Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages

Monday, Sep. 9th 2013 7:00 AM

If marriage is about love, let’s use one of the love languages to communicate. There are five. And we’re going to discuss them with the man behind the wisdom … on this edition of Frank Relationships.


FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: DR. GARY CHAPMAN, THE FIRST LANGUAGES OF LOVE
Guests: Dr. Gary Chapman, Dr. Sybil Gray
Date: September 9, 2013

Frank: If marriage is about love, let’s use one of the love languages to communicate. There are five and we’re going to discuss them with the man behind the wisdom on this edition of Frank Relationships.

Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid fresh and frank look into relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com.

Once again, I’m joined by my superstar co-host, Dr. Gayl. What’s up, doc?

Dr. Gayl: Hey, Frank.

Frank: She brought a colleague with her today. Yep, there are two of them.

Dr. Gayl: Are you ready?

Frank: If you hear me sounding a bit frazzled, it’s because there’s double trouble in the studio. We’ll be talking to Dr. Gayl’s colleague shortly, once our first guest signs off.

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Dr. Gayl: Oh, boy.

Frank: I ask a lot of questions. Occasionally I try to be a little thoughtful and thought-provoking while doing so and once and awhile I’m successful.

Dr. Gayl: Occasionally.

Frank: But today’s guest, I’m extremely humble. If he were right here in this studio with me, I’d be sitting at his feet and criss-cross applesauce. See, you don’t even know about that.

Dr. Gayl: I don’t. Where did you get that from?

Frank: Criss-cross applesauce is still–

Dr. Gayl: Is that something from your kids?

Frank: Yes.

Dr. Gayl: Okay.

Frank: That’s the new educational lingo.

Dr. Gayl: Oh, I had no clue.

Frank: I don’t think they said that when we were kids. You know if Jeff? You know criss–

Dr. Gayl: You didn’t put me on.

Frank: You don’t have kids. I’m putting you on right now as best I can. Anyway, I’d be looking up at him raising my hand politely when I had questions. You can picture me doing that, right?

Dr. Gayl: Yeah, right.

Frank: Yeah, okay. He’s the author of the Five Love Languages, one of the most gentle beautiful and thought-provoking books that I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying in my few years on this planet.

The book has repeatedly topped various best seller charts and has sold more than eight million copies, year after year selling more than the previous. What an incredible accomplishment testament to the effectiveness of his message. It’s available in 49 languages and has landed on the coveted number one spot of the New York Times best seller list.

Top that off with over 30 years of experience in marriage counseling and a gentle Southern twang and you must know that today’s guest is none other than Dr. Gary Chapman. Welcome to the show, Dr. Chapman.

Dr. Chapman: Thank you, Frank. And you can put your hand down, okay.

Dr. Gayl: Dr. Chapman, don’t tell him that.

Frank: She sees a little humility in me and whatever it takes, she wants to keep in on the hook. Keep it around.

Dr. Gayl: We need you on every week, Dr. Chapman, to keep him in order.

Dr. Chapman: Alright, alright.

Frank: Okay, Dr. Chapman, I want to start with, there are now a five love languages for the military–

Dr. Chapman: Yeah.

Frank: And some people could consider that a contradiction, military killing people and love. How do the two co-exist?

Dr. Chapman: Well Frank, I am really excited about this new edition. It just came out about a week ago. It’s actually trying to help military couples with their marriages and their family relationships, so primarily the marriage relationship.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. Chapman: A lot of military guys are married and yeah, they’re in there to protect us and yes, they have the fighting mentality and all of that. But at home, it’s a husband and wife.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Dr. Chapman: And as you know, there’s an awful lot of stress on military marriages. When there are deployments–multiple deployments–

Frank: Children.

Dr. Chapman: Yeah, children and all of that. We’re just trying to help them, first of all, discover the concept of the five love languages and learn each other’s language and get it established while they’re together. And then in the book, we’re talking about how do you keep connected emotionally when you’re half a world away.

Dr. Gayl: That’s very good.

Dr. Chapman: How to use these love languages long distance. We’re just trying to give practical help. I’ve been on so many military campuses and they’ve read the original book, The Five Love Languages. But so many of them say, yeah Dr. Chapman, you need to write one specifically for military couples.

So, this book uses military illustrations and it’s directed specifically to military couples. I’m hoping it’s going to help a lot of couples learn how to navigate the waters of being apart and stay connected to each other.

Frank: I don’t see how it wouldn’t. How do you bridge the gap between such a fighting mentality in the field, and I guess, really not fighting at home–being loving?

Dr. Chapman: I think that’s a challenge. And another part of that is, guys particularly, if they have some rank and they have other guys under them, then they come home and they want to have rank on their wives.

Frank: Yes.

Dr. Chapman: Treat her like she was one of the guys and that doesn’t work in marriage. Marriage is a love relationship. But I think guys have to work at that and I think that’s part of the stress that they endure when they’re trained to get out there and fight, fight, fight and you come home and you’re supposed to be loving. Yeah, it’s not an easy transition.

Dr. Gayl: And like many of us, they probably aren’t trained how to be in a relationship, right, growing up, Dr. Chapman?

