6 min read ⌚
The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs
Do you speak the language of love?
Or, let us rephrase that: do you know that in the dictionary of women, relationship is spelled C-O-U-P-L-E and in the dictionary of men, it is spelled C-H-A-I-R-S?
Read our summary of “Love & Respect” to find out!
Who Should Read “Love & Respect”? And Why?
“Love & Respect” is a book everyone should read: couples who argue because they argue, couples who don’t because there’s a very high chance that they will (come on, guys, you’re barely in the second month of your relationship; it’s a bit different later on).
Due to its Christian undertones in the first two parts and explicit Christian message in the last one, “Love & Respect” will probably be enjoyed the most by religious couples of almost any Christian denominations.
About Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is the author of the “Love & Respect” series of books and the president of Love and Respect Ministries.
After obtaining a B.A. in Biblical studies, an M.A. in Communications, and a Master of Divinity degree from Dubuque Seminary, Eggerichs worked as a senior pastor of East Lansing’s Trinity Church for almost two decades.
In the meantime, he received a Ph.D. in Child and Family ecology from Michigan State University and authored his most famous book, “Love & Respect.”
He gives marriage conferences throughout the country and works closely with his wife Sarah, with whom he has lived in a happy marriage for almost half a century.
“Love & Respect PDF Summary”
“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,” instructs the men St. Paul the Apostle in his “Epistle to the Ephesians,” “and the wife must respect her husband.”
And that is because, in his opinion, love and respect are the primary emotional needs of women and men respectively, which makes them as necessary to the wellbeing of each respective gender as air or food:
Wives are made to love, want to love, and expect love. Husbands are made to be respected, want respect, and expect respect.
True, Eggerichs doesn’t go that much into original psychological or scientific explanation as to why this should be true, but he offers numerous examples to prove his point, in addition to a supposedly surefire strategy to put it into practice and reap the rewards for your efforts.
Accordingly, the book itself is divided into three main sections:
PART ONE: THE CRAZY CYCLE
This is the theoretical section, analyzing in much more detail St. Paul’s above-quoted verse, and illustrating how all unhappy families are, in fact, unhappy in the same way, since they are all trapped in the identical no love/no respect succession of arguments.
This is, in a nutshell, the Crazy Cycle from the title: without love, she reacts in a disrespectful way; without respect, he reacts in an unloving way.
Because unlike women who usually see the world through pink sunglasses, men most often use blue sunglasses.
When men and women argue, these differing points of view escalate to the point of no return (Even Wittgenstein would say that we don’t visualize the meaning of words in the same way…)
PART TWO: THE ENERGIZING CYCLE
The only way to stop the Crazy Cycle spinning is to reverse it!
Because just the way a woman’s disrespect demotivates a man’s love and vice versa,
His love motivates her respect; her respect motivates his love.
So, in probably the most important section of his book, Dr. Eggerichs offers two strategies to energize the cycle of marriage: C-O-U-P-L-E for the men, and C-H-A-I-R-S for the women.
C-O-U-P-L-E: How to Spell Love to Your Wife
Closeness: She wants you to be close.
Openness: She wants you to open up to her.
Understanding: Don’t try to fix her; just listen.
Peacemaking: She wants you to say, “I’m sorry.”
Loyalty: She needs to know you’re committed.
Esteem: She wants you to honor and cherish her.
C-H-A-I-R-S: How to Spell Respect to Your Husband
Conquest: Appreciate his desire to work and achieve.
Hierarchy: Appreciate his desire to protect and provide.
Authority: Appreciate his desire to serve and to lead.
Insight: Appreciate his desire to analyze and counsel.
Relationship: Appreciate his desire for shoulder-to-shoulder friendship.
Sexuality: Appreciate his desire for sexual intimacy.
As Dr. Eggerichs concludes in the last chapter of this part, “the energizing cycle will work if you do.”
In other words, since everybody needs to be loved, love cannot be a passive activity. And as John Gottman demonstrated, marriages succeed not because couples don’t argue, but because they find a way to reach a compromise.
For the men, a compromise might mean listening to their girlfriends or wives and not trying to fix them; for the women, it may mean acting vulnerable and agreeing to be led.
But there’s no going forward unless both sides leave some of their burdens behind.
Your job, regardless of your spouse’s doings?
To “be the first to ‘seek peace and pursue it’ (1 Peter 3:11).”
PART THREE: THE REWARDED CYCLE
In the final part of his book, Dr. Eggerichs suggests that there is another cycle following the energizing one, and this one is the cycle where both partners uncover the real reason why they should love.
Since Dr. Eggerichs is a Christian author, it’s only expected that the reason is none other than God Himself.
If you love someone because you believe Paul’s words the greatest of all things is love (1 Corinthians 13:13), then you can truly love someone, regardless of how much she respects you (if you are a man) or how much he loves you back (if you are a woman).
The rewarded cycle is the cycle where “His love blesses regardless of her respect, and her respect blesses regardless of his love.”
Key Lessons from “Love & Respect”
1. The Crazy Cycle is the No Love/No Respect Doom of All Marriages
2. A Woman Wants to Be in a C-O-U-P-L-E
3. A Man Needs His C-H-A-I-R-S
The Crazy Cycle is the No Love/No Respect Doom of All Marriages
If you are in a relationship and you have a lot of arguments with your partner, there’s a high chance that this is due the fact that you think that she doesn’t respect you (if you are a man) or that he doesn’t love you (if you are a woman).
It’s a crazy cycle this one, since once any of you two sets it off, it’s very difficult to stop it.
Because if the man shows no love, it makes the woman act in a disrespectful way, which encourages the man to act in a loveless manner.
A Woman Wants to Be in a C-O-U-P-L-E
To stop the crazy cycle, you need to energize your relationship.
If you are a man, show your woman that you are a C-O-U-P-L-E.
In other words, be close and open up to her; understand her and try to be the peacemaker in the relationship; finally, show her that you are loyal and that you esteem her highly.
A Man Needs His C-H-A-I-R-S
OK, it may sound a little bit funny in a title, but it’s not at all funny once you break down that acronym!
So, if you are a woman, always make your man feel like a conqueror and appreciate his desire to be the best at everything and above you in all hierarchies (even though, let’s face it, you’re way better than him: wink, wink); next, respect his authority and value his insight.
Finally, appreciate his desire for shoulder-to-shoulder relationship and, let’s face it, his needs for sexual intimacy.
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“Love & Respect Quotes”
No husband feels affection toward a wife who appears to have contempt for who he is as a human being. The key to creating fond feelings of love in a husband toward his wife is through showing him unconditional respect. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
“Love & Respect” puts too many chips on one bet and it may be a bit too Christian for some people’s taste.
However, other than that, it’s actually very balanced, and it provides readers of all genders with valuable insight about the common failings of all relationships and even more valuable tools to repair them.
If it is up to us, though, love and respect go hand in hand, and all sexes need large quantities of them both.