I recently read Love and Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs, a book that focuses on what he believes are the two most important needs a wife and husband crave in their marriage relationship.
Women crave love, men crave respect. The problem is the whole “men are from mars, women are from venus” concept (shoutout to John Gray). Women think completely differently from men, vice versa, and we don’t always bridge that gap very well.
The book walks through examples of how this plays out in real life – and how to make it work for your marriage.
It’s pretty interesting and quite helpful. It’s one of those books where a few things you have to take with a grain of salt, but I highly recommend finding a copy and checking it out.
As he talks to wives about better understanding their husbands’ desire to analyze and counsel (aka fix it for us), he poses some questions to those who aren’t happy with a husband’s leadership. One of the statements Dr Eggerichs made had me stopping to think.
“Do I want my husband to be responsible, but if he is irresponsible in my opinion, am I exercising veto power?”
I’ll caveat this by saying I feel very blessed with Joel’s leadership for our little family. He’s pretty much my role model in so many ways, and I couldn’t be more thankful for him.
But I still think about how many times I’m tempted to essentially use that veto power if he makes a decision I don’t really like.
I fully intend to follow his leadership, of course, because I believe that it’s his role in our marriage. As a woman, however, my crafty skills sometimes take over. If I’m not getting my way, I somehow instinctively know how to pull the veto card. Sometimes I don’t even realize what I’m doing.
Do you sometimes find yourself wanting your husband to be a leader, only to exercise that veto power if he’s not lining up with the way you think it should be?
Sometimes it causes an argument. Sometimes…it trains your husband not to risk a confrontation by stepping up to lead. It has to do with that respect thing he needs so much.
I know it would break my heart to someday discover that Joel stopped thinking for himself and started doing whatever I wanted – all because I made it miserable when he didn’t.
Yet how often do we begin to pave the way for that, all in a few moments of temper?
Next time your opinions don’t match up, be very thoughtful about that veto card. Marriage can be tough sometimes, but it’s worth fighting for!
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