Navigating Different Love Languages in a Marriage

Love languages

Love languages serve a very important role in almost every relationship. Understanding what they are and how they affect you and your partner is important to maintain the love and affection you share with your partner.


As such, the team at Marriage Therapists Ottawa would like you to know about love languages and how the effect they have on marriages.


What Are Love Languages?

Love languages physical touch

The term “love languages” was coined by Gary Chapman in a book he published in 1992. It refers to how different people express and receive love. Chapman posits that everyone has a particular love language that primarily suits them and that understanding that language is a key factor in all relationships.


There are 5 different love languages.


1. Words of Affirmation


Those with this love language prefer to use spoken words when communicating love and affection. Words of encouragement and compliments allow these people to feel loved and valued.  Words like “I love you” and “thank you” mean a great deal to those who use words of affirmation as their love language.


2. Acts of Service


This involves actions and gestures that make life more pleasant. Persons whose love language is acts of service express and receive love through activities like household chores, errands and other things that improve their day. Actions like washing dishes, making dinner, buying groceries, etc make these individuals feel loved and appreciated.


3. Receiving Gifts


This particular love language holds the exchange of affectionate tokens as its centrepiece. People who follow this expression of love display and receive love through thoughtful gifts, surprises or symbols that indicate love. These gifts can range from the simple and small to the large and complex, depending on the personal preferences of the person in question.


4. Quality Time

Love languages quality time

Spending time together in a meaningful or intimate fashion is this love language’s cornerstone. Those who use this love language will feel appreciated and needed during shared activities like dinner together, walks, watching movies or just conversation. Intimate moments in the company of their partner are more than enough for those who use quality time as a love language.


5. Physical Touch


This love language is expressed best through tangible actions they share with their partners. Those with physical touch as their love language feel and express love through material and corporeal displays of intimacy and affection. Actions like holding hands, hugging, kissing, etc are appreciated and loved by those who use physical touch as a love language.


How Can Knowing Love Languages Help Marriages?


Failing to understand your partner’s love language can create serious marital problems. When people aren’t receiving love in a meaningful way that fulfills their unique psyche, it fosters feelings of underappreciation and misunderstanding. Left unchecked, these can fester and create disappointment, exasperation and even conflict in the marriage.


Learning each other’s love language can lead to more fulfilling and longer-lasting relationships and marriages. This will facilitate better communication and appreciation for each other, eliminating any inconvenience and misunderstanding. Hence, partners can better show each other their love and affection as they build a strong marriage.


How to Tell Your Partner’s Love Language


A simple way of learning how your partner prefers to receive and express love is just to ask. If they are familiar with the concept of love languages, they can easily tell you what they prefer and what they don’t. If not, an explanation of the concept can facilitate this discovery and help your relationship grow stronger.


An indirect way of learning your partner’s love language is observing and noting the ways they express their affection. If they like to buy a lot of presents or are very excited to receive presents, they may have the “receiving gifts” love language. If they tend to spend a lot of time with you, cuddling or holding hands, their love language may be “quality time” or “physical touch.”


What Is the Best Way to Show Love to a Partner?


Showing affection and intimacy to your partner will depend on what their love language is and what specifically speaks to them. Finding the specific vein in their love language that connects to them the most will help you forge deeper and more intimate relationships. If your partner’s love language is “acts of service”, you need to find the specific activities that allow them to feel the depths of your love and affection. This will show how much you care for your partner, leading to a greater connection in your relationship.


Marriage Therapists Ottawa – Couples Therapy & Counselling


Learning to communicate your feelings through your partner’s love language can completely change your relationship. They may not be a universal solution but love languages can help you communicate better and build a long-lasting relationship.

However, recognising love languages and using them to forge intimacy with your partner can be a difficult process. Please contact us if you need any help connecting with your partner. Marriage Therapists Ottawa places a strong focus on the emotional connections that exist between you and your partner. We provide counselling services for a wide range of issues couples may be experiencing so please contact us for help strengthening your connection.

How to Maximize Marriage Therapy

Are you currently thinking of marriage therapy, or have you and your partner decided couples counselling is a good idea for you? In this blog post, we’ll discuss 5 different ways you and your spouse can get the most out of marriage counselling. Following these 5 tips won’t automatically ensure your marriage therapy sessions are successful, however, they will definitely point you and your spouse in the right direction on how to approach your sessions.


Be Honest

Being transparent during your marriage counselling sessions is extremely important in order for them to be effective. Being honest with yourself, with your partner, and with your therapist will ensure you’re getting the most out of your sessions. Discussing certain sensitive topics can be difficult but in order for your sessions to be productive, sometimes it has to be done. Ask tough questions and answer your partners honestly. When you withhold the truth during your therapy sessions, you’re only holding yourself back and you might miss out on addressing extremely important issues.


