How to Love Your Man

by Kimba on February 1, 2011

in Faith and Family

Hey ladies! It’s that time of year again. It’s sneaks up on us every February. The stores are full of stuff to remind us that it’s time to show your fella just how much you love him.

Yep. Super Bowl Sunday.

Just kidding. Sorta. Super Bowl Sunday IS coming and if you lived in Pittsburgh, like I do, your whole house would be living on pins and needles waiting for the big day.

But after THAT is Valentine’s Day. And while I don’t recommend saving all your love for one day a year, it’s as good a time as any to think about how you’re loving that fella of yours.

I’m guessing that we all show our love in different ways. Aside from the obvious *ahem* physical affection, some of us use words, some give gifts and some show our love with the things that we do…and maybe some do combination of all those things.

But did you ever stop to think about how your man WANTS to be loved? What makes him feel loved?

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to tell you about a book that completely changed my relationship with my husband when we were first married.

It’s called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

Here’s where I’m hoping that lots of you say. “I read that book!” If you haven’t, may I be so bold as to suggest that you get yourself a copy, read it and apply it as a Valentine’s Day gift for your man. It’s less than $7 on Amazon right now, or borrow a copy from the library. I would loan you mine, but it’s so tattered and dog-eared that I can’t let it out of the house.

Edited to add: I am LOVING all of your comments about this book!

In his book, Dr. Chapman describes the 5 basic ways that people communicate love…Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Giving Gifts. We often show love to our spouses in the love language that we’re most fluent in. But if that’s not the way they need to receive love, then it doesn’t fill them up.

I hope it doesn’t sound hokey to say that this book changed my marriage. It taught me that my husband is an Acts of Service kinda guy. All that time I was spending TELLING him how much I loved him wasn’t doing it for him. Now I know that he feels loved when I set up the coffee pot before bed, so that he can have a cup of coffee when he leaves the house at the bum-crack of dawn.

There’s also a 5 Love Languages of Children but I haven’t read that one, so I can’t vouch for it.

And if you must know, my love language is Giving Gifts. Deep like a river, am I. Now go buy me a present!

Disclaimer: I am completely unqualified to give marriage advice. I just know what worked for us. When I tell people about this book, the most common question I get is “What if my husband won’t do it with me?”.

To that I say…You do your part. Don’t worry about him. Obviously, it’s best if both hubby and wifey are on the same page. But if you start loving your man the way that he needs to be loved, you’ll see a change.

Disclosure: That link to Amazon is an affiliate link. If you click on it and buy something, I will make a million dollars. Or a few pennies. Whatever.

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1 Leah Marie February 1, 2011 at 8:33 am

I love, love, LOVE this book. Have read it about 3 times, but of course, after a while, I forget about it and go on living. Thanks for the reminder. Gotta start loving that man of mine in his own language again!

2 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:14 am

That’s exactly what I do too. I need to keep going back and refreshing my memory because I slip back into old habits so easily.

3 Yanet of 3 Sun Kissed Boys February 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

Whether you have a great marriage or not, one can always take something from marriage books. Thanks for sharing.

4 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:14 am

Indeed! No need to wait until there’s a problem to pay attention to your marriage.

5 Heather A. February 1, 2011 at 8:55 am

Great book. My husband and I took a Couples class that went into detail on the Love Languages. It really is a good book to read. It was funny to see this post, because just the other day my husband’s coworker made the comment that my DH and I still have “that lovey thing” after 19 years. I swear it has to do with know what his love language is (touch (not sexual, but back rubs etc., and affirmation)

6 Suzanne February 1, 2011 at 9:08 am

We bought this book and read it years ago. This was a great reminder. I think I’ll take it off the shelf and dust it off this week.
Suzanne´s last blog post .. Artisan Bread

7 Bernadette February 1, 2011 at 9:21 am

I love this book! I picked it for my book club and was so excited that it helped so many others too! I also know how to communicate better with some of my friends. It helps a ton, and my husband is in the process of reading it!

