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Health & Sex

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The 5 Love Languages, 7 Days, 1 Couple

The best-selling relationship advice book gets put to the test.

What's My Love Language?

My husband and I have been married for 13 years, and I think overall we have a pretty good relationship. It's not perfect, though. I get annoyed when he lets the trash cans overflow, and he gets irritated with the sloppy way I load the dishwasher. Often we get so preoccupied with work and parenting that intimacy and romance are thrown on the back burner.

Although I'm generally skeptical about any technique that purports to fix my marriage, I figured there's always room for improvement.

So my husband and I set about learning each other's love languages.

According to Chapman, discovering your partner's love language requires some careful thought and observation. You need to ask, "What's most important to me?" and "What does my spouse seem to request most often in the relationship?"

"How do they respond to other people and how do they respond to you? If they always give you words of affirmation, that's probably their love language," he says.

You also need to listen carefully to your spouse's criticisms. "We often get defensive when the spouse complains, but they're really giving us valuable information," Chapman says. "If they're complaining about something, that very likely is their love language." In other words, if your husband is always whining that you never cook him dinner, he's probably an "acts of service" kind of guy.

My husband and I thought about what we wanted most from each other, and we realized that all the best times in our relationship -- the moments we went back to again and again -- were the times we spent alone as a couple. Our honeymoon in Fiji. The vacation when we got snowed in at a mountain resort. Our trip to London and Paris.

We were pretty sure we knew where this was headed, but we took Chapman's Love Languages online quiz just to be certain. As we suspected, my husband and I share a common love language: quality time.

That doesn't mean words of affirmation, receiving gifts, and the other two love languages aren't important to us. It's just that quality time is our primary love language.

"You can receive love in all five languages," Chapman says. "If you speak the primary language adequately, then [when] you sprinkle in the others, it's like icing on the cake."

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