Book Review – The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

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This book came to me via a recommendation from my sister-in-law and she gave me a copy of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman the day my wife and I renewed our vows.  If you have been following me here at Spiral Revolutions you would know that after 20+ years of marriage that my wife and I hit a major snag the last couple.  It has certainly been a roller coaster of a ride, but after reading this book it became really clear to me what had happened.

A Timely Recommendation

It was time for my dad to downsize out of his house and I was working with my step brother and his wife to help get the place sorted, cleaned up and ready for sale.  It was during that process that we talked some about the recent events going on in my marriage and this is when Brienna told me about her and my step brother’s journey and the struggles that they overcame.  She said it was in large part due to this book that they were able to get over a hump and move on positively.

I had planned a surprise re-proposal and renewing of our vows party for my wife.  You see my wedding band had been stolen a couple years back and hers had lost a diamond so neither of us had been wearing them.  This was certainly affecting the relationship in these trying times and I wanted to get us new rings and to pledge my love to her all over again.

After a rather successful surprise party, Brienna gave me the book before they left.  I was almost done with the book I was currently reading and was excited to learn about the language of love. As she gave me the book I stated I would get it back to her once I was done with it, but she requested that she rather I pass it on to someone else that it may help instead.

Getting Down to the Core of Love

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Gary does an excellent job of getting to the core of things with this book.

As I started reading this book on the secret to love that lasts, I remember thinking that the book seemed kind of small for such a complex subject.  However, I would quickly find out that Gary would get right down to the core of it all and make it seem almost simple.  I really appreciated how he speaks throughout the book in a way that I would best describe as just using common sense.

The examples that he uses throughout the book really help you to understand not only how the concepts work, but how he discovered them in the first place.  There are no big complex words or methods you need to learn, but rather just opening your eyes to the simplicity of it all.

Gary shows how each and every one of us has what he refers to as a Love Tank inside of us, much like a car has a gas tank.  When we first meet and fall in love with someone these tanks are overflowing with the pure love that we feel at those times.  He also shows that we each have our own language that when spoken to us, helps to keep the tanks full.

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As the initial burst of love wears off, we need to make sure to speak our partner’s primary language to keep them full!

A vast amount of marital problems can be traced back to one or both party’s tanks losing fuel.  This happens in a couple different ways.  First and foremost is that the infatuation stage of love or the beginnings of it fills the tank rather easily, but doesn’t last long.  As that effect wears off it is the speaking of our partner’s language that allows us to refill their tanks on a daily basis.  If we are not speaking the correct language, there could be trouble brewing!

This book will teach you how to identify not only your love language, but also your spouses as well.  For me it really hit home and I was able to understand why my wife and I were struggling even though we love each other so much.  Our problem is that we got our wires crossed and were not communicating in each other’s primary language and thusly not refilling our tanks as we should have been.

This Book is Just Completely Eye Opening

With each turn of the page I was able to identify a point or person in my life that fit into what he was discussing at the moment.  I was able to see the languages of not only my spouse but for many of the important people in my life, especially from my childhood.  While this book caters to a married couple, the concept easily transcends that and at the end of the book he does mention that there are other books for kids, singles and other situations available.

My eyes really opened when I thought about how I had been working so hard in recent times to be a better husband.  I thought I was doing things that my wife would really appreciate, but it turns out that I was not speaking her language to her.  Rather, I was speaking my own language to her.

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I now understand how to communicate with my wife in a way that will truly allow her to feel loved.

This is why we were struggling as instead of speaking the language to each other that would fill the other’s tank, we spoke what came naturally to us.  This is actually fairly common as I would read, that when pressed you will use your primary love language to reach out to your partner.  The good thing is though, that it really helped me understand what my primary language was.

The other thing that I really came to appreciate as I finished the book was that I felt like my wife and I could stop arguing about who’s fault this whole mess was.  I now understand that it was not either of our faults because we just didn’t know.  The world had never taught us how to communicate properly and as a matter of fact I think today’s society encourages quite the opposite behaviors.

My Recommendation

There were many points while reading this book that hit me so hard emotionally it was hard to not just burst out in tears at times.  Gary Chapman laid everything on the line in a very simple and easy to read format on a concept that I think we all need to learn more about.

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I highly recommend this book!

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, not just married couples.  Understanding how our love languages work can help to save a marriage in trouble or take a healthy marriage to the next level.  The perspectives alone that you will see throughout this book are just amazing, especially when it comes to the various examples that he provides.

Click the following link to order your copy of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and help support this site and our mission to make the world a better place.  I think it would be safe to say that for each person the reads and understands what is in this book, the world will definitely be better off for it.  Also, if you are interested in a more specific version here is a list of the other variants of the book:

Comments, Questions and More!

First I would like to ask you to please leave any questions or comments you may have about the book below and I will do my best to get you all squared up.  I would also ask that if you are familiar with any of Gary Chapman’s work to please leave us your perspectives on it as well so that we can all learn from it.

Also, if you enjoyed this article, here are some others that I have written that tie in with this subject:

Thank you for stopping by today and I hope that this book is able to help you as much as it did for me.  I am certainly thankful for it coming into my life when it did.  Special thanks to my sister-in-law Brienna for passing it along to me.

James W D
james@spiralrevolutions.com

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6 Replies to “Book Review – The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman”

  1. Hey James =)

    I always make sure I stop what I’m doing to read your articles because I know that each time i do, I will learn something worth remembering =)

    It’s never a waste of time coming here – I love this site!

    As for the book, well it really does sound appealing.

    It’s a very crucial topic!

    Thanks =)

    • Lawrence, I really appreciate your kind words. I do my best to make sure that every post I bring to the table has my unique perspective and positive value to it.

      I did not have that high of expectations for this book when I first got it, but it did not take long for them to change. The author tackles a very tough subject in a very positive way. It has certainly helped me that is for sure.

  2. I came into the similar concept of love tanks when I was browsing for resources to solve my failing marriage a few years back. In a healthy relationship, we need to constantly deposit into the love tank. But we also make “withdrawal” from time to time.

    Relationship problems normally start when we make more “withdrawals” than “deposits”. It would have make a whole world of difference had I read such resources earlier on.

    • This book is similar, but rather focuses on our behaviors and communicating in our partner’s primary love language. After many years of marriage counselling, Gary started to realize that there was a pattern developing. As he researched it he came to realize that there are 5 general types of Love Languages which he discusses at length in the book.

      The catch is that many of us when expressing our love to our partners tend to use our own primary Love Language and not theirs. This leads to their tank being depleted over time as the deposits are the right type. By identifying your partners Primary and making the choice to love them and speak their language is what you will learn about here.

      I cannot stress enough that this book has tremendous value in it. My marriage was certainly threatened in recent times and this book has me back on the right path to make sure that never happens again.

  3. Once again, I thank you, James for your insight and recommendation. I have gotten the book, but haven’t started reading yet. I’m excited to dive in after reading your review!

    • barb you have been a faithful visitor to my site here and I really appreciate that. I know we have chatted a lot and I think that this book will be very beneficial for you. I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

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