47 Years Strong

We just celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary. Someone asked, “What is the most significant factor that has helped us through the years?” Reflecting on this question, I must say that apart from the grace of God we were committed to being teachable. This applies to all aspects of life journeys. We have learned a lot from each other; from our children, friends, family, counselors, and marriage therapists. But we also learned much from good books. Credit for this goes mostly to my wife. Even today we still uncover more and more about each other and how we communicate and share life.

Recently, we read the book, LOVE AND RESPECT, The Love She Most Desires and the Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and his wife, Sarah. The book says that while we all need love and respect when in conflict, women feel unloved and men feel disrespected.

In the following short video, Emerson gives you a summary of their research and the foundation for what they teach.

What Can We Do? 

In general, men need to learn how to intentionally communicate love to their wives while women need to learn how to communicate respect to their husbands. How do you do that?

Emerson tells men that your wife will feel loved when you:

  • Hold her hand
  • Hug her
  • Are affectionate without sexual intentions
  • Share your feelings
  • Tell her something about your day
  • Talk without harshness, guardedness, or grunting
  • Listen to her
  • Repeat back what she sometimes says so she knows you are listening
  • Say, I couldn’t do your job
  • Admit when you are wrong and apologize by saying I am sorry
  • Keep the relationship up to date, resolve the unresolved, and don’t say forget it
  • Don’t look at other women
  • Speak only positive things about her before family and friends
  • Never bring up the “d” word, “divorce”
  • Verbally support and honor her in front of the children
  • Praise her for what she does
  • Value her opinion in gray areas
  • Say, thank you for sharing your opinion

Sarah tells women that your husband will feel respected when you:

  • Cheer his successes
  • Tell him thanks for going to work every day
  • Say, I value your opinion and I trust your heart
  • Ask him to talk about his dreams
  • Look up to him for feeling responsible for you
  • Tell him you are deeply touched by the thought that he would die for you
  • Praise his commitment to bring home the bacon
  • Tell him he’s strong
  • Praise the good decisions and minimize the poor ones
  • Honor his authority in front of the kids and you differ in private
  • Thank him for his advice and knowledge
  • Let him fix things and applaud what he does
  • Tell him up front you need an ear to listen and not a solution
  • Tell him you like him
  • Do recreational activities with him or watch him do them
  • Encourage time alone for him
  • Respond more often to his sexual needs
  • Periodically initiate sexual intimacy
  • Let him acknowledge his sexual temptation without shaming him or making him feel ashamed

Each of us is unique

Reading this book my wife and I discussed these suggestions and listed the top three items that are most important to each of us. We committed to making this a priority.

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