Sunday, April 25, 2010

The 5 Love Languages

This is one of the most helpful marriage books I have ever read. I recommend it to everyone that is in any kind of relationship! The book really gives some amazing insight. The Five Love Languages talks about how people communicate love differently. It says there are 5 of them. 1) Words of Affirmation 2) Quality Time 3) Gifts 4) Service and 5) Physical Touch. The funny part is the author has to qualify that most men initially think their love language is physical touch but as he gives more of an explanation they see that this is more like cuddling and patting on the back, holding hands, etc. Why I mention this goes back to my point about men NEEDING sex differently than woman. They equate sexual intimacy as a sign that they are loved. So with that in mind, please read this book and be sure to give him physical touch as often as he would like.

One of my most favorite aspects of the book is how all relationships follow this funny trend- the author even backs it up with empirical data- and when you understand the way things usually work in a marriage you can understand what do to about the aspects that are frustrating for you. These stages are summarized a little bit in my own words below:

Infatuation or Romantic Love-
This stage is when the relationship is new and exciting and you are in love, so in love, and want the world to know it. When you cannot keep your hands off each one another you’re your mind is obsessed with this person you are in love with. Some call it the “honeymoon stage”. It typically lasts only 1-2 years. I use to think this was so sad and vowed to never let that die in my relationship. But the truth is if it didn’t calm down a little bit… absolutely nothing would get done in society. With my sexy husband I would make out like a rock star all day and night and wouldn’t accomplish anything! So it is natural, normal, and even good for us that things slow down in this department.

Reality Comes Knocking -
We start to realize that our partners have idiosyncrasies that are less than perfect. Arguments may begin to introduce themselves in your once perfect world and you sadly realize that your marriage is not living up to your expectations or that things are not as they once were. Perhaps you are even among the lucky who still really get along but that crazy sexual passion certainly is not the same. This usually comes after kids but for some can start sooner.

At this point the relationship can go one of three ways because you can decide one of the following:
1) The relationship cannot be fixed and you end it
2) The relationship cannot be fixed, but you won’t end it, so you settle into a loveless marriage that leaves you both completely unfulfilled
3) Or perhaps it is not only your spouse that needs to change and this is where you can head on to the biggest and “bestest” part of the marriage:

True Love-
In this stage you learn to accept that people are imperfect and therefore no relationship can be perfect either. You also take a good hard look at yourself and realize that there are things you could change or things that you could do that would help to pave a path for a loving relationship. Your actions can invite your spouse’s to. And as you succeed at this your relationship is built on something much deeper than physical attraction or hearts and flowers. This is the kind of love that unfortunately few people enjoy. This is the eternally love that movies should be written about.

A woman’s sexual desire for a man is largely determined on how emotionally connected to him she feels. My parents have always said the cute phrase, “woman give sex for love and men give love for sex” and this funny saying has more truth in it than can be comfortable for most women. But if you come to understand that “TRUE LOVE” transcends this and is all about doing what is best for the other person because they mean that much to you, the joy you can achieve in bring joy to someone else is the real treat.

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