A good student of psychology knows this:
questions have an almost miraculous power to
change behavior – for better or worse.
For example, next time you experience anything that appears to be misfortune, instead of asking …
“Why is this happening to me?” (an astoundingly
“What can I do to improve this situation?”
really love this quote by Joe Sugarman, he said “In every apparent misfortune can be found the seeds of a greater good.”
What is that greater good this time?”
My success can be explained by a small handful of
Immediately following my second divorce, I started to ask myself what I had done to create this situation in my life.
I made the decision to NOT date at all until I felt that I had figured out why I was unable to hold a marriage together.
Divorce is such a devastating experience, that I vowed to never go through it again…even if that meant living the rest of my life alone.
So the question I asked myself that changed everything for me in the area of relationships was this…
What actions did I take that eroded the quality of my marriage?
As I began to investigate the answers to this question, I came across a simple yet profound truth.
This truth, I discovered, was literally the reason I was not able to keep a marriage together.
It all came down to LOVE and RESPECT.
I realized that I was not the only person out there who had felt unloved in my marriage.
Wives are made to love.
God created us with this built into our very essence.
Women expect to be loved.
We all want to know that the man in our life loves us as deeply as we love them.
BUT…herein lies the problem.
God didn’t create men with love as their default switch, like he did us women.
Men were created to respect.
For a man, respect is as important to him, as love is to a woman.
As I was studying scripture looking for the blueprint for marriage,
I found where Paul commands in (Ephesians 5:33)
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband”. (emphasis added by me)
I realized looking back on my marriage, that when I acted disrespectful, or unappreciative toward my husband, he had responded by acting unloving toward me.
This was HUGE!
I used to find it a little strange that women were commanded to respect their husband, and not told to love them.
But once thelight bulb went off in my head,
I realized that it would be redundant for the Lord to command us to do the very thing he had Hard-Wired us to do.
So since men are wired for respect, he commanded them to love.
And since women are wired to love..he commanded us to respect.
By doing this, both people in the marriage will be getting their deepest needs met.
I wondered if this was something that would be seen in mainstream marriage counseling and relationship coaching?
As I read book after book on relationship, I discovered that most experts agree on this idea of LOVE and RESPECT.
I also looked for surveys on this subject that might shed additional light on this subject for me. What I found was shocking for me as a woman.
I found that when men from all over the United States were surveyed and asked this question…
“Would you rather be all alone and unloved in the world…
“Would you rather have no respect?”
Surprisingly 82% of the men responded that they would prefer to be alone and unloved rather than to have no respect.
Really allow that to sink in.
Men overwhelmingly prefer to be alone and unloved over living with disrespect!
Is it any wonder the divorce rates are so high?
So many women feel that before they will respect their husbands, their husband has to earn their respect by being loving.
By acting in this way, we are expecting them to carry the burden of both sides of the relationship load.
Without respect from his wife…a man simply cannot respond in loving ways toward her, any more than a wife can be respectful of a man who is not behaving in a loving manner toward her.
Thus begins the insanity that most of us live with daily in our marriages.
I found further teaching on this subject in the bible when Peter was speaking about the nature of the marriage relationship in (1Peter 3:1-6)
The basic command of this section is wives submit to your own husbands (v. 1).
The word submit means to voluntary put your will under another.
Wives are to voluntarily place their will under the will of the husband.
So that you can win your husband to the Lord.
If you can open your husbands heart to the Lord, it will ALSO naturally open to you, as his wife as well.
Modern psychology has affirmed that respect is a “love need” for men.
God in his wisdom commanded it within the marriage relationship.
The wife is to respect the husband because of the responsibility of protection given to him by God.
So, as I read this I began to understand that God wants me to have faith in his plan.
He wants me to ACT respectful in my mannerisms and attitude toward my husband…
Even in those times when I don’t FEEL respect for him, I am to treat him as if I do.
By doing this, I am providing my husband with the thing he desires most above everything else. RESPECT.
In turn, a man who has basic good will toward his wife WILL ALWAYS respond to this by showing his LOVE and APPRECIATION to her.
Science even backs up this notion of love and respect that we find spoken of in the Bible over 2,000 yrs ago.
Dr. John Gottman,
“Is it possible to predict divorce?”
He provided insight into his methodology, revealing how he can predict — often with a high level of accuracy — which relationships will succeed and which won’t. In February 2004, BBC News visited the psychologist’s “Love Lab,” where Gottman and mathematicians James Murray and Kristin Swanson believe they have created a mathematical model that can determine with 94 percent accuracy which marriages are doomed to divorce.
To summarize the study, What they found was this…
When couples spoke to each other using loving and respectful tones, facial expressions, and phrases, the chances of the marriage ending in divorce were low.
On the flip side, those couples who spoke in generalities and used phrases like , Always, never and you ought to, and had sour expressions, almost always ended in divorce.
So today’s life changing question could be this…
“Am I showing respect to my husband? Have I told him at least two things that I respect about him in the past week?”
Or for the men..
“Does my wife KNOW I love her? Have I communicated either with words, or actions how much I love and need her this week?”
It just might be the very thing that saves your marriage.
What do you have to lose?