Monday, September 15, 2008

This is dedicated to Nick, 
an Aries*

I don't read many self help books, never really have, but I've wanted to read this one for a long time, ever since a good friend raved about it.  I finished it today, and thought it was fantastic.  I know I'm sort of an idealist, but I would imagine that most marriages could be repaired and/or seriously improved by reading this book and putting into practice the things he says to do. 

Dr. Chapman's conclusion after thirty years of marriage counseling is that there are basically five emotional love languages--or five ways that people communicate and understand emotional love.  He says,"your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English.  No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other." He stresses that we have to be willing to learn our spouse's primary love language if we want to be effective communicators of love, and have a fulfilling relationship.  Once we identify what that is, he believes we will have discovered the key to a long-lasting, loving marriage.  The five love languages are:

•Words of Affirmation
•Quality Time
•Receiving Gifts
•Acts of Service
•Physical Touch

Click here to see a brief summary of the five love languages.

I think what he concludes is simple, brilliant and true.  I also like the fact that it causes you to analyze yourself and your spouse (and others...) which is always interesting to me.  Most of what he says in this book, Nick and I have already figured out through trial and error over the past fifteen years but to read it in such plain terms was really enjoyable.  I know that in my case, my primary language is "quality time"  with "words of affirmation" and "acts of service" close at it's heels (I require A LOT!).

I remember one night probably a year or so into our marriage--I wanted to talk to Nick about astrological signs and how interesting I think they are--in relation to how people act and what makes them tick.. yadda yadda.  Anyway, for those of you who know Nick, know that he would find more enjoyment plucking his nose hairs out than analyzing something like this.  And to really make it fun, I was attempting to keep him awake in bed at 1:00 a.m. to go into depth on the subject.  As you might guess, I took it quite personally when he said with closed eyes and barely above a whisper, "can we talk about this later when I'm not so tired?"  I of course, flipped and said he never wanted to talk to me or take time to discuss things--and so a pointless middle-of-the-night-fight ensued that got us nowhere.  I still find this experience super funny when I think about it because in my attempt to get "quality time" I totally sabotaged myself (and really confused him!).  Anyway, I was young and stupid and hadn't figured much out at that point.  

But I will say that over the years we have definitely learned how to make each other happy by speaking each others "love language" and I think we have a great marriage because of it.  This book is thought provoking, insightful and has a lot of great examples of real couples turning their troubles around.  I think it's well worth reading and is a great one to pass along to newlyweds or anyone for that matter.

So...what's your love language?




16 comments:

Jek said...

That is so funny. Just yesterday I told Jason that I have always wanted to read this book. People love it and I think the concept makes perfect sense. I want to read the whole book. I laughed at the story you told, because countless times at midnight I have tried to get "deep" when Jason simply says " why don't we talk about it tomorrow when I am not so tired." and to this day I still get slighlty offended!

Jek said...

I am not sure of my love language. I am probably the service one and quality time.

Jayne Layne said...

I really loved this book! Like most books I haven't finished it, but i read most of it and I definitely agreed! I couldn't believe how easy he makes it sound, and it really all is so true! I definitely think I am quality time and I will never deny the gift giving one either :).

Great book I would recommend it to anyone!

Me said...

I'll have to read this one. The pile is getting higher and I'm not reading that much anymore, so I guess I better get my butt into gear! Thanks for the recommendation.

Suzanne said...

Brian would probably be all over this right now. I told him the night before that I had my reoccuring dream where he wants nothing to do with me or our marriage. Totally not true in real life, just cannot figure out why I would be thinking this. We had a discussion last night and I guess my dreams really bother him. He said that he really wants me to know that he loves me, and I told him that the way he communicates it is sometimes unclear. (I would say that he does not have the most natural insticts on romance). So, maybe I will show him your post today! Too funny that you posted this book today after my conversation last night. -Suzanne

JENNIFRO said...

Suzanne--I would imagine it would really help him "see" you more clearly.

The Bobos said...

I loved this book. Richard and I actually read it together for a marriage prep class we took at the Orem Institute Center in Utah. We are so glad we did! It really helped us understand each other so much better. My "language" is "words of affirmation" and "physical touch." It also really opened my eyes to other relationships I have with people I love. My dad and I have always had trouble getting along when I was growing up and now I realized it's because I didn't understand his love language. He's not very good at saying what he feels or giving hugs, which is my language, but shows it by acts of service. Now we get along wonderfully!! I just wish I read this book 15 years ago! Also, another great read, is the The 5 Love Languages of Children.

Ann Marie said...

I think we have all had those nights were it's late and we want to talk and they are like--Why does this have to happen right now?

This book seems interesting. I'm glad you shared about it!

I know your sick of me sharing about this, but when I read the twilight series, it made ME even want to be a better spouse. Then I had my husband read them ( they are written by a woman ) and he enjoyed them. He said to me " IS this how Women view romance?? " I was like YES!! And something inside of him just clicked.. He's now Mr. Romance..Weird? Maybe, but I have heard many guys say the same thing.. There is something to those books....

careymc said...

Ty & I enjoyed reading this one too (although it's been a while and I don't remember what our category was). :) I do remember, though, that I also require a lot (and I'm also an Aries, if that says anything)...poor Ty.

Rebecca said...

Someone gave that to us when we were married and I found it to be quite interesting!

~ Miss Quality Time

partii said...

Wow, a post dedicated to me!?! I'm speechless....

Lauralee said...

I need to read this.. I think my love language is acts of service.. I can guess what my husband's is.. I have heard alot about this book.. I need to get it!

I tagged you.. it's on my blog

Chris said...

Well, it is about time. I am glad you liked the book. I have used this book in a seminar about managing people. . .I left out the physical touch part. Trying to avoid lawsuits:)

jill said...

I think I'm physical touch and quality time. Rob's not a touchy feely guy, but he's GREAT at listening or talking WHENEVER I need to, that's a must for me.

I'm very touchy feely with him, he'll get there. He told me once that he thinks he's service, I told him "I don't do the service one."

JENNIFRO said...

GOOD ONE JIG! No need for service--unless it's for ME.

Kara Jayne said...

I've got this book "for kids" on my reading chair right now!!! Oh, and I just finished Count of Monte Cristo!!! AMAZING!! Oh, but you better be reading the unabridged, or you may be disappointed! Thanks for your cute comment on my blog. Glad to have found you!!