Posts tagged Understanding
Depriving Her of C.O.U.P.L.E.—Six Ways to Disconnect with Your Wife

In Love and Respect, Emerson Eggerichs highlights how to spell love to a wife, using the acronym C.O.U.P.L.E. When a goodwilled wife appears negative and offensive toward her husband, she is simply crying out for: Closeness, Openness, Understanding, Peacemaking, Loyalty, and Esteem. When her husband responds toward her with C.O.U.P.L.E., instead of withdrawing and stonewalling during conflict as is his male nature, it will energize his wife and she will respond with respect.

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Which Statements Will We Believe?

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.

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How Have You and Your Spouse Achieved Win-Win in Your Sexual Intimacy? (Part 1)

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.

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Does Unconditional Respect Equal Becoming a Doormat?

One of the questions I hear the most is some variation of, “Are you telling me I have to unconditionally respect my husband’s bad behavior and become a door mat?   Everyone knows respect must be earned!
Interestingly, in our culture we don’t have a problem understanding unconditional love… in fact, we see unconditional love as the right of every human being. Imagine expecting our children to “earn” our love!  We would disapprove of such parenting.  Most of us have no problem separating the person from their behavior when it comes to love.  Love the person, hate the sin.  Right?

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Love and Respect in the Face of Male and Female Differences

Based on scripture’s command in Ephesians 5:33 for the husband to love his wife and for the wife to respect her husband, Sarah and I have found two challenges. One, to follow this command unconditionally means we are to love and respect each other even during our male and female differences.

Two, not only are we to love each other when these male and female differences between us are highlighted, but we are to also love and respect these male and female differences themselves as part of God's beautiful design.

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His Responsibility Scale and Her Relationship Scale

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.”

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Stereotypical Gender Differences, or a Ring of Truth?

Let’s say you and your spouse were faced with an unexpected expenditure that needed to be paid, like a $5,000 car expense due to a major problem with the engine. This expense overwhelmed and shocked both of you, becoming a problem you had to deal with together, as the two of you decided long ago that decisions on major expenses would best be handled together.

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How Do You Define “Healthy” When It Comes to Relationships?

Have you ever noticed how people seem to have different interpretations of or responses to the word “healthy” as they apply it to different things? Every parent loves to hear the news of their “healthy” baby just born and laid in their arms. But they are certainly under no illusion that their child will never be sick. Yes, their “healthy” child will more than likely even end back up in a hospital again one day from being so sick. Or a “healthy” savings account or 401(k) always lights up the eyes of a hard worker longing for the days of vacation, home renovation, or retirement. But as most people have learned in today’s roller coaster market, there is no guarantee that tomorrow’s balance will be quite as “healthy.” But does that mean we pull all our money out and stash it under our mattress? No, we leave it alone, with faith that the days ahead will once again be “healthy.” And of course they usually are.

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He’s a Problem-Solver, She’s an Empathy-Giver—Neither Wrong, Just Different

Have you noticed that everyday problems and burdens cannot typically be shared, discussed, and dealt with between you and your spouse in the same way that you have handled similar situations all your life with your same-sex friends or siblings? For example, a wife comes to her husband with a problem she faces. His first instinct is to try and solve her problem, just as he would with another man who comes to him with a problem. He kicks into solution mode. Most men operate analytically. This is the way he helps his guy friends, who probably say something to him in response like, “I should have come to you weeks ago. Thanks.” They truly appreciate his recommended solution.

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Why does the Crazy Cycle Happen? Speculation versus Facts

Why does the Crazy Cycle happen? Oftentimes, it is because either one or both marriage partners are letting speculation drive their responses instead of facts. I recall a commercial wherein a wife is informed that her husband is flirting with a woman at the jewelry store. The scene moves forward with the wife coming down the street toward the jewelry store with a rolling pin in hand and a growing crowd marching behind to watch her catch him red-handed. As she enters the store, she observes her smiling husband purchasing a diamond for her. The other female is the clerk behind the counter. This husband was innocent, but the warring wife did not have the facts. Sketchy or misconstrued information is dangerous.

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He is Different. She is Different. How Do You Deal With Disappointment?

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.

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Your Parents’ Marital Problems Do Not Have to Become Yours Too

Have you ever realized that the most impactful influence on your children’s marriage—whether they are two years old and barely able to say “da-da” or twenty-two and about to walk down the aisle—is your marriage? Yes, you! Your marriage to their mom or dad teaches them both directly and indirectly how a married couple works together.

This certainly includes the way you love and respect each other. Your kids may not yet have learned the biblical emphasis on love and respect or even be old enough to know what “respect” means, but they are learning all about it nonetheless . . . from you!

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For Your Spouse, “Cleaving” Probably Means Something Different than What It Means to You

We read in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” It is from this verse that we get the well-known saying that a husband “leaves and cleaves.” But for the husband who interprets this scriptural command to “leave and cleave” and become “one flesh” as purely sexual, I have some disappointing news to share with them. For most wives, cleaving does indeed mean a face-to-face closeness, but not in a sexual way. For her, this face-to-face closeness entails talking about the things that matter to her.

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He is Resurrected!

I once stayed in the home of Bernhard Langer, two-time winner of the Masters, one of the PGA Tour’s four major tournaments. As a result of the positive effect my Love and Respect ministry had on their marriage, he and his wife, Vikki, asked me to spend several days at their home, and during that time, he shared his personal story with me.

In 1985 when he won the Masters for the first time at Augusta, Georgia, the announcers ushered him into the infamous cabin where one of them asked him, “Did you look at the leaderboard?” Bernhard replied, “I was trying not to look, but I saw it for the first time at the ninth; and I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, I am playing well, and I am four shots behind!’”

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What Do You Believe About God's Revelation?

When I became a believer as a young man, I came across certain scriptures that shaped my thinking. Not only have these verses instilled in me an excitement that the God of the universe has not remained silent but instead has spoken loud and clear, but it has also been affirmed for me that the Scriptures are not the mere words of men that I may pick and choose what I want to believe and follow.

May I ask you if any scriptures have developed in you the same worldview?

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