Dr. Chapman: Yeah, exactly. Many of them, of course, get married when they’re young and then they get into military and they get deployed rather early.

Dr. Chapman: I remember a couple said to me, “We’ve been married four years, but we’ve only been together about nine months out of four years.” It’s really tough.

Dr. Gayl: They don’t really know each other, let alone trying to be in a relationship together.

Dr. Chapman: Right.

Frank: You said something that raised my ears and it was “marriage is about love.” I’m probably paraphrasing what you said. But the premise there is that love is the foundation of the relationship, but there are a lot of marriages where that’s not really the case. You have people who–and I’m okay with it personally–people who marry for various reasons: status, money. You have even people–especially in the military and its fascinating we’re discussing this–especially in the military where a lot of women actually want to just be married to a man in uniform and they’re not so much committed to or interested in getting married because of the “love,” but because of the perks that come with being a military wife or because of the status of being with a man in uniform. How do you bridge those issues of love, not love and the things that they are really get married for, which are not necessarily love?

Dr. Chapman: I think you also throw into that mix that we do have cultures in the world where they have arranged marriages.

Frank: Yes.

Dr. Chapman: Their parents arrange their marriage and sometimes they don’t know each other very well at all. But what I would say is this, whatever the motivation for getting married–and I do think that most people get married, because they fall in love. That’s the term we typically use: they fall in love. But whatever the foundation, whatever the beginning point, if we’re going to have a long-lasting healthy marriage, there has to be love. And what I mean by that is, there has to be a spirit and attitude of “we’re going to help each other. We’re here to do good things for each other. We’re here to build each other up. We’re here to help each other accomplish your purposes in life.” And I think when you have that attitude–and I see it a lot more as an attitude that produces actions than I do feeling–but when you have that attitude you’re very likely to have a long-term healthy relationship.

Dr. Gayl: Now with that Dr. Chapman and everyone doesn’t get married for love and everyone doesn’t get married because they fall in love, what happens to the people that get married for those other various reasons–for monetary or because they need, they are dependant or whatever the other reasons are? Can you learn to love that person and learn their love language and have a successful relationship?

Dr. Chapman: I think Dr. Gayl, that is the good news–that love can be learned. And however we got into relationships–yeah let’s face it, some people get married when they’re drunk. They don’t even know what they’re doing. But the reality is, if you chose to love then you can learn to love. And all five of these love languages can be learned.

Many people grow up in homes where they do not receive these five love languages or maybe they receive one of them, but it’s not really their language. So they grow up not feeling loved. And many times they’re getting married seeking love, hoping to find love.

Frank: Yes.

Dr. Chapman: But the good news is that all of these can be learned and this concept has helped a lot of couples connect with each other emotionally on a much deeper level. And that’s my objective is to try to help meet that deep human need that all of us have to feel loved, whether you’re a child or whether you’re an adult. I think it’s one of the most fundamental emotional needs we have–the need to feel love by the significant people in your life.

Frank: I have no argument ever at any level with that statement.

Dr. Gayl: Wow.

Frank: I am completely–

Dr. Gayl: You are the first one that has him speechless, Dr. Chapman. Wow. But I can–

Dr. Chapman: It’s hard to argue against love.

Dr. Gayl: It is.

Frank: It is.

Dr. Gayl: It’s very hard to argue against love. It is.

Frank: How do you throw acceptance into that, because acceptance is one of the things that we discuss a lot on the show? I see love and acceptance as pretty close. They work close together. Let’s just say that.

Dr. Chapman: Yeah, I think so, Frank. I think, if in fact, the two of you have learned each other’s love language and you’re speaking that on a rather regular basis, so that both of you feel loved–I like to picture a love tank being inside of you. And if the love tank is full, you really feel love by each other, then yes, you will find it much easier to accept some of those things about the other person that you might find annoying.

Now I suggest that when things irritate you in a relationship, you share them and you ask for change and I say, “If you can change, why not?” Let’s try to please each other. Let’s try to make life pleasant for each other. But there will be a few things that the other person is either not capable of changing or for some reason they choose not to change. And I think love eventually comes to accept those things.

We recognize that none of us are perfect. “I’m never going to have a perfect spouse,” and we come to accept those things. I do think that love and acceptance that go together.

Dr. Gayl: Now Dr. Chapman, speaking of love tank, can you explain to us and our listeners what that is?

Dr. Chapman: I used that picture, just to try to help people get a visual image. A car has a gasoline tank. If it’s full you can drive a long ways. If it’s empty, you’re not going far. And the same thing is true. Inside all of us I like to picture an emotional love tank.

For example, a child has a love tank. If the child has a full tank–that is, the child feels love from the parents, the child grows up normally. But if the love tank is empty and the child feels like “nobody loves me,” the child will grow up with many internal struggles.

In the teenage years the child will go looking for love, typically in all the wrong places. But I believe also have a love tank. And if you’re married the person you would most like to love you is your spouse.

In fact, if you feel love by your spouse, life is beautiful. But if you don’t feel loved and you have this gnawing thought, “They really don’t love me. They wish they weren’t married to me,” life can begin to look pretty dark.
And as in children, much of their misbehavior grows out of an empty love tank, I think in a marriage, much of our misbehavior grows out of an empty love tank. And if we can get that picture clearly in mind–for example, when my spouse starts nagging me about something, I get defensive–

Frank: Your spouse nags you?

