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Crying Wives and Angry Husbands

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I am thankful that the Love and Respect ideas continue to be part of the conversation of such authors as Shaunti Feldhan and Gary Thomas.

Gary writes in Sacred Influence, "Far too often women expect to argue with a man just as they would argue with a woman. Furthermore, they assume the way they handle conflict is the best way, or even the only appropriate way. In For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhan asks a provocative question: ‘If you are in a conflict with the man in your life, do you think that it is legitimate to break down and cry? Most of us would probably answer yes. Let me ask another question: In the same conflict, do you think it is legitimate for your man to get really angry? Many of us have a problem with that – we think he’s not controlling himself or that he’s behaving improperly.’

“The question needs to be asked: why do women tend to respond with hurt, and men tend to respond with anger? It all has to do with the male need for respect. Shaunti goes on to quote Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, who explains, ‘In a relationship conflict, crying is often a woman’s response to feeling unloved, and anger is often a man’s response to feeling disrespected.’"

Gary continues, “Men get most frustrated – and angriest – when they feel disrespected. If your conversation takes on a demeaning tone, you have as much chance of resolving something as you would baking a cake by throwing the ingredients down the garbage disposal. You can’t control your husband’s anger – but you can provoke it by being disrespectful. That doesn’t excuse any inappropriate actions on his part, but if you truly want to be part of the solution, then learn how to disagree with your husband without showing a lack of respect…” (page 148,149).

Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Pastor

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