Childhood Trauma Disguising as Love Languages.
I have been wondering of recent the correlation between our childhood trauma and our Love Languages. Could our love languages be a product of unresolved childhood trauma or neglect?
While our trauma might be passed, traumatizing experiences tend to linger on with us and become a significant part of our experiences.
Childhood trauma, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is the experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.
Learning to process, cope and manage such experiences is part of the childhood developmental process; however, at times, children often get stuck, especially when they have no adult around who can help them process their emotions per time.
Childhood trauma can occur in different forms. Some include physical and psychological abuse, neglect, bullying, domestic violence, kidnapping, rape, death of a loved one, accident, etc.
It is not far-fetched to say people who experienced childhood trauma are more likely to have issues engaging and managing relationships.
More importantly, childhood trauma says much about how we love and want to be loved. Our worldviews are a total of our experiences. What we see or experience goes a long way in what we become, how we do what we become and even why.
Hence, childhood trauma can overwhelmingly impact our emotions. Not understanding this can cause a significant strain on how we handle our relationships.
According to Gary Chapman, there are five love Languages which include
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
Most often than not, our love languages are defined by what we lacked as a child. For instance, a child who grew up without the presence of a father and mother would likely tend towards gifts, touch, or quality time as their love language.
Hence, the partner tends to compensate for what they lacked as a child. I tend to believe that what we call love Languages might be what we lacked as a child and are trying to compensate for it.
A deep understanding of this, I believe, will lead to a wholesome relationship. So many of us are insecure. As children, we have gone through hard and terrible times and have not taken time to heal.
This takes a toll on us in one way or the other. Using love Languages as a disguise might seem like a suitable escape mechanism, but it doesn’t solve the problem.
Now, I am not against love Languages. On the contrary, I love the idea behind it, but I think it might be doing more harm than good because it doesn’t help us discover our true selves; instead, it conceals them.
We all should enjoy any and every one of these languages in our relationships. Who doesn’t want words of affirmations, gifts, quality time, etc.? We all do!
But what the idea of having a love language does is that it makes us think that one is just enough as long as it satisfies our deep longing at every point in time. We then begin to see people from a single point of view. Meanwhile, all that’s happening is a disguise from the truth.
You did not get gifts as a kid as opposed to other kids, and you think your husband or wife is responsible for filling that hole. No, that’s not a love language anymore. That’s selfishness.
You heard many bad negative words that destroyed your self-esteem, and now, you want your partner to say words of affirmation now and then to you. No, that’s not anything close to a love language but an obsession you need to heal from.
You’ve had a traumatic experience, and you need to heal. We need to stop feeding off others in a bid to cover up our insecurities. Face it! See a therapist! Work on yourself!
You deserve to enjoy all five love languages, not just one of them. That’s what wholesome relationships should be like. Instead, many people want just a tenth of their relationships but are satisfied because they are successfully covering up their insecurities.
Maybe it is time you heal and go on to enjoy a wholesome relationship.
To be continued…