Wednesday, September 12, 2012

He Said, She Said: Love and Respect in Action

We have already put into practice what we learned.

When I heard our church was offering a "Love and Respect" class for couples at church on Wednesday nights based on the book, Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (the link will take you to my book review of this), I thought this would be a good chance for Gerard and me to go through it together and get recharged and possibly it would open more communication between us. I got the book from the library and downloaded it to my Kindle as well and started reading it to see what the class would be about.

When I mentioned the possibility of taking this class to my "Mr. Wonderful," his initial reaction was "I'm not going to that" and became "Mr. Growly Bear." Well, fine, I really didn't want to go alone so if he didn't want to go with me, then I wouldn't go either (hoping he would change his mind). I almost fell over when later out of the blue he said he would go with me the first night just to see how it was if I wanted to go. Of course, I took him up on that hoping he would enjoy the class and want to keep going.

We went together the first week along with 5 other couples and one wife who attended without her husband. It consisted of watching the author of the book speak on a DVD and then the leader of the class asked some questions for discussion to try to get some interaction.  The main points being, (1) men and women see things differently, neither is wrong, just different and (2) A woman's deepest need in a marriage is to feel loved by her husband and the husband's deepest need in marriage is to be respected by his wife.
This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  (Ephesians 5:32-33)

I was surprised to see the DVD was exactly what I had read in the book. I enjoyed the class and in the car asked "Mr. Wonderful"  who turned into Growly bear what he thought. 

Growly Bear:  I didn't think the guy on the DVD was all that funny.  It was what I expected it would be: a bunch of people sitting around for an hour watching a DVD.  I didn't get anything out of it

This got my gander up, as the book would say, I felt unloved by his statement and responded disrespectfully saying in my not so sweet tone:

"Mrs. Wonderful": Wow, you really don't care about trying to improve our marriage, because that's what is sounds like to me.

"Growly Bear":  If it means that much to you, I'll go BUT I'm not going to say anything and won't do the homework. (which was just putting one of the concepts presented into practice during the week)

I realized, we were on the "Crazy Cycle" and got off by keeping my mouth shut to give us both time to think. I thought . . . I don't want him to go out of obligation, I don't want this class to be a issue between us which defeats the whole purpose of the class, I really need to respect his wishes and let him make his own decision. I know he feels bad about leaving Abby alone all day and all evening too and doesn't like being rushed after a long day at work. I really need to let this go.

When we got home, Abby, our sweet dog was anxiously waiting for us and I felt sorry for her too. Then it came to me. A solution!

Mrs. Wonderful: You really don't want to go because you don't want to leave Abby alone all evening too, right?

Mr. Wonderful: Right.

Mrs. Wonderful: I get that you hate leaving Abby alone all day long, you're tired after work and don't like classes like I do anyhow. I like interaction and discussion but get that you aren't big on that so... how about if you just read the book since the DVD was exactly what was in the book? You don't need to go to the class and I'll just go to have the interaction.

Mr. Wonderful: You sure? That would work for me. I'll read the book, but I don't want to go to the class.
Mrs. Wonderful: Great! I'm okay with that. That's fine (and I really meant it. It's not the class that's important, it's getting the insight into how to make our marriage better.)

After starting to read Love and Respect, Mr. Wonderful reported that he got much more from reading the book than watching the DVD. He's a bookworm and he can read it in short spurts at his convenience this way. I'll get the workbook and attend the classes, then we'll discuss points from it with each other during the week. Yay for us--we are back on the "Energizing Cycle"!  This book is enlightening and makes us more aware of how we can meet each others needs and understand our spouse more.  We recommend it!

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Rebecca said...

BWAHAHAHA!!! This was hilarious. I loved the "Growly Bear" name you gave.

I also prefer reading a book to get stuff like that. It's funny how some people are wired in a certain way while others are different.

BeadedTail said...

This was funny! Gerard reacted like most men would but it's good you have a compromise that works for both of you!

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