for the dates with RunnerGirl and for going to the lifestyle party. It has made Him very happy that i am venturing back in the swinging world, as i was active as a single female before our relationship. That being said, He does understand that i am not comfortable with initiating swinger relationships with single males at this time and not sure i will go back to that, for a variety of reasons. i don’t feel i have the same “safety net” network here as i did in Portland, i.e. swinger friends to check in with during dates with single men, and Maximus travels so much that He would probably be far away, unable to help me should i needed it. And since Maximus travels so much, i fear that single men might try to take advantage of His absence, something i’m just not willing to deal with right now. It isn’t so much that i fear i would go astray on Maximus, as His previous wife, JB, did, that’s not the issue, it’s having a single man try to push into that space and dealing with the drama that causes.

Second, Maximus shared that He really missed me this past week while He was gone. Even though we were in contact a lot via text and phone calls, He missed my presence, my skin. It wasn’t because i was with RunnerGirl, it wasn’t jealously, he just realized how much He loves to be together. He added,

This is the most important relationship I have and I do not take it lightly.

He was also amazed about how different our relationship is than between SwimmerGuy and his wife, it really struck Him. He noticed that SwimmerGuy wasn’t calling his wife or family in the evenings and actually asked him if he was going to call them (and he did after Maximus inquired). One evening, Maximus was perusing the Nordstrom website looking for things for me when SwimmerGuy asked what He was doing. Maximus replied, “I’m ordering clothes and shoes for gabriella. Don’t you do that for your wife?” SwimmerGuy said he had never done that, to which Maximus suggested he try it. SwimmerGuy ended up ordering several items for his wife (after a phone call to determine her sizes). Maximus often (not every time) hides love notes throughout the house when He leaves for business trips, something He picked up after being at SwimmerGuy’s house a few years ago and seeing Post-It Notes from SwimmerGuy to his wife. Maximus thought this was a wonderful gesture that He wanted to emulate–turns out that this was a one time thing from SwimmerGuy, not a habit. It shocked Maximus that He had a picture of SwimmerGuy’s relationship based upon those love notes and made some assumptions about their “perfect marriage” that were incorrect. Not saying that their marriage is in any sort of trouble, but Maximus had always seen it differently than it really is. He takes a lot of pride in our relationship, our communication, and how our dynamic has built such strength and closeness.

Third, Maximus wanted to review what we had discussed last week, my strengths/weaknesses and interpersonal skills. In particular, He wanted to delve more into why i have the tendency to deny myself the finer things as if i’m undeserving. “What is the reason?” He asked.

i really don’t know why i have that tendency. Apart from a chemistry set i begged my parents for Christmas year after year, i was never wanting as a child. my parents didn’t deny us things we wanted, although we had to wait for when we could afford some things, but that isn’t something out of the ordinary for anyone. However, i did relate a story from when i was a teen. When i was 15, the father of some children i had babysat was driving me home and had complimented me on something. i apparently had denied it or put myself down or something of that sort, because i can clearly remember him telling me, “you need to learn how to take a compliment. Say thank you.” It’s not that i don’t feel deserving, it’s not that i don’t know i am talented and have made great achievements, it’s that i think i need to be modest and not boastful, so i tend to poo-poo compliments. Gifts from Maximus are compliments and i guess i get a bit modest about them, maybe in a way to show that i don’t hold Him to an expectation for them. But also, in terms of gifts, He tends to buy things i would NEVER had bought for myself–exclusive, expensive things that i wouldn’t have even saved money for to buy for myself. Yes, i need a purse…i would buy one on sale, a knock-off. Yes, i need a car, but i would’ve purchased a mid-range SUV, not a luxury SUV. They are beyond what i need or desire–i appreciate them, but i feel badly that He spent so much on something i wouldn’t have bought myself.