Dr. Gayl: How can your spouse nag you, Dr. Chapman? Mr. Love languages himself.

Dr. Chapman: But she’s giving me valuable information. She’s telling me, “My love tank is empty. My love tank’s getting low.” And rather than getting defensive, I’ve learned to say, “Okay honey, I understand. What is it you want me to do?” And she tells me. I do it and she’s a happy woman.

I just think if we understand the concept of the love tank–in fact, I even encourage couples to do a little love tank check, about once a week.

Just say to the spouse, “Honey, on a scale of zero to 10, how full is your love tank?” And if they say anything less than 10, you say, “What could I do to help fill it?” They give you an idea. You do it. They feel loved. Life is beautiful.

It’s just a matter of being conscious of the fact that we do have different love languages and we have a love tank and we want to keep that tank full, so that both of us feel secure in the love of the other.

Frank: Dr. Chapman, I got to tell you, I’m irritated right now, because my co-host is laughing at Jeff who is over here on the board. Jeff has been married forever and Jeff is–go on Jeff.

Dr. Gayl: Jeff, do you check in with your wife and ask her, sir?

Jeff: Well the converse is, is there such a thing as hate language?

Dr. Chapman: You know, there probably is, but I haven’t studied that.

Jeff: Have you experienced it?

Dr. Chapman: Yeah in my office, I have. There are people–

Dr. Gayl: Not at home. Not in your relationship, right? Staying for the second half.

Frank: Alright, alright. Back to the board

Dr. Gayl: Dr. Chapman, we’ve spoken a lot about love languages. Can you briefly explain what they are?

Dr. Chapman: Yeah, basically I discovered that there are five. And the way I discovered it is, I went through 12 years of notes that I had made when I was counseling people and I asked myself a question, “When someone sat in my office and said, I feel like my spouse doesn’t love me, what did they want? What were they complaining about?” And their answers fell into five categories and I later called them the five love languages.

One of them is, words of affirmation; using words to affirm the other person. “You look nice in that outfit. I really appreciate what you did.” It’s just looking for things about them that you can express affirmation. It can focus on the way they look. It can focus on something they have done for you. It can focus on their personality or their character, but it’s just verbally affirming people. Words are powerful, for some people it is their love letter, just what really makes them feel loved.

Another love language is gifts. It’s universal to give gifts. My academic background, before I studied counseling, was anthropology: the study of cultures. We’ve never discovered a culture anywhere in the world where gift giving is not an expression of love.

Frank: Yep.

Dr. Chapman: It’s universal to give gifts. The gift says, “Look? Look what they got for me. They were thinking about me.”

A third language is acts of service; doing something for the other person that you know that they would like for you to do. In a marriage that might be cooking meals, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, walking the dog, mowing the grass, washing the car, anything that you know the other person would like for you to do.

Frank: That sounds like the language for men to women. When you–

Dr. Chapman: Well, it depends.

Frank: When I hear–

Dr. Chapman: It depends. For some people–you know, the old saying Frank, “Actions speak louder than words?”

Frank: Yes.

Dr. Chapman: That’s true for some people. Not all people. But if this is their love language, then actions do speak louder than words. My wife’s language is acts of service. And I got married–mine is words of affirmation.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. Chapman: So, I got married and what did I do? I gave her words–

Dr. Gayl: Words of affirmation. I read that–

Dr. Chapman: Yeah, I told her how beautiful she was. I told her a dozen times a day. “I love you honey. I can’t tell you how much I love you.”

Frank: She said, “I don’t care if you love–“

Dr. Gayl: She said alright, “Can you go mow the lawn?”

Dr. Chapman: Exactly. In fact she said to me one night–I don’t know how far we were in the marriage. She said, “You know you keep on saying, ‘I love you. I love you. I love you.’ If you love me why don’t you help me?” And I was blown out of the saddle, because in my mind, I was loving her. But you see I was speaking my language. I wasn’t speaking her language.

So acts of service. And then there’s quality time; giving the person your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television–someone else has your attention–but sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other, talking to each other or taking a walk down the road and talking. Or you could go out and work in the garden. But the purpose is that we’re together. We’re giving each other quality time. Doing something that one of us at least enjoys and the other’s willing to do. That’s quality time.

And then number five is physical touch. We’ve long known the emotional power of physical touch. That’s why we pick up babies and hold them and kiss them and cuddle them. And long before the baby understands the meaning of the word love, the baby feels love, by physical touch.

In a marriage it would be such things as holding hands, kissing and embracing the whole sexual part of the marriage, but physical touch is a power communicator. For some people it’s their primary language.

Those are the five and the basic concept is that each of us has a primary love language and you have to learn how to speak each other’s language.

Dr. Gayl: Does one gender tend to lean more towards one language or the other?

Dr. Chapman: You know Gayl, I’ve often asked that, but I really don’t know. I’ve never researched that. I do know that a man can have anyone of these five as his language and a woman can have any five as her language. But some of them may lean more to one or the other. But the reason I haven’t explored that is because once you say, “These are more female languages; these are more male languages,” you have a whole lot of people that don’t fit into the category. I just prefer to think in terms of individuals.

