October 19, 2006


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Pinings: Dear readers
by Sherry Hughes sah103@hotmail.com

Two weeks ago, my column dealt with apologies. I was writing about the idea that we need to change our behavior along with saying the words “I’m sorry” or else the words mean very little.

I received a letter from a reader named Jim, who recommended some books on the subject – well, not on the subject of apologies exclusively, but on the way we communicate in relationships. The author of these books is Gary Chapman and his premise is that we need to learn to speak different languages in order survive and thrive in relationships. We need to learn the languages – of love – that our partners speak. For example, if I want to show my partner that I care about something she’s done or if I want to buy her a gift, I could buy her clothing or a new watch. But my partner is the kind of person who loves to experience things and isn’t really into owning a lot of possessions. A better gift would be for me to take her hiking or to take her to a museum. I’m showing her that I care about her in her language, not mine. Jim writes that Chapman suggests “there are five predominant languages through which human beings experience love (i.e., give and receive it), and that we each speak only one or two primary language(s) fluently. That is, of the five, there is usually only one language where, when it is used, we feel deeply loved, genuinely touched.”

Jim wrote to tell me that Chapman also writes about five languages of apology and that we usually only speak one or two. If someone uses a language that we don’t understand or value, the apology may not feel sincere to us. Jim says he and his partner are practicing how to speak to each other in order to learn to love each other and understand each other fully.

Some people would look at all of this as goobledegook, you know, that people talk the way they talk and it means what it means. But if you are one of those folks struggling to understand how to communicate more fully with a partner or loved one, you might want to check out this writer’s books. I think there is some truth in the adage that opposites attract. And once we are in a relationship with that opposite, we sometimes struggle to understand what makes them click. Just men and women in general sometimes have these struggles.

This work isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you, you probably already know it.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at sah103@hotmail.com

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com

10/12/2006 Lack of ambition

10/05/2006 Sorry seems to be the hardest word
09/28/2006 Cheaters, the best reality show ever
09/21/2006 Baby daddy
09/14/2006 Dollars and sense
09/07/2006 I know what boys like
08/24/2006 Act the part
08/17/2006 www.addicted.org
08/10/2006 Cousel-ation prizes
08/03/2006 Bridezillas
07/27/2006 Office space
07/20/2006 Dream a little dream
07/13/2006 Hanging on the telephone
06/29/2006 Lets get it on
06/22/2006 A dubious proposition
06/15/2006 Fighting Fair
06/08/2006 Dogged by guilt
06/01/2006 Itsy bitsy
05/25/2006 Lovey dovey couple
05/18/2006 Simple questions
05/11/2006 My racist friend
05/04/2006 Secret nostalgia
04/27/2006 Making connections
04/20/2006 Live a little
04/13/2006 Live a little
04/06/2006 Torn
03/30/2006 Disagreements
03/23/2006 The simple life
03/16/2006 I thought it was love
03/09/2006 Alone but not lonely
03/02/2006 Compatability?
02/23/2006 A rock and a hard place
02/16/2006 A whole-hearted agreement
02/09/2006 Growing apart
01/26/2006 Tuning out?
01/12/2006 Under pressure
01/05/2006 Sex isn't everything?
A Few Words From Sherry

A LIttle Joy, A Little Heartbreak
Abusive Relationship
Abusive Relationships
Advice to young mother
Annual Tips For Avoiding The Holiday Fight
Any Way To Return To 'Just Friends'?
At The Women's Expo

Back In The Same Place
Back Off, Buddy
Bad Breaks
Being Patient
Blog, Blog, Blog
Broke up

California Dreaming
Changing My Mind
Clearing It Up
Cooking Help
Confused and Angry
Consumed By The Internet
Crying All The Time
Dating Again
Falling Short
Family Friction
Friend, With Benefits
Friendly Secret
Gift-Giving Season
Go to Funeral?
Hunting Season
In Love and Confused
It's the most "beautiful" time of the year...
Keeping Things Secret
Just Sex
Lying, But Not Cheating
Might Get Married
Move Back Home?
My Boyfriend's Computer
My Roommate's Family
Mutual Intrigue
Needs Support
Newly Single Mother
No Explanation
Nosy Neighbors
Nothing Happened
Oh, Grow Up

On Her Way To 'Trouble'

Our Pal Al
Pretty Tight
Publicity Stunt?
Quiet, Please
RSVP, Please
Ruthie's Secret
Should I Stick or Should I Run
Should I Tell Him
Shy Girl
Splitting and Sharing
Stuck In A Sticky Situation
Sucky Gifts
Taking advantage
The Boyfriend & The Friend
The Difficult Coworker
The Letter
The Pain In Spain
The Sad Bride
The Ultimatum
Two Men At The Same Time
Vacation, Not

Why would anyone stay?