It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but it’s basic premise is this: Women need love and men need respect. Just look at it’s title. Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs. Sounds good doesn’t it? The answer to all your marital woes. Easy enough. Except it’s not. Even the title makes it seem as if the husband’s love toward his wife is just a want, but her respect for him is a deep seated need. Indeed there is a difference between wants and needs, is there not? It sort of minimizes what a man should be giving and elevates what a woman should be giving.
Inside the flap of this gorgeous little gem is says this:
Discover the Single Greatest Secret to a Successful Marriage
Psychological studies affirm it, and the Bible has been saying it for ages. Cracking the communication code between husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her. It’s the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, and yet few couples ever find.
Today, you and your mate can start fresh with the ground-breaking guidance that Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides in this book. His revolutionary message, featured on Focus on the Family, is for anyone: in marital crisis…wanting to stay happily married…who’s feeling lonely. It’s for engaged couples…victims of affairs…pastors and counselors seeking material that can save a marriage.
Using Dr. Eggerich’s breakthrough techniques, couples nationwide are achieving a brand-new level of intimacy and learning how to: – stop the Crazy Cycle of conflict – initiate the Energizing Cycle of change – enjoy the Rewarded Cycle of new passion
And if you’ll take this biblically based counsel to heart, your marriage could be next!
Here’s the thing that this book doesn’t tell you: Women need way more than love and men need way more than respect and both of these things are earned. In fact it’s doing all that other stuff that earns you love and respect. And a little secret? Men need love and women need respect.
This book promotes the idea that a wife should give her husband respect because of his position, regardless of his behavior and that a man should love his wife regardless of hers – unconditionally. When the little woman gives her man unconditional respect it magically transforms him into a man that deserves that respect. Not only that but he then begins to love the wife unconditionally. Or when the man is fed up and at his wits end, if he’d just unconditionally love his woman, she’ll suddenly come to her senses and start to give him the respect he so desperately needs.
For some marriages this may be true. Maybe both people are really good people and they’ve just begun taking each other for granted. That implies, though, that the man is respectable in his own right and the woman lovable in hers. That isn’t always the case.
Most people I know need things from their partner(yes, I said partner) like honesty, faithfulness, reliability, and affection. These are mutual needs. If you want to be respected, be respectable. If you want to be loved, be lovable. If you want either of these things then be honest, faithful and reliable. Don’t just assume that your partner owes you love or respect. The idea that one should simply unconditionally respect or love their partner is ludicrous. It gives license to take advantage and take for granted your partner.
Am I saying that this book offered no insight into marriage relationships and that I got nothing useful from it? No. I did take it’s advice. You see, at the time I read this I believed every word of it. My marriage was in trouble and I needed to stop the Crazy Cylces. This book posited the idea that just one person in the the relationship could do this. They can’t. Sure, the crazy cycles may get diffused for a while. But they don’t stop. One person in a relationship cannot do the hard work for two.