I just finished reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Champan Wednesday night. (Actually it was Thursday morning). I would definitely recommend this book. There are several different versions: there is the original (meant for couples), the men's edition (so that your husband might actually read it,maybe), the Love Languages of Children, of Teenages, for Singles, and about a bazillion others.
The basic concept is that everyone in the whole world expresses love in one of 5 ways. Kind of like if the whole world only spoke English, Russian, Chinese,Arabic, or not some random African Language. There are lots of dialects within the love languages. Most people "hear" love best in one way over the other four. Knowing this, you can better love your spouse by speaking their love language.
Now that you are already confused, lets look at the 5 languages. They are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Gifts, and Physical Touch.
Words of affirmation are spoken. It's saying things to your loved one. Things like, "I love you," or "I'm proud of you," or "you do that really well," or even "you look hot."
Quality Time can be anything from going out to dinner, going on a hike, just sitting and talking or playing board games. The point of quality time is to spend time with your loved one, giving them your full attention and energy.
Acts of Service is doing stuff for people. Most often in marriage, in my opinion anyway, this amounts to doing stuff around the house. Stuff like taking out the garbage, or cooking, or vacuuming. This could also mean getting up to get your mom a glass of ice tea because she prefaced her request with "how much do you love me?" (True story. My mom did that to my sister and I growing up. I tried this with Johnny and he was like "I love you mom, but not if you want me to get you that piece of bread." He's really smart for four years old).
Gifts is sort of obvious. But gifts don't have to be expensive or store bought or even things. Dr. Chapman talked about giving the gift of your presence. This is like when, even though it was a pain and he didn't want to, my husband flew to New Mexico for just under 48 hours to be with me at my family reunion. I wanted him there; it meant a lot to me, and he gifted me his time and his presence.
Physical Touch also seems obvious. This is not, however, just about sex. Physical touch can mean, kisses, hugs, massages, just touching an arm when you pour his coffee, anything that brings your person in contact with their person in a kind and loving way. This does not including beating your spouse black and blue, unless they like that sort of things, in which case, I really don't want to know.
I am certain Larch's love language is acts of service. He is happiest when the house is clean and dinner is cooked or even if I get up and get him a beer when I don't need anything in the kitchen. I think I speak quality time. My parents think I speak gifts. The assessment at the end of the book say's I'm tied between physical touch and quality time. It is possible to be bilingual. I think my son speaks quality time and my daughter speaks touch. I just started The Five Love Languages of Children this afternoon, so I may change my mind.
I would recommend reading the book. Or at least checking out the website, http://www.5lovelanguages.com/. You can learn the languages, take an assessment, buy the book. It's an easy read and very insightful as to why
marriages start to feel stale and loveless after the honeymoon phase is over.
P.S. Happy Friday the 13th. Maybe my post should have been on luck. ;)