The 5 Love Languages
Gary Chapman
Contributed by Roseanne Meinecke
Chapter 12
Summary

The author bases the chapter on a question enquired by a reader, Ann, on whether one can love an unlovable person. Ann's question made Chapman and his wife reminisce about tumultuous experiences in their marriage. They had experienced a period of lashing out and bickering at each other which bred a lot of anger, eventually culminating in hate. What followed was a series of issues that made the concept of love an unrealistic aspect of their marriage. The mutual hatred between each other peaked and made them feel like they were getting to the very end of their marriage and began reconsidering their love life. The author and his wife learned to discuss their problems without critiquing each other, without condemnation, and without making decisions that would hurt each other's emotions. They would instead approach each other in a subtle manner offering suggestions while avoiding demands. Chapman and his wife decided to begin loving each other in the midst of condemnation, hate, and anger, stating that he and his wife gained affection when they discovered each other’s language of love.

Ann's husband is a person who is rigid when it comes to change, and Ann states that she had tried everything even inviting him to counseling, but with no result. Ann slowly sank into depression and had low self-esteem due to lack of love and the constant condemnation from her husband. She became distraught and did not know what else to do to save her marriage. Chapman drew an experiment from the Bible’s message of loving one's enemy and tried to apply it to Ann's situation. He theorized that if Ann found out the primary language of love of the husband, then the husband will respond to the emotional love language solving the hate between them.

It appeared that Ann had experienced a lot of torment in her marriage which caused unhappiness and lack of self-worth. The love had subsided, and her love tank was dry; resulting in pain, turmoil, and loss of all hope in the marriage. Chapman states that people lack general affection for those they hate but should try to show acts of affection toward them. Ann becomes a successful experiment for the author’s theory regarding primary love languages. Ann’s experience showed that point a possibility exists that one can love an unlovely person by learning their primary language of love.

Analysis

Loving the unlovely is an uphill task for all people since they tend to recoil when their feelings are hurt. The first reaction to hate is responding with similar hatred which leads to continuously fighting each other. When the seeds of hate, anger, and condemnation get planted in the heart of your partner, most people feel crushed. The self-esteem of the affected partner gets trampled which leads to a diminishing of self-worth. Subsequently, the love tank goes dry, and a distance develops which most people find irreparable. However, the author attempts to prove that if one tries to learn the primary language of their spouse and try periodically to reach out, then happiness will be regained.

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