I think this kind of advice might work well in a red pill marriage. In a case like that, the man could take the lead and hold the woman accountable to a third party (the book is presented as a Christian). But in a situation where your wife does not have the insight or the intrinsic accountability (and real reasons to do the work), it just falls apart.This echoes what I said in answer to the question I was asked about the book: "Heh - I remember that when I read that book, I instigated even more arguments with RLB. Fitness tests galore. I'll add it to my list to review. It'll be interesting to read it through a red pill lense."
Like Anon says above, I lacked the insight or intrinsic accountability to make use of this book. I was still very "me" oriented and in rebellion to God's commands for women in marriage. This book gave me the permission to whine and complain about all the ways RLB was not loving me right. I read "Acts of service" and thought "yeah, I'd like that, why don't you ever do that? That must be why my love tank is empty." And then I read "Words of affirmation" and thought, "oh, for sure, I need you to say more things that will fill up my love tank." And on and on my hamster brain went. Having no understanding that this "empty love tank" concept had completely to do with rebellion to God's commands and nothing to do with RLB.
I remember days of anguish and confusion about our marriage. Wondering why I just could not settle my brain and find contentment in the relationship we had. Why I was continually seeking out and reading these marriage books and nothing was improving (in my mind). I know RLB went through long periods of "why can't you just be happy?"
I search for a way for me to get across to you the difference of what I feel today compared to the fretfulness and discontent I felt back then. It is overwhelming to me how it didn't have a thing to do with RLB. It was all about God. Even as a Christian, I was not abiding in the Word as I needed to, to settle my anxious heart. I think back now remembering how ignorant I was and sad the answer was right in my hands - the Bible. I can not even conjure up the same unsettled feelings now. They just don't exist in this home anymore.
What a beautiful gift I've been given. I wish I could give it away to every unsettled heart reading this. But that would take away the significance of accepting it on Faith.
Update: *That blog is no longer available, but here is the guest post Anon had originally submitted to The Woman and the Dragon discussing his perspective of The Five Love Languages:
A thought experiment:
Let us suppose we were to conduct a sociological attitudes survey by polling 200 school children ranging from 6-18 years old. We would randomly select 100 American girls and 100 boys. Our survey would contain one question-“What are the things that are innately a part of being [male/female] that you have to do daily battle against in order to make yourself a better person?”(Of course, we would have to word the question age appropriately for the little ones).What kinds of answers do you think that survey would yield? In order for this piece to makes sense, I will give my opinion but the survey has not been conducted. It is based on 41 years of observing my culture.From the boys we would get responses like:We are violent.We are aggressive.We are cruel.We are too competitive.We are mean.We are dumber than girls.From the girls we would get:What are you talking about? Grrrrrls are AWESOME!You might also hear attempts to deflect from actually answering the question like:We are too forgivingWe love without holding backWe take too much BS from menAll of which essentially have nothing to do with the question (and don't make any sense--how can you love "too much?")What you should get is:We are vain. (No truly masculine man spends the same amount of time in front of a mirror)We have poor impulse control. (Diagnosed Borderline Personality at an exponentially higher rate than men)We are attracted to violent/powerful/cruel men. (For every Nazi that women like to point to, there was a woman at home waiting with her legs spread).There are others, but I am not a woman, so it is not my lot in life to face female demons. It is my contention that the same survey of 20, 30, 40 and 50 something women would yield the same result.As I try to figure out why Gary Chapman’s “5 Love Languages” book (and workbook) was such a failure for me and my wife, it occurs to me—this book (and all like it) requires both parties to be introspective and accountable. If my basic presupposition above is true, it was doomed from the start.My story starts when I was deployed and happened to have regular access to Skype. My wife wanted to “stay connected” while I was there and one of the ways SHE decided to do so was to go through marriage self-help books together using the Skype venue. At the core, each one of these had the same outcome—I would diligently do the homework or exercises between chapters, (while engaged with the enemy on a foreign battlefield, no less) bring my work to the next Skype session, and my wife would not have hers done. She would give excuses like “this chapter didn’t really speak to me,” or “I was too busy this week” or whatever.We tried modifying the assignments, spreading them our over more time, whatever. It never worked. She started to show signs of guilt that I was getting them done, and she wasn’t. She would express the guilt by hurling accusations at me like “you are just doing the work so well to make me feel like a bad wife.”Huh?She was the one who wanted to do these. She picked the damn books out. I had no say, really.So after Chapman’s book, we stopped. The first two were similar—one was a devotional style book for couples. Doesn’t matter—we just quit.Specifically with regard to the “Five Languages” book, let’s take a look at the basic hypothesis. It states, more or less, that different people have varying subjective ways of sending and receiving love messages to each other, and more often than not, couples’ “languages” don’t match. Makes sense, right? In fact, I would suggest one does not need Gary Chapman to point this out. It’s kind of a no-brainer.However, and as I mentioned earlier—there is an assumption when he creates his workbook that both parties come to the exercises with an open heart, willing to look inward and make changes for the other in order to create harmony for the relationship.The problem is--no woman in a marriage 2.0 marriage has any idea what that paragraph even means. It is filled with so many presuppositions that are frankly not a part of what is now called “marriage” that it will be doomed to the kind of failure I had with it. I foolishly thought that my wife would be able to read each chapter and ask herself tough questions about her own motivations, instincts and baggage that might be interfering with our relationship. I foolishly thought that the abstraction—“the relationship” was a thing worth working on. She labors under several different assumptions, many of which have been explored time and again on this very website. I will not get into them here.As for the specific tenets—the languages themselves—what are they and what kinds of exercises do you have to do in the workbooks? Let’s look:1. Words of affirmation—just what it sounds like. All of the assignments require the participants to make some kind of effort to affirm the other person verbally.2. Quality time—Some people just like the time spent together. Therefore, these assignments revolve around setting aside time for the person who’s primary language is “quality time.”3. Receiving Gifts—Easy enough, I guess. If one person “feels” love from receiving gifts, you get them more gifts.4. Acts of service—This one I had really hoped my wife would get, as the things that I do around the house are my way of saying “I love you, so you don’t have to do this.” It never sunk in, because the INSIDE of our house is just as likely to be taken care of by me as it is by her.5. Physical touch—Of course, Chapman tries to pretend like there is no humongous gulf between what men mean by this and women. My guess is, a survey of churchian women who read this part (and don’t like icky sex with their husbands anymore) love this chapter because it means, hug me, hold my hand, kiss me but DON’T GET TURNED ON, YOU PERV!I think this kind of advice might work well in a red pill marriage. In a case like that, the man could take the lead and hold the woman accountable to a third party (the book is presented as a Christian). But in a situation where your wife does not have the insight or the intrinsic accountability (and real reasons to do the work) it just falls apart.I will end with this—As many readers of SSMs blog are aware, I am new at this. I have extensive training in human behavior, but I am on a steep learning curve regarding the red pill. The comment that sparked this guest post opined that it’s not simply a bad idea to try “the 5 love languages” to help your marriage, but that a woman is actually TURNED OFF by these suggestions. So readers—why is that?