Guys, this is going to feel awkward, terrifying and foreign at first. But you have an incredible wealth of power that you may not even be aware of with your wife. Your silence or anger will likely create fear, insecurity and a feeling of lack of love in your wife – that will probably only get you more disrespect, unfortunately. What reaches her feminine soul is your tender, loving, caring, patient, gentle pursuit of her, even when she messes up. If you can embrace your wife’s anger – which seems very scary, I know! But – if you can embrace her when she’s angry and say, “I don’t want you to feel unloved, Honey. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere.” She may calm down pretty quickly. If you can address her fear of not being loved, you may be able to reach her.

Wives generally don’t understand how stable their husbands’ love usually is. They think that if they don’t hear words of love and see selfless gestures of love, the love might be gone, and they panic. I know that you know your love is always the same. But your wife probably doesn’t know that. She probably thinks she has to see and hear your love to know it is strong and it is there. Eventually, your love will fill up her heart and the fear will go probably go away.


‘Love & Respect’ offers keys to successful marriage

As its title indicates, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ bestseller, “Love & Respect,” focuses on the two main ingredients for a successful marriage: love and respect. The book emphasizes Ephesians 5:22-33 and I Peter 3:1-7.

Eggerichs writes about two cycles: the “crazy cycle” and the “energizing cycle.”

The cycles are best seen as spirals—down in the crazy cycle with Jesus absent and up in its reverse or antidote, the energizing cycle, centering on Jesus.

The crazy cycle is a hopeless closed loop: husbands lovelessly react to their wives who disrespectfully react to them. They futilely push each other’s buttons to goad their spouses to act better. They mutually reinforce each other’s worst impulses in a lose-lose, doomed death spiral.

To get out of this cycle they must recognize that each has goodwill at heart and no disrespectful or unloving intentions. Each must cut the other some slack. Usually wives lead in breaking this cycle—by starting to respect their husbands.

For husbands: go out of your way to help her; give her priority with your time; do date nights; attentively, empathetically listen without interruption to her feelings, concerns and opinions while gazing into her eyes—fixing things is usually unneeded; show you understand—repeat back some comments; pray with and for her; say how you appreciate all her efforts; quickly apologize for wrongs and forgive wrongs she confesses; praise her when alone and before others; keep her in the loop on your plans.

In the proactive energizing cycle: he loves her unconditionally and she respects him unconditionally—serving Jesus who will reward them—even when a spouse is unresponsive.


Do Men and Women Need Both Love and Respect Equally?

However, because Ephesians 5:33 reveals that a husband must love his wife and a wife must respect her husband, we see a distinction that is full of significance. Maybe we can answer this way: though we all need love and respect equally, like we all need water and food equally, a wife has a felt need for love and a husband has a felt need for respect. Said another way, she feels hunger pains for her husband’s love more often in the marriage and a husband feels more thirsty for his wife’s respect.

Why does this felt need surface?