Monday, October 1, 2007

Love In Any Language: EXTREME Edition

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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E-mom at Chrysalis has taken over the Marriage Monday meme, which will be held the first Monday of every month. To find out more, click on this link.

Here's my first post for Marriage Monday:

Yesterday as I was paging through my Bible on the way to church, I came across a small piece of paper, which had the following scribbled on it:


1. Acts of Service
2. Words of Affirmation
3. Quality Time

4. Receiving Gifts
5. Physical Touch

1. Physical Touch
2. Quality Time
3. Words of Affirmation
4. Receiving Gifts
5. Acts of Service

Recognize the list? Well, for those of you who have had the privilege of reading Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages, you may recognize this as a list of mine and Wayne's top Five Love Languages, with #1 being our primary language, followed by the remaining four in the order which we appreciate them the most.

(For a summary description of each of the five love languages, follow this

The Five Love Languages:  Gary ChapmanThe paper I discovered in my Bible was from an intensive study that our care group did almost five years ago. And, after looking over the list, I'd say not a lot has changed.

You will notice that Wayne and I are on completely different ends of the spectrum when it comes to our primary love language. He needs Physical Touch. I need Acts of Service. He doesn't need Acts of Service. I don't need Physical Touch. Okay, now maybe I'm being extreme. We still need those things, just not to the same degree as the other person.

In my opinion, every person in the world has a need for each of the five love languages to some degree in their lives. But what we discovered in our study is that in order to feel loved, one love language usually dominates over the others. That is the love language that a spouse must add "extra fuel" to, so-to-speak.

Wayne and I are opposites in so many ways . . . more than just in our love languages. And, while I agree that opposites attract, this opposite attraction can also cause friction. That may go against the laws of physics, but I'm talking about real-life relationships here, not science.

It has been a challenge for Wayne and I to meet each other's love language requirements at times, simply because my #1 is his #5, and his #1 is my #5. For some couples, I would suspect they both have the same #1 love language. Imagine how easy it would be for that couple to fuel each others emotional tanks? It would be second nature to them . . . not much effort would be required. The concept of "Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You" would be their relationship in a nutshell.

This is not the case for opposites.
Wayne and I have to very consciously ensure that each others love tanks are being filled in appropriate and adequate ways. It is my responsibility as a wife to ensure that the needs of my husband are being met, and vice versa.

It takes a great deal of effort to stay on top of this. Sometimes I forget how important Physical Touch is to my husband. And sometimes he forgets how important Acts of Service are to me.
Balancing the love languages to ensure a stable marriage is challenging at times. But it is definitely worth the effort.

Like I said, it's been five years since we studied The Five Love Languages. We don't discuss the book anymore . . . but we are aware of the fact that we both have different needs, wants and desires in our marriage. We each have a different way of feeling loved to the max. We're making an attempt to live out the book in action.

Never a dull moment around here.

So, for those of you who have read Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages, how did you and your husband compare in your results? For the extreme opposites, do you agree with my conclusions? And for those who are similar, does it come as easily as I think it does?
I'd love to hear any and all comments pertaining to this topic.


e-Mom said...

A fantastic post, Kimmy! I have not read this book, but so many people have recommended it. (My daughter likes it too.)

You two are indeed on opposite ends of the spectrum. The upside is that you must focus on "other" rather than self. Looking outward is perhaps the hardest thing we have to learn as Christians--as well as spouses.

Thanks for linking up for Marriage Monday! {Hugs}

Kim said...

Kevin and I took a class almost two years ago called "His Needs, Her Needs." The class was very intense and included a lot of reading, homework and class sharing. The book "His Needs, Her Needs" by Willard F. Harley Jr. has a similar list of needs as you mentioned. The partner book called "Love Busters" was also really helpful as it talked about the things that hinder those needs or drain our love tanks. Like you and Wayne, Kevin and I are very different. During the time we took the class we were closer than we have ever been, but sadly we have slipped back to our old patterns. It is true you tend to show love in the way you need it shown. Your post is a challenge to me to get out those books and work on the things we discovered.

jillarae said...

How fitting that a friend and I had a one hour conversation on this book just TODAY!!! Brennan and I have little notes in each of our bathrooms with each other's love language on it. We are not polar opposites, and yet not the same either. Like you, we don't discuss the book anymore, but we do bring up the languages sometimes. We did the ALPHA marrieds course this past spring, and did the test again. Have you tested your kids? I haven't read that book, but just a synopsis and it was great too. Ok, must go, rambling here!

Kimmy said...

E-mom: Thanks for doing Marriage Monday. I think it's going to be a great tool for me to reflect on my marriage.
Kim: I haven't read "His Needs, Her Needs" but I've been wanting to read it. I hope you and Kevin are able to obtain the closeness you once had. Wayne and I have experienced the same thing . . . being close right after learning something new about our marriage/each other through study, but then, like you said . . . we slip back into our old patterns.
Jillarae: No, I haven't read the one for children, but I think I should. I'm pretty sure I've got them pegged already though . . . Thomas is Receiving Gifts, Mitchell is Quality Time and Ty is Physical Touch. Just an educated guess. BTW . . . I really need help hair-wise. I'll be contacting you soon about that!

Denise said...

Sounds like a great book, will have to check it out.

Kristy said...

Both these books are excellent ! His Needs Her Needs and 5 Love Languages are two of my (many) favorites!
I learned so much from 5 Love L. - I was always trying to love him with my love language in mind...not his, or what spoke to him....does that make sense? The book expains it much better!
Another amazing book is "The Excellent Wife" - I can't think of the author at the moment.....
Have a great week, friend!

Kimmy said...

Denise: Yes, it was very helpful for us.
Kristy: I know exactly what you mean. Wayne and are were doing the same thing, which caused a lot of frustration, especially since we are on opposite "sides" so-to-speak.