By Gino Barbaro
We are all taught the Golden Rule Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When you here the rule, it makes sense. It is found in the Gospel of Matthew and part of the Sermon on the Mount. But what if the Golden Rule is not helping your relationship?
When a friend recommended that I read Dr. Chapman’s book, my reaction was probably what most stubborn men’s reactions are; What a waste of time. I’ve got a great relationship! When I realized that there were over thirteen million 5 Love Languages® books sold, and Dr. Chapman was the author of over twenty other books, I decided to give it a shot. I am so thankful that I had a moment of clarity and read the book.
If you are a man (or woman) who has lost the connection with your spouse, who wants to increase the love for their spouse or who wants to fill their “emotional love tank”, there are two things you need to do:
I was amazed at the amount of resources that are on the website, from taking quizzes, to listening to his podcast, to attending events.
Dr. Chapman begins the book by stating that the need to feel love is a primary human emotional need. His amazing life and career are woven into the book with engaging stories, and he gives countless illustrations on how to reconnect with your spouse. He discusses the importance of keeping your emotional love tank full, and dives into discussing the 5 love languages, which are:
The 5 love languages are five different ways of expressing and receiving love. We all have a primary love language, and it is crucial to learn which love language your partner possesses, and start NOW to express your love in their love language. It will help you create a much stronger bond in your relationship. You should also learn your primary love language, and communicate it to your spouse.
I would like to touch briefly on each love language:
People who resonate with words of affirmation value compliments and words of encouragement, and enjoy hearing you say I love you. They enjoy written and spoken words of affection, and the spouse who takes the time to be specific and complimentary in front of others towards their spouse with words of affirmation will fill the emotional love tank to the brim!
People whose love language is quality time derive their love from spending time with their significant other. They enjoy to be heard, to spend uninterrupted time, and engage in meaningful conversations. Being in the same room does not qualify as “quality time”. Sharing what happened with your spouse during the day over a glass of wine is quality time.
It’s not the dollar amount of the gift, it’s the thought that counts. A gift should be special to the person who is receiving it, and not to the one who is delivering it. If I gave my wife a fishing pole for her birthday, one of us would be happy, and the other would be expecting another gift. We all love receiving thoughtful gifts, so make sure to personalize the gift for your spouse.
If your love language is acts of service, then you would enjoy when your spouse brings you water to bed every evening, or takes out the garbage and fills up the gas tank. If your spouse enjoys acts of service, Dr. Chapman suggests to ask your spouse to make a list of ten things he or she would like. Remember, it’s not what you like, it’s what your spouse would appreciate.
Do you like it when your significant other holds your hand, cuddles on the couch, or brushes you and slightly touches you? Then your love language may be physical touch. Without physical touch, the person feels unloved and insecure. Italians are notorious physical touchers, with their hearty embraces and double kisses with every hello.
It’s now time to figure out what love language you have and what your spouse’s love language is. Start off by asking yourself what do you desire most from your spouse, and what makes you feel loved. It may also be time to re-evaluate the Golden Rule to Do unto others as they would want to be treated.
I want to personally thank Dr. Chapman for dedicating his life to counseling couples and helping hundreds of thousands of couples to communicate better and live more connected lives. Now, your next step is to check out his other books that utilize the 5 Love Languages, including:
My only regret is waiting so long to learn and implement the 5 Love Languages®.
Click here to read more book reviews by Gino Barbaro.
The Multifamily Zone podcast was launched in 2019 to serve families and spouses who are committed to working together, building a better relationship with their kids, and strengthening the communication amongst the entire family.
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