Love and Respect: Chapters 1 and 2

Chapter 1 Questions and Quotations

1. On page 5 Eggerichs shows a diagram of the Crazy Cycle. Can you relate to this in your marriage? Have you noticed that when you feel unloved that it causes you to act in a more disrespectful way? What works for you to break the cycle?

2. Starting on page 9, Eggerichs shares a story of how his wife gave him a gift and his reaction caused her to assume he didn’t like it. She assumed it because no one she was close to reacted with a calm thank you when given a gift. It was always received with much fanfare and excitement. Have you experienced this? Have you found that sometimes your husband acts in a way that is so directly contrast to the environment you grew up in, that it leads you to a conclusion that seems obvious to you, but is not actually a fair conclusion in the end?

3. On page 10 Eggerichs points out that sometimes what we say isn’t wrong, but how we say it is very inappropriate. Have you seen this in your marriage? I can remember one time speaking something harshly to my husband and he looked like I had punched him in the gut. What I said wasn’t wrong, but how I said it was. Can you relate to this?

4. In the story of the author forgetting his wife’s birthday, I felt like his wife sort of tried to trap him into forgetting by hiding her cards the week prior. I think she actually was hoping that he would fail. Do you agree? If it was really about hoping that he would remember her birthday, wouldn’t she have left the cards out for him to see or mentioned something about it? Could that moment of pointing out to him that he forgot give her a feeling of power? Can you relate to this at all?

Page 16 When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife. (Perhaps the command to love was given to him precisely for this reason!) When a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband. (Perhaps the command to respect was given to her precisely for this reason!)

5. Do you agree with this quotation? Have you found it materialized in your relationship with your husband? When you feel unloved, how do you most often react?

Page 17 Unfortunately a wife’s usual approach is to complain and criticize in order to motivate her husband to become more loving.

6. Do you agree with this statement? I do not agree that this is a usual approach for women. I do not think women are naturally negative and critical. Those behaviours are learned, AND unlearned. As we grow in our life in the Spirit, I believe that any tendency we may have had before towards those things, is transformed and we become much more like Christ in how we motivate people.

Page 17 I often ask husbands, “Does your wife love you?” they reply, “Yes, of course.” But then I ask, “Does she like you?” And the answer usually comes back, “Nope.”

7. I thought this was a healthy, challenging idea. Does your husband know that you like him? This idea actually motivated me to take the time send my husband a text that I liked him. I want him to know! I want him to know by what I say, but also by how I treat him. What do you think?

8. On Page 18 Eggrichs introduces the concept of unconditional respect. Using 1 Peter 3 as an example, he explains that even an unbelieving husband needs a wife who treats him with respect, and the Word actually goes on to say that respectful behaviour is one of the ways her husband will be won over to Christ. We will discuss it more in the following chapters, but do you agree with unconditional respect?

Chapter 2 Observations and Quotations

1. I can not say that I can relate to the idea of being offended by my husband accidentally buying a birthday card for our anniversary. My husband and I would laugh and think it was hilarious, but in the face of other situations where I may misinterpret his good intentions as unloving, I still strive to be kind in how I speak to him. For example, my husband often brings me tea with honey in it rather than sugar even though I have told him I do not like the taste of honey in my tea. Do I think he is trying to convert me to liking honey? Do I think he is adding honey because he doesn’t care about my preferences? No. He is bringing me tea because he cares about me and that is where I put my focus. Can you relate to situations like this?

2. Eggerichs points out several times that “five out of ten couples in the church are divorcing.” He connects it to a lack of love and respect in the marriage. Do you agree? I do, at a base level, and I believe that we need to be proactive in moving towards giving and receiving love and respect in our marriages. What are you doing to move in the opposite direction of divorce?

Page 29 I have concluded that those of us in the church, who believe we have the Truth, are not using the whole truth. A crucial part of God’s word has been completely ignored or perhaps simply gone unnoticed when it has been there all the time right under out noses!

