Marriage Advice 101 [Video]

On the internet people type in “marriage advice.” As they type in those words, they hope a simple remedy will appear. They think, “Maybe someone will provide a quick insight to help us with our marriage problems.”

I think I do have a piece of advice that can revolutionize your relationship. Some consider me a marriage expert, having sold 1.6 million copies of a book called Love & Respect. Since 1999 my wife Sarah and I have traveled the world communicating a simple message that provides two pieces of advice that have helped such couples.


What is our marriage advice 101?

Two Ways to Get Closer to Your Man

Q:  What do you do when respect doesn’t work? I’ve tried “respecting” my husband so many different ways, but he doesn’t offer love back. He is the silent type and we have no communication. I am tired and lonely. Yes, I have also disrespected him in my attempt to reach him, which I know drives him further away. But I am fed up with living in an empty marriage for 12 years and doing all the emotional work while he does nothing to try to change. Can you help us?

Two Ways to Get Closer to Your Man (1)

Dr. E says:  Start by asking yourself some questions. What attracted you to your husband when you were dating? What did you enjoy doing together? Why did you marry him?

Be His Friend

You Don’t Have To Be Married To Use Love & Respect

We are thrilled when we receive emails like the one from Laura below. Oftentimes people shy away from a marriage study because they aren’t married. Read how the Love and Respect message has impacted this diverse group of people!

You Don’t Have To Be Married To Use Love and Respect

I am no wallflower

My biggest challenge is finding a relationship. I am still single (at 53) and looking for the man the Lord has in store for me. I’m no wallflower.

I have owned my own business for 18 years, own my home, love my family and friends.

I have tried the single sites to no avail, it is way too much work and frustration. So I just live vicariously through others and their relationships.

3 Ways to Parent as a Team

One day when our children were younger, Emerson said to me, “Sarah do you think we could get together sometime, just the two of us, and not talk about the kids?”

Wait…what? Talk about something other than the kids?

Didn’t Emerson, who has a Ph.D. in Child and Family Ecology, think that our kids should be our main focus?

3 Ways to Parent as a Team

Weren’t we a team and weren’t these kids our priority?

Those were some of the thoughts that ran through my head when Emerson surprised me with that question. I thought I was putting our marriage first, but our kids had become my primary topic of conversation. After all, didn’t we need to talk about them in order to be on the same page – in order to be a  parenting team?

Six Statements That Inflame a Wife When She’s Already Upset- Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 015

This week Emerson and Jonathan discuss six ways that a husband can really hurt his wife and the marital relationship with the things he says during conflict. This can occur when he attacks her feelings, her thinking, her beliefs, her relationships, her self-image, and her willpower.

Listen to the podcast HERE. Access it on iTunes HERE and on Stitcher HERE.

Episode 015 Six Statement That Will Inflame A Wife When She's Already Upset Conflict


01:22—Did you miss the fall conferences? Don’t worry, Emerson and Sarah will be in Florida, Michigan, and California in February 2015!

03:35—Can’t make it to a Live Conference? Good news is, it’s now available online 24/7 or check out one of the satellite locations.

06:01—Emerson reviews the Relationship Challenge from last week’s episode.

12:34—What does demolition have to do with today’s topic?

As We Attack Debt Do We Attack Each Other? [Video]

Jason and Tracy, who live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, both felt the pressure to get out of $15,000 credit card debt – a debt that had them in a chokehold.


Learning of Dave Ramsey’s brilliant and simple system to take baby steps to get out of debt, they decided five months ago to budget.

Their goal: pay off the debt from the credit cards and then visit Dave Ramsey’s headquarters in Nashville to cut up all credit cards in a glorious celebration, joining the tens of thousands before them.

Jason and Tracy are in their mid 30’s with three kids under five. She is a stay at home mom and he teaches high school biology.


However, now several months into the budgeting process, the stresses have mounted between them. There has been no eating out – only the rice and beans in-home-delight. They sold one of their cars and took no vacation.

Tracy finally vents. “This is so hard. I feel like I have become a slave to get out of slavery. If only we had more money we could leave this misery sooner.”

Is Love and Respect Manipulation?

Q: Isn’t it manipulation if a wife is respecting her husband just so he’ll meet her need for love, or a husband shows love to his wife just to get her to meet his need for respect?

Dr. E says:

Is this manipulation? Of course it can be, and we all need to check our hearts before God. This is not a formula or a magic wand we wave to get our spouse to do what we want.

Is Love and Respect Manipulation

What is your goal?

Is your goal in showing love or respect to change your spouse’s behavior or is it a desire to do something to energize your spouse?

Where Is My Prince Charming?

Thanks to Hollywood movies, cartoons, and romance novels women grow up with an expectation that they will be rescued by Prince Charming. Elizabeth wrote us about her disappointment that her husband was not her knight in shining armor, yet her need for one was very real.

Unrealistic Desires

Every woman has a desire for the Cinderella theory, but then they learn to accept that it is just a fantasy. They decide that their desire is unrealistic and must be buried and forgotten.

The Problem Isn’t The Dream

But when they bury the dream, they bury their heart with it. And a life that once seemed promising, rosy and bright, now becomes routine and gray.

You see, the problem isn’t with the dream. The problem is that we have allowed ourselves to constantly put the wrong Prince into the storyline.

