Inevitably, you and your partner are going to have ebbs and flows to your relationship, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, right? But when you’re in the middle of the valley it’s really easy to blame, shame, and question. Questions like “what’s wrong with him/her?”, “Why don’t they understand me?”, “Why are they such a jerk?!” You aren’t feeling heard, understood, respected, loved, cherished…the list goes on forever. But there’s a quite easy explanation. This comes from the book The Language of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I read this book about 6 months ago when my husband and I were in the middle of this valley and I can honestly say that this book was a fantastic resource in helping me up-level my own marriage in 2019!
At our core, men and women are different and that’s the hardest part of being in a relationship. Your spouse is not you. They are motivated by different things, speak differently, love differently and communicate differently. Not wrong, just different. A man’s most basic need is to be respected and a woman’s is to be loved, cherished and feel secure with her man. Simply put “his love motivates her respect and her respect motivates his love.” I know you’re thinking “Well he doesn’t love me so I don’t respect him!” or “She doesn’t respect me so I can’t show her love.” Well let’s look at the oldest book in history for some self-help. Ephesians 5:33- “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Notice that this verse doesn’t say “respect your husband as long as he isn’t a jackwagon or love your wife as long as she isn’t hormonal, stressed out or as long as she respects you to the nth degree.” It says to love your wife, no matter what and respect your husband because you chose him and he is your partner.
So how do we do it? First you must understand that there’s nothing “wrong” with your significant other. When your’e in the valley of your relationship and things are rocky and nothing you seem to do is right, know that your partner’s basic needs aren’t being met. Thus, we enter- THE CRAZY CYCLE. On of you isn’t feeling respected, the other isn’t feeling loved so the reaction to your own pain is to neglect the other’s needs and around and around we go. How do we stop? Someone has to extend the olive branch, let go of your ego and Get. Off. The. Carousel! Does it suck to swallow your pride and be the first to start giving the other what they need? Maybe. But do you want to be right or do you want the relationship you’ve always dreamed about? Think bigger picture here, friend.
Figure out how your man feels respected and men, figure out how your queen feels loved, respected and secure (financially, physically and emotionally). I guarantee the way you think they feel respected/loved is just that- your assumption. This is where communication and hard conversations have to happen.
When you’re both in the head-space to be open and willing to listen to the other explain how they feel respected/loved and how you aren’t filling that need, have the conversation and get specific. Know that this conversation is not an attack on who you are as a person but a constructive way to help you become a better lover, friend and spouse. Will it be hard to hear? Probably, but stick with it. You’ve had feelings that were hard before and you survived and became better because of it. Push through and stay engaged. It’s worth it in the end. I promise!
By knowing this information and more importantly, applying it, you engage THE ENERGIZING CYCLE. This space is where you’re propelled to accomplish your goals with much more ease and flow, your home life feels right, you feel like an Olympic partnership that is gelled, propelled and on your way to achieving all the victories! All because you’re speaking life into your person. This is where dreams are accomplished and happiness thrives, all because you made a choice to better yourself and the way you communicate with your partner. It’s easier to respect a man who loves you well and it’s easier to love a woman who is respectful and more energetically matched.
No, if the crazy cycle starts happening again, you’re prepared. Simply have the wherewithal to step back and self-reflect. “Am I meeting my partner’s needs?”, “How could I have started this cycle?”, “What can I do differently to stop it?” You can’t control your partner’s behavior but you can control your response. Be the first to switch platforms from crazy to energizing and pull your partner with you.