While I have had more of a summary of the book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts in my LiveTrue Book collection, I am delighted to now have a personal review by Brittany Brolley of my book review team:
The 5 Love Languages
Review by Brittany Brolley
While the back cover of the book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman proudly features “Over 10 million copies sold” I was cautiously optimistic about a self-help relationship book from the early 90s. However, Chapman’s words captivated me by chapter one.
His relatable approach uses many kind of analogies to explain his five types of ‘love languages,’ such as:
“Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other.”
Not Unduly Psychoanalytical
Without being unduly psychoanalytical, Chapman explains our deep-rooted emotional need for love — and not just in a romantic way. “We needed love before we ‘fell in love,’ and we will need it as long as we live,” he clarifies. Chapman also discusses how we can and cannot receive emotional love. Many spouses get into a pattern of making demands of one another — myself included — but Chapman writes, “We cannot get emotional love by way of demand. My spouse may in fact comply with my demands, but it is not an expression of love. It is an act of fear or guilt or some other emotion, but not love.”
After explaining the importance of learning a spouse’s love language in the first three chapters, Chapman spends the next five chapters explaining each language in detail. At the end of each chapter he includes a guide for putting that specific love language into practice. He also asks a personal open-ended question, which I found incredibly helpful in figuring out what is most important to me in my marriage.
What’s Your Love Language? Your Partner’s?
After finishing the chapters on the different languages, I started to suspect my husband’s love language. I also had a good handle on my own. However, Chapman doesn’t want anyone left in the lurch. Chapter Nine benefits those who have trouble deciphering their spouse’s love language. He gives three additional suggestions and calls attention to the “5 Love Languages Profile” found at the end of the book. I highly recommend using this questionnaire. I assumed I would have one primary love language, but learned I have a “bilingual” love language profile. My spouse also completed the profile and his results confirmed the language I presumed.
Loving the Unlovely
While my husband wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to read this book, he did find the information interesting. However, that’s not always the case. Chapman dedicates a chapter of his book to “Loving the Unlovely,” a beautiful segment on what can happen when only one spouse works to improve the relationship. He makes a number of biblical references in this chapter and confirms his stance in the following chapter: “The ability to love, especially when your spouse is not loving you, may seem impossible for some. Such love may require us to draw upon spiritual resources.” Chapman continues by saying he “rediscovered his need for God” and encourages readers to do the same. Although interesting to learn about this part of his background, some readers could be turned off by his religious insights.
At the end, Chapman includes a “Frequently Asked Questions” section to quell any lingering confusion. A solid book through and through, The 5 Love Languages should be in everyone’s library, and I can envision passing it on to family and friends.
Brittany Brolley of Laura’s book review team is a lifestyle writer, childfree advocate and founder of therinkydinklife.com, a website dedicated to breaking free of the stereotypes surrounding the childless.