The important thing in a marriage or any relationship is to know your own love language and know the other person’s love language. That’s where I fit in.

Frank: Dr. Chapman, I want to go back a second. We were discussing acceptance and general love and it–I’m thinking about Byron Katie. Are you familiar with her?

Dr. Chapman: Who?

Frank: Byron Katie. She’s the author of, Loving What Is.

Dr. Chapman: Yeah. I’ve heard the name but I haven’t read that book.

Frank: Okay, she talks a lot about basically acceptance. And if it has to do with accepting that your partner will not do x, y and z or will do x, y and z and not requiring them to be any different than they are; really just accepting them as they come. If we are accepting our partners and what they will and won’t do, at some level we’re going to make sure our needs get met on our own. If I like to be touched and my partner’s not a toucher, well, I can go to the massage parlor.

Dr. Chapman: Yeah.

Frank: How do you see the third option–well, the second option in terms of not relying on it from your partner? How does that come into play with the five love languages?

Dr. Chapman: I think, Frank, it depends on what we do to meet those unmet needs. If what we do is destructive to the relationship then in my opinion, then that would be out of bounds. I think we have to have boundaries. But let’s face it, we’re not going to meet every need that each other has.

We’re social creatures and we need to have to do things. Maybe one of you likes to run and the other just can’t stand to run or maybe they’re physically not able to run. Well, giving the person freedom to be a runner and spend some time every day or every other day running, is simply giving them the freedom to be who they are, exploring what they like and that doesn’t cause damage to a relationship. That’s very positive.

But if a person says, “Well, you’re not meeting my sexual needs so I’m going to go to a prostitute,” then in my opinion, you’re crossing a boundary that’s going to be detrimental to the relationship.

What I suggest is, first of all, in the things where you encounter these differences, is that you openly discuss them and if you can change, then do that. If you can’t then you come to accept it.

For example, in our marriage, one of the conflicts we had in the early days was how to load a dishwasher, okay? I believe a dishwasher should be loaded in an organized manner. My wife loads the dishwasher likes she was playing Frisbee, okay? And I would give her lectures in the early days about. “Honey, you’re going to break these things, you’re going to come out cracked in the morning. And these two spoons where you have peanut butter between them, it’s not going to be clean.” I gave her all of these lectures and all of these reasons why she should do it my way, until finally I realized that she does not have a gene for loading the dishwasher.

Frank: It just isn’t there. It’s not going to happen.

Dr. Chapman: It’s not going to happen. So, I simply came to accept that. When you accept that then you have to decide, “How are we going to do this?” She was perfectly happy for me to load the dishwasher. So, I became the one to basically load the dishwasher, unless of course, I had to leave after dinner and had a meeting or something. And then I agreed that she could load it however she wants to. And the next morning when I unload the dishwasher, its okay if there’s a broken glass, I’ll just throw it away. If there’s peanut butter on the spoon, I’ll just soak it a little bit and put it back in. That problem’s gone, because I accepted the fact that she did not have the ability to change that particular thing in her life and every couple encounters those kinds of things.
So, I say, change what you can, if you can’t then find a positive way to accept that and work together as a team.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. Gayl: Okay, Dr. Chapman. Both Frank and myself are divorced–

Frank: And married. I’m married.

Dr. Gayl: Well, he’s married now.

Frank: And I have five children.

Dr. Chapman: Okay.

Dr. Gayl: Come on. Now is it that in our first marriages we didn’t read the love languages or we didn’t follow them or–

Frank: Did you read it?

Dr. Gayl: I read it.

Frank: I didn’t.

Dr. Gayl: You didn’t?

Frank: No.

Dr. Gayl: I did read it, but the thing is how do you get to–

Frank: You were hardheaded. That’s all.

Dr. Gayl: But the thing is, how do you get to that point where you say, “Okay, I’m going to do all these things for this person or I’m going to fill their love tank even though I really hate what their love language is? I’m going to fill their love tank.” Does that have to do with acceptance or being so much in love with them or what does that–how do you–

Frank: Or being manipulative?

Dr. Chapman: Well, I think–

Dr. Gayl: Because Frank thinks that love equals manipulation, Dr. Chapman.

Frank: No, I don’t. No.

Dr. Gayl: He does.

Frank: No, I do not.

Dr. Chapman: I’m not going to settle an argument. Okay.

Dr. Gayl: Just leave it alone.

Dr. Chapman: I think that love is a choice and that you’re married to a person–and typically, we discussed there are exceptions–but typically people get married, because they’re in love. They have all these euphoric feelings. They’re pushed along by these feelings. They think they’re going to have those feelings forever and they get married to the person. What they don’t know is that, the average lifespan of the in love euphoria is two years. We come down.

Dr. Gayl: Wow.

Dr. Chapman: All of us come down off the high. And what people fail to recognize is that there are two stages of romantic love. That’s one of them. But once you come down off the high, then you have to choose to love and you have to learn how to express love. And that’s why if couples get this concept in their early stages of the marriage or even before they get married and they learn that we have different languages and we’re going to learn how to speak that language, they’re very likely to keep emotional love alive in the relationship.

