Why does the infatuation stage vanish after marriage? Why do we walk away from partners when we promise to love them forever? Can couples get a second chance to make it work and save their marriages?
These are the questions tackled by Dr Gary Chapman, a pastor and marriage counselor. Based on his own marriage and counseling thousands of couples, he discovered every person has a love tank that needs to be filled. Here are the five love languages that partners seek in a happy marriage:
- Words of affirmation – Communication, whether verbal or written plays a crucial role in a relationship. If your partner takes out the trash, makes a meal, takes the kids to school, a special thank you goes a long way. Many couples make the mistake of thinking partners know they’re appreciated, without saying it. Words are important and go a long way in building a strong marriage.
- Quality Time – Many couples don’t find time to “date” their partners after marriage. In the busyness of life, it’s so easy to fall into this trap. In the same way we make time for meals, so too should quality time be scheduled into daily living. Be creative, venture to new places, organize a weekend away, or simply stay in and have a long chat. During these dates, come up with five questions to ask your partner. We tend to think we know everything about them, but there is so much we don’t know and this is a perfect opportunity for it. A marriage blossoms when you fall in love with your partner, over and over again 🙂
- Gifts of love – A marriage is symbolized by the wearing of rings, a commitment to love, honor and stay together forever. Gifts are tokens of affection and don’t need to cost a fortune. The gift of presence is fundamental to a marriage. It speaks volumes in times of crisis, loss and challenging moments.
- Acts of service – Working together to share the workload is essential to many partnerships. Marriage comprises stages like child-rearing, household chores, paying the bills, etc. Receiving help from a partner eases the burden. It also gives assurance that couples work together as a team, reflecting respect in the relationship.
- Physical touch – Some couples revel in PDA, whilst others prefer keeping it private. Whatever your take on this, physical touch is a powerful love language. A kiss, holding hands, giving back massages are wonderful ways of showing affection to your partner. In a time of crisis, a hug is worth more than a thousand words.
Can you identify which love language speaks loudly to you? Still don’t know… identify what you complain about in your marriage that feels lacking. What about your partner, can you determine his love language?
Gary Chapman sums up a good marriage as doing things we don’t like doing, but doing them nevertheless, as it makes our partner happy. In this manner, love tanks become emotionally filled. The five love languages challenges us to give love to our partner in a meaningful and respectful manner.
I learnt so much about myself and my partner reading this book. Marriage is hard work and takes constant investment in each other to make it work. Gary Chapman opened my eyes to the things I’ve missed, sharing ideas on keeping love alive forever.
A must-read five star rating!