How Not to Treat Your Mate

did I marry the wrong person?

We’ve referred on at least a few occasions to Emmerson Eggerichs’ book Love and Respect. He contends, backed up by Scripture, that a woman’s deepest need is to be loved or made secure, and that a man’s deepest need is to be valued or significant. Eggerichs discusses about “the crazy cycle” in which a woman perceives a comment or action by her spouse as unloving or threatening, which makes her respond in a way that communicates lack of appreciation.

Well, as Shakespeare put it, “A rose by any other name smells just as sweet…”

I ran across this article in Psychology Today by author Steven Stosny, Marriage Problems: 50 Ways to Cause Fear and Shame. Interesting how closely Stosny’s fear-shame dynamic parallels Eggerichs’ love-respect crazy cycle. To me, this is further indication that we should heed the wisdom the Apostle Paul gives to husbands and wives in his letter to the Ephesians.

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Here are a few of the no-nos in Stosny’s Psychology Today list of 50 ways to cause fear and shame. Each serves to undermine that deep need for security and respect and invite a downward spiral toward isolation and worse.

Ignore her

Tell her to get over it

Yell or get angry at her

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Flirt with other women

Dismiss her ideas

Exclude him from important decisions

Imply his inadequacy

Disrespect his work

Make comparisons to other men

Rob him of the opportunity to help

From FamilyLife Culture Watch

Copyright © FamilyLife. Used by permission of FamilyLife. Read more at www.familylife.com.

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