Thursday, June 3, 2010

Father's Day and Love Languages

What will you do to celebrate Father’s Day? What gift will you give your husband, your father, or another important male in your life?

Early in my marriage, it was quite a challenge to buy a gift for my husband that he’d love, or at least, a gift that was useful. He seemed to have everything already. I’d ask him to give me a category, or a hint of something he’d like, and he’d smile and say, “Oh, just surprise me.”


If you read my post, “Was I Born Without the Shopping Gene?” you know that I like to get into the mall, zoom in on an item, purchase, and get out.

So, I’d pick up a clothing item or two, and actually ponder over it before making the big decision, then present it on Father’s Day. He’d smile and thank me and the kids, leave the gift out for display that day, and then put it away in his closet on Monday. That would be the last time I’d see it.

Okay…SOME years I’d see the gifts on his body.

(It should have occurred to me that another pair plaid or khaki shorts, a pastel polo shirt, or a polo shirt with horizontal stripes, added to his current collection would have been an easy pick.)

I’ll spare you all the gadgets I’ve bought.

This brings me to my introduction to The 5 Love Languages, a book written by Dr. Gary Chapman. I haven’t read it (yet), but the basic concept was used in a course that my husband and I took, and I’ve always thought it made so much sense.

According to Dr. Chapman, everyone has “a primary way of expressing and interpreting love.” He categorizes these love languages as, acts of service, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. And, he has discovered that in most relationships, people are attracted to others that have a different language than their own.

In the course that Husband and I took, we were asked to rank our love languages in order of importance, and to let each other know, with the intent of learning to satisfy each others primary language, instead of imposing our own on each other.

Receiving gifts was somewhere in the middle of his list; last on mine.

Soooo…we’ve compromised each Father’s Day. The girls and I make him the requested annual stepping stone (click here to see pictures of stepping stones), and buy him cards that he loves to open and read. Homemade cards and items made at school or church have been popular, too. Then we may go out for dinner at a quiet restaurant.

What are you getting your husband, father, and/or significant other for Father’s Day? I need some ideas! :)

Care to share what your primary love language is, and that of your spouse’s/partner’s.
(Don’t feel you have to say physical touch because it’s more about the touches “outside” of the bedroom…according to author. :) )


Betty W said...

I found the perfect gift this year. My hubby loves the show "Mythbusters". But it´s only rarely that he can watch it, because it´s always on at a time, when he´s busy. So I ordered him the last season on DVD and now he can watch it whenever he wants to. I can´t wait to see his face, when he opens it.

Anonymous said...

The same thing my husband wants every year: nothing. And that is really what he wants. I will fix a nice meal.

One Photo said...

We don't make a big thing of presents for Fathers Day, my daughter and I will make and decorate a cake, make a card and find something that she will choose as his present.

Tracey said...

I have never read Love Languages either, but the ideas in that book saved my marriage. Okay, I may be exaggerating, but the saved me a lot of grief.

When we first got married, after dinner, all Hubband wanted to do was cuddle on the couch, and the whole time I kept thinking, "Gee, I wish he'd let me get to the dishes." We weren't peaking each other's language.

I prefer some one to speak "acts of service", like helping with the afore mentioned dishes. He prefers physical contact, not just sex, but touching...alot. We are speaking each other's language now. We are much happier.

Unknown said...

I loved the 5 Love Languages. My Boo's language is service. He loves washing the car for me and doing things. He also loves services a homecooked meal of his favorites is better than anything, any day.

I love physical touch but also small gestures.

It sure makes it easy to shop for him.

gayle said...

I have not bought my husband anything for Father's Day since our girls were able to. Not sure what they will get him.

Haven't read the book so I am not sure what our language is.

MissKris said...

When IS Father's Day? I hardly knew when Mother's Day was until Dear Hubby asked me to pick something up for his mother the day before when I went grocery shopping. Holidays and I just don't gel very well.

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

My dad is elderly and literally has everything, so I give him a card and I call him at 7am....although he only lives 11 houses away.

My husband is not the father of my children, but he is very much the father of our 6 they buy him cards and snacks, a good book and the like.

Anonymous said...

hi :)
found your blog through adventures in diapering.. ;) Glad I did!

I must be missing that mall gene too..
it will be my husband's first father day, his language is word of affirmations and touch (and everything really) so I'll write him a touching letter on how great a dad he already is. ;)
Massages are almost daily here, and for gifts well the sad thing is that he gets himself almost anything he wants without waiting, so I can't give him anything, really.. :/

Claire Gibson King said...

Whenever I ask my Dad what he wants for any holiday he always say...ohhh socks...I need socks..and let me think...ask your mother!! With out fail this is what he says. Thats my Pops. What really makes him happy is a card, a phone call, any food and really just recognition. Good told me about that book right before my wedding. wink wink!!

Anonymous said...

That is a fabulous book! A local church (but not mine) offered a class of it-I wish I'd gone. Hope you all have a wonderful Happy Father's Day dinner!

Anita said...

BETTY, JT, AGING MOMMY, TRACEY, CHOCOLATE, GAYLE, MISS KRISS, PJ, TL, CLAIRE, SUZICATE - Nice combination of responses. Fun to read, and as always, I learn something new.
TRACEY - Oh, don't I know about wanting to get those dishes done! Because if I don't, who'll be stuck in the kitchen late at night or waking up to a dirty kitchen in the morning? Not him - ME! :) Although, I have gotten the kids on board.
Acts of service is high on my list too, because if things are done, I can then settle into quality time. :)

Bren's Life said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love making new friends. I was just reading your last post on friends. Which is why I don't blog a lot anymore. I just can't stop missing my friend that died & the computer reminds me too much of her & I miss her comments.
Ok- just told a complete stranger that!!!
Anyways- cute blog

Anonymous said...