3. Do you agree with this? Do you think it extends beyond marriage? Do you think there are still a lot of God’s truth’s that are veiled in your eyes? If so, how do you seek truth?

Page 30 Why is communication between husband and wives such a problem? It goes back to the fact that we send each other messages in “code,” based on gender, even though we don’t intend to. What I say is not what you hear, and what you think you heard is not what I meant at all.

4. Can you relate to parts of this? Do you agree that miscommunication is gender-based? What has worked for you to communicate more clearly?

5. Starting at page 32 Eggerichs expounds on this gender-based miscommunication by indicating that men and women were created by God to see and hear things differently. Do you agree this is true? Do you agree with the author’s arguments and the scriptures he chose to support his position? If so, how have you worked to learn your husband’s communication style?

6. On page 35 Eggerichs cites a study that was conducted following 2000 couples in their marriages over 20 years and says, These people came from diverse backgrounds and had widely differing occupations and lifestyles. But one thing was similar – the tone of their conversations. As these couples talked together, almost always there was what Gottman (the doctor conducting the study) calls “a strong undercurrent of two basic ingredients: love and respect. These are the direct opposite of – and the antidote for – contempt, perhaps the most corrosive dorce in the marriage. I firmly believe this is true. I think husbands and wives who treat one another lovingly and respectfully, without contempt, are going to find that they have a lifetime of predominantly pleasant interactions. What do you think?

7. On page 36 the author argues that the reason why the Word doesn’t command a women to agape-love (unconditionally) her husband is because God created her to do it naturally. I don’t think this is a fair way to approach scripture. If so, then the same would be true that the husband isn’t commanded to respect his wife because he is naturally created to be respectful. I don’t think either the husband or the wife is naturally prone to one or the other. I believe the reason for the commandment is because God knows that husbands need respectful wives and wives need loving husbands. What is your opinion on this?

8. On page 37 Eggerichs parallels our need for love and our husband’s need for respect as an air hose to a love tank. When we do things to our spouse which cut off the supply of love and respect, it causes a reaction. Do you agree with this? Have you seen it play out in your marriage?

Do you have any other insights or perspectives from chapters 1 and 2? Feel free to share them below and interact with my questions and quotes above.

Please be ready next week to discuss chapters 3 and 4.

3 Comments

  1. Hubby and I have only been married for 9 months, but there were a few instances of the Crazy Cycle appearing. I agree with Emerson that it starts with one of the spouses not feeling the deepest need being met. I would also like to point out from my own experience that the reason (in this case) I felt I wasn’t being loved was born partially out of fear and lack of trust. Hence, I felt hubby didn’t trust me enough and was afraid that because there wasn’t trust, he didn’t love me or was blind to my need for love. In each instance, while my intentions bore no ill will, he snapped at me.

    I understand gaining trust is an on-going process, especially in marriage. I don’t deny the Crazy Cycle can and will show up in marriages, but I feel the reason for it goes beyond the seeming lack of either love or respect between the husband and wife. You also need to factor in the level of trust.

  2. boy! so many good questions to talk about! i read parts of this book a couple years ago and really identified with the main idea that women thrive in marriage when they feel loved, valued, and delighted in and that men likewise thrive when they feel respected, appreciated, and also valued. One of the main things that was a big eye-opener for me (and i know you disagreed, Cinnamon Sticks:) was how women aren’t commanded to love. i think it does come more naturally for women to love. this idea hit me in the face when i became a mother and could be content to just sit and fawn over my little baby 24/7. it was a little harder for hubs to figure out his new role of father;) but on the other hand, i don’t know if “respecting” comes naturally for men, though!

  3. Emerson did point out that society teaches (and sadly, I do agree) that with men, respect is earned. Not just with their own wives, but among their fellow men. From that viewpoint, I can see even in my own marriage that it means so much for my husband to hear that I respect him when he may very well have not done anything to “deserve” it. My husband is in the Navy, and more often he’s treated like dirt when he and I both know he deserves much better. Coming home to me and knowing I deeply appreciate all he does for us even if others in the Navy don’t give notice means the world to him.


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