The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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With over 10 million copies sold, The 5 Love Languages has transformed countless relationships. Its ideas are simple and conveyed with clarity and humor, making this audio book as practical as it is personable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781589269064
Publisher: Oasis Audio
Publication date: 02/20/2005
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 4
Sales rank: 108,878
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Gary Chapman — author, speaker, and counselor — has a passion for people and for helping them form lasting relationships. He is the best-selling author of The 5 Love Languages® series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. For more information, visit

Read an Excerpt

The Five Love Languages

How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
By Gary Chapman


Copyright © 1995 Gary D. Chapman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1881273156

Chapter One

What Happens to Love After the Wedding?

At 30,000 feet, somewhere between Buffalo and Dallas, he put his magazine in his seat pocket, turned in my direction, and asked, "What kind of work do you do?"

"I do marriage counseling and lead marriage enrichment seminars," I said matter-of-factly.

"I've been wanting to ask someone this for a long time," he said. "What happens to the love after you get married?"

Relinquishing my hopes of getting a nap, I asked, "What do you mean?"

"Well," he said, "I've been married three times, and each time, it was wonderful before we got married, but somehow after the wedding it all fell apart. All the love I thought I had for her and the love she seemed to have for me evaporated. I am a fairly intelligent person. I operate a successful business, but I don't understand it."

"How long were you married?" I asked.

"The first one lasted about ten years. The second time, we were married three years, and the last one, almost six years."

"Did your love evaporate immediately after the wedding, or was it a gradual loss?" I inquired.

"Well, the second one went wrong from the very beginning. I don't know what happened. I really thought we loved each other, but the honeymoon was a disaster, and we never recovered. We only dated six months. It was a whirlwind romance. It was really exciting! But after the marriage, it was a battle from the beginning.

"In my first marriage, we had three or four good years before the baby came. After the baby was born, I felt like she gave her attention to the baby and I no longer mattered. It was as if her one goal in life was to have a baby, and after the baby, she no longer needed me."

"Did you tell her that?" I asked.

"Oh, yes, I told her. She said I was crazy. She said I did not understand the stress of being a twenty-four-hour nurse. She said I should be more understanding and help her more. I really tried, but it didn't seem to make any difference. After that, we just grew further apart. After a while, there was no love left, just deadness. Both of us agreed that the marriage was over.

"My last marriage? I really thought that one would be different. I had been divorced for three years. We dated each other for two years. I really thought we knew what we were doing, and I thought that perhaps for the first time I really knew what it meant to love someone. I genuinely felt that she loved me.

"After the wedding, I don't think I changed. I continued to express love to her as I had before marriage. I told her how beautiful she was. I told her how much I loved her. I told her how proud I was to be her husband. But a few months after marriage, she started complaining; about petty things at first-like my not taking the garbage out or not hanging up my clothes. Later, she went to attacking my character, telling me that she didn't feel she could trust me, accusing me of not being faithful to her. She became a totally negative person. Before marriage, she was never negative. She was one of the most positive people I have ever met. That is one of the things that attracted me to her. She never complained about anything. Everything I did was wonderful, but once we were married, it seemed I could do nothing right. I honestly don't know what happened. Eventually, I lost my love for her arid began to resent her. She obviously had no love for me. We agreed there was no benefit to our living together any longer, so we split.

"That was a year ago. So my question is, What happens to love after the wedding? Is my experience common? Is that why we have so many divorces in our country? I can't believe that it happened to me three times. And those who don't divorce, do they learn to live with the emptiness, or does love really stay alive in some marriages? If so, how?"

The questions my friend, seated in 5A was asking are the questions that thousands of married and divorced persons are asking today. Some are asking friends, some are asking counselors and clergy, and some are asking themselves. Sometimes the answers are couched in psychological research jargon that are almost incomprehensible. Sometimes they are couched in humor and folklore. Most of the jokes and pithy sayings contain some truth, but they are like offering an aspirin to a person with cancer.

The desire for romantic love in marriage is deeply rooted in our psychological makeup. Almost every popular magazine has at least one article each issue on keeping love alive in a marriage. Books abound on the subject. Television and radio talk shows deal with it. Keeping love alive in our marriages is serious business.