And when you feel love it’s much easier to solve the conflicts–the normal conflicts that all of us have. But if you don’t feel love, you come down off the high–you didn’t realize that this was normal. You come down off the high and you start thinking, “Oh no, I married the wrong person. I don’t even like them anymore. And now they’re demanding that I do this or that?” So you get into arguments and fights and it all goes down hill. That’s why I think understanding and applying this concepts can help a lot of couples have the marriage they dreamed of having when they got married.

I have a lot divorced people say to me, “You know Dr. Chapman, I think if I had read and applied the concept in the love languages, I probably would have been able to save that marriage.” And they’re in a second marriage and now they’re working on that marriage.
We have to be where we are. I meet people who have been married three and four times and as you probably know, the divorce rate goes up. Second marriages–

Dr. Gayl: Yep.

Dr. Chapman: The rates much higher. The third marriage it’s higher. The answer is not running, the answer is learning to love the person to whom you’re now married. That’s why I say to people, “There’s hope, because love is a choice,” and when you love them in the right love language, it stimulates emotional warmth inside of them towards you and they’re far more likely then to reciprocate. And when they reciprocate, then you began to feel loved by them.

The choice and the actions precedes the emotion. But the emotion is important and the emotion comes when we speak the right language.

Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships, we’ve been talking with Dr. Gary Chapman, Marriage Counselor and author of many well known books, including, The Five Love Languages. Dr. Chapman, please would you tell our listeners how they can find out about you and your work.

Dr. Chapman: They can go to fivelovelanguages.com. You can put in the number five or you can spell it out the word “five.” Fivelovelanguages.com.

Frank: I understand that you’re a busy man and need to sign off here and I got to tell you. I appreciate you, your time and your insights.

Dr. Chapman: Thank you Frank. Good to be with you and Dr. Gayl and I hope you all continue to have fun and continue to help people.

Dr. Gayl: Thank you so much Dr. Chapman.

Frank: Take care. Up next we’ll be discussing Dr. Chapman’s work and a few other issues with Dr. Sybil Gray.

Dr. Gray’s been a licensed clinical psychologist since 1997. She’s also an aspiring novelist. Drawing from her professional and personal experiences with intimate relationships of all kinds, ranging from the healthy in vibrant to the dark and disturbing to craft psychological thrillers with erotic themes.

Think of the five love languages meets 50 Shades of Grey. Go figure that. Dr. Chapman might be calling us back saying, “Ya’ll, uh–“

Dr. Gayl: That’s not what I promote

Frank: That’s right. Well, let’s see what Dr. Gray has in her bag of tricks. Thanks for joining us.

Dr. Gray: Thank you for having me.

Frank: Okay, you’ve been sitting in with the team here and Dr. Chapman. Where do you want to start?

Dr. Gray: I know his work is fascinating and I’ve read his book and a couple of other things that he’s written as well. I am fascinated by the way that his work can impact so many other areas, such as my own, my writing and just taking a look at some of his premises and how I formulate my characters, how I formulate my plot. You said he might be calling back, saying, “That’s not what I promote.” And he may be surprised to know that a writer or an author or I’m sure other people in other disciplines or professions find the utility of his research and his work applicable to what it is that they do. I’m fascinated.

Frank: I can really go there with you, because often people as me a few questions. One, “How in the world did you find Dr. Gayl,” and I just ignore it. I don’t get into that–

Dr. Gayl: But you know what, people ask me the same thing. “How in the hell did you find–“

Frank: Alright, alright. See, I hate when other people try to get in on my joke. That’s my joke. Leave my joke alone. That’s my bit. Sit over there, be quiet. Okay, but–

Dr. Gayl: Is that how you tell your wife? Sit over there?

Frank: And see then she tries to spin it somewhere else. That is a dag gone shame.

Dr. Gayl: Oh, my gosh. I know. I’m sorry. Go.

Dr. Gray: You can resume now.

Frank: I think. If I regroup–alright, alright. People ask me why did I write a book on how to, Gracefully Exit a Relationship. “Where did you get the idea to do stuff like that?” And my answer is, we steal from each other all the time. We get ideas–or nicer put, we influence each other all the time. And the idea for this book came from–I was reading an article. It was really a three paragraph article in a business magazine several years ago.

If I find it, I’ll plug it on the show at some point. But it was an oncologist who was a cancer doctor, and he was talking about how to break bad news to people. And I’d been writing about relationships and I read that and I thought, “Wow, this applies to relationships.” And my intention was to write a seven hundred word blog about it and it turned into a book.

Dr. Gray: From an oncology article?

Frank: Exactly, exactly. I get what you’re saying completely.

Dr. Gray: How someone else’s work could apply to something–

Frank: Yes.

Dr. Gray: That seems so unrelated.

Frank: Absolutely.
Dr. Gray: And anyone who–as it says, I’m an aspiring writer, so I have not published anything. But people who know me know that I write, so they would be surprised to know that The Five Love Languages would have any influence at all on what I’m doing. But it does. It can and it does.

