The 52 Book Club 2022 Challenge Prompt: 24. Addresses a specific topic
Other Possible Prompts: 4. Title starting with the letter “F”, 5. Chapters have titles, 7. A non-fiction bestseller, 11. A book with less than 2022 Goodreads ratings, 23. An author with an X, Y, or Z in their name
A family friend gave this book to Nate and I several months ago; they said if we were going to get married, we should definitely read this book. Apparently gifting this book to other couples is part of the sort of cult following around it, but we appreciated it nonetheless! I read it first and I’ll be handing it off to Nate next.
Just a military spin on the classic five love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and physical touch), this book walks you through each of the five love languages, what understanding them means in your relationship, and how to discover you and your partner’s love languages. Being military focused, this edition focuses primarily on military couples, and includes examples of how to speak your partner’s love language during deployments or the special circumstances of a military marriage.
Nate and I are not even married yet let alone experiencing some of the problems expressed in this book, but I almost think that puts us in a better position to read it! Knowing this information before you get into a tough spot where you are hurting is really valuable. Your relationship could always be better for understanding these principles. And besides, when we tell people how long we’ve been together (usually following the “why aren’t you married yet?” question), they typically inform us we’re basically married anyways.
Military relationships move at a different speed, on a different wavelength, but we’ve been fortunate enough to have that sense of relative normalcy for much of our time together. Because of that, some of the stories didn’t really relate to us yet, particularly regarding deployments. We just haven’t had that experience yet, though I think this book will be good preparation!
The concept of love languages is something I’ve only had a relative understanding of prior to reading this book: I knew about the love languages, but I don’t think I understood anything about how you’re supposed to use them in your daily married life until I read this. While I can’t speak to its effectiveness personally yet, I do plan to try some of the tips in this book, and I think this book is a very well laid out guide for getting started incorporating this into your relationship.
My one complaint as a reader would be the “preachiness” aspect of some parts of the book; the organization is very clear, but there are times when the book feels like it’s patting its author on the back, or trying to sell you on the idea instead of providing straight facts or accounts. They’re pretty easy to look past, though, to its credit.
I did really like this book, and I think it changed my perspective on love and relationships, and even the way I see my own needs. My own love language is acts of service. I often feel like a nag asking for help constantly with things around the house, or things I really need done. Truthfully, I derive my energy from a clean and organized environment, so those pieces of my life are absolutely crucial to my individual success. Not only does it feel like being respected when he helps me do these things, it helps me feel loved and more able to give love in return. I always just thought I was crazy. To see this as a love language, instead of annoying personality quirk of mine, is actually kind of nice. I think it will be really helpful in reframing my requests for “love”, too.
Further, it changed my opinions on relationships, because it does truly take work in a marriage. I’ve always loved that what Nate and I have feels effortless, but I think that comes partly from the fact that my secondary love language is quality time, which I believe is his primary love language (he still needs to read the book and fill out hins profile, but I’m pretty confident!). So, we both give and receive love in a similar language and even a similar dialect. But there will come a time in our lives, especially with the military as a third party to it, where that may not come naturally. It’s just a great thing to be cognisant of.
Alright, enough harping on about my relationship. I did think this book was a valuable read, and I’ll be happy to pass it on to another couple when the time comes!
Have a great week friends.