Why Discipline Is Not Punishment

I love this story about Emerson as a boy, told in his own words.

When I was around nine or ten, I locked my mom and sister, Ann, out of the house.

I have long ago forgotten why. I do recall that they kept knocking and asking me to open the door, but I refused as I peered through the window at them. I was not happy about something, and neither were they at this point. Interestingly, as Mom gazed at me through the window, she did not scream at my disrespectful behavior. Instead, after she made several dignified requests for me to open the door, she turned around and walked to the car with my sister. They got in and drove off.

Why Discipline Is Not Punishment

Thirty minutes later Mom and Ann returned. I watched her car come down the hill, but what I saw next took my breath away. A police car was following her right to our house! I broke out in a cold sweat. Mom must have lodged a complaint, and the policeman intended to jail me! By then I had unlocked the door, and as Mom walked by me, she nonchalantly said, “There is someone in the driveway who wants to talk to you.” Mom did not rant and rave, screaming things like, “Boy, are you in trouble now!” She went into another room and expected me to go see our visitor. I did.

Three Steps to Forgiveness Part Two- Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 014

In Part 2 of Three Steps To Forgiveness, Emerson and Jonathan conclude the topic of forgiveness, looking to Jesus as the example. Following last week’s topic of sympathizing with the offender, today they discuss the need to relinquish the offense, but to then anticipate that God will do something in your life and marriage.

Listen to the podcast HERE. Access it on iTunes HERE and on Stitcher HERE.

Do You Need New Insights Or A Reminder Of What You Already Know?

What Others Have Said After the Love & Respect Conference

“As I watched the last session and heard you talk about the fact that my spouse was irrelevant (we do what we do unto Christ), I was touched and reminded again that my deepest desire is to love and obey God. I pray that He gives me the strength and dignity to do what He wants me to do. Right now, as so often before, the pain is overwhelming but I love God so much.”

“Saturday afternoon in particular was huge for me! The image of myself looking through my husband and seeing Christ was exactly what I needed to hear…. Duh! For me to be reminded that my awesome and mighty God is looking straight back at me… was what I needed to hear.”

“I remember your encouragement to focus on Christ, just beyond the shoulder of my spouse. Much easier to do since my husband is out of state. Nonetheless, it was a reminder to me that my emotions can flip in a matter of seconds but I still must hold fast to being honorable and respectful inspite of his performance.

How do I Deal With My Mother-in-Law?

Q: How do I respect my husband’s relationship with his parents, particularly his mother, when they are a disruptive force in our marriage? I can’t talk to my husband about this because he always sides with them.

How do I Deal With My Mother-in-Law-

Dr. E says: First of all, unconditional respect means that you deal with situations respectfully. It does not mean that you agree with everything, or even condone everything. It means that when you confront a situation you disagree with, you do so respectfully.

Respectful Confrontation

What does this mean?  People seem to recognize disrespect more easily than respect. So before you discuss this with you husband, ask yourself “Is what I’m about to say going to come across as respectful or disrespectful?”

How To Respect Your Husband When You Don’t

How To Respect Your Husband When You Don’t

We love getting stories from people who believe their spouse is the one with the all the problems, only to discover they have a part to play as well. Let’s hear what one wife has to say about her discovery of Ephesians 5:33.

How To Respect Your Husband When You Don't

“I Don’t Respect You”

My husband and I had been fighting, like really badly. I was so hurt and he kept telling me I needed to respect him and I needed to submit to him.  

When we fight, we don’t yell; we’ve worked on that aspect of our marriage for over a year now.

I just told him flat out, “I don’t respect you, you don’t give me any reason to respect you.”

When I said those words, it ended the argument immediately. He walked away and went to work.

Do Children Obey First or Do Parents?

At our Love and Respect marriage conference Emerson always asks who should make the first move in the relationship.

Waiting in anticipation for the answer, there seems to be shock when he says, “The one who sees himself or herself as the most mature moves first!”

I am assuming most of us think we are more mature than our children, but do we always act like it in the midst of a conflict with them?

Why would we expect them to obey us yet we aren’t always obeying our Heavenly Father in relationship to them?

Do Children Obey First or Do Parents-

Parents, love your children.

In parenting, even though there is no direct command to love our children, God seems to have put that unconditional God-like agape-love in a parent’s heart for the sake of children. And He expects us to give them what they need, whether they deserve it or not.

We can’t control the outcomes in our children, but we can control our own attitudes, actions, and reactions with them. That’s where our obedience comes in, which in turn affects whether our children feel loved or unloved.

Three Steps to Forgiveness Part One – Love and Respect Podcast Ep. 013

Emerson and Jonathan discuss three things to do when seeking to forgive someone, following the example of Jesus. In Part 1, excuses that we all have considered or used to not have a forgiving spirit are looked at, as well as the concept of sympathizing with another person to understand why something may have occurred.

Listen to the podcast HERE. Access it on iTunes HERE and on Stitcher HERE.

Episode 013 Three Steps To Forgiveness Part 1


00:57Live Marriages Conferences are coming to California in October! Will you be there?

01:14—The Love and Respect Marriage Conference is now available online!

04:53—Through years of counseling and pastoring, Emerson and Jonathan have addressed today’s topic a lot.

05:33—How do you forgive if you don’t feel like forgiving?