by Kristi Corley
When my husband and I realized that an artificial-turf marriage wouldn’t last (mentioned in my previous post), we learned a key strategy: Love and Respect.
It’s a simple concept, yet people tilt their head in confusion when they see my tattoo and learn that the phrase, “Respect Him” is intended for my husband. My 20-second answer is simple. “This concept was integral part of saving our marriage. Quite simply, we needed to understand how to communicate with each other. Once we discovered that love most motivates a woman, and respect most powerfully motivates a man, a light bulb turned on relationally.”
Love notes and cards most commonly say the words “I love you,” and we are all supposed to get it. But imagine if you were to send a note or text to your man that says, “I respect you.” I did this out of curiosity. It felt awkward. But then, he replied, “How so?” As I went on to explain how much I appreciated his hard work to provide for our family, and how he takes care of the basic needs around the house (much of which requires heavy lifting and his strength), he began to puff up with pride and satisfaction.
We first learned of this concept from the author Emerson Eggrich. He shares, “We asked 7,000 people this question: when you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected? 83% of the men said ‘disrespected.’ 72% of the women said, ‘unloved.’ Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict, and this difference is as different as pink is from blue!”