Between all husbands and wives there is a dynamic called "criticism-and-withdrawal.” For example, a wife criticizes her husband for being late again for dinner. He withdraws by going quiet and feeling miffed by what he feels is an unfair criticism since his boss demanded he stay late again.Read More
A person claims their spouse is selfish and stubborn, refusing to deal with their disagreement by finding a win-win solution. But is the spouse selfish? Or, could the spouse have goodwill but is more fearful than stubborn?Read More
To many husbands and wives, solving every single marital problem that arises means two completely different things concerning the quality of their marriage. Much of this stems from the different ways they each prefer to handle conflict.Read More
I believe a husband is to act lovingly whether or not he feels it. God’s command in Ephesians 5:33 for a husband to love his wife is to be followed as an act of obedience, not as a conditional response toward her respect for him.Read More
No reasonable parent would defend a selfish child who is refusing to share any of his toys with his siblings. Similarly, few are the people who would not be bothered by a selfish business owner who was not wanting to share any of the company’s abundant profits with the hardworking employees who made it all possible. In almost any situation, selfishness is not something people will stand for.Read More
I had my thinking challenged years ago when someone asked me, “Emerson, do you want God’s will for your life? Do you want God to work in your life in a powerful way, doing glorious things? Do you want God to really bless you?” I said, “Yes, of course.”Read More
Most wives I have met actually do long for their husbands to be the spiritual leader of their family. They are not resisting his leadership; they truly do believe it's biblical. However, they fear that he will not take their opinions into consideration.Read More
Why do we defensively react to our spouse in times when we do not feel very loved or respected by them? Because if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that we all do so at times.
Think about some of those moments.
Our spouse is upset with us for forgetting to pick up a package at the post office.
By far, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a part of Love and Respect is hearing from others about their relationships. Whether it is in person, at a conference or in an e-mail exchange, it is always a blessing to learn how others are trying to strengthen their marriage and work through tough issues that unfortunately many in this world simply allow to divide them further from their spouse.Read More
Walk into any football stadium or sports bar on game day and you will find a sea of fans decked out in matching gear excited to cheer on their team that they have loved since birth. As long as their team is getting the first downs and touchdowns, these fans are ecstatic in their show of support.
But when things don’t go so well with their team . . . well, from the sound of their groans and the choice words coming from their mouths describing their so-called favorite teams, you may have a hard time believing that they love their team like they do. But in fact, no matter how bad it may get this week, they’ll be right back next week cheering them on again.Read More
In the near future, I will be going deeper on the topic of sex in marriage for all of our Love and Respect friends. The title? Love and Respect (and Sex): Coming Together as Husband and Wife.
Interested in learning more? Would you like to add your stories to the content? Read on, and I’ll show you how.
If there were ever an issue that isn’t really the issue, it is sex. But boy can it become an issue, can’t it? And yet, it’s rarely, if ever, the issue. Allow me to explain. Sex is a shared act, between husband and wife, as an expression of love to each other. God created sex not only as the means for multiplication but as a gift of pleasure to enjoy within the boundaries of marriage. Sex was meant to be a wonderful experience for both husband and wife.Read More
A wife emails, "We began to have our usual discussion about his mom when the subject of priorities came up. This time it was linked to how each of us prioritized life. In short, he prioritizes on a scale of several things: task at hand, commitments, immediacy or emergency, etc. I prioritize based on relationships: a pecking order or hierarchy. This seemed odd to him, as his way seemed odd to me. But the more we talked, the more I thought this might be an instance of "pink" versus "blue"—neither one is wrong, just different.”Read More
There’s a stand-out moment in the Old Testament story of Job that almost definitely has caught the eye of every married person who has read it. In Job 2:9, Job’s wife tells him to “Curse God and die.” Curse God and die? What awful thing had Job done to her? Infidelity? Physical abuse? Verbal assault?
No. None of these or anything else like it. Her condemning anger toward her husband was in response to all the horrific things that God had allowed Satan to do to their family—including loss of children, destruction of property, and excruciating boils covering her husband from head to toe.Read More
Have you ever meditated on 1 Corinthians 7:11, which says, ". . . (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife"? What's the backstory to this verse? Paul does not mention adultery or abandonment in this text—the two traditional justifications for biblical divorce—so it is safe to infer that biblical grounds for divorce are not in play here. He simply says that the husband is not to divorce and the wife should not marry someone else in the event that she leaves her husband.Read More
The Crazy Cycle, as explained in my book Love & Respect, says, “Without love she reacts without respect. Without respect he reacts without love.” If neither husband nor wife is mature and calm enough to recognize this cycle and to step off in order to slow it down, it will only strengthen and keep on spinning. Unfortunately, many couples when in conflict do not recognize that they have stepped onto the Crazy Cycle and nothing begins to simmer down until one of them, typically the husband, storms off and withdraws from the fight, with the attitude to simply “live to fight another day.”Read More
She is disappointed because she sees him neglecting her heartfelt concerns, even dismissing them in a condescending way. To her, he is too stoic, matter of fact. Furthermore, she cannot believe that he would bark out solutions when she simply needs from him a listening ear and empathetic demeanor. To her, two people who care for each other will "tend, mend, and befriend," and that revolves around what one feels. In her opinion, that is the key to connecting. Two people give the report on what they are feeling to build rapport. This is what marriage is all about—husband and wife talk to discover what they are feeling, and explore those feelings, and stay with the discussion about those feelings until there is a sense of closure and closeness. For a woman, to shut down on such conversations, to declare, “Just drop it and move on; it’s no big deal” is like finger nails down a chalkboard.Read More
Have you noticed yet that the paradise of Eden still remains in your heart? Have you recognized where the Eden in your heart has affected your relationship with your spouse and your expectations in your marriage? Let me explain.
In the beginning, God created man “in his own image . . . male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). Then after all of Creation was finished, the passage continues by saying, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (v. 31).