Military Love Languages
Posted in: Marriage
There’s a big difference between being “in love” and truly loving your spouse.
Being “in love” is a euphoric experience. We’re emotionally obsessed with one another. We feel we belong to each other, that we can conquer any problems that come our way. Unfortunately, this isn’t real intimacy; it’s only an illusion. It’s also temporary.
Real love involves discipline and an act of the will. It’s the choice to expend energy solely for the benefit of the other person, and it can’t begin until the “in love” experience has run its course.
The 5 Love Languages: Military Edition
This excerpt from The 5 Love Languages: Military Edition is part of the answer to Dr. Gary Chapman’s question: “Why is it so few couples seem to have found the secret to keeping love alive after the wedding?” Over the next 200 pages, he not only answers this question, but he provides advice on how military husbands and wives can buck this trend and create strong, fulfilling marriages. In each chapter are examples unique to military life.
Dr. Chapman is a well-known author, counselor, and speaker who specializes in helping men and women improve their marriages. His latest book is a follow-on to The5 Love Languages. Since its publication in 1992, more than 8 million copies have been sold.
Over the past 15 years, Dr. Chapman has met with military husbands and wives at bases across the country. To help him address the concerns of this group, he recruited Jocelyn Green, a former military wife and the author of Faith Deployed. Together, they’ve created a resource that will make good marriages better and help couples who are struggling to discover how to overcome the challenges that are causing their relationships to suffer.
What can help make a marriage healthy?
Husbands and wives enter marriage with different histories, personalities, and expectations. They have different opinions and emotional baggage. For a healthy marriage, we have to handle these differences so they don’t become divisive.
Dr. Chapman explains we all want to be loved by another person. Marriage is designed to meet that need. If love isn’t expressed in a way we can recognize and appreciate, intimacy evaporates, and the marriage seems empty.
The Five Love Languages
Dr. Chapman asserts that each of us prefer to experience love in one of five ways:
Words of Affirmation: Verbal encouragement and compliments, kindly and humbly expressed
Quality Time: Undivided attention as you do something together, either conversation or activity
Receiving Gifts: Something purchased, found, or made as a visual symbol of love; the gift of being there when your spouse needs you
Acts of Service: Helping your spouse with things he or she would like you to do
Physical Touch: Communicating emotional love through holding hands, embracing, kissing, sexual intercourse
Separate chapters are devoted to each of these love languages and how best to express them. Additionally, you’ll find examples of how military couples can speak these languages when a spouse deploys.
Because husbands and wives don’t always want to receive love in the same way, it’s important they know one another’s primary love language. In addition to advice on how to discover your love language, the book includes appendixes that permit readers to assess which of the five methods they prefer.
Dr. Chapman tells us love is something we do for someone else, not for ourselves. If we put into practice the authors’ advice in The 5 Love Languages: Military Edition, we’ll be able to better meet our spouses’ emotional need for love and build stronger, healthier marriages at the same time.
What Others Are Saying
“As long-time practitioners of The 5 Love Languages, we are thrilled that military couples will now have a targeted version that ‘speaks their own language’ and will help them renew their love for each other.” — Lieutenant General (Retired) Van VanAntwerp, U.S. Army
“The 5 Love Languages: Military Edition is exactly what every military marriage needs.” — Maureen Elias, U.S. Air Force spouse
“This book will give you real help for the real struggles of military marriage.” — Commander (Retired) Robert and Bettina Dowell, U.S. Navy