Hubby and I attended the first of 4 classes in a marriage seminar called Love and Respect. The main gist of the material is that women primarily need unconditional love and men primarily need unconditional respect. That doesn’t mean that women don’t need respect and men don’t need love, but what we need the most from each other is different. They’ve done studies at the University of Washington that have shown that to be true, but I don’t really need a university study to tell me that. The Bible, the highest authority in my life, says it too:
Eph 5:33 So each husband should love his wife as much as he loves himself, and each wife should respect her husband.
Of course, just because I’ve read that verse a few thousand times doesn’t mean that I’m doing it well. The speaker’s name for this series is Emerson Eggerichs and he was talking about how accepted it is in our society that people need unconditional love. You don’t see many Oprah talk shows where people argue whether love should be conditional or unconditional. However, you start talking about men needing unconditional respect and you’ll get some backlash. “Respect is earned” is the primary thought. The idea that men need respect for who they are, not what they do, is an idea that needs some attention.
Eggerichs also commented that our society more negatively views male behavior in comparison to female behavior. Women tend to cry when they experience negative emotions, men tend to get angry. So, when a man and a woman have an argument and the woman starts to cry and the man walks away angry…who do we think the “bad” person is? Obviously the man with the “anger issue”.
Here is the main image they wanted to leave each person with after class 1:
Each person was asked to consider their spouses whenever they experience negative emotions in a discussion. We are supposed to say something like “Are you feeling dis-respected by me? because I’m feeling unloved by you and I’m wondering why.” Of course, hubby and I are turning this into a joke. Every time he farts, I ask “are you feeling disrespected by me? because I’m feeling unloved by you”…at which point he tries to show me his love in some vulgar fashion. It makes us laugh. Not that we aren’t taking the class seriously. We are and I can already see things that I need to work on and do differently, but the comic relief is helpful.