Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Review: The Five Love Languages- Men's Edition: How to Express Heartfelt Committment to Your Mate- Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages: Men's Edition: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your MateThe Five Love Languages: Men's Edition: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First I want to point out that I mostly listened to the Men's Edition of this book, but there was a glitch in the Overdrive download, so I ended up listening to parts of the original version.
Second, the question I, and a lot of others seemed to have, is this a variation/modification of the original or is it an extension/spin-off upon the original. It is a variation, the points specifically for men seem to be an after-thought and the cover is a different color, that's about it. At the end of the chapter there were application ideas that were specifically focused towards men. They seemed like an after though, and I do not know whether the original included these application ideas at the end of the chapter, but either way the men-specific points were not significant. The audiobook did conclude with an interview/afterward with Gary Chapman [who was also the reader of the audiobook and was good at it] and he said that this was his attempt to make the book more accessible to men and not to re-write the book. He was very honest and candid about it and I think any misleading in the marketing of the book has come from the publisher instead.
Overall the book was good to read and there were some ways my eyes were opened, but I had heard much of it before so it wasn't really life-altering. The five love languages are: gift giving [my wife's], acts of service [mine], quality time, encouraging words, and physical touch. The book focused on identifying and then using positively your spouses love language. That is, getting used to using a love language that is not your natural one, so that when you express love it is in the natural language your spouse speaks in. The idea makes great sense and in the limited ways I've tried it I believe that it works.
The biggest complaint I have about the book is that he spends no time talking about, how as a spouse we should recognize when our spouse uses their own love language. For example, right as and after I read the book I was getting ready to go away to a conference for two days and I spent the weekend making sure everything in the house was in order, even going as far as to do service tasks, like laying out clothes for our girls for Monday morning, that my wife normally does. I cleaned like crazy and did everything else I could to make sure that she was well served before I left. My wife did appreciate it, but the author doesn't talk about this at all in the book. The other minor complaint is that I think I naturally am strongly one, but understand and appreciate all five and there are times where he seems to waffle as to whether or not you can have more than one love language, though he puts great emphasis throughout on your/their primary love language.

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