8 Becky February 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

Thanks for the info. Definitely a book I want to look into. I also want to try the other one, 5 Love Languages of Children.
Becky´s last blog post ..Highly Recommended

9 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:15 am

I’ve been trying to apply what I already know from the grown-up version to my kids. But its not clicking for me. I think I need to read the kid’s version.

10 courtney February 1, 2011 at 9:26 am

i’ve been wanting to read that book! thanks for the extra push of encouragement. our preacher talks about it all of the time. i didn’t know their was a ‘children’s’ version, too. thanks, kimba!

11 Alana February 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

We love that book too! Our love languages are completely opposite…so it takes effort to show hubby my love, but so worth it 🙂
Alana´s last blog post ..valentines wreath

12 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

You’re right. Totally worth it!

13 Stephenie from Decorating Addiction February 1, 2011 at 9:30 am

I will be getting this book. Thank you so much for the recommendation! It sounds fantastic.
Stephenie from Decorating Addiction´s last blog post ..Opinions Please

14 Melonie February 1, 2011 at 9:38 am

I LOVE this book. My husband and I have read it several times. We took a bible study class with this book. I recommend it to anyone who is getting married!
Melonie´s last blog post ..First snow 2011

15 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:17 am

I do the same thing. I recommend it to every engaged couple that I know.

16 Kathy February 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

LOVE that book…read it a LONG time ago…
Thanks for the reminder.
I am going to go right now & look thru it again….
Kathy´s last blog post ..Going to Blog Going to Blog

17 Jhenna February 1, 2011 at 9:56 am

I absolutely adore this book! My Husband and I read it together and then I read sections of it (that pertained to hsi language) by myself. My husband is a totaly Words of Afirmation & Physical touch kind of guy! I recommend this book to all our friends and have actually given our copy away and just keep on replacing it. I believe all should read this book. Married or unmarried. It’s good to learn about yourself and one another!

18 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

I have given away so many copies of this book. I used to keep 2 spare copies on my bookshelf at all times. I think it’s time to stock up again!

19 Bethany {3SonsPlus1} February 1, 2011 at 10:00 am

Both books are great! Lots of practical advice and wisdom for spouses and kiddos. Love your note, ha! 🙂
Bethany {3SonsPlus1}´s last blog post ..Family Rooms and Fireplaces

20 karen @ our slo house February 1, 2011 at 10:02 am

I love that book. I am Physical Touch and my husband is Quality Time.

When I read the book (and read some of it aloud to DH) it was difficult to narrow it down to ONE thing. I managed to find an (unofficial) quiz online that helped narrow it down. If I can locate the link, I’ll post it here.

BTW, I’ve heard that the 5 Love Languages for Children is excellent but much harder to figure out what your child is.

21 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:20 am

It is hard to narrow it down to one. And I can definitely see how it’s even harder with kids. I’ve been trying to apply the grown up version to my kids and it’s just not clicking for me. I want to read the kid’s book and see if that helps.

22 Nadir@StitchSense February 1, 2011 at 10:25 am

We have this book but have yet to read it. I’ve heard wonders about it 🙂 Thanks for sharing this & reminding me to get to reading! 🙂

23 LizyBeth February 1, 2011 at 10:39 am

We read this book in the beginning of our marriage too! We refer back to it often. In fact, while writing “biographies” of each other and our children for a recent adoption home study, we used the Love Languages as part of our description for each person. 🙂

24 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:21 am

I love that! It really becomes such a huge part of how you think about your husband when you start to apply what you’ve learned.

25 Kristen February 1, 2011 at 10:42 am

Hey, Present-Girl!

I’ve got at least 4 big bottles of glitter at my house with your name on them.

Feeling loved? 🙂

This is due to my Acts of Service clean up of the basement for MY hubby! (Why do they all like that gift so much?)

26 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:22 am

It’s hard to be married to an Acts of Service, isn’t it?

27 heidi @ wonder woman wannabe February 1, 2011 at 10:44 am

Great book!
I’m an ‘encouraging words’ and ‘quality time’ girl. How about you??

