If you’re married (or in a relationship) and haven’t read the Five Love Languages…what are you waiting for?! This book gave me such a different perspective on relationships and the lessons I learned are ones that I use almost every day. I loved it so much that I asked my husband to read it as well and he listened to the audio book. It helped both of us to understand and love each other better. The Five Love Languages absolutely changed my marriage.
What you may have already guessed from the title is that, according to author Gary Chapman, there are five love languages. Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Quality Time. After reading the book and giving my husband the quiz (which you can find here) I found that I actually have two love languages – Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch, while my husband’s is Acts of Service.
The main thing that the Five Love Languages taught us is that we interpret each other’s actions differently. While I might be complimenting my husband up one side and down the other, he would hear my love much more loudly if I did a chore that he has been dreading or straightened up the house.
This not only taught me to love my husband better in his own love language, but it helped me to see his attempts at loving me even when he forgets and “speaks” his own love language to me.
A really cute example of this in our marriage happened just a couple of months ago after an argument. We were kind of giving each other space and not saying a whole lot to each other. I was in our kitchen and noticed my husband dragging a desk out of our son’s room and relocating it to our bedroom.
This is something I had been telling him that I wanted to do for a couple of weeks, but life got in the way and we never got around to moving the stupid desk. I snuck behind a door and took a picture of him moving it. I then text him the picture and said something like “is this your “acts of service” way of apologizing to me?”
That was the ice breaker we needed and we were back to our normal, joking relationship almost immediately after.
The key here is how much the book the Five Love Languages changed my perspective so that I could see what my husband was trying to do for me. Before reading that book, I would have felt like Scotty was ignoring me and our disagreement. I would have been sitting there with my negative self-talk saying “he doesn’t even care that we’re fighting. Does he even love me when things aren’t perfect?”
Instead, I was able to smile to myself and get all teary-eyed watching my grumping, pouting husband drag this heavy desk across our living room floor in an attempt to love me. Was he speaking my love language and giving me the words of affirmation and physical touches that are important to me? No.
Instead, he was loving me in his own way, even though he was mad at me and we weren’t really talking. The difference is I was able to see his efforts for what they were instead of assuming the worst – that he didn’t care about our argument.
The biggest thing that has changed in our marriage is how much we actively check in on our relationship. The book encourages you to look at things as though you have a “love tank” which needs regular filling by speaking the correct love language to your partner. You can do a really loving thing in their language, but if you don’t speak their love language again for weeks or months, their love tank will empty again and you’ll be right back to square one. You have to be consistent.
Now, I ask Scotty a few times a week “how is your love tank?” He gives me an answer on a scale of 1-10 and then I ask him what one thing I can do to improve it. If he answers me that his love tank is already a 10, I ask him what I can do to make it overflow a little more.
Usually, my husband doesn’t remember to ask about my love tank, but he always checks on mine immediately after I ask him about his. I ask for my specific thing, and when he does it later in the day, I know he’s loving me on purpose. He’s doing something out of the norm for him in order to show me that he loves me. It makes these little actions so much more meaningful.
Here are some ways to speak your spouse’s love language depending on the results of your Five Love Languages Quiz:
- Hold hands
- Sit close enough that your bodies are touching
- Reach out and touch them during a conversation
Acts of Service
- Do a chore your spouse would normally do
- Cook their favorite meal
- Go out of your way to take things off of their plate
- Fill the gas tank in their car
- Take a weekend vacation together
- Go to dinner and stay off of your phone!
- Have a meaningful conversation and make eye contact
- Do things together like cooking and cleaning
- Buy your spouse’s favorite candy bar or treat when you go grocery shopping
- Buy thoughtful gifts for birthdays and holidays
- Surprise your spouse with small gifts
- Bring home a small trinket from a trip to show your spouse you were thinking of them
Words of Affirmation
- Tell your spouse specific things you appreciate about them
- Write your spouse a love letter or card
- Send random, loving texts throughout the day
- Be generous with compliments
If you’ve never read the book the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, I would encourage you to buy a copy, rent one from your local library, or purchase the audio book. Give it a chance and I truly believe it will help you to see your spouse and your marriage in a different light.
If your relationship has been strained or if you feel as though you may be growing apart, absolutely read this book without putting it down. It will change your perspective and even if it doesn’t save your relationship, it will absolutely help you to better understand the situation you’re in and how you got there.
I love my husband, but I really do wonder if we would have the marriage we have today if it weren’t for the perspective we gained from the Five Love Languages. It was that powerful for us. I hope if you choose to give this book a chance, it helps you too.
Have you ever read the Five Love Languages? What is your love language and does it differ from your spouse’s? What creative ways do you speak your spouse’s love language? Let me know in the comments!