Sorry to those who might think I'm commenting too much. I'm an extrovert ... I can't just lurk for 3 months while reading sidebar. Rest assured, I am reading sidebar. Finished NMMNG in 2 days, will digest and review for a couple more days, then move on to WISNIFG, which I understand will take much longer.
That said, hopefully this is a less-often asked question (if it's ever been asked at all), so it can give you something new to chat about rather than the same old garbage.
In my circles, The 5 Love Languages is easily the most quoted and recommended book for married couples, regardless of whether they're having problems or not.
After reading NMMNG and lots of stuff on this sub, I'm starting to see a different side to things. Nothing is totally incompatible, but if you made a Venn diagram, the overlap is a lot narrower than I would have expected.
For example: 5LL peddles the idea that we should find our partner's love language and cater to them, even if it is not natural or desirable for us to do so because that's what's going to fill them up to give love back.
That's great, NMMNG also talks about giving out of abundance and not emptiness, so it's good to be filling each other's tank that way. But at the same time, 5LL makes no effort to encourage or even suggest that owning and adopting someone else's love language is necessary.
As a result, virtually every church-guy walks away telling his wife, "Physical touch is my primary love language" and virtually every church-girl who reads it walks away thinking, "Okay, I have to give obligation sex now because that's how I'm going to get him to do the dishes more often." I seem to recall Gary Chapman (5LL) does speak against doing things quid pro quo, but it's pretty much explicitly stated: "When you speak your spouse's love language, they will reciprocate."
Two huge problems with this:
First, 5LL is almost entirely premised on the concept of fortifying covert contracts. "If you love your wife the way she needs to receive love rather than the way you want to give it, then she will love you back the way you need also." NMMNG says to cut that crap out of your life. As a practical matter, I've found that 5LL doesn't work in that way and the "Nice Guy" in most church-going men simply conclude (as NMMNG also says), "It's because I wasn't trying hard enough. I just need to give her even more of her love language in order to get her to give back."
- Pastors peddle this and bolster it like Jesus himself said it, but I'm not seeing that in the Bible anywhere, except in relation to God. But with God the contract is overt and explicitly stated (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:4, for example). When we try to treat what he has said overtly as something covert, it comes off as us trying to use the Bible to manipulate God, which is obviously plain wrong.
Acting out of obligation is not authentic, undesirable, and unattractive. I've read this over and over on this sub. "Do it because it's who you are; don't do it to make someone happy or because you have to - you don't have to do anything, and neither does she." If my wife followed the 5LL book to the T, we'd probably be having sex more often, but it would be crappy obligation sex. I've walked away from obligation sex dozens of time in our marriage because I hate it and it's unsatisfying.
What do you all think. Is 5LL compatible with RP thinking, or does it create a bunch of nice-guy, wife-catering pansies?