Establish Goals Early On

Married couple sitting on a couch in front of their therapist looking contemplative It’s easy to show up to your first marriage therapy session knowing you want to improve the relationship between you and your partner. But having a few goals established can help give you both something more solid to work towards. Whether it’s a goal for a future timeline or a goal for how you communicate on a day-to-day basis, it’s a great place to start that will allow you to get more out of your sessions. These goals should absolutely be tailored to your and your spouse, but a few common marriage therapy goals that could resonate with you could include:

  • Achieving better communication
  • Building more trust
  • Enhancing intimacy
  • Learning how to appropriately handle arguments
  • Learning how to compromise
  • Teamwork for household or child duties


Focus On Your Own Changes Rather Than Your Partners

It’s easy to point fingers and place blame in times of difficulty. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that you might be the one who needs to make some changes, whether it’s physical changes or how you approach things in your relationship. But, being able to focus on your own growth is a skill when times are tough. When both parties are so focused on making sure their partner is the one doing the changing, no one is improving or doing any internal reflecting. A great way to enter marriage therapy is with the goal in mind to work on yourself rather than your partner. Having a goal to become a better spouse is a great attitude that will ultimately help your relationship in the long run.


Wife Comforting Husband in Marriage Therapy SessionBe Prepared For Changes And Compromise

When you decide to participate in marriage therapy or couples counselling with your partner, be prepared to make some tough changes and make compromises. You can talk about particular issues in therapy, but you’ll likely have to take some actionable work home with you and apply it to your relationship. Whether they’re short-term changes to see how things turn out, or permanent changes for your relationship, changes will be made nonetheless.

Marriage therapy, much like marriage itself, is something you truly need to work hard at. But being open-minded about making compromises and working on yourself for the greater good can really take the things you learn in therapy to the next level.



Maintain An Open Mind

Attitude is extremely important when it comes to making changes in your relationship (and life) with marriage counselling. Be honest with yourself and your partner about how you truly feel about marriage therapy and how you plan on approaching things. We understand some people may feel skeptical of seeking out therapy for their relationship or marriage, but you may be surprised at just how many couples feel as though they have benefited from therapy.


Reach Out To Marriage Therapists Ottawa Today!Older Couple In Their First Marriage Therapy Session Going Over PaperWork

If you and your partner are thinking about marriage therapy in Ottawa or other specialized kinds of therapy, reach out to our team. Dr. Rovers and his associates are experts in marriage counselling and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the marriage counselling process. Invest in the future of your relationship and book a consultation today! Dr. Rovers’ Associates are located throughout the Ottawa region so you can choose a location that works best for you and your partner. Whether you live in Ottawa Central, East, West, and South, we can easily accommodate the most convenient location for you.

Why Romanticism Ruins Relationships


BrokenLoveWe see and hear it in our movies, songs, books, even commercials. ‘Romance’ is an important part of our culture, a feature of relationships between couples that we take for granted, but we rarely understand.

Romance can provide tremendous strength to a relationship, but it can also make relationships considerably harder than they have to be. We shouldn’t give up on Love, but giving up a little bit of our ‘Romantic’ side can be extremely helpful to our relationships.

Find out why this is, and how to do it, with Ottawa Marriage Therapists

What Romance Really Is.

CouplesTherapyOttawa1Love and Romance are not the same thing, a fact that might surprise many ‘Romantics’.

Romance can be understood as an idea of what ‘true love’ looks like. It says that by being in a relationship of ‘true love’:

  • You will enjoy a life-long, consistently passionate relationship.
  • Love will be so strong between you and your partner you are both incapable of even thinking about being with another person.
  • You and your partner should know each other so completely that you know what’s going on in the depths of each other’s souls without even speaking a word.
  • You unconditionally accept everything about each other.

We believe our lives ought to look like this picture because we have grown surrounded by it, but few understand that this picture is a historical creation. While beautiful and tremendously enjoyable, Romanticism ruins relationships!

Why Romanticism Ruins Relationships

Romanticism is full of myths concerning what love is supposed to feel and look like. When our relationships don’t look the way we have come to expect them to be, we feel that our relationship is somehow failing.

