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Stepping On Air Hoses

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A wife fixes her husband's favorite meal but he comes home 40 minutes late. The food is cold.

Hurt, she makes a remark, as he walks through the door, "You are always late and never call me. You are so uncaring! If you loved me, you'd call!"

That comment sets him off. With a look of disgust, he exits the kitchen. Putting on his running gear, he leaves the house for an hour run.

Obvious to every woman watching this, he misses her heart.

Obvious to every man watching this, her disrespectful verbiage blinds him to her inner sadness and pain.

Why does this kind of thing happen?

Figuratively speaking, did you know a wife has an air hose connected to a "Love Tank?"

From her husband, she needs love like she needs air to breathe.

When she feels unloved, right or wrong, she reacts. She feels as though she is emotionally suffocating.  When her husband steps on her air hose, she does not flat line it on the emotional heart monitor. She reacts.

In fact, she will push him off her air hose. "Get off my air hose! Quit being so unloving!"

Things can get out of control at this moment. Feeling unloved, she shows contempt.

Feeling disrespected, he shows no love.

Let's consider another story. A husband works hard at his place of employment. He brings home a healthy pay check. To him, this is honorable. He even hands over his pay check, trusting his wife's money management.

But once every couple of months, she becomes exasperated with the “bills” and money pressures. She expresses her anxieties over his lack of income. "You need to be doing more!"

Hurt, he makes a cutting remark. "I am nothing more than a meal ticket to you. The kids mean everything to you. I mean nothing. You are ungrateful!”

His unloving comment wounds her and blinds her to his inner feeling of being disrespected. If she in turn says something disrespectful, this is a double whammy. The Crazy Cycle is spinning. She is ventilating her frustration, needing reassurance. Yet, he hears, "I don't respect you.”

Did you know a husband has an air hose hooked up to a "Respect Tank?"

From his wife, he needs respect like he needs air to breathe. This is an unconditional respect for who he is, apart from his performance.

When he feels disrespected, he reacts. He feels choked emotionally. He pushes her off his air hose. "Get off my line, I can't breathe. Quit being so disrespectful. Everybody respects me but you. I don't deserve this disrespect!"

Both are defensive, becoming offensive.

In feeling unloved, she's disrespectful. At that moment she does not see his need for respect or her disrespect - or doesn't want to. If she does see this, frankly, she may not care. She sees her need for love and his need to be more loving. Period. Nothing else really matters.

In feeling disrespected, he's unloving. At that instance, he does not see her need for love or his unloving reaction - or doesn't want to. If he does see this, honestly, he may not care at this heated second. He sees his need for respect and her need to be more respectful. Until she changes, he's stonewalling.

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

Questions to Consider