Though the book has some great observations and suggestions, it’s admitedly difficlut to be motivated to fill anothers tank when you don’t see the other making the same efforts. That’s when you pick up the book, “The Power of a Praying Wife” 🙂

28 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:23 am

EXACTLY! It is hard to fill up someone else when you’re running on empty. The best thing to do is pray, pray, pray.

29 Carmie of the Single Nester February 1, 2011 at 10:45 am

Alas . . . this Single Nester has yet to need this book. One day maybe.

30 Anna @ Take the Side Street February 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

Great post! My hubs and I have the same languages as you and your man do — we took a quiz in a book given to us by our pastor when we first married, but I’ve never actually read the honest-to-goodness love language book, and maybe it would help us do better in that area… I’ll have to pick one up! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂
Anna @ Take the Side Street´s last blog post ..A-Tisket- A-Tasket- Ive Got Some Brand New Baskets

31 Dusa February 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

Life changing is right!

32 Talysa February 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

Agree wholeheartedly about this book Kimba. And my husband and I have discovered after 12 years of marriage that our love languages has changed a bit over the years. When kids were babies and toddlers, acts of service was what I needed more and made me feel most loved. But now that they are 14, 10 , and 8 I am looking more for quality time with my man….he was still focused on the acts of service thing when I was looking for more…needless to say this caused some issue….so we went back and regrouped….turns out his love language had changed too…he was needing more words of affirmation after stepping into a new position of leadership with his job. So the point to my ramblings here would be to say that even if you read it in the past, go back and revisit every now and then to see if maybe something has changed. 🙂

PS. I have also read this same book “for teenagers”…so good. My teenager isn’t very vocal so getting him to answer the questions in the book helped me to discover that quality time is what he needs most…turns out physical touch is his last need. Poor kid…I’d been suffocating him with hugs. 🙂

33 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

Thank you so much for sharing that! It never occurred to me that someone’s love needs could change over time. But that makes so much sense, the way you described it.

34 Mandi February 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

Sounds like a VERY interesting book. I may just have to pick up a copy. Thanks for the recommendation.

BTW… I didn’t realize you are from the ‘burgh! I’m just a hop-skip-jump north of you in Erie. 🙂
Mandi´s last blog post ..Best Face Photo from January 2011

35 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

Go Steelers! 🙂

36 Holly Charlesworth February 1, 2011 at 11:00 am

Thanks for this idea! I just ordered mine from Amazon and I can’t wait to read it 🙂 I have heard of this book but always forget to look for it. Your post gave me the reminder I needed. Thank you!

37 Kimba February 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

YAY! I hope you love it.

38 donna February 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

Thanks for reminding me about the 5 love lang. My hubby and I took that quiz a few years back and found we are both “quality time” and funny thing is we have two different ways at looking at quality time. Mine is face to face conversations and his is sitting and watching movies or tv together. haha.

39 Jennifer February 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm

This post came at the best time! I was on my Kindle last night and remembered this book and my boyfriend and I just had a big fight about how we don’t feel loved and appreciated by each other even though each of us is doing what we think is filling the other up, but it really isn’t. After seeing this post I am going to buy this on my kindle tonight and hopefully read it before he comes home from out of town this weekend. Thank you for this post!!

40 Fiona's Mosaic February 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm

EXCELLENT book!!! And this is something that bears repeating and reminder. My hubby is an acts of service guy too!

God bless!
Fiona’s Mosaic´s last blog post ..Watch Out 2011!!! Here I come!

41 erin @ the little apartment February 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm

You know, my SIL gave me that book a long time ago.. I think I need to read it! (: Thanks for sharing!
erin @ the little apartment´s last blog post ..Its In The Bag In Theory

42 Heather @ REOlisticRenovation February 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm

My friend SWEARS BY THAT BOOK and talks about it all the time and I still haven’t read it. Sounds like I need to give it a try.

43 Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D February 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I highly recommend that book – not only for your spousal relationships, but also for friends, team, etc.

