Monday, December 02, 2013

Book Review (#22 of 2013) Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs

Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs is a book with a simple thesis: the root of marital conflict comes from men and women talking and behaving past each other.

Eggerichs outlines the "crazy cycle," where the husband is (unwittingly) unloving to his wife, whose response is to be (unwittingly) disrespectful to her husband, who is then unloving in response, and the cycle continues. Who starts the cycle is besides the point.

Husbands don't need love, writes Eggerichs, they need respect. Wives need love, to feel cherished. It is, unfortunately, hard for men to love others and hard for women to express respect. Eggerichs links this thought with Ephesians 5:22-33.

My wife and I read this together and I'm glad that we did, it helped us see how we'd been hurting and misunderstanding one another. I'd recommend the book and wish we'd read it years ago; it's practical. Assuming you know what your wife really meant when she said something is a fatal error for many men in marriage. Eggerichs helped me correct some long-standing misgivings.

The book is fairly quick read but could be a whole lot shorter, probably a 10-page essay. Most of it is filled with anecdotes from the couples Eggerichs has counseled or received letters from. The details of the book-- husbands figuring out how to better express love, and wives convincing their husbands that they respect them-- are the hard part for every couple.

I give the book 3.5 stars out of 5, even though I recommend it. My wife had issues with a couple of pages and his line of thought, the book was perhaps harder to read for her than for me. He opens the book with what I'll call the "respect bomb" which seems tough on women (but it seems the response he ultimately gets is positive). But I think there is definitely something to what he's saying.

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