Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Five Languages of Love

This is the last book that our little book club read. I have to say that it was one of my favorites. It really has altered my thoughts and feelings towards the expression of love in so many ways and so quickly. It was a very easy book to read and grasp the concept.

The concept of the book is that all people express love in different ways and it's not likely that you and your spouse express the same "love language". This clash of needs/expressions can create a "battlefield" in your marriage simply because of the misunderstanding of the other spouse's needs. I think the author did an excellent job of narrowing down the possible love languages out there. Chapman states that people want or express love in 5 different ways: Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Quality Time. There re dialects or sub-categories within each language but these are the primary categories.

The book was full of examples and analogies and insightful questions so that you can figure out your love language. It gave several different examples of couples who literally couldn't stand each other, were on the brink of divorce etc. and this concept, regardless of how basic it sounds, was able to turn their marriage around. The book is a quest for you to find out your needs (in terms of what you "need" from your spouse) and how you would like your spouse to express love to you. It also helps you see that the way you are currently expressing love to your spouse is probably not in line with their "love language" but it's probably the way you want love expressed to you.

Chapman uses the example of a love tank. In a lot of marriages love tanks are empty. Couples think that they have fallen out of love with one another. Or couples think that the other spouse doesn't love them, doesn't care about them, isn't doing enough etc. etc. etc. and that causes friction and hurt.

One of the techniques used in the book was for the reader to think back about the requests (or naggings) that you have made of your spouse in the past.

Are you asking for more time with just the two of you? (quality time)
Are you asking for help in the house? (acts of service)
Are you asking to hold hands or hug more? (physical touch)
Do you like little notes left for you around the house or flowers brought to you just because? (gifts)
Do you want to hear how good you did on a project etc.? How pretty you are? (words of affirmation)

Each person probably does one of this things more than the others. This main category of your requests of your spouse is more than likely your love language. Your spouse on the other hand probably has a different love language and doesn't necessarily ignore your request but things that his/her idea would be a better way of expressing love so they do it their way. Both have good intentions but the "love tanks" are still empty and the message isn't getting through to either.

Find out your love language, have a discussion with your spouse and find out your spouses love language and watch the transformation in your marriage. I seriously believe the message of this book. I think it can be a powerful tool in healing marriages or just improving the companionship of a marriage and helping each other feel empowered, loved and a full "love tank".

1 comment:

Chauntel said...

Jeremy borrowed this bood from and friend. I'd say it's our bible to marriage. We love it and think it is so true. (Jeremy is affection and I am time together) It's amazing how different we are but now can understand each other a little better.