When the Fab Four was going home I found my relationship with Hubby was in bad shape too. Neither of us was feeling very loved and so someone suggested I read the book The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. http://www.5lovelanguages.com
I was blown away by how much sense it made. The theory behind the book is that there are five basic languages that people understand in terms of feeling loved. 1)Acts of service 2) Words of affirmation 3)Quality time 4) Gift Giving 5)Physical Touch.
At the beginning of a relationship people do all five but as you get into the relationship and you get comfortable you tend to relax and only "speak" your primary and secondary love language. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that the other person feels love because they may not "speak" the same love language.
Hubby and I are opposites in a lot of ways. We work because we compliment each other's strengths. At the same time we come at most things from complete opposite directions which leads to conflict. So the idea that we were probably not feeling love the same way made a lot of sense to me.
My primary love language is words of affirmation which fits right into my personality which likes recognition. My secondary language is quality time. I found myself saying things like "you never spend time with me, you don't tell me how great I am" and his response was always "I should not have to. I show you I do."
His love languages are Acts of Service and Gift Giving. Clearly not the same as me. (I totally appreciate that Hubby does laundry but I'm kinda like-meh because that's not what love is to me. The key is recognizing that the other person is showing it in their own way and trying to provide love in a way the other person understands.)
The theory can be applied to most close relationships including your children. It struck me tonight that Simon is a blend of mine and Hubby's love languages. He loves to give and receive compliments and positive feedback and he loves nothing more than to be helpful. Tonight he happily sat on the floor ripping up cardboard boxes while chatting away about his achievements for the day, which gave me the opportunity to provide him with affirmative statements.
So as we were chatting away we talked a little bit about the meltdowns he had the day following the announcement that the papers didn't get signed at court.
I was mad Mom because I thought you were going to tell me the truth like you always do.
But I did tell you the truth.
But it wasn't like you said.
Oh you mean that I always do what I say I'm going to do.
Yeah! You and Dad always tell the truth.
I know honey. I really did think your Mom was going to do what she told us she was going to do.
Is it kind of like when she missed those meetings? It wasn't the right choice, it feels kind of like she lied.
These were conclusions he drew himself. He trusts us to know that we are truthful with him and it felt like a lie when what we expected changed.
Let me tell you it was really hard not to say to him- yep. Your mother is a manipulative piece of work and I have no intention of givibg her the opportunity to hurt you ever again.
I responded with, I can see how you would feel that way, that must be hard.
I can't remember the last time I was this angry. (Maybe the time they denied permission for us to travel with the Fab Four. That was 2 years ago.) I was literally still shaking at 9pm after court. So tired of watching kids get hurt while the courts take their dear sweet time.
And to add salt in the wounds we have the fall out happening. Sarah has wet her bed every single night and hid the pee sheets. Smiley had an epic day of tantrums this weekend. Stella has reverted to parentified behaviors.
I hate what this is doing to my kids. It's pointless. We need the courts to be looking out for the kids more than the parents. And no one who understands this has the energy to fight the system because they have been chewed up and spit out by the system.