With all the books, magazines, and practical help available, why is it that so few couples seem to have found the secret to keeping love alive after the wedding? Why is it that a couple can attend a communication workshop, hear wonderful ideas on how to enhance communication, return home, and find themselves totally unable to implement the communication patterns demonstrated? How is it that we read a magazine article on "101 Ways to Express Love to Your Spouse," select two or three ways that seem especially good to us, try them, and our spouse doesn't even acknowledge our effort? We give up on the other 98 ways and go back to life as usual.

The answer to those questions is the purpose of this book. It is not that the books and articles already published are not helpful. The problem is that we have overlooked one fundamental truth: People speak different love languages.

In the area of linguistics, there are major language groups: Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Greek, German, French, and so on. Most of us grow up learning the language of our parents and siblings, which becomes our primary or native tongue. Later, we may learn additional languages but usually with much more effort. These become our secondary languages. We speak and understand best our native language. We feel most comfortable speaking that language. The more we use a secondary language, the more comfortable we become conversing in it. If we speak only our primary language and encounter someone else who speaks only his or her primary language, which is different from ours, our communication will be limited. We must rely on pointing, grunting, drawing pictures, or acting out our ideas. We can communicate, but it is awkward. Language differences are part and parcel of human culture. If we are to communicate effectively across cultural lines, we must learn the language of those with whom we wish to communicate.

In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other. My friend on the plane was speaking the language of "Affirming Words" to his third wife when he said, "I told her how beautiful she was. I told her I loved her. I told her how proud I was to be her husband." He was speaking love, and he was sincere, but she did not understand his language. Perhaps she was looking for love in his behavior and didn't see it. Being sincere is not enough. We must be willing to learn our spouse's primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love.

My conclusion after twenty years of marriage counseling is that there are basically five emotional love languages-five ways that people speak and understand emotional love. In the field of linguistics a language may have numerous dialects or variations. Similarly, within the five basic emotional love languages, there are many dialects. That accounts for the magazine articles titled "10 Ways to Let Your Spouse Know You Love Her," "20 Ways to Keep Your Man at Home," or "365 Expressions of Marital Love." There are not 10, 20, or 365 basic love languages. In my opinion, there are only five. However, there may be numerous dialects. The number of ways to express love within a love language is limited only by one's imagination. The important thing is to speak the love language of your spouse.

We have long known that in early childhood development each child develops unique emotional patterns. Some children, for example, develop a pattern of low self-esteem whereas others have healthy self-esteem. Some develop emotional patterns of insecurity whereas others grow up feeling secure. Some children grow up feeling loved, wanted, and appreciated, yet others grow up feeling unloved, unwanted, and unappreciated.

The children who feel loved by their parents and peers will develop a primary emotional love language based on their unique psychological makeup and the way their parents and other significant persons expressed love to them. They will speak and understand one primary love language. They may later learn a secondary love language, but they will always feel most comfortable with their primary language. Children who do not feel loved by their parents and peers will also develop a primary love language. However, it will be somewhat distorted in much the same way as some children may learn poor grammar and have an underdeveloped vocabulary. That poor programming does not mean they cannot become good communicators. But it does mean they will have to work at it more diligently than those who had a more positive model. Likewise, children who grow up with an underdeveloped sense of emotional love can also come to feel loved and to communicate love, but they will have to work at it more diligently than those who grew up in a healthy, loving atmosphere.

Seldom do a husband and wife have the same primary emotional love language. We tend to speak our primary love language, and we become confused when our spouse does not understand what we are communicating. We are expressing our love, but the message does not come through because we are speaking what, to them, is a foreign language. Therein lies the fundamental problem, and it is the purpose of this book to offer a solution. That is why I dare to write another book on love. Once we discover the five basic love languages and understand our own primary love language, as well as the primary love language of our spouse, we will then have the needed information to apply the ideas in the books and articles.

Once you identify and learn to speak your spouse's primary love language, I believe that you will have discovered the key to a long-lasting, loving marriage. Love need not evaporate after the wedding, but in order to keep it alive most of us will have to put forth the effort to learn a secondary love language. We cannot rely on our native tongue if our spouse does not understand it. If we want him/her to feel the love we are trying to communicate, we must express it in his or her primary love language.

