In this comic, Meg is reading The Five Love Languages (I, uh, skewed the text a bit), one of the books our minister is having us read. I was initially really skeptical of our assigned readings, but I’ve tried to keep an open mind, and I’ve found that the majority of the stuff is actually pretty good. (It’s marriage, man — you need all the help you can get!)
The Five Love Languages is pretty good because, like fiction writing, it’s all about getting inside the mind of a character (your partner) and figuring out what he/she wants/needs.
We just watched the last episode of Season Four of The Sopranos, where Tony moves out of the house after separating from Carmela, and I was having fun trying to decide which love language they both speak. (Tony thinks Carmela speaks the “receiving gifts” language, but what she really speaks is the “quality time” language!)
The good advice of all these books? Every marriage runs into the same basic problems — the mistake (most of the time) is in thinking that if you were married to someone else, you wouldn’t have them.
Here’s a story of some armchair psychology along those lines:
My dad, before getting married, went to one of my great uncles who’d been married for a bunch of years.
“You want my advice?” my great uncle said. “Never cheat. Never cheat because you’ll always get caught. You’ll get caught, and then you’ll have to get divorced. And THEN you’ll have to marry the one you were cheating with, and pretty soon, before you know it, SHE’S complaining about the goddamned washing machine!”