  • Infrequent sex and lulls in passion are not indications falling out of love. Nobody in human history has enjoyed highly satisfying sex from the start, to the end, of a lifelong relationship.
  • Finding other people attractive, even in a life-long relationship, is not an indication of failure. It is an indication that a person is human. While this doesn’t justify infidelity, holding anyone (including yourself) to the expectation of never finding another attractive after falling in love is irrational.
  • It’s arguably impossible to even know yourself fully, so how could it be possible to understand another without communication? 
  • One of the things that make Love so powerful is it’s ability to change us into better people. By not accepting everything about our partner, we can identify areas where we can help them grow as people.

marriage-counselling-familySaving Your Love, Restricting Romance

Restricting the romance in your relationship doesn’t mean you can’t have romantic experiences.

It just means you ought to question your romantic expectations.


But romantic expectations can be tough to shake. It might feel like you’re giving up on love, but the truth is you’re trying to save it!

For more insight into romance, love, and relationships; get in touch with Marriage Therapists Ottawa.

Getting a Reluctant Spouse into Couples Counselling

Dont want to hearIn many cases, it’s one spouse who wants to engage with couples counselling, and another who does not.

Very little progress can be made if a partner is hesitant or defensive in the the therapists office. After all, couples counseling is couples counseling.

Getting your partner past this stage starts with understanding why they’re there in the first place. After that, the rest comes naturally. Find out why your spouse is reluctant to engage with couples counseling, and what to do about it, with Marriage Therapists Ottawa: Read More

3 Things Counsellors Want You to Know About Marriage Counselling

marriage counselling ottawaMost enter into marriage with high expectations, but as the years progress, find that they are not in the relationship they thought was waiting for them. When they can’t seem to find the path to where they want their marriage to be, it’s not uncommon to seek guidance in the form of marriage counselling. Most enter into counselling without a few common misconceptions, and clearing them up can help you get the best value from your first sessions, so here are 3 things counselors want you to know about marriage counselling! Read More

Working on Emotional Translation

Marriage Counselling OttawaWorking on ones listening skills is a vital part of maintaining any healthy relationship, but doing so requires more than simply hearing what a person has to say.

Hearing is a passive thing. It only requires us to dedicate our attention to a speaker and simply hear what they have to say.

Listening is an active thing. It requires a little less hearing, and a whole lot more thinking. Truly listening requires a person to dig below the surface meaning of words to get to the meaning of what a person is trying to communicate.

In the pursuit of maintaining healthy, long-lasting relationships, we need to cultivate our skills of Emotional Translation. Find out how with Marriage Therapists Ottawa.

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What To Expect From Couples Counselling

Ottawa couples therapyCouples counselling, couples therapy, marriage counselling, etc. Whatever you want to call it, entering into your first sessions of professional help to address problems in your relationship is never an easy experience. When you know what to expect out of your counselling experience, you remove an element of mystery that can cause significant anxiety, making the whole experience better and more effective. Learn more from Ottawa Marriage Therapists. Read More

Managing Your Relationship Over The Holidays

ottawa christmas marriage therapy holidaysWhen it comes to making it through the holidays alive, those in the midst of relationship problems often consider just surviving a success. The holiday’s are supposed to be so much more than that, but when you’ve got troubles in your marriage, family festivities can often be a pressure-cooker that brings the worst out of your relationship. Learn how to manage your relationship by managing your environment with Marriage Therapists Ottawa.

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Relationship and Marriage Therapy Services, One And The Same.

Marriage Therapy Services

The Problem

Marriage Therapy ServicesThose in non-married relationships are often struck by problems that could be addressed in counseling, but are prevented from entering into counseling out of a uninformed idea of what it’s is all about, and who it is for. Placing too much emphasis on the idea and institution of marriage than the average, people often think that what’s expected of them in a relationship changes once they reach the other side of an arbitrary moment in time when both man and woman say “I do”. Before that moment, counseling is seen as an acceptance of defeat; after that moment, a statement about a couple’s commitment to a long-lasting relationship. This idea; that couples counseling is inappropriate before marriage, is completely absurd and has been the downfall of too many relationships that could have flourished. Don’t let your relationship join their number. Read More

How Seeking Relationship Counselling Makes Your Relationship Stronger

Relationship Counselling OttawaRelationship Counselling is Not Evidence of a Failing Relationship.

Most people take relationship counselling to be a bad omen for a couple, especially in an unmarried relationship. The explicit acknowledgement that you’ve got problems feels like a bad thing because by seeking it out, you’re admitting that you’ve got problems you can’t solve alone. It feels like an admission of defeat, like if you can’t solve this; then the relationship might as well be over anyway. If you’ve got relationship problems that you are struggling to solve, challenging your views on the nature of relationship counselling, and what it says about your relationship can prove central to strengthening your relationship.

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