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Love and Language
What you won't do for love
I am the only deaf person in my family. I'm 24 years old and none of them learned ASL or only took one course. They hardly know the alphabet and can say "bathroom".
I do not go to my family gatherings because no one is able to communicate with me. When they do, they talk REALLY loud and only ask me "small talk" questions. They are hell bent on me coming around, because "we're a family and we love you".
I always felt obligated to go and was always drained afterwards due to the amount of concentration.
Communication is my love language and you do not know mine.
Learning a new language for someone shows how much you love and care for that person. Just learn.
This video definitely struck a chord with me. It neatly encapsulates a lot of the feelings that I have had around this topic for many years now.
If your partner, your husband, your wife, does not learn to speak your language, and does not make the effort to speak it with you, they might love you, but they love you much less than you deserve to be loved.
Most people have their own ideas about what it means to “settle” for somebody in a relationship. This is mine.
My grandparents and parents were immigrants to the United Kingdom. I have watched member after member of my immediate and extended family across two generations marry out and raise children with people who were not willing to learn their languages. The sense of loss is palpable and overwhelming.
I am now a first-generation immigrant to the United States. My spouse is also a first-generation immigrant with two languages of their own. I speak them both pretty well these days, and I’m always looking for ways to improve. Every day, I ask questions, make mistakes and mishear things that end in rib-aching laughter and beautiful memories. There are often times when I’ll be asked something in English and respond in one of those two languages which have captured, alongside this beautiful person, my heart.
My own relationship to the languages that I have inherited feels very tumultuous to me, but that doesn’t really matter to my spouse, who has studied them, speaks them freely, fills the house with the sound of their poems and musical legacies. Hearing those languages spoken to me with love and care breathes new life into old words and fills the cracks left by multiple generations of exile, diaspora and rupture.
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