Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires The Respect He Desperately Needs

love and respectLove and Respect: The Love She Most Desires The Respect He Desperately Needs
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. Integrity Publishers (2004) 317 pages (Workbook available for use in group study)
Reviewed by Margaret Lee, Certified Leader Couple (with Tom), Winston-Salem, NC

The title of this book states clearly Dr. Eggerichs’ thesis: wives want and need expressions of unconditional love from their husbands above all things. Husbands want and need unconditional respect from their wives above all things. The author uses the research of John Gottman in his book Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, as well as the Biblical statement in Ephesians 5: 30-31 – the two will become one flesh – as a basis for his theory and for the book.

The book identifies the troubled relationship as being in what he calls the “Crazy Cycle.” This cycle is expressed by the fact that: Without love – She reacts – Without respect – He reacts – and on and on. The way to get off this cycle is to get onto the “Closeness Cycle.” This is done by practicing the skills of closeness, openness, understanding, peacemaking, loyalty and esteem-building. There are numerous practical suggestions as to ways to accomplish this, especially through the daily practice of these skills.

I read this book with some questions in mind because I know that I need and want desperately to be respected by my husband and he tells me that needs and wants loving words and deeds from me. Dr. Eggerichs addresses this dilemma by saying that love is a woman’s primary need and respect is a man’s primary need. There are many quotations from letters that people have written to say that understanding these needs and wants has been most helpful to them in their marriages. However, the reader needs to know that this author writes from a definitely Christian point of view and relies heavily on Biblical quotations in his writing. For some people, this might limit the usefulness of this book.