The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Sometimes here at The Mommy Gamers, we read books. You know, if we can squeeze them in between crying babies, whiny husbands (wait… isn’t that the same thing?), cooking, cleaning, working, and gaming. In episode 22: The Deep Dark Hole, I mentioned reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
If you listened you’ll know how enthusiastic I was about this book, and I’ll tell you why. There’s something sad that seems to happen when you’ve been in a relationship a really long time. You stop listening and you start taking each other for granted. You’re together without really being together. Slowly, all the things you loved about each other start to become the things you hate about each other. The passion is gone and you’re convinced it’s never coming back. In marriages this is often referred to as the 7 year itch. In shorter relationships this is usually where you break up, or cheat on each other before parting ways. It happens all the time and it’s sad because it doesn’t have to.
My husband and I recently fell victim to a lot of what I mentioned above. Thankfully neither of us cheated, but we were starting to wonder if our relationship had out lived our love. We stopped cuddling, we stopped holding hands, we stopped talking to each other, but probably worst of all was the fact that we both stopped listening. We constantly bickered and instead of finding ways to spend time together, we were making excuses to spend time apart.
After hearing mention of the 5 Love Languages from two different therapists as well as my best friend Crystal, I decided to read it. I AM SO GLAD I DID. I honestly feel like it helped turn my relationship around. It feels like we started dating again and instead of being annoyed by our differences, we once again appreciate them. We no longer feel unheard. Now that we understand what love language to speak, we know exactly what to do to make sure we each feel appreciated.
According to Author Gary Chapman, everyone has a primary love language although some people may be fluent in more than one. For example, my primary love language is Acts of Service. However, for me, Quality Time comes in close second.
The 5 Love Languages are as follows:
- Words of Affirmation: Saying “I Love You”, “Thank You”, “You’re amazing”, using words are the best way to make this person feel appreciated.
- Physical Touch: A back rub, a kiss on the forehead, holding hands. For this person being appropriately touched (it varies from person to person) means the world to them.
- Acts of Service: Actions speak louder than words for these people. Watching the kids, cleaning up after dinner, changing the oil in the car, what you do for them shows them how much they are loved.
- Gifts: Being surprised with flowers, jewelry, chocolate. For these people receiving gifts makes them feel most loved.
- Quality Time: Deep conversations, shared hobbies and activities speak volumes. Knowing you enjoy spending time with them is what these people truly desire.
The theory is people tend to speak to their partners in their own love language. Unfortunately, more often than not, partners are not fluent in the same language. For example, like I mentioned before, my primary language is ‘Acts of Service’. However, my husband’s is ‘Words of Affirmation’, so although he told me he loved me everyday, I didn’t feel loved because he wasn’t showing me in a way I understood. The same applies the other way around. I stopped saying I love you because I was confident my actions spoke so much louder than words. To my husband however, not hearing those words meant I no longer cared.
Can you easily identify your love language from the descriptions above? If you’re still not sure what your primary love language is just answer a few questions on the book’s website and it will tell you.
Although I’ve outlined the 5 love languages in this post, I strongly encourage you read the book. My husband was reluctant to read it at first. He didn’t feel it was necessary because he understood the general concept. However, after reading it, he agrees with me. There’s something about reading all the case studies that really helps bring the message home. I learned so much more about myself and my relationship than I could have from just knowing what the 5 love languages were.
If you’re newly married, in a dying relationship or on the brink of divorce, I highly recommend this book. I think even happy couples could greatly benefit from the information. Truthfully, if I could buy a copy for everyone I know, I would. ’nuff said.