I find it amazing that we assume that how we show and desire love is the same for others. And, find it even MORE amazing when a person’s method of receiving love is completely different from how they themselves show it.

For example, I would assume that if a person is an amazing gift giver (you know that person – the one who finds the perfect unique gift for each person in their life?) …that person might actually value TIME above all else. Gifts might be at the bottom of their list for how they receive love.

Truly amazing book.
Thanks for the reminder!
Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D´s last blog post ..How They Hanging Simple Coat Rack Idea

44 Maopa@MPuanani February 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I need to get that book!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it..I’m looking forward to reading this one..Maybe this will help us out.
Maopa@MPuanani´s last blog post ..Free Sample of Maybelline FitMe Foundation-Makeup

45 lorchick @ ON{thelaundry}LINE February 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I haven’t read the book – it’s on my to-read list, right now I’m tackling The (new) Strong Willed Child – but I’ve looked at the website and applied it to my husband and child. My hubby’s is Gifts, secondary is Physical Touch, and making his lunch in the morning works for him, too. Or picking up a chocolate bar for him when I’m grocery shopping. For my 3 yr old daughter, hers is Physical Touch, secondary is Words Of Affirmation. Physical Touch isn’t something that comes naturally to me so I really have to remind myself to dole out lots of physical contact for both of them! My primary love language is Words of Affirmation so that is what comes naturally to me!
lorchick @ ON{thelaundry}LINE´s last blog post ..Baby Giggles

46 Amanda @ Serenity Now February 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Great post! I have that book tucked away in my big old “to read” trunk of books (so embarrassing). We’ve discussed it at Bible study and Sunday School. I think a lot of guys relate to the physical touch part, but I spend all day with little people jumping all over me. At the end of the day, I just need some space, you know? I have a pretty good idea of what my husband might be, but I think I could be a mix of all of them (EXCEPT physical touch, lol). 😉

47 Natalie February 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm

heyy saw in this post that you live in pittsburgh! me too. 🙂 only here would you be in michael’s and see mama’s buying up all the supplies to make black and gold cupcakes. haha.
Natalie´s last blog post ..Valentines Day DIY- Paper Heart Garland Tutorial

48 Leighann Marquiss February 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Love this book! Read it early in our marriage and we refer to it often. Great post!

49 Lori F. February 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I haven’t read the book yet but you and all of the commenters have convinced me. I will be making a trip to the library.

I showed my husband today how much I care about him by decorating our mantle in the Black and Gold! Yes, we have a Steelers’ mantle and dining room table with black and gold silk runners (actually silk scarfs he brought me from San Francisco a few years ago). Very glam and still in the spirit. Nothing says “I love you” to my man more than sharing in his team spirit.

50 Janeen Daftary February 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I know this isn’t the main point of this post, but just had to say, I live in Pittsburgh too !!!! And you are right, we are on pins and needles this week !!!!! I love your blog and it is so nice to know you are here in the Burgh too !!!! Thanks for this great post 🙂 Janeen Daftary, Wexford

51 Rondell February 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Hi, I’m about 30 miles SE of Pittsburgh right near California University! Excited isn’t the word for the Steelers being in the Super Bowl AGAIN, we are all Steeler fans here!


52 Rondell February 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm

You mentioned you live in Pittsburgh…Go Steelers! We are about 30 miles SE of Pittsburgh right by California University, so nice to find other Pa. people who blog!
I’ll have to find this book, I wonder if Barnes and Noble have it, I’ll have to look on my Nook!
Stop by sometime:)


53 Beth February 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm

My husband and I read that book right after we got married, and it was awesome! We still talk about it today! Just wish we followed the advice EVERY day and not just some days!

54 Bringing Pretty Back February 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I NEED this book! I have heard about it for years just never picked it up. I am headed to Amazon right now!
Thank you!
Have a pretty dY!

55 Bringing Pretty Back February 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I NEED this book! I have heard about it for years just never picked it up. I am headed to Amazon right now!
Thank you!
Have a pretty day!

