5 Love Languages Author Is Fluent In Codependency

Real Relationship Advice

Awww, young love

When CoupleDumb suggests going to therapy or counseling it is usually with the premise to work on yourself. Marriage and Family Counseling is wonderful but the truth is that to fix a marriage issue, it is best to start by looking within. Actually, the best time to have started would have been before you got married in the first place but we digress. As we research Dr. Gary Chapman and his theory of 5 Love Languages, we realize that we have found our antithesis. The only thing we have in common is that we both write about relationships but other than that we couldn’t be more diametrically opposed in philosophy and goals.

If you read his site, he shows many questions sent to him by his readers. We cringe at his responses. There is one of them from a woman whose husband is just not into the marriage anymore. His counseling is to stick it out. He says to this woman to remind herself “Whatever their response, I’m going to love them in their love language over the long haul. If they walk away from me, they will walk away from someone who is loving them unconditionally.” Perhaps I misunderstood what the purpose of his books was. He is clear in stating you can’t change your spouse but he does believe that you can be a positive change agent when your spouse will not change. You are to be stalwart and be the change in the relationship you want and he/she may follow. In some sense I agree but one person does not make a marriage and the idea of martyring your happiness for this concept of the sanctity of a marriage that was long declared DOA is sadistic.

His ideas are Christian in foundation so the idea of divorce is never on the table. The plan is to ‘love them’ until they turn or leave but you know you did everything. I am sure that will feel really good when you are sitting there alone and wondering why you wasted x amount of time loving someone who did not love you. He mentions that the foundation of this is biblical because he quotes “In I Peter 3:1-6 wives are encouraged to win their unbelieving husbands to the Lord not by preaching to them, but by demonstrating the Christian life of love and service.” In other words, be the Stepford Wife and lead them by example. Does it matter that her ‘love tank’ is empty or that she is exhausted from carrying the marriage?

When a woman is successful in influencing the husband to participate in the marriage and her impressed husband says, “Honey, how did you love me so right to change my heart (my quote)”. She must respond in these words- “I must be honest, I don’t see myself as a loving person. By nature I am selfish, but every day I ask God to fill me with His spirit of love. You are the most important person in my life, so I figure the place to start is by loving you. Does that make sense to you?” No, I am not sh*tting you. That is what he wrote.

He also gives advice as to what to do if your husband is addicted to pornography and does not seek help. He suggests that you go! Not for your own needs, silly, but to help your husband. He says “Then find a Christian counselor and let him or her help you take steps to encourage your husband to deal with the issue.”

Codependency is defined as being in a relationship where your needs are less important than the needs of others and one becomes excessively preoccupied with the needs of others to their own detriment. So the real language that Dr. Gary Chapman is teaching is the age old codependency slang. In no place did we read that one’s needs were a priority. In no place did we read that a person must seek help to stop being abused. The help is to help you influence your abuser to stop abusing you. In Dr. Chapman’s world, codependency is optimal because it keeps your together regardless of happiness or satisfaction. This is not happiness. This is not a healthy relationship. This is sick and we just don’t speak that language.


  • Jessica Cohen

    I. Am. Speechless.

  • DresdenPlaid

    wow. It seems like Dr. Chapman only really offers therapy that is one sided. Sad. And troubling that so many (mostly women) feel trapped in these kinds of relationships.

  • EvolvingMommy

    I read the book a few years back because a few friends thought it was amazing. I finished reading it feeling icky.

  • watergraphics

    thank you!  thank you! thank you!!!  That damn book killed a good relationship … my man was soooo into figuring out my love languages and spinnning around me like an irritating gnat!  When, ALL I freakin wanted from him was LOVE (and to take care of himself-which he as not) –I HATE THAT BOOK!

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