Dr. Gayl: What do you mean by that Dr. Gray? Is it because you stated that your themes are erotic and they’re psychological thrillers? And it sounds like–Dr. Chapman, didn’t want to go here with us. He’s real fluffy and–

Frank: Nice. His message–

Dr. Gayl: His relationships are linear and things are great and–

Dr. Gray: Wonderful and happy, happy, joy, joy. And it’s like, “What about that hate thing? What happens when that hate thing shows up?”

Frank: My God, jumping in, getting my guests all riled up.

Dr. Gayl: Tell me what it looks like. “Well, I don’t even know what that word–“

Dr. Gray: “I don’t know anything about all that. I’m all about the love.”

Frank: He might have said, “Get that Jeff off the line. Back. Back.”

Dr. Gray: That’s where the characters of my novels come into play, because when it’s out there and it’s a character in the novel, you can get really dark and you can get really intense.

You can become very comfortable with–just pick anyone of the love languages, my most recent novels, the antagonist, the guy, his love language is definitely physical touch, but that goes awry. He desires a touch that is erotic, but painful and then it continues to escalate and he never gets enough of it.

And that’s a question for Dr. Chapman. Suppose you never get enough of the language. Someone is willing to provide it, if it’s physical touch, but it’s never enough. Or suppose it does become dark or intense and veers off into masochism or sadism, what do you start to do with that and how do you manipulate that? And that’s where I can start to delve into that with some of the story line and the plot and the characters.

Frank: How does Dr. Gayl deal with that in the book?

Dr. Gray: How does who? I’m sorry.

Dr. Gayl: Doctor?

Frank: Isn’t that the character?

Dr. Gray: Touché.

Frank: Did I miss something?

Dr. Gayl: You’re getting on my nerves. But listen, so Frank, think about this. You just had to be here in the studio.

Frank: Yeah, that was my joke. I got it, yes, uh-huh. Yes.

Dr. Gayl: One check mark for Frank.

Frank: Yes, I think I’m ahead now. Go on Dr. Gray. Oh hold up. Wait, wait, wait. Excuse me. Wait a second.

Dr. Gayl: What?

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And I so rudely interrupted Dr. Gayl. We’re back.

Dr. Gayl: You did. I should be used to it by now.

Frank: Yes, alright.

Dr. Gayl: We’ve had several hosts on to talk about open relationships and what’s the sadi–what’s it called?

Frank: Masochism.

Dr. Gayl: Masochism.

Dr. Gray: Or BDSM.

Dr. Gayl: Yeah, BDSM.

Frank: Yeah listen to the show?

Dr. Gray: I do. I do listen to the show.

Frank: Oh, nice.

Dr. Gayl: Thank you. Or what was last week Frank? Gains or love?

Frank: Things that Dr. Gayl does.

Dr. Gayl: I don’t even have a come back.

Frank: What was the formal title?

Dr. Gayl: That’s a subtitle.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Dr. Gray: What was the lead?

Dr. Gayl: Frank, wanted me to be the star in it. I wonder since you’re here Dr. Gray and these are the types of characters that are in your novels, how those love languages would play out in these types of relationships. Because I have to admit, I am biased and particularly when women come on and they state that they love these sex parties and they love to be involved in them. And initially I think about, “Okay what happened with you developmentally growing up? Who didn’t provide you with physical touch and where were your parents and who didn’t give you that grandiosity that you need at such a young age that now you need it as an adult?” I don’t know if my question’s making sense–

Frank: Wait, wait. Did she just say I have to admit I’m biased?

Dr. Gayl: I am.

Frank: Goodnight.

Dr. Gray: Just want to make sure that–

Frank: Dr. Chapman is working his magic and he’s not even on the phone.

Dr. Gayl: Because he worked it on you earlier.

Frank: Okay. Alright, I’ll go there.

Dr. Gayl: We’re pound for pound right now.
Dr. Gray: You’re give her that one.

Frank: Yes, I’ll give you that.

Dr. Gray: You’ll give her that one.

Frank: Alright, go and answer the questions.

Dr. Gray: The theme of the love languages does not show up explicitly in the book. It’s more my research in my head. Or sometimes when I go back and reanalyze the characters that I’ve written, I can see where the love languages apply. But it’s never an explicit theme in the book where they would even come up in the conversation.

Dr. Gayl: And even in people in real life that have these real types of relationships that you write about in your book, we’ve had those types of people on the show that are voyeuristic and they live these very erotic lifestyles–

Dr. Gray: Right.

Dr. Gayl: As I stated, I just now put it altogether or thought about it in terms of love languages. Now as we stated Dr. Chapman’s explains it are very like peaches and cream. But take it to the exotic or erotic stage and touch is now hang me from the ceiling with ropes and chains.

Dr. Gray: Right, ropes and chains.
Frank: Well, he didn’t really say that the love languages weren’t that. He just said that they can, there can be things that you do in your relationship that are destructive. I don’t know if he would think that is destructive. I don’t know that, but he didn’t say explicitly that, that was destructive.

Dr. Gray: I’m thinking that what he did say is if you cross a boundary in the relationship that’s not acceptable to the other partner, it would be destructive. If both partners in the marriage or in the relationship are willing to engage in this intense–let’s say the language of touch. Let’s just go with that one, since that’s so easy to think of.