56 Sarah Kate February 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Such a wonderful book!! One of the first (of many) signs that my (now) dh is a keeper…..he picked this book up and was reading it shortly after we started dating. I remember taking it back to college with me to read while we were 2,000 miles apart… I loved seeing what he had highlighted when he’d read through it. We still refer to it often and recommend it to friends. A true classic!

57 Michelle February 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I wonder… if this could be applied to your pets & what they each need. Might be interesting to try & figure them out!

Thanks for the recommendation.

58 Rachel February 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Love that book. I swear that was a life saver for me and my sweetheart. We both speak the same language BUT different dialects… go figure! lol Now we can actually understand each other when we talk. What a great post for this time of year 🙂
Rachel´s last blog post ..Link up Give Away from My New Bloggy Friend Tanya

59 Aimee February 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm

You know, I have been meaning to buy that book for YEARS. My husband and I communicate really well, but I keep hearing how fabulous it is. After all, every little bit helps, right? I can’t wait to read it and happy to do so through your affiliate link.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day!
Aimee´s last blog post ..Choice

60 Adrianne@dreambookdesign February 2, 2011 at 1:26 am

You crack me up with your add in about the affiliate link! I love your blog and have been reading for about 6 months now, just never commented! Thanks for always being so encouraging. My hubby and I did this book together too. It was awesome!

61 Chelsea February 2, 2011 at 10:31 am

I just have to say, I absolutely love your style of writing. I laughed out loud in my office when I read your introductory paragraph, making me believe you were referring to Valentine’s Day, and then I see: Yep. Super Bowl Sunday.

The world wide web is blessed to have such wit and charm on it!

Wonderful Wednesday,
Chelsea´s last blog post ..the creep

62 Kristen@PrettySweet February 2, 2011 at 10:48 am

Just found your blog and I’m really enjoying it! This post in particular was what caught my attention. Those love languages really do make all the difference! My husband and I have recently figured out what each of ours are and it’s been incredibly eye-opening. Ha! It’s like magic, isn’t it??
Kristen@PrettySweet´s last blog post ..A Sneak Peek

63 Penny February 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I have both of these books and they are both filled with fantastic info that can really help both marriage relationships and parenting relationships. Thanks for putting out there front and centre!
Penny´s last blog post ..My First Tutorial!!

64 Talia February 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm

First, Go Steelers! I, too, am from Pittsburgh and bleed gold and black!

I have hear wonderful things about this book and must get it. Sadly, my marriage is in a sad state at the this point. While my husband and I love each other very much, there has been a lot of pain and seems we are having a hard time finding our way back to each other.

Thank you for the post. Lovely to see others so happy…

65 Amanda L Grossman February 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm


We are newly married (10 months), and I have heard this book spoken about on other websites. I think we may have to give it a try…

Amanda L Grossman´s last blog post ..Personal Saving Rate- Nationally and in Our Household

66 Trish Preston February 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I’ve read the original version, and the kids version. I have the teenager version, but I haven’t read that one, yet. The basic thing about kids, though, from reading both books is, since you can’t “quiz” them, look at how they express love for you, that’s typically their strongest love language.

I just discovered your blog about a month ago, and let me tell you, I love it. You’re pretty awesome. 🙂

67 leslie February 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Have it and have read it- but it’s been a few years, so I’m going to dust the book off and give it a good read through this week in preparation of V day. Thanks for the reminder!
leslie´s last blog post ..What to do on an over cast rainy day

68 Mallory February 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I have been meaning to read this book for years…but it never happened. Since my husband and I don’t usually do valentine’s gifts, I decided to use your idea to print off a picture of the book and put a big heart around it and set it on his pillow (thinking for sure he would get the hint). He ended up throwing it away thinking it was garbage, but thankfully looked at it before doing so. I had to basically tell him what it was for…but either way we happily received it for valentine’s day and are reading it together! Thank you for the suggestion! Apparently hints will never work with my hubby though.. 🙂

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