Chapter Two

Keeping the Love Tank Full

Love is the most important word in the English language-and the most confusing. Both secular and religious thinkers agree that love plays a central role in life. We are told that "love is a many-splendored thing" and that "love makes the world go round." Thousands of books, songs, magazines, and movies are peppered with the word. Numerous philosophical and theological systems have made a prominent place for love. And the founder of the Christian faith wanted love to be the distinguishing characteristic of His followers.

Psychologists have concluded that the need to feel loved is a primary human emotional need. For love, we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, and endure untold hardships. Without love, mountains become unclimbable, seas uncrossable, deserts unbearable, and hardships our plight in life. The Christian apostle to the Gentiles, Paul, exalted love when he indicated that all human accomplishments that are not motivated by love are, in the end, empty. He concluded that in the last scene of the human drama, only three characters will remain: "faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."

If we can agree that the word love permeates human society, both historically and in the present, we must also agree that it is a most confusing word. We use it in a thousand ways. We say, "I love hot dogs," and in the next breath, "I love my mother." We speak of loving activities: swimming, skiing, hunting. We love objects: food, cars, houses. We love animals: dogs, cats, even pet snails. We love nature: trees, grass, flowers, and weather. We love people: mother, father, son, daughter, parents, wives, husbands, friends. We even fall in love with love.

If all that is not confusing enough, we also use the word love to explain behavior. "I did it because I love her." That explanation is given for all kinds of actions. A man is involved in an adulterous relationship, and he calls it love. The preacher, on the other hand, calls it sin. The wife of an alcoholic picks up the pieces after her husband's latest episode. She calls it love, but the psychologist calls it codependency. The parent indulges all the child's wishes, calling it love. The family therapist would call it irresponsible parenting. What is loving behavior?

The purpose of this book is not to eliminate all confusion surrounding the word love but to focus on that kind of love that is essential to our emotional health. Child psychologists affirm that every child has certain basic emotional needs that must be met if he is to be emotionally stable. Among those emotional needs, none is more basic than the need for love and affection, the need to sense that he or she belongs and is wanted. With an adequate supply of affection, the child will likely develop into a responsible adult. Without that love, he or she will be emotionally and socially retarded.

I liked the metaphor the first time I heard it: "Inside every child is an 'emotional tank' waiting to be filled with love. When a child really feels loved, he will develop normally but when the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave. Much of the misbehavior of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty 'love tank.'" I was listening to Dr. Ross Campbell, a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents.

As I listened, I thought of the hundreds of parents who had paraded the misdeeds of their children through my office. I had never visualized an empty love tank inside those children, but I had certainly seen the results of it. Their misbehavior was a misguided search for the love they did not feel. They were seeking love in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.

I remember Ashley, who at thirteen years of age was being treated for a sexually transmitted disease. Her parents were crushed. They were angry with Ashley. They were upset with the school, which they blamed for teaching her about sex. Why would she do this? they asked.


Excerpted from The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman Copyright © 1995 by Gary D. Chapman
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Table of Contents

