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Time for an Attitude Adjustment (Loyalty and Conquest)

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An FBI agent confided in me that the amount of time he spent on his job was causing his wife to complain and question him even though he actually thought he was balancing things “pretty well.”  He would get defensive and lash back at her, saying he was trying his best to do a good job and he didn't appreciate her questioning.  

They would slip onto the Crazy Cycle from time to time because he heard her questioning the manner in which he tried to do his best at work, and he felt disrespected.  His wife, however, was simply feeling unloved because she saw him spending inordinate amounts of time away from her.

One way a wife can let her husband know she respects him, is to appreciate his desire to do a good job and achieve in his field of endeavor (conquest).  She does this by thanking him for his efforts and letting him know she is behind him.  But, what if a wife has concerns that her husband is so focused on his work that he is neglecting her and the children?

One way a husband honors and cherishes his wife is to show her she is first in his heart by spending focused time with her (loyalty).  But what if his work demands keep him away from home more than either of them would like?

How can we stay on the Energizing Cycle during these times of seemingly unavoidable conflict?

This is what the FBI agent discovered:

Not until we discussed it in light of our love and respect needs did we truly understand the feelings of each other on this issue.  While I couldn’t do much to readjust my schedule (as a matter of fact, it soon got even more demanding time-wise), what changed for us was the ability to understand each other’s intentions, and with that understanding came a release from the tension that blocked our communication. Our problem was 90 percent attitude and 10 percent circumstances.  Once we understood that and made necessary adjustments, we deal with the 10 percent without much difficulty.

With mutual understanding came better communication!  This couple made a crucial decision to listen to the other’s needs with understanding rather than “attitude.”

Is it time for an attitude adjustment in your marriage?


Excerpts taken from The Language of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

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

Questions to Consider