So if both partners are in the same place, like some of the characters in my novels, were hanging from the rafters or being bound by chains or flogged or whatever, where that’s acceptable for both of them–for one or the other to get their needs met without going outside of the relationship, then it’s not destructive. But the question is, when you step outside of the relationship to get your needs met, is that destructive to the other partner, “You have to go some place else to do all that. I love you.”

Dr. Gayl: “I don’t do that.”

Dr. Gray: Yeah. “That’s not my love language. I just want you–“

Dr. Gayl: Tell me I’m pretty.

Dr. Gray: Yeah, you know, “Just tell me I look hot and if I’m good to go.”

Frank: That’s his love language.

Dr. Gray: Right. But that’s his love language. He’s like, “But I need more. I need more in terms of physical touch or the way you talk to me. Words of affirmation. I might want you to talk dirty to me. That’s words of affirmation to me.” If you’re seeking that elsewhere, then that becomes destructive to the relationship. My question is at which point do you make a decision that we just don’t communicate, we’re not going to communicate.

Dr. Gayl: Right. I was thinking that too and also piggybacking–is that right, Frank?

Dr. Gray: Piggybacking on.

Dr. Gayl: Off of what Dr. Chapman had mentioned about the two year mark where people say, “Okay–” and really that’s what it is. The first year you’re all peaches and cream and running through the forest and stuff, holding hands together, not making picnics.

Frank: Walks on the beach. Horseback riding. Good God.

Dr. Gray: And then it’s all downhill from there.

Frank: And then you got to clean the horse and then you’ve got to–

Dr. Gray: Muck the stall.

Frank: Right, right.

Dr. Gray: Wash it down.

Frank: Pick up the trash on the beach from the party you all had after two years.

Dr. Gayl: And because you really don’t love them–

Dr. Gray: Anymore. Like what the heck.

Dr. Gayl: I ain’t doing that. So, how do you get to that point, where your like after the two year mark, you’re like, “Okay I still want to kick it with you and I still want to build–“

Frank: That’s what he says the relationship actually really begins.

Dr. Gray: That’s when it really starts. I think maturity and I don’t care how old you are, whether you’re 16 and mature–and I don’t mean 16 acting as if you’re 25, but are you a mature 16 year old or mature 35 year old or a mature 56 year old? I think maturity comes into play and the ability to say, “I choose to still love you and act lovingly towards you and speak your language or make changes,” because what he says about the two year mark, that’s research-driven.

We know that, that’s true. We know just biochemically and he mentioned the endorphins. That settles down after about 24 to 36 months. It just does. It settles down and the parental relationship after the baby is born, it settles down and familial relationships–that warm fuzzy settles down and you do have to make a choice. Are you mature enough to choose to do that and sustain your efforts over time?

Frank: A few months ago, we had the pleasure of having Nana Kwenaba Brown as a guest on the show. His organization in Nyama healing services is now inviting you to his Saturday, October 19th, couples relationship enhancement workshop in Silver Springs, Maryland.

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Dr. Gayl: You want to go Frank? You think it would help our relationship?

Frank: I was about to ask an intelligent question and you’ve thrown me off with such–

Dr. Gray: Yet again.

Frank: Irrational thought.

Dr. Gray: Disinhibited.

Frank: Right, yes. Okay

Dr. Gayl: But you didn’t answer the question. But we’re going to go.

Frank: Okay, alright, alright, alright. I told you guys I was going to be getting it from both sides. No, I don’t want to go.

Dr. Gray: So, you going to go?

Dr. Gayl: Because I really don’t like you.

Dr. Gray: Because she really wants to go.

Frank: And charge it to the company. Yeah right. Okay, alright. I disagree with something that you said a minute ago.

Dr. Gray: Okay.

Frank: You said that you were talking about maturity, whether it’s mature 16 year old or mature 50 year old, whatever have you. And I don’t think maturity is the real issue, because maturity, it can have a psychological developmental piece where a child is expected to walk by 12 months. If a child walks at 10 months are they mature?

Yeah, developmentally you could say yes. But when I think of the maturity piece in terms of the way we act and our decision-making, I don’t think it’s fair to call it mature or immature. My reasoning has to do with, I really think it’s more so people see the payoff in different places.

Some people invest in relationships, because they believe that there’s a payoff. Because they enjoy or they think that they can get those people who they’ve invested in to help them when the time comes. That’s a payoff.

Some people don’t invest in relationships at all. Some people don’t really want to be bothered on a very close person-to-person level and they don’t believe that they’re going to get something out of those relationships later on. Is one mature and one immature? Is one correct or incorrect? I really don’t think so. I think it’s just we have different payoffs.

Dr. Gray: You just think it just is. It’s not an emotional maturity factor.

Frank: There you go.

Dr. Gray: Do you think that emotional maturity helps?

Frank: In doing what?

Dr. Gray: In making those choices. Say that it’s not a defining factor as to whether not one is or is not emotionally mature. I’ll give you that, but do you think if a person is emotionally mature, it would be more helpful for them to be able to make the decision to choose to continue to love?
That’s not the litmus test for it, because the way I stated it, it sounds like it’s the litmus test. If you can’t choose to continue to sustain your love efforts after the two year mark, then you’re probably not emotionally mature. I give you what you’re saying, that you disagree with that. I’m asking a reverse: if you are emotionally mature, do you think you’re better able to sustain your efforts once all the warm, fuzzy, endorphins have settled down?

