This marriage book is aimed at helping couples break free from their dysfunctional patterns and communication breakdowns. The book calls it “the crazy cycle” when couples enter into a lose-lose argument with both parties left feeling confused and hurt. In order to breakout of this pattern, Eggerichs applies a biblical based framework for recognizing the needs of men and women. Man’s biggest need according to Eggerichs is his need for respect and a woman’s greatest need to be loved.
Now after reading the book, I have a better understanding of how I inadvertently trigger something in my wife, leaving her feeling like I’m withdrawing my love. And she too, had begun to be more aware when she stumbles into language that disrespects me and sends me running. Knowledge of how each of us operates based on language of love and respect can easily turn arguments around making them shorter in duration and less intense than before.
A while back my wife and I also attended a conference called Love and Respect put on by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and his wife and it has made this book come more alive than perhaps it may have by simply reading it. The stories were helpful in this book, but having a real person in front of you sharing a personal story, as opposed to the story about “Sarah” in the book, would make the experience and understanding of he topic more real. As it were, the books stories were helpful, but they were hard to totally identify with.
On the whole, I think my wife has benefited more from this book than I have. She is using words of respect that I really feel encouraged by. However, I’ve been left feeling still a little unclear of how to reframe my words of love towards her. Love is such an overly used word in our culture and it feels as if I’m left not knowing which words really hit home with her and which one’s sound like a cheesy soap opera. This is my homework I guess to ask her when my words connect with her and when they don’t.
NOTE:I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program.