Friday, June 12, 2009

Love and Respect marriage class #2

So, if week one's class was about "without love she'll act disrespecfully and without respect he'll act unloving", then week two's class topic is "with love she'll act respectfully and with respect he'll act loving". Dr. Eggerich spent most of the class talking about how different our needs are and how different our instincts are based on gender. That's just how God made us.

He gave a lot of examples of how men behave when they hang out with other men. It was enlightening to see that the same behavior that fails so spectacularly (like walking out of an argument) with women is actually quite successful in a man to man relationship. His point was that the behavior is not in itself offensive or wrong, it is just different than what women need.

Then he talked about how women behave with their girlfriends. The endlessly tangential and detailed conversations may be mind-numbing to men, but we women thrive on them. There were 3 aspects to our conversing needs, according to Eggerichs:

1 -- We (women) converse to release our emotions (by sharing our thoughts with others, it releases our burdens)
2 -- We converse to understand (by talking through how we think and feel, we can often figure out how we think and feel)
3 -- We converse to build connections (sharing our thoughts & stories with others builds a repore with others)

One of the things the class stressed to the men is that women do have a need to resolve conflict. We aren't good with just moving past a fight without trying to understand what caused it and how we can do better next time. While the men legitimately don't have that same need, they can "live with their wives in an understand way" by facilitating our need to talk through things.

I thought the class had a lot to say to the men this time...offering detailed ways that they could meet their wives needs for conversation & intimacy.

I'll leave you with 2 thoughts from the class that I liked:
* Just because you feel offended doesn't mean that your spouse was being offensive
* Choose to appreciate the good 80% and let the other 20% go. You'll be happier if you see your spouse the way they behave during the 80% instead of the 20%.

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