Monday, January 11, 2010

Love and Respect - 52 in 52 Week 1

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs by Eggerichs


Miscommunication is easily the most common cause of conflict within a marriage. Eggerich focuses on the difference between what a man or a woman need and how that influences their their perception of the words and actions around them. A man's greatest need is for respect. He knows his wife loves him, but he may not think she likes (respects) him. A woman's greatest need is for love. She knows she loves her husband but wonders if he loves her as much. Conflict arises when a husband comes across as unloving, prompting a disrespectful response from his wife, which in turn results in more unloving reactions, and so on. Similarly when a wife comes across as disrepectful, the husband reacts unlovingly, and the two negative behaviors feed on each other. The result is called the Crazy Cycle.

In contrast, when the cycle is reversed, a wife gives her husband respect (or he shows her love), then a good-willed spouse will respond in a positive fashion creating a positive feedback loop called the Energizing Cycle. He explains how a husband can love his wife using the acronym COUPLE (closeness, openness, understanding, peacemaking, loyalty, and esteem. He also explains how a wife can respect her husband using the acronym CHAIRS (conquest, hierarchy, authority, insight, relationship, and sexuality). While the hope of receiving positive feedback from one's spouse is a good motivator to change one's behavior, Eggerichs closes by suggesting that a better reason is to act simply out of faith. A Christian husband should be loving towards his wife simply because Christ calls him to do so. A Christian wife should be respectful of her husband simply because Christ calls her to do so.


I confess that I understood the wife's side of the argument 100% of the time the first time through. I didn't always agree with the stereotype, but I could understand the point he was trying to make. Understanding the husband's point of view in fairness is going to take a second or third reading and some more time to process and consider the information. Despite my complete lack of understanding, I decided to pick a couple of the suggestions from the CHAIRS section to work on during the course of the week. I won't go into details, but the results have been very positive. I would definitely recommend it for any married Christian, even those with a "good" marriage.


Our Westmoreland School said...

So, do you feel like you learned anything? I mean are things different for you now?

I'm not a big one for these sorts of books, but I would like to know what's going on in dh's head sometimes...

Deanna said...

I feel like it gave me a new perspective on why I sometimes react the way I do and why DH does or says some of the things he does. That knowledge helps me consider what I am saying/doing from his viewpoint which helps with our communication.

Liza Q said...

I thought that this was a pretty good marriage book - I am glad that I read your review, as it reminded me of a few things!