The conundrum is, that when we studied The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman, which i wrote about in Translation!! and Our Book Club in 2013, Receiving Gifts is the primary way i feel loved. However, for me, it is as simple as a love note left in the apple crisper in the refrigerator when He goes away on a business trip or the Barcelona brand chocolate bar He got for me because it made Him think of our plans to visit that city in the Fall. But i need to learn to take the compliment and just say thank you, not put myself down. Maximus recently purchased a pair of very expensive shoes for me as a thank you for helping Him write a nomination for a very prestigious award for one of His staff–well, they weren’t just expensive, they were couture, rare, something i might have marveled at a picture of in a magazine, but never, ever would have in my wildest dreams ever considered owning. It was difficult for me to accept as it seemed to me an extravagant gift for something very simple for me to do that took very little time. But, what i don’t realize, is that while it was simple for me to do, it was a huge task for Him, and my work took His words and made it “spectacular” (in His words). To Him, the values match.

Maximus added, “Just say thank you. you always say ‘thank you’ when I take you out for a meal–you always have, even when we were first friends. I’ve always thought that was strange, that you thank me for taking you out, especially now when it’s our money, not just Mine.”

“For me, growing up, going out to dinner was a special thing, so we always said thank you for the meal,” i replied. “i appreciate being taken out. It’s a special thing for me.”

“Giving you a gift is a special thing for me. Just say thank you.”

i was looking forward to training today as i wanted to share something with Maximus, something i learned from last week’s training and applied. During our discussion of my interpersonal skills, i identified the feeling that i’m not pretty enough, skinny enough, good enough to approach some people as a weakness of mine. i know this keeps me from meeting people and that i needed to work on this. i had a success story to share with Maximus!

When RunnerGirl and i arrived at the lifestyle party last weekend, there was a very nice, upscale, good-looking couple right behind us. They were a couple i would normally shy away from talking to because the female half, quite frankly, is gorgeous, great body, etc. and would hope Maximus would approach them, if He were with me, or just shy away from and wish later i had talked to, had i been solo. i ran into them a little later at the party and decided i was going to get over myself and talk to them. Well we hit it off! We actually talked a few more times and ended up exchanging profile names for one of our mutual swinger sites. The following morning i looked them up and sent them a quick note to let them know it was nice chatting with them and asked them to let us know if they might be interested in meeting Maximus and me for drinks sometime to get to know each other better. Well they replied, yes, that they had enjoyed meeting me and were very much interested. They even invited us to meet them at an upcoming lifestyle party. Lesson learned for me.

Maximus shared His Big Three when it comes to women:

Intelligence

Athleticism

Beauty

“gabriella, you have all three,” stated Maximus.”i wouldn’t be with you if you didn’t have those three attributes. you have nothing to feel inferior about with anybody.”

Maximus was very pleased with how i had applied my training and asked that i continue to work on this. He asked that i continue to bring Him more examples of how i have ventured out of my comfort zone.

So there wasn’t any new training this week, as we spent a lot of time on the review. It was important as i really did take last week’s training to heart and worked on the things He’d gone over with me. i am excited for new challenges!

Categories: BDSM relationship, D/s, The 5 Love Languages, training | Leave a comment

Our Book Club

Up Reading

OMG, so first of all, i ADORE the movie Up, from which this pic was taken. i love how Carl and Ellie loved each other and took care of each other. And i know it is a cartoon, but i always connected with the love and friendship and devotion they had for each other. So when i discovered this image when looking for something to use in this blog, i nearly teared up!

Maximus had a busy travel week, actually He’s had several busy travel weeks, with some extremely important corporate meetings. Generally, when He travels, He works on the plane, but He mentioned to me before He left that He was going to use this trip to read The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman that i had blogged about in Translation!! Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but we share the same Kindle account so we can share books with each other! i hadn’t asked Him to do that and i really appreciated that He wanted to use His time on something for us.

When He landed after the first flight, He texted, “Wow. Read most of the book. It nailed us. Amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this. Have lots to talk about regarding the book. Lots of questions.” i was very excited about this! He nearly finished the rest of the book during his second flight and made a point to stay up very late, given the time zone differences between us, so we could discuss it. He had highlighted passages all throughout the book and i was able to follow along as He went through it section by section as His highlights showed up on my Kindle too!

Here are some of the passages Maximus connected with and some of our discussion about them:

We cannot erase the past, but we can accept it as history. We can choose to live today free from the failures of yesterday. Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment…I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday.