1. What Happens to Love After the Wedding?

2. Keeping the Love Tank Full

3. Falling in Love

4. Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation

5. Love Language #2: Quality Time

6. Love Language #3: Receiving Gifts

7. Love Language #4: Acts of Service

8. Love Language #5: Physical Touch

9. Discovering Your Primary Love Language

10. Love Is a Choice

11. Love Makes the Difference

12. Loving the Unlovely

13. A Personal Word

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The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 110 reviews.
Stephanie_Bauer More than 1 year ago
This book explains why - despite somebody's best effort to express his/her love - their partner feels unloved: They speak different "love languages"! As I read Dr. Chapman's explanation of the five different ways to express and receive love, and that people only "get" the expression of love, if it is communicated in the language they understand, I began to see why, after an initial phase of being in love, my relationships ended because we lost our connection. We each did express our love with the gestures and words that meant love to us, but they did not meet the emotional needs of the other person. Wow! And this is such an easy fix, once you know what's going on! And I bet it works in every day life, at work, with friends etc as well. Another amazing relationship book I read recently is "How to Have a Match Made in Heaven" by Ariel and Shya Kane. They cover every stage of relationships through conversations with singles and couples - and you can watch the conversations via a link on-line as well! Their advice is fresh, down to earth, sometimes surprising, sometimes humorous, and always compassionate. And since they work as a couple, both genders' perspectives are reflected, which gives extra depth to their suggestions. Both books are well-written and easy and fun to read. Even though they are organized such that you can easily just read one chapter and continue with the next one whenever you have time again, I just found it difficult to put them down. I highly recommend both books for anyone who wants to find new, effective ways to create your next relationship or transform your existing relationship into the relationship of your dreams.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to discover what your love language is and how it plays out in a relationship. When two people are speaking different languages, it can create  an environment for miscommunication or missed opportunities to connect with your partner.    It was fun to see, in the book my preferred expression of love and how that translated into a love language. Gary Chapman shares that one of the keys to discovering  your own love language and that of your mate is listening. Not the typical multi-task approach to listening, where you are typing up an email while listening to your partner share about their day. What he means is listening with your full attention.    This reminds me of the book, “How to Have a Match Made in Heaven Transformational Approach to Dating, Relating and Marriage by Ariel and Shya Kane.” They discovered  through listening, with your full attention, that it draws you into the moment. When you are in the moment, you are engaged with those around you and in your life. I love this book and am excited at the new possibilities I have discovered in my relationship.
SmartChic More than 1 year ago
I've read this book about 3 times since buying it and so has my husband. It has ABSOLUTELY helped us to understand each other better. This book helped in clarifying what that "thing you can't put your finger on" that bothers you about your mate. It was easy to follow and super informative. The book was laid out in a way that if you want to skip around, it's not hard to do. HIGHLY recommended!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this as a side gift for a bride and groom. This is an eye-opener to open communication and creates understanding in all kinds of relationships. The "real world" examples of how understanding your partner's love language will strengthen your relationship and communication in your other relationships as well are beneficial and insightful. I recommend this book to anyone who is searching for ways to improve their communication with those they love and care about down to neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers. Understanding each other COULD prevent years of needless and unintended hurt feelings and emotional separation if the people you are dealing with are at all reasonable and sane. We all experience love differently and view the method in which we show it differently. We THINK we are doing it right, BUT, if the other person is clueless and totally non-receptive, it's as good as NO EXPRESSION AT ALL.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read. It should be a part of every woman's permanent library. I don't think my words could truly do this book justice. There is only one other book that I feel this strongly about and that's R.A Clark's "When God Stopped Keeping Score" which takes an eye-opening look at forgiveness. Trust me, you will be surprised by some of the things in that book too. Be sure to buy your copy.
Hillmax More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! We first read it at a family reunion type event. It was fun just to learn what each individuals love language was. In fact, learning the parents type was especially helpful! A love language is how it is best for others to tell you they love you. Some people really love receiving gifts, others service, and some like the physical attention or words are of value. None is better then the other, but once you know your partner (or friend, roommate, parent, child) love language life gets a whole lot easier! And sometimes more fun ;) A must read for everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone in a relationship can benefit from this friend commented...I would not have divorced had I read this book first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm 52 and have been married and divorced now for quite sometime. I think that everyone should read this book before getting into a relationship because maybe with the knowledge from the book you won't get into a relationship when you shouldn't and may be a better partner if you do proceed into in loving relationship. This book makes a lot of sense and it pretty much explains why there are happy and completely satisfied couples and others not so much.
Evergrowing More than 1 year ago
