Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published January 21st 2014
Love that Lasts a Lifetime
It was a number 1 New York Times best-seller and has sold over 8 million copies. I guess that's got to say something. Maybe it just says that people's marriages break down, (knew that) or that they want their marriages to last (predictably), or something else about No1 bestselling titles.
All you need to know to keep love alive? Really? I might be sceptical but I'd be more convinced if the stats were how many marriages the book actually rejuvenated. I'm not persuaded by the vague rounded off figure of millions of marriages saved. What about the other 7 million? That's a big number!
On the upside, the book is an easy read. I first read the intro, personal profile questionnaire and the end of chapter summaries. I think a lot of the rest was padding. It was pretty easy to get the main gist of it. For those of you who don't even want to read as much as I first did, the author's basic contention is if you spend some time doing things for your partner that they like, you'll get along better. I could have figured that out!
To put a bit more flesh on the bone, Gary Chapman is saying that a lot of people fall out of love after they get married… der. But as a marriage counsellor, he's categorised ways for people to pay more attention to their mates. He puts it another way by posing this question: How do you meet each other's deep emotional need to feel loved?
Chapman contends that what a lot of people have missed is that despite good intentions and efforts, if you are not doing the right things, it's like speaking English when your partner only speaks Chinese. That makes a bit of sense to me. It explains why when I used to ask for the washing to go into the basket, it was always left on the floor next to the basket. I would have been better off learning Chinese!
Gary Chapman suggests that there are 5 love languages: Words of affirmation Quality time Receiving gifts
Acts of service Physical touch
If you can figure out what your mate's love language is, you can respond in a way that makes them feel loved and he gives several examples such as the ones below. Simple!
If your spouse's love language is Words of Affirmation:
give your spouse a different compliment every day or write them a love letter.
If your spouse's love language is Quality Time:
do just that (and not while you are on the mobile phone), for example go for walk in the park plan weekend getaways and make time everyday to share events of the day.
If your spouse's love language is Receiving Gifts:
make homemade gifts or buy or send them some surprise gifts. The last gift I got from a lover was a money box of a pig with wings!
If your spouse's love language is Acts of Service:
Get them to make a list of all the things that they would like done (for men). For women… they should know what they are! Maybe you could arrange for someone to complete jobs around the house that they would like done.
If your spouse's love language is Physical Touch:
that's a no brainer, but apart from the obvious, give spontaneous massages and greet with a big hug.
If you are unsure about your love language or your partner's, there is a simple quiz at the back of the book to create your own profile. You choose between simple questions like:
Would you wish your partner would send you emails or would you prefer cuddles? Would you like to spend more time with your partner or have them do errands for you? You tally your own answers and voilà, try the hints in the book and all is not lost. In other words, feel truly and deeply loved without having to think about it.
I have figured out the love languages. So all I need to know now is what to do when a partner is totally untrustworthy, conniving, selfish, self-serving and self delusionary. It's going to put a new spin on self help books. Now if I could write an advice book about that, it would probably be a best seller!