Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful ways in me and lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139 vs 23-24)

What does your spouse do or say that hurts you most deeply? That is probably a clue to your primary love language. The hurt may not come from what he does or says, but rather what he fails to do or say. One wife said, “He never lifted a hand to help me around the house. He watches television while I do all the work around the house. I don’t understand how he could do that if he really loved me.”

Her love language is acts of service. In her mind, if you love someone, you do things to help. For her, actions speak louder than words. For others, words may speak louder than actions. One husband told me, “all my wife ever does is criticize me. I don’t know why she married me. It’s obvious she didn’t love me.” For him, if you love someone, you speak kindly. His love language is words of affirmation, which is why her critical words hurt him deeply.

If you want to discover your spouse’s love language, you might ask, “what is it that I do or say, that hurts you most deeply?” it may be a scary question, but the answer will likely reveal his or her love language. Also, Psalm 139 tells us that if we ask God, he will reveal things in our lives that are hurtful to others. Ask him to give you insight as you broach the subject with your spouse. Speaking each other’s love language is of vital importance to the growth of your relationship.


Father, you know everything about me, including what I do that most hurts my spouse. Please reveal that to me. As I talk to my spouse, help me to have a heart that’s willing to listen, learn, and improve so I can love my spouse more effectively.