HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY: LOVE & RESPECT
Photos by: Erika Dash Photography
Happy Wednesday, everybody! I hope you are having a great week so far. It's Valentine's Day! I love that this day doesn't have to be all about who you love romantically. I think it's so great that it can also be about the people we love because they are our friends and family. It's always a good day when we get to send a little extra love to the most important people in our lives!
Today we are continuing our conversation about Enjoyment in 2018, which is a personal and blogging theme for me this year. I really want to learn to enjoy the little things along with the big things in life! This Valentine's Day I'm reminded of a book I read in college titled Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. And while this day is all about L-O-V-E, I think it's important to learn about R-E-S-P-E-C-T too!
Since I've only written one post about Jordan and I fighting about our wedding cake, I think I've led you to believe that Jordan and I have only ever fought about that. Ha! Wrong. We argue about things big and small. A lot of the time we are just discussing something, we figure out the answer with each other, and it's great! Other times, though, we can begin fighting with each other and it feels like the fight is about nothing and everything at the same time. Most of the time, neither of us knows where the fight started, why it started, or how to stop it. It can feel crazy!
Then, a few weeks ago, I remembered the Love and Respect book. The main thing this book teaches is that there is a "Crazy Cycle" (pictured above) that is always ready to spin. Women need love most, and men need respect most. Without these two things, we react in crazy ways and start to fight. Crazy Cycle: "Without respect, he reacts without love. Without love, she reacts without respect." And around and around it goes! Well, that's exactly what has been happening to us.
This book is based on a Bible Verse in Ephensians 5:33 that says "...each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Notice that the word "must" is present. These commands are there for us to find freedom and enjoyment in our relationships, and trust me, when I seem disrespectful toward Jordan or he seems unloving toward me, our relationship is neither freeing or enjoyable.
The most valuable thing this book teaches is how to prevent the "Crazy Cycle" from spinning. I didn't realize what an effect my behavior has on him or his behavior has on me, but it totally does! If I can focus on adjusting my voice, my attitude, my body language to be more respectful, it frees him up to react in a more loving way - AND - if he can adjust his voice, attitude, and body language to be more loving, it frees me to react in a more respectful way. When I show him respect and he shows me love, it's like we're in a never ending Honeymoon phase. We're silly, we're nice, we're close to each other's hearts, and our relationship is enjoyable again!
I'm really trying to apply this, but it's surprisingly hard! Has anyone else read Love and Respect? How would your current or future relationship be different if you focused on being more respectful or loving toward your significant other? Do you think this could really work? I'd love to hear your comments below!
Thanks for stopping by!