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The “MUST READ” for Engaged Couples

 

I’ll start this post off by admitting that in general, I’m not very good at reading.  Technically speaking I’m proficient in the hobby, but I have a tough time staying awake when I attempt to take it on.  With a 5 and a 1 year old running around the house “daddy just needs about 45 min. to do nothing but read” doesn’t translate very well.  In fact, the only time I feel I have to actually pick up a book and dive into it is after the kids go down.  Unfortunately I’m so damn tired at that point of the night, after about 2 paragraphs I’m out cold, face plastered against the pages, my drool blurring the ink that formed the words on it.

 

However, before the kiddos, my wife (fiancé at the time) and I were asked to read the The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.   We were given 2 copies so that we could read it simultaneously and were told that after each chapter that we should discuss what we read.   Although it felt a little cheesy, we agreed, and I’m SO glad we did.   The best word/phrase I can use to describe it is…GAME-CHANGING

 

Chapman does an magnificient job of breaking down rather complicated subjects (love, relationships, communication) in a way that is digestible, and more importantly, universal. In the first few chapters alone I had several “ohhhh….that’s why we’ve been struggling with that,” and “ahhh…that’s why we totally connect there” moments.

 

The premise is basic.  People feel loved in different ways.  The way you feel loved is what Chapman calls your “love language.”   Generally speaking there are 5 main languages (Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Gifts) and when your partner is “speaking” to you in a way that is in line with your language, you are much more likely to be in tune with each other.

 Note: Most couples speak different love languages.  Don’t just show love in the way that you understand it. Learn your partner’s’!!!

 

If I think I’m showing love to my partner by purchasing material items week in and week out (gifts) yet she feels much more fulfilled when we spend an entire day together walking through the woods and/or grabbing some food and a movie (quality time), the whole gift thing is going to fall flat.

 

My wife Jess’s love language is a combo of Quality Time, and Acts of Service.  Mine of the other hand is Physical Touch (imagine that).   Early on in our relationship we worked opposite hours, and in turn spent very little time together.  Because ‘quality time’ wasn’t as important to me, it didn’t register as something that might be important to her.  I couldn’t have been more wrong, and because of it we struggled.  Frustratingly,  we couldn’t figure out why.   It’s obvious now…it was as if we were talking to each other in 2 different languages.  We understood our own, but we couldn’t understand the other’s.

And that might be the magic of this book.  The most effective way for your partner to speak your love language is by you speaking theirs.  If making-out is important to me…then I better start carving out more time during the day to spend with Jess.  Vice versa…if she wants more long walks on the beach, then she’s going to have to kiss my face a little bit more.   It sounds a little crude, (maybe even down right selfish) but at the end of the day it works because each person’s needs are getting met.

 

This book is great because…

~it forces you to do some self reflection and name your language.

~it challenges you to learn and speak the language of your partner

~the topics are easy to understand, and easy to remember

~it will make your relationship better  (i.e. “happy wife = happy life”) 

~being in harmony with your partner, is soooo much better then the opposite. 

 

I say read it now, and read it together.  I’m confident that you’ll agree that it’s a game-changer.

 

What are your thoughts?  Any other “must reads” for an engaged or newly married couple?  Please share!

 

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