By Emerson Eggerichs, 324 pages, Thomas Nelson.
Love and Respect, though seemingly just another self-help, pop-psychology book, offers a potentially ground-breaking view of marriage. Rather than calling for the typical sissification of the man by getting him to talk about his feelings and in general see things through a woman's eyes, Dr. Eggerichs asks women to see men differently as well. For once, an author does not assume that women's ways of doing things are normative and morally superior, and that men must conform.
Central to the argument, Eggerich asserts that men and women are not the same, and that the Bible's teachings on marriage are as valid as ever because it shows how men and women have different needs. While women are verbal beings in need of assurance that they are loved and safe, men are action-oriented, and would rather silently share an experience than talk about feelings. Men communicate through words, but more than that, through their actions.
Feminists have indoctrinated women to look down on men and not to understand men. They no longer meet their husband's deepest need, which is to feel respected. When they cut down their husband, he shuts off, and she feels unloved. In order to get that love, she becomes more rude and cutting so that he will be able to see just how desperately unloved she feels. This leads the husband to distance himself even more. Thus the couple has entered a vicious cycle.
For this cycle to be broken, wives need to respect their husbands unconditionally, even when they don't feel respect for their man. The husband must unconditionally love his wife, even when he doesn't feel it. This love and respect is actually not about feelings, but about responding to God's call.