Guess Who Found My Emotional G-Spot

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I just finished reading a book called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I’m a little hesitant to announce this because it clearly reeks of cheese. I’m not a big fan of  “relationship” books, self-help or anything that screams “FIX ME! WEEPY GIRL AHEAD! MAXIPADS!” Ok, that was a little bit of an overblown stereotype. But seriously, if it even smells remotely like Dr. Phil from 10 feet away, I usually run in the opposite direction.

However, after giving this book a preliminary sniff test while hiding out in the stacks at my library, I decided it would be safe to bring the book home for some “further investigation.” And, I am proud to admit that I’m very glad I did.

First off, let me preface (yes, two paragraphs into this post can still pass as a preface) by saying that this isn’t intended to be a book review. But…. I can’t help but persuade you to pick up this book if you are married or are planning to get married EVER. If you’ve ever had any qualms with the way your significant other expresses his/her love to you (that’s everyone, right?), then you may be very interested in reading what this guy has to say. I’m pretty certain Gary Chapman has discovered what is the equivalent of the G-spot to my emotional-marital needs. And…. I never thought I’d use that word in writing. But I guess I just did. {Shudder}

Ok, let me briefly summarize the gist of this book so I can get on to the point I’m really trying to make. Chapman, a longtime marital counselor, breaks down the five ways people express love:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Basically, each person has a unique and inherent way that they have their emotional needs or “love tank” filled in a relationship. (aside: Yes, he uses the term “love tank” many times throughout the book. And each time, you have to vomit a little in your mouth and just power through.) Often times when we become dissatisfied or feel unloved in a relationship, it is because our significant other isn’t “filling our love tank” (open for interpretation :) ) with what we need and value most. So if your love language is Acts of Service, for instance, then what you need to feel the happiest in your marriage is for your partner to demonstrate his/her love by doing things for you– taking out the trash, loading the dishwasher, cooking dinner, etc. Of the 5 Love Languages above, can you guess which is mine?

As I was reading about Quality Time, I stumbled upon this passage which really struck a chord with me. Not only did it make me reflect on my marriage, but also on my parenting:

It isn’t enough to just be in the same room with someone. A key ingredient in giving your spouse quality time is giving them focused attention, especially in the era of many distractions. When a father is sitting on the floor, rolling a ball to his two-year-old, his attention is not focused on the ball but on his child. For that brief moment, however long it lasts, they are together. If however, the father is talking on the phone while he rolls the ball, his attention is diluted. Some husbands and wives think they are spending time together when, in reality, they are only living in close proximity. They are living in the same house at the same time, but they are not together. (Chapman 59)

The importance of Quality Time and Focused Attention in all our relationships (with friends, spouses, and children) is something we are going to have to work harder and harder at preserving now with technology and social media becoming an innate part of our lives. How many of us have our phones, laptops, tablets growing out of our hands like an extra limb? GUILTY AS CHARGED.

In our household, we’ve been consciously trying to unplug whenever the three of us are together. And trust me, it’s easier said than done. When Noob Baby eats at the pace of a melting glacier, it’s maddeningly difficult not to pull out my phone and check {insert name of any app}. But not only that, I find that as she gets older and is more capable of playing independently, I also “take advantage” of that time to multi-task and get all the chores done around the house. I think many full-time moms are always trying to juggle the housework with the parenting on a daily basis. There’s an expectation that since you’re a stay-at-home mom, you should also be doing the laundry, dishes, prepping dinner, tidying up, etc. while you care for your x number of children. And for me, personally, I am ANAL as hell. If there are dirty dishes left unattended or tasks that can be done while we are coloring or playing a board game, I cannot resist the temptation to tend to all those things at once! Let me just say it:

If I’ve got my laundry, dryer, dishwasher, and dinner simmering while I’m reading a book with Noob Baby that counts the life cycles of animals … I’m a total freakin champion.

So with some much-needed self-reflection, it’s clear to me that NB is not getting my focused attention throughout the day. And are Noob Daddy and I giving each other the focused attention we deserve during our few hours of quiet time together in the evening? Not enough. Hey, we love our DVR… but it’s kind of a third wheel, right?

Well, I’m glad I secretly not-s0-secretly read The 5 Love Languages. There are some really eye-opening points in the book that I need to remember not only as a spouse, but as a parent. Now here are some questions for you:

Do you find yourself multi-tasking when you should be spending quality time with your child, significant other, etc? 

Have you consciously made the effort to unplug at key points in your day? 

What is the most tempting distraction for you?

Want to get your hands on this book? Share the love and purchase it here using my Amazon link:

Not to worry, gentlemen. Gary Chapman even has a men’s edition, so you can impress your wife and still drive a big truck:

Comments

  1. 2
    Dancing Angelita says:

    Picking it up and reading it with the fiance immediately!! :) 

  2. 3

    I’m a new iPhone user, so yes unplugging is something that I have to make a conscious decision to do! Unlike my laptop which is so bulky, it’s so easy to carry the iPhone around and sneak a little peek while the little guy isn’t looking.

    In an ideal world, I tell myself that if it’s not work-related, it can wait. First off, I don’t want my little guy to get too interested in technology just yet (he’s only two) so if I want him to play and read and be outside instead of in front of a computer or phone, well… I sort of have to set an example. But the reality is, I don’t think there has yet to be a day where I didn’t peek at my iPhone while I was near him, eeks!

    Then again I wonder if it’s absolutely detrimental, considering that I still spend a vast majority of my time with him doing quality stuff. I tend to save all my chores and computer stuff for after he’s asleep, so maybe a little peek at the iPhone is okay once in a while ;)

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