OMG, the same way! I have no clue what to get my husband for Fathers Day! Im still pondering it!

Thanks for checking in on us. Things have been crazy hectic, busy and then there is blogging drama. I have a stalker who lives in my city, she has been around for quite a while but been really nice then she started getting crazy and I told her to back off. She hasnt and blogs about me, saying Im stalking her, doing everything my family does which is fine as long as its not at the same time! haha, so I kind of have been turned off of the blogging world, its pretty discouraging. I just dont know what lengths she will go to. Anywho, so things are settling down a little and I will be back blogging, but I really appreciate you checking in!!! THIS is why I love blogging!

Hope your doing well too! Oh and cute framed pictures of the kids have always been a hit with my hubs!

Hilary said...

My kids' Dad and I are no longer a couple but I do make sure my sons remember to do something for Father's Day just as my ex remembers to keep them aware of Mother's Day. They're old enough to figure out their own gifts though. :)

Dorraine said...

He gets the day off, meaning, he is not asked for one single thing from the kids or me. The girls will pick him out something, and I'll make him breakfast in bed. He will be spoiled rotten!

Abby said...

My husband and I don't make a big deal out of traditional gift-giving holidays... particularly Mother's Day and Father's Day. Our gifts are more in the form of non material things - like just spending some time together without the kids (kind of ironic for Father's day?) I would say that he and I would both have "receiving gifts" at the bottoms of our lists.

That said, I've never heard of this book you mention. How intriguing! I'm going to find it and read it!

Joanne said...

My girls and I will buy my hubby gifts together, usually something along the line of a gift certificate to a brand new restaurant to try out, and concert tickets, or a Home Depot gadget, depending on the year!

Jenny said...

What a thoughtful post. I love this idea. My husband always says he doesn't want anything but the kids usually all show up, randomly, to give him a card and a hug. I guess we're pretty low key around here!

Buckeroomama said...

I'm actually reading this parenting book and they were also talking about the 5 languages of love with children. :)

Stephanie said...

We seem to do a lot of eating!
Out for breakfast, special (junk food) snacks....BBQ for dinner. The girls make handmade gifts and I like you end up with clothes. Although this year he may just get Beer from around the world basket from Gourmet Gift Baskets:)

Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi Anita, I learned long ago not to buy any surprises for my husband. He is not good at hiding his dislike and I usually end up with hurt feelings vowing never to buy him anything again.

So for Father's day, he will get a card from our daughter and I'll treat him to a nice meal out. That's it, nothing for him to complain about.

My own Language of feeling loved is probably positive feedback from him, when he shows his appreciation for what I do and of course, a nice piece of bling never hurt :)

yonca said...

We bought a pen last year. It was a good one.He loved using it until it's lost:)
I have nothing in mind this year yet.

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

I usually get him a round of golf with his friends....he seems to enjoy that the most...and then I plan a special evening alone..and show him the new nighty I bought for myself - wink-wink ;)- I know he always like his gifts...the kids usually bring him "golf stuff"...

Hannah - Radio Disney Club said...

I'm going to fill out the card I bought for my daddy and give it to him.

I love him sooo much.

Anita said...

BREN, TRISH, HILARY, DORRAINE, ABBY, JOANNE, JENNY, BUCKEROOMAMA, MODERNMOM, MENONEWMOM, YONCA, NAKAMURAS, HANNAH - I always read your comments the same day you send them, so the fact that I am just acknowledging them says what kind of week I've had! Not bad, but just filled with activities involving my three kids. It's the same every year as we near the closing of school.
Today, I will get our stepping stone kit, and my girls and I will make it this week. I've read everyone else's Father's Day celebration ideas which have helped me in sorting out my feelings about the particular day. Thanks to you ALL!
It's always very interesting, too, to hear about other things going on in your lives, which a few of you included...Best and sincere wished to you.
And to sum up:
HANNAH, my youngest reader, I love the way you simply express your love for your daddy!


Hilary said...

This year, our anniversary and Father's Day fall on the same week-end so it's been a shopping fest for me. My primary love languages are receiving gifts and words of affirmation. DH's are acts of service and physical touch. We're working on finding a middle ground :) DH always says don't get me anything ,but this year, I made him write a list of things he'd like if money weren't an issue. Some I was able to pull off, others are going to take hitting Powerball, but, one step at a time :)

Karin said...

We haven't gifted each other on special occasions for many years. We usually just go out for a nice meal and enjoy each other's company. If we find a surprise gift, we buy it for each other and don't wait for a special day. Not sure what the kids and grands will come up with! That's always fun.

As far as the love languages go, I think most of us are multi-lingual! I think we should all be giving and receiving in all five languages! That would be most beneficial.

Visiting first time via Betty's blog!

Anita said...

HILARY - Happy Aniversary!
Hope the gift shopping goes well. :)

KARIN - That sounds like my ideal situation. I'm working towards it. And you're right - all the love languages blended makes for a nice relationship.

I've enjoyed your first visit to my blog! I hope you'll visit again.