We discussed letting bygones be bygones, both in experiences with previous relationships and in past resolved issues we have had with each other.

By “quality time,” I mean giving someone your undivided attention…When I sit with my wife and give her twenty minutes of my undivided attention and she does the same for me, we are giving each other twenty minutes of life. We will never have those twenty minutes again; we are giving our lives to each other. It is a powerful emotional communicator of love. It isn’t enough to just be in the same room with someone… A key ingredient in giving your spouse quality time is giving them focused attention…

Maximus made a commitment to better about not multi-tasking while we are talking, whether it be in person, over the phone, or via Skype. He does feel He does a good job at juggling other tasks while talking, but i feel He is distracted or that feels our discussion isn’t important enough to give His undivided attention to.

i also shared that when we are traveling, while we are sitting in an airplane at the gate or on the tarmac waiting to depart, i would prefer that He not play games or surf Twitter, etc., rather use the time to sit and talk. i’d not mentioned this to Him previously, but it has been something that’s bothered me when we’ve traveled together. i figured it was just habit from His frequent flying for work, and He concurred–it hadn’t even crossed His mind.

Recent research has indicated that the average individual listens for only seventeen seconds before interrupting.

We chuckled about this one. Maximus is learning to count seconds! And i’m paying more attention to not interrupting as well.

The “Babbling Brook.” For this personality, whatever enters into the eye gate or the ear gate comes out the mouth gate and there are seldom sixty seconds between the two. Whatever they see, whatever they hear, they tell.

Maximus is the poster child for the “Babbling Brook.” This is an area where we have had communication problems, in that He thinks aloud while talking in a conversation and i have gone along thinking a decision was made or a thought process completed and acted or responded accordingly, only to find that those were just thoughts and ideas, not the final product! i take things in and process them and then communicate final decisions or crafted responses–it is why i love writing so much, as i can dump ideas and then edit and move them around and fine tune them into a final product. Maximus is learning not to verbally dump, rather be more articulate, and i am learning to ask whether or not something is a thought in process or a final decision.

…establish a daily sharing time in which each of you will talk about three things that happened to you that day and how you feel about them.

i have learned that Maximus really, really values hearing about my day and sharing all the things that he did during His. i have misunderstood the meaning of Maximus’ daily recounting–i took it as reasons He was too busy to talk. And many times, in addition, Maximus has been such a Babbling Brook about His day that by the time He’s gotten around to ask about mine, i’m just so overwhelmed by all His words that i minimize my response to a few sentences. We are both working to improve in this area.

Quality activities may include anything in which one or both of you have an interest. The emphasis is not on what you are doing but on why you are doing it. The purpose is to experience something together, to walk away from it feeling, “He cares about me. He was willing to do something with me that I enjoy, and he did it with a positive attitude.” That is love, and for some people it is love’s loudest voice…The essential ingredients in a quality activity are: (1) at least one of you wants to do it,(2) the other is willing to do it, and (3) both of you know why you are doing it–to express love by being together. One of the by-products of quality activities is that they provide a memory from which to draw in the years ahead.

We both feel that this is an area where we perform very well. We will use this as a springboard to improve other areas that need work.

A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or “She remembered me.” You must be thinking of someone to give him a gift. The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It doesn’t matter whether it costs money. What is important is that you thought of him. And it is not the thought implanted only in the mind that counts but the thought expressed in actually securing the gift and giving it as the expression of love.

…symbols have emotional value...If receiving gifts is my primary love language, I will place great value on the [wedding] ring you have given me and I will wear it with great pride. I will also be greatly moved emotionally by other gifts that you give through the years. I will see them as expressions of love. Without gifts as visual symbols, I may question your love.

Gifts come in all sizes, colors, and shapes. Some are expensive, and others are free. To the individual whose primary love language is receiving gifts. the cost of the gift will matter little, unless it is greatly out of line with what you can afford. If a millionaire gives only one-dollar gifts regular, the spouse may question whether that is an expression of love. but when family finances are limited, a one-dollar gift may speak a million dollars’ worth of love…For the man who can afford it, you can purchase a beautiful card for less than five dollars. For the man who cannot, you can make one for free…If receiving gifts is his/her primary love language, almost anything you give will be received as an expression of love…You are investing in your relationship and filling your spouse’s emotional love tank, and with a full love tank, he or she will likely reciprocate emotional love to you in a language you will understand.

