Gillette Law - February 2018

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A few years ago, my wife got an audiobook version of Gary Chapman’s classic work, “The 5 Love Languages,” for us to listen to in the car. With the subtitle “How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate,” I wasn’t sure if this purchase was Jennifer’s way of sending me a message. Needless to say, I listened attentively. To my surprise, I discovered I really enjoyed the book. Chapman’s take on the ways we give and receive affection is well worth any couple’s time. For the uninitiated, a person’s “love language” is the way they prefer to experience love. Chapman draws on his experience as a counselor to break down these preferences into five categories, or languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. While everyone enjoys each of these languages to an extent, individuals tend to have a favorite, or primary, language. The author contends that most problems in a relationship arise from a disconnect between the love languages we express and those our partners want to receive. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, even those of us who have read “The 5 Love Languages” would do well to refresh our memories. You don’t have to read the full book to figure out your own language. Often, the ways we express love are also the ways we would like

There’s a deeper lesson to “Love Languages” than merely categorizing ourselves and our partners. By creating these umbrella languages, Chapman is drawing our attention to the many forms affection can take.

More importantly, he’s showing us the need to step out of our own shoes and to acknowledge that the way we express love isn’t always the way others wish to receive it. “The 5 Love Languages” is a valuable book because it starts a conversation between couples, one based on mutual respect and understanding. My primary language is physical touch, and I’ve always appreciated a hug or a pat on the shoulder. Jennifer is not as big on touch, but she understands and appreciates my need for it. Similarly, I do my best to keep up with the dishes, despite our full household. Though I wouldn’t consider sorting dirty silverware a romantic gesture, I know how much it means to her. Since our joint listening sessions in the car, Jennifer and I will often refer back to “The 5 Love Languages” in our conversations. It’s a great tool to help couples communicate what can often feel like complex topics. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend this book to any couple looking to keep that spark alight for many more Valentine’s Days to come. In fact, you can win a copy of “The 5 Love Languages.” Just visit our Facebook page ( and show us some “love” by “liking” our page, then comment on our post about the book by letting us know your love language. At the end of the month, one randomly selected winner will receive a free copy of “The 5 Love Languages.” “‘The 5 Love Languages’ is a valuable book because it starts a conversation between couples, one based on mutual respect and understanding.”

to receive it. We do unto others as we would have them do unto us. So, if you like to buy things for your loved ones, it’s likely that receiving gifts is your love language. Are you the kind of person who spends hours on a thank-you note, trying to find just the right words to capture the kindness you received? This is probably because you find words of affirmation powerful when they are given to you. My wife feels loved when I unload the dishwasher, so we agree that acts of service are her language.

N e x t D o o r Bu

–Brian Gillette

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