She Needs Love, He Needs Respect
I heard of a businessman who went to Toronto. That night at the hotel, he talked to the clerk, who liked riddles. The clerk said, “My mother and father had a baby. And it wasn’t my brother and it wasn’t my sister. Who was it?” The businessman said, “I don’t know. Who?” The clerk said, “It was me.” The guy said, “Yeah, okay.”
So the businessman goes home to Michigan. He says to his friend, “Hey, I got a riddle for you. My mother and father had a baby. And it wasn’t my brother and it wasn’t my sister. Who was it?” His friend said, “I don’t know. Who was it?” The businessman says, “It was a clerk in Toronto!”
I just laugh at this. He misses the whole point. Have you ever been in a situation where you just completely missed the point?
A husband’s focus on respect can overlook his wife’s focus on love. In fact, a husband can so focus on being disrespected that he misses the point about why his wife is reacting this way. She feels unloved!
A wife’s focus on love can overlook her husband’s focus on respect. In fact, a wife can so focus on being unloved that she misses the point about why her husband is reacting this way. He feels disrespected!
Over the span of six articles, I want us to take a look at twelve different stories and begin to ask ourselves, what is really going on in this story? Is the husband overlooking his wife’s need for love? Is the wife overlooking her husband’s need for respect? How can they ever get off of the Crazy Cycle?
Ephesians 5:33—“Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself; and the wife must see to it that she respect her husband.”
Alan is in disbelief and angry that the air conditioner went out on the brand-new van. Alice says, “It will be okay.” Alan harshly says, “It isn’t okay. If it isn’t one thing it’s another, and I don’t need YOU to tell me it will be okay. I don’t have time for your two cents’ worth right now.” Shocked, Alice shouts, “You don’t have time for anything, especially me. And every time I try to help, you tell me I’m worthless. I don’t have any part in your life.” She starts crying and leaves the room.
Do Alan’s attitude and words feel unloving to Alice? When she feels unloved, does she react? If Alan continues to react this way, is Alice more likely to complain about his disrespect for her or his lack of love for her?
Belinda is upset over the bills that keep piling up. There is no money to do decorating. As Bruce walks in the house, he sees Belinda distressed. “What’s wrong?” She glares at him and says, “If you had a better job with more income, we could do some really nice things to this home. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I didn’t have to pinch pennies.” Bruce can’t believe his ears. Why does she put me down? I work as hard as I can. She doesn’t feel I’m good enough for her. His hurt turns into anger. He yells, “Yeah, well, nobody better would marry you.” He leaves. Belinda eats alone.
Does Belinda’s attitude and words feel disrespectful to Bruce? When he feels disrespected, does he react? Is Bruce more likely to comment on Belinda’s lack of love for him or her disrespect?
- Story 1: As a wife, do you feel your husband understands what is happening when you negatively react? Does he decode your need for love? Have you shared with him that he matters so much to you that his lack of love hurts and tends to trigger this reaction?
- Story 1: How could Alice have responded differently in an attempt to get off of the Crazy Cycle?
- Story 2: As a husband, do you feel your wife understands what is happening when you negatively react? Does she decode your need for respect? Have you shared with her that she matters so much to you that her lack of respect hurts and tends to trigger this reaction?
- Story 2: How could Bruce have responded differently in an attempt to get off of the Crazy Cycle?