Frank: In order to really answer that, I have to be able to call someone emotionally mature.

Dr. Gray: And you don’t think that that concept exists?

Frank: I don’t feel comfortable telling someone or characterizing–

Dr. Gray: That they are or are not?

Frank: Someone as emotionally mature.

Dr. Gayl: You know what? Someone may absolutely emotionally mature, but just not feel like it. I just don’t feel like learning your love language.

Dr. Gray: Right.

Dr. Gayl: You know I like you, but I don’t like you that much.

Dr. Gray: To be bothered with all that.

Dr. Gayl: Right, because it’s too much. And Frank, I was going to ask you–

Frank: Uh-oh.

Dr. Gayl: Right. Because you think that–here I go.

Dr. Gray: I know what you think.

Dr. Gayl: Projecting my thoughts.

Dr. Gray: Let me get in your head.

Dr. Gayl: And feeling onto him. But Frank often mentions how he thinks that people manipulate relationships to get what they want. Right, Frank?

Dr. Gray: To get their needs met.

Dr. Gayl: To get their needs met, he thinks that people are very manipulative in relationships. People say it’s the–what, 80/20 rule or really the 100 percent? You put out 100 percent not expecting to get 100 percent back. That’s just what you do, because you’re in this relationship and you want to make this other person happy. But Frank thinks that it’s all manipulation to get your own needs met.

Frank: No, no. I don’t think that. Number one, when we’re talking about manipulation, I think we often do things that are manipulative and bottom line around manipulation–at some level, at some level, it’s alright. But what I say is if you’re not willing to admit what you’re getting out of a situation, you’re being manipulative. If I’m telling you the reason that I’m rubbing your feet is, because I want you to, at some point, I want you to feel good about our relationship. I want you to get something out of our relationship. And ultimately, I’d like to, I’d like to get something back, that’s not manipulative. That’s clear.

I’m in your face with exactly why I’m doing what I’m doing. But I do believe you can do the same thing, you can rub her feet and act like, “Oh no, I don’t want anything out of it,” but in the back of your mind, you really do. And you may not even know you do. But in the back of your mind you do and you’re not willing to admit it. I think that’s manipulative.

Dr. Gayl: So with regard to the love languages and say for instance, we’re in–

Frank: How come we didn’t talk about this with Dr. Chapman? God, this was good stuff. Okay, go on.

Dr. Gayl: Say for instance, you and I–

Frank: You and I nothing.

Dr. Gayl: Right.

Frank: We–no.

Dr. Gayl: New person. Somebody was in a relationship and they wanted to feel each other’s love tank, do you think that’s manipulation? What do you think about the love languages? Do you think that’s manipulation?

Frank: I think it can be, but it isn’t if you’re clear with each other. “Babe, the reason I do what I do, is because I want your love tank full and I want you to fill mine.” There’s nothing manipulative about that. You’re being very clear and upfront. Now, if I’m attempting to fill your love tank and I’m over to the side, quiet just not making it clear that there is–

Dr. Gayl: Trying to act like you’re not doing it.

Frank: Right. That there is something that I want out of this, I think that’s manipulative. You can do the same thing with a different conversation and it changes the whole game.

Dr. Gray: So, you’re saying that every time you have an encounter in a relationship where you want something and you’re not–I can’t imagine being in a relationship like that–and you’re not explicit about it, every time that happens, then it’s manipulation?

Frank: I’m not saying that you have to be explicit. I’m saying that if you’re unwilling.

Dr. Gray: Unwilling?

Frank: Unwilling to say what your motivations are then you’re being manipulative.

Dr. Gray; If there’s over-effort to hide it.
Frank: Yes.

Dr. Gayl: Or not even over-effort to hide it, you just don’t–

Frank: If you’re unwilling–however, you want to ride that–if you’re unwilling to demonstrate what or–

Dr. Gayl: You don’t just voice the fact that I’m giving you this foot rub because I want some later?

Frank: Or not if you necessarily said it, but if you’re unwilling to say it. Like if you resist saying it.

Dr. Gray: Okay.

Frank: That’s what I’m talking about.

Dr. Gayl: It doesn’t make since, but–we’ve–

Frank: Alright, alright, alright.

Dr. Gay: Because it’s Frank Love.

Frank: Yeah. You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’ve had the pleasure today of speaking with Dr. Gary Chapman, marriage counselor and author of many well known books including, The Five Love Languages, as well as Dr. Sybil Gray, a licensed clinical psychologist and aspiring novelist.

Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed none other than the five love languages and concepts around being manipulative, what can I say. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had learning about the five love languages and chopping it up with Dr. Gray.

As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that’ll help you create a relationship that’s as loving and accepting as possible.

Let us know what you thought of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove on Twitter @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. On behalf of my producer, Phileta Legette and my assistant producer, Anayza Stewart and the man on the boards over here, Jeff, keep rising. This is Frank Love.

END OF TRANSCRIPT

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