July 19, 2011

Mutual Respect

These last several weeks I have been sharing with you the “if-then” principle that keeps the Energizing Cycle humming in your marriage.  

Today I want to share the final "if-then" principle:  
If a husband chooses to esteem and honor his wife and her role in the family, then his wife is motivated to accept and respect his desire to protect and provide for her and their children.

I heard from a wife who understood this powerful connection after reading Love & Respect made her aware of how unfulfilled her husband was in their relationship.  She admits that, although she deeply loved him, she never understood him.  The daughter of a domineering father, she had seen her mother struggle as he “kept his wife in her place,” and she determined this would never happen to her.  

After getting married, she and her husband both had careers, but she had the better job, which paid well.  When children began to arrive, she went to part-time and, because her husband had a rotating schedule, she could schedule herself to work when he could be at home.  She felt proud that she could show her husband she could be independent of him and show him it was her choice – not his choice – to be with him.  She had no idea of how he felt until they learned about Love and Respect.  Her letter continues:

I didn’t want a man to lord it over me like my father had, but this has brought about in my husband intense feelings of disrespect and of not even being needed in his own home.  Also, he has chosen to work at a job that is not fulfilling nor financially rewarding, but one that allows us to raise our children without day care.  He has stayed at this job to allow me greater freedom to be home, and I never looked at this as a tremendous sacrifice.  I just thought he was too afraid to try anything else.  We bought Love & Respect and read through it together.  When I saw the tears flow from years of misunderstanding and pain, it crushed me.  I feel an immense freedom now when I’m with my husband because he knows that I understand and can respond in his native tongue.
When this wife understood that her husband was honoring her by holding a lesser job, she became fully aware of how he was practicing headship of his family in a humble, sacrificial way, and she honored him by showing her deep respect.  They had been on a Crazy Cycle for years almost without realizing it.  Love and Respect put them on the Energizing Cycle and, as she says in closing, “saved our marriage.”

If you’ve attended a Love and Respect Conference, or read our books, you are familiar with the acronym COUPLE:  How to Show Love to Your Wife; and CHAIRS:  How to Show Respect to Your Husband.  If not, I encourage you to grab a copy of Love & Respect or The Language of Love & Respect and study how these principles can keep your marriage energized!


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

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