The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


February 6, 2013

Hard hearts

When love is a battlefield, avoid unfair warfare

Just what are those arrows in your Cupid’s quiver made of? Recreational foam or carbon composite? According to Families and Health Program Agent Terrill Peck, it depends on the target’s interpretation.

Peck has a warning for those who take her Love Languages classes: you’ll not only be smarter about love, but smart like a fox if you’re so inclined. Knowledge is power to be used for good or evil, the enthusiastic instructor reminds, influencing her students to avoid using facts about their partner’s inner-workings against them.

   “Some people think knowing their significant other’s love language, how he or she both gives and receives love, is manipulative. It can be — it’s a very manipulative system if you use it as a weapon.”

Peck is referring to is the book that acts as the basis for her free WVU Extension Service classes to couples, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, the New York Times bestseller that has become a self-help and relationships genre standard.

The book and Peck’s class teach couples how to correctly identify one another’s love language, assuming most fall into five different categories, named according to the unique currency each gives and wishes to receive in relationships: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Quality Time and Gifts.

Peck contends that it isn’t enough to simply speak the love languages, but to abstain from abusing the language when emotions run high.

In disagreements, couples may not realize when they are pushing the equivalent of their S/O’s nuclear detonator. Awareness of unfair fighting can allow room for anger without going for the throat.

“It isn’t that you can’t get mad when something happens. You don’t have to be all lovey-dovey and kissy-faced, but put down your weapons. If you use something sacred against another person, that becomes a trust issue.”


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