We had a lot of discussion about gifts, as it is my primary love language, and an area we have been miscommunicating in. i truly connect with the feeling that a gift shows that someone what thinking about you. This has been a topic of several discussions, disagreements, and dialogues, in that i just felt forgotten by Maximus. Most times, the gift i most wanted was a text that He was thinking about me, as simple as that. Other times, Maximus has mentioned He was going out to look for a gift for me, but then no gift ever appeared and it left me wondering what i had done to not deserve the gift He said He was shopping for. Or moreover, He would send me pictures of gifts that i never received. It was very confusing to me and i have felt hurt many times over it.

i did not understand my feelings about desiring gifts until i read this book. Because of this, i was embarrassed by wanting symbols or tokens of affection, thinking it would make me appear materialistic, which i absolutely am not. So, to temper this, i have told Maximus not to buy me expensive gifts, that i didn’t want them. But then i resented that i did not get anything! It’s not that i need expensive gifts, i just feel special and thought of when i receive a token of affection. It makes me feel special, and it’s ok to acknowledge that. Maximus has wanted nothing more than to give me gifts, but i have communicated to Him not to. He is excited to be able to follow His instinct now.

As my love language is gifts, i have been communicating my love Maximus by giving gifts to Him–but that is His least desired love language! So the ring i gave Him, meant the world to me, a symbol of my love for Him to wear, but did not have the same impact on Him. He now understands why i found it so devastating when He’d removed the ring after my last rage event–i was crushed by the symbolism that told me He no longer loved me, which was not the case at all. To Him, it was a ring. To me, it was my heart.

Physical presence in a time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give if your souse’s primary love language is receiving gifts. Your body becomes the symbol of your love. Remove the symbol and the sense of love evaporates.

Huge revelation here for Maximus! One of my rage events stemmed around Maximus’ decision to come be with me after my grandmother passed away. He never thought for a minute about not going, but His Babbling Brook communication led me to believe that He was questioning going and was too busy to take the time to be there for me. This was a big eye-opener for Him.

Acts of service…doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for her by doing things for her.

This is Maximus’ primary love language. Now, i have been communicating to Maximus in what i thought were gifts: making meals, sewing a quilt, redecorating His home, painting, but it turns out, those really aren’t gifts, those are acts of service. To me, it was a gift of my time, energy, and expertise–to Him, they were actions that showed true love.

What is very interesting is that my submission in our D/s relationship is an act of service! Maximus feel immense love from this. What’s even more interesting is that i have felt it was my gift to Him–it’s even reflected in the name of my blog!

We really had a great conversation about this book. In fact, it met both of our primary love languages…a gift of His time to go through the book and share passages of meaning, quality “us” time, and an act of service from me to find something that would be so helpful for Him in our relationship. We have talked a lot about the information in this book and have employed a lot of the techniques and suggestions in it. And i got flowers delivered–the first time EVER any man has sent me flowers! It was heavenly and i’m still walking on air about them! Talk about a full love tank!

Categories: BDSM relationship, communication, relationship, relationship needs, The 5 Love Languages, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Translation!!

translation

Ugh. So i wrote the last blog and then Maximus and i had a communication breakdown. Ugh. And we both got mad at each other, pretty much the first time we have both been angry with each other. Oddly, i’m glad that Maximus got angry with me, and i know He doesn’t feel that way about it. Maybe it’s because i feel like He got locked and loaded engaged with the situation, maybe it’s because i don’t feel like the odd one out or the lesser person in the relationship because we were BOTH angry, maybe i can feel now that i have done something that made Him angry at me for a change…finally. Hopefully it’s also the last time, as i know Maximus really has been working to avoid getting mad at me, and i really don’t want to do that again either.

The issue was again me not feeling like a priority, as i described in Priorities, What’s the Conflict, and Leaps. And i was upset that it was happening again, that i felt that Maximus was too busy to even touch base with me all day. i tried to cue Him in with Imago words, but it didn’t seem to help. And then i just got ticked off and decided i was done trying Imago and just try a different way to get His attention…to be angry. i didn’t rage, but i was outwardly angry, intentionally.

