Basically he breaks the languages into the following five categories (and I apologizes if I don't get the exact terminology correct...you'll just have to read the book!) that people will use to show others that they care about them:
- Physical Touch - This doesn't just mean sex, but also includes the cuddling on the couch, hand holding, kissing before you head off to work, a nice hug, etc.
- Acts of Labour - Housework, cooking, taking the garbage out, making sure the vehicle is in safe working order
- Quality Time - Spending time together; going on walks/drives, doing activities together
- Gifts/Tokens - This doesn't necessarily mean expensive items, although some people measure value that way, it can also be the flower you pick on the way home from a walk, something you've made, a token of appreciation.
- Words of Affirmation - actually saying the words "I Love You", telling them that they look nice, vocalizing what your are feeling.
The idea is that just because you value 1 & 4 above the others doesn't mean your partner does, they may be a 2 all the way. So even though you bring them flowers and kiss them every morning when you wake up, all they can think of is "Why won't he just take out the garbage! Doesn't he care about me and all the hard work I do around this house for us?"
I found it extremely relevant to my relationship with my husband, since I identify most with 5, and a close second 4, but those are the LEAST important things to him. Once I realized that I was able to see how he was tell me he cared through 1, 2 & 3. As must as 2 is the LEAST important to me I now make more of an effort to help around the house because I know that it is really important to him.
The next step is to get HIM to read the book (or at least the Cole's notes version!) so that he would understand when I try explaining to him that his nagging me to clean, eat better, go to the gym etc is the WORST thing you can do to motivate me.
I find the book also interesting when I apply it to other people, where I try to understand why they approach things a certain way.
I definitely recommend this as a book to read. Gary Chapman has written a few other marriage books and I decided to pick up another one of his audio books, despite the reviews that said it was overly preachy...I really should have listened to them. It read more like a sermon, referencing way to many bible verses making it hard to relate to. I have only made it to chapter 2.
Have you ever read a good relationship book?