When I decided that my focus this month was going to be marriage, I knew I would be rereading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I first read this book probably 10 years ago, and my husband and I also listened to the audio book together while on a road trip around that same time. After almost eleven years of marriage I thought a refresher would be great, because people change and grow and perhaps so do our love languages.
Although cheesy in some ways, Chapman uses phrases like “filling your love tank” and “love alert system” I think the roots of this book help strengthen the roots of relationships. By learning your own love language and that of your partner you are more easily able to communicate love in a way that is effective to them. If you haven’t read the book, you can go HERE and take the quiz to discover your Love Language.
After I took the quiz, I asked my husband to take it and send me the results. He knows all about my Happiness Project and the focus of this month and sent me the results without me even having to ask him twice. This was the first time all month that I have asked him to contribute to the Happiness Project, which is interesting as it has been about marital improvement. Knowing this, and knowing that I’ve been working this month to better our marriage from my end without asking him to make any changes, perhaps made him more open to taking the quiz so quickly.
Our results were not overly surprising, as we have both taken the quiz about ten years ago and I remembered our results. What was refreshing though, is the conversation that took place while discussing our results. The Love Languages help you understand how you best receive and give love, which may be very different. To give love, I love to give gifts. My husband put it perfectly during our discussion, saying that I give gifts as a way to show I listen and that I care. I take pride in that I am generally a pretty good gift giver, because I really do use it as a way to show I pay attention and care. I always try to make sure I have the perfect gift for whatever the occasion; and yet, surprisingly receiving gifts was very last on my husbands list. Although he is appreciative of what he receives, he apparently could care less about gifts. Although it’s my way of expressing love, it isn’t the best way he receives it.
Utilizing the Love Languages is one way to make sure you are communicating love effectively in a way that others best receive it. It’s interesting that even after all our years together, we still learn about each other each day. Throughout the next few posts I’m going to be focusing on each Love Language and how it can be utilized to improve relationships, not just with your spouse, but any relationship.