I wish I had read this before we got married. Fortunately we've held on for 20 years. I picked it, after I read reviews on it for a cousin's bridal shower, don't know if she was thrilled about that, but I read it first. Gary Chapman has a humorous and not too preachy style. It was good to get affirmation for somethings we've been doing in our own marriage. It was easy reading and the practical.The sometimes difficult advice in this book was challenging. I'm picking up another copy for ourselves so we can have reminders to help our marriage grow stronger in the next 20 years or more that God grants us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are interested in developing your relationships and understanding the interactions that you have with others, then this book is a helpful reference. This book is easy to read and easy to understand and applies to all types of relationships. It points out that we all need to have love and that we are all unique and recognize love in different ways. So in order to better give and to receive love one can educate oneself of the many different forms in which it can be expressed. Once this is recognized and acted upon then relationships will flourish by being recharged with love. This works for all relationships from your romantic partner to parents and siblings and even coworkers. Two thumbs up for 'The 5 Love Languages".
booksonmynook More than 1 year ago
Found it very insightful and entertaining. would recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book when my husband and I were going through a rough patch. I was to the point that I would read (more like devour!) anything I could get my hands on that might help me/us through it. This book was helpful to me in that it opened my eyes to how he had been showing me love- that even though it wasn't how I "wanted or needed" to be loved- it was how he knew how to love me. I think it helped me appreciate his love for me other than for me to love him how he needs it. It gave me a perspective to start from. I think, reading this book, it is important to keep an open mind and realize that you can't classify everyone into one stereotype. Every single language of love is applicable to everyone, I think. You just have to know when each one is appropriate/needed. Since I've read this book I have the ability to realize that, for example, just because I might need a hug, my husband isn't a mind reader and he might just tell me I look nice and I need to take that as his way of showing me love but at the same time vocalize what I need. It has helped me focus on the good things instead of him not doing it how I want it. We've talked about this book (he hasn't read it but I've explained the concept to him) and he agrees that you can't JUST do one thing to show you love someone. It is an accumulation of all five. So, even though it might be easy to say, "Well, my husband like words of affirmation so I'm going to compliment him 50 times a day" you can't do that. Compliments are good but so are the other things. Can't just focus on one because that isn't well rounded.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting book with a lot of good advice. The author clearly defines each love language and offers several examples within each category for everyday life. The chapter on defining your own and your spouse's love language was especially useful as we were having trouble defining ours. I don't usually read self-help books but this was a good read with a lot of informative advice and ideas. Gary Chapman makes a lot of sense! I think this would be a good choice for people who have rocky marriages and also for couples who just want to keep their relationship strong and happy.
BigJohnLefty More than 1 year ago
an extremely useful book for couples to read together to help understand each other better
Edd-Burns More than 1 year ago
While going through my second divorce, my marriage counselor recommended this book. I found it very enlightening. It became very apparent that the communication between my spouse and me was not effective. She did not have a clue about my love language, and I was not using her love language effectively. Unfortunately, my wife would not read the book; however, I introduced the book to other people with whom I have had relationships, and understanding the love language of your partner makes a big difference. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is trying to establish a committed relationship with a partner.
Ellesurfs More than 1 year ago
Although I felt there were something incomplete about the approach the author takes to fixing a relationship, I find his "truths" to be true. This book is intriguing, thoughtful and provides a great perspective on the stages of a relationship. Not just between husband and wife but also parent and child.
revslick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I recently reread it because it was the only reading material in my car when it was getting serviced. How do you express love? This is the question Gary asks but also answers in helping us understand that everybody expresses love in some form or another. I read this years ago and before reading it avoided it because it just sounded so corny. Please don't let the title fool you. This is a great starter read in recognizing how we express love differently and also how we can best help our partners appreciate the love we have for them.Gary breaks down the love we express into 4 outcomes: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Gifts, and Affirmation. He them breaks them down to help us understand how we express love. Gary says to help others understand that we need to communicate to them in their love language.Yes, it is simplistic and a little corny, but it is excellent starting material for married couples!
xixi.shishi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It really helped me understand myself more and figure out what I want in a relationship. It also allowed me to appreciate what the other person has to offer.
VirginiaGill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've heard people talk about this book and their own love languages for years and always kind of rolled my eyes. I've encountered so many times in the past few weeks that I finally decided to get a copy and read it myself...fully expecting...nothing. My apologies Mr Chapman! Hands down the best book on marriage I've ever encountered and has utterly changed my perspective on all I once thought wrong with my vews on marriage. People often use the term "life changing" far too easily...this book truly is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew nothing about love languages, and even made fun of the idea... Well, after reading about it and taking the test, I'm a believer. It explains even others love and affection, such as family and friends. I would recommend this book, read it all in one sitting with my boyfriend. Easy and has a few funny stories inside.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book could provide one step towards healing in a troubled relationship.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Practical and useful information for improving a relationship.
RichardWilder More than 1 year ago
Braselton. This is a great book. I spent much time deciding if I anted to read it. After reading this book I realize I should have spent more time reading it then thinking about reading it. taxes. cars. Hope you enjoy it very much. Jesus Saves!! Richard Wilder
Anonymous More than 1 year ago