Author: Gary Chapman
Read: January 1, 2014
Summary: Marriage should be based on love, right? But does it seem as though you and your spouse are speaking two different languages? New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman guides couples in identifying, understanding, and speaking their spouse’s primary love language—quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.
By learning the five love languages, you and your spouse will discover your unique love languages and learn practical steps in truly loving each other. Chapters are categorized by love language for easy reference, and each one ends with specific, simple steps to express a specific language to your spouse and guide your marriage in the right direction. A newly designed love languages assessment will help you understand and strengthen your relationship. You can build a lasting, loving marriage together. amazon
Review: Here's a little light reading/self-help book. Why did I pick this book up? There's actually a couple reasons. First of all, I'm pretty sure my mom recommended it to me a long time ago and it made it to the TBR shelf. Second of all, I have a degree in Marriage and Family counseling so this is right up my professional development alley (nerd alert.) And finally, I'm a newlywed and I figured it may not hurt to start early on collecting marital advice. The good thing about taking marriage advice from a book is that I can throw it against a wall if I hate it (which I didn't) and that is very different from how I'm allowed to react when a great aunt gives marriage advice. Books are much more preferable because I can choose when I want the advice and can avoid the presumptuous relatives dishing it out during the holidays. Not that this has ever happened to me...
The basic premise of this book is that everyone speaks their own love language (words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, acts of service, or physical touch.) The problem comes when you and your spouse speak different languages because neither person will understand how to communicate their love in the way that will be best received by their significant other. This book explains the different languages and helps you to understand which one you are as well as which one your spouse is. Once you know their language, you can start expressing love that way rather than the way you prefer to be loved. If the person doesn't understand that you are expressing love to them (because they don't speak the language) they are not going to receive the love. So you simply have to adjust your behavior to show love in a new way. Understand? This book simplifies everything and makes it seem like this is the solution to everything. And for all I know, it is! I'm not having marriage problems at the moment and I believe my husband and my "love tanks" are full, but in the future I will probably resort to some of these ideas during the hard times.
As a therapist, a lot of this makes sense to me and I have preached parts of it to my clients before. Communication is a skill that has to be learned and it is no different for expressing love. That being said, I also know how hard it is to change behavior and these ideas will only work if you actually use them. I would recommend this book to just about anybody who wants to make a difference in their relationship. It's a super quick, easy read with lots of examples and the author does a good job of explaining things in a way most people can understand. There are a lot of bible quotes so if you are turned off by religion I would probably not pick this up but they are not overwhelming by any means and are easy to skim over if you aren't religious.
Have you or anyone you've known ever read this book? Do you believe in this stuff? What's your love language?