So we were angry at each other and we got angry with the Imago process. i felt we’d already dialogued about this same issue and it hadn’t worked. i was angry that it felt like i’d not really had my feelings heard and that the process failed to make a change. So we ended up going partway through it, getting angry about it, and tossed it aside and just got mad.

…and we made it through.

What we learned, what we hadn’t learned last time we dialogued, was that Maximus and i were speaking different languages. He was speaking to me in a language that made Him feel thoughtful and caring and attentive, but i received the message as cold and a list of excuses, justifications on just how many things had more priority than i did. At one point, where we had the epiphany, Maximus explained that He always said GOT which was all encompassing that He was thinking about me, missing me, and loved me; but i exclaimed, “Then tell me You’re thinking about me, miss me, and love me! Tell me that! GOT doesn’t mean that to me.”

Aha!

The Five Love Languages

5 love languages

Interestingly enough, i had started reading, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman the day before. i’d seen a reference to it a few weeks ago. Chapman counsels that there are five ways people speak and understand emotional love:

Words of Affirmation

Acts of Service

Receiving Gifts

Quality Time

Physical Touch

People have a primary love language, or primary way of communicating and receiving love–it is that thing that makes you feel proof that someone loves and cares for you. If your mate communicates in their way, but it is not the way you prefer to receive love, you may feel shorted and unimportant. And, in turn, if you continually communicate your love to your partner in a way you prefer but they do not, you feel like you try and try and try and never get appreciated for all the things you’ve done to prove your love to them. And sometimes, one mate gets it right and the other wrong, leaving one feeling fulfilled and happy, and the other partner frustrated. Gosh, this sounded so familiar!

Interested in learning more, i found a quiz to help identify my primary and secondary love languages from The 5 Love Languages website. In doing this, i found that my primary love language was Receiving Gifts and secondary was Quality Time. In addition, the least desirable language for me was Acts of Service. i had an inkling after reading the chapters that this might be the case. i also considered Maximus’ languages, and thought it would be Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation.

So when we had the epiphany that we were having a language problem, i shared about The 5 Love Languages with Maximus, described what it was, what it meant, and what my languages were. And it made sense to us. i told Him that i had an idea what His were, but i wanted Him to take the quiz anyway; Maximus asked that i not tell Him what i thought they were until He’d taken the quiz, as not to bias Him.

Well i was wrong! Maximus’ languages are Acts of Service and Quality Time. More interestingly, is that his least desirable language is Receiving Gifts! So we are actually 180-degrees from each other. No wonder we feel this disconnect. No wonder Maximus is so frustrated when i say i just don’t feel important while He’s worked and worked and tried and tried to prove it to me–we’re not speaking the same language.

Remember the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as they would have done unto you”? Well i think that’s flawed, always have. It should read, “Do unto others as they would have done unto THEM”! Right? If someone tries to reward you with a foot massage because that’s what they love but you’re horribly ticklish, to the point that having your feet touched is torture, how is that the right thing for them to do??

So i have been showing my love how i needed it, by gifts of time, gifts of texts, material things, small and large, free or expensive, to communicate to Maximus just how much i loved Him–and then often disappointed that it didn’t seem to have the effect i wanted. And i’ve been waiting for those things in return.

Maximus

gabriella

Acts of Service

Receiving Gifts

Quality Time

Quality Time

Physical Touch

Physical Touch

Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation

Receiving Gifts

Acts of Service

This has been enlightening for us. And it makes sense. So now we are studying this, and working to learn how to show our love to each other in the language the other best receives. And you know, i’m the one having the struggle with how to do it. Maximus has been happy and has felt fulfilled, with a full love tank, but i know i’ve been communicating my love to him in the least desirable way. So, i have just flat out told Him i need His help to think of ways i can show my love to him through service, and He’s going to work on that for me.

Do you ever learn something and think, “Well, duh, that makes sense. Why didn’t i know that before?”

Categories: anger, BDSM relationship, communication, conflict, The 5 Love Languages | Leave a comment

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