The love & safety a wife yearns for the respect & peace a husband needs


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The love & safety a wife yearns for the respect & peace a husband needs

  1. 1. www.DecodingHim.comThe Love & Safety a Wife Yearns For The Respect & Peace aHusband NeedsLove, safety, respect and peace should go hand in hand in a marriage. He is supposedto love you and provide safety while you are supposed to respect and keep peace withhim. However, too many women aren’t finding love because they haven’t found respect,and too many men aren’t getting respect because they’re not giving love.The Negative DanceI often see in my marriage coaching practice couples that are trying hard to make senseof their distress, but their interpretations are missing the mark. Sally says, “John isnever there for me.” John says, “Sally is always nagging at me.” These explanations arejust the tip of the iceberg, the superficial crest of a big block of trouble. We have to divebelow to discover the core problem: these couples have disconnected emotionally, theydon’t feel safe with each other, and they lack love and respect.Couples get caught in this negative “dance:” a repeating pattern of negative thoughts,feelings and behaviors that cause distress in the relationship. What couples don’t see isthat most fights are really complaints over emotional disconnection; love and respect.Without love, women react without respect; and without respect, men react without love… and round and round in a never-ending two-step dance they go.Shaping a Sense of Respectful-LovingSo, if we care for our partner, why do we not just hear each other’s call for love &respect and respond with concern? Because we do not know how to speak thelanguage of connection: the language that I call respectful-loving. Instead partners actlike they are fighting for their lives and in a sense that is what they are doing. When safeemotional loving and respectful connection seems lost, partners go into fight-or-flightmode. One partner (usually the woman) will frantically try to get an emotional responsefrom her spouse for love. The other (generally the man), hearing that he has failed atlove, will freeze up in an attempt to gain respect. Understanding and untangling yournegative dance is the first step in climbing out of your distress.Getting Out of ‘The Dance’Getting onto your preverbal relationship “dance floor” is all too easy. Recognizing thatyou are doing your not-so-pretty dance and learning how to keep it from spinning out ofcontrol is possible if husband and wife can learn to meet each other’s needs for loveand respect. And in order for husband and wives to understand the respectful-lovingconnection, they must understand they communicate in code. Yep code! You’re notasking for what you really want, need or desire. Instead your communication is often
  2. 2. www.DecodingHim.comlaced with control, criticism, anger, contempt and/or icy withdrawal. In almost everycase, the issue that seems to be the cause of you entering your “dance floor” is not thereal issue. Angry exchanges are actually caused when a husband appears careless,depriving his wife of love, AND when a wife reacts with criticism and complaints that arevehement, depriving her husband of respect… and again around and around we go.Let me emphasize to wives that when men hear criticism, it doesn’t take them long tostart interpreting that as contempt for who they are as men. He thinks, “I don’t deservethis talk. Everybody respects me except you!” When a husband can’t take it any longer,he gets up and walks out without a word, and that is a deathblow to a wife. He might aswell as screamed at the top of his lungs, “I don’t love you!”It is indeed ironic (and sometimes tragic) that something as desirable as love andrespect is so difficult to obtain in wounded couples. Yet with the proper roadmap, withunderstanding and confidence, it is highly achievable.Part of de-escalating the lack of love and respect syndrome of distressed spouses isyour ability to slow down the rush of panicked interactions, to take timeouts when youare feeling emotionally flooded or ineffective, and to come back to your partner at apredetermined time to make repairs. These skills of self and relationship regulationneed to be practiced consistently as it will become increasingly easier and has apowerful effect. The ability of partners to be able to soothe themselves andprovide respectful-loving during triggering events is essential to long-term maritalsatisfaction.Who Should Make the First Move?I regularly hear in my practice, “Who should make the first move?” My answer to this:the one who has the most strength and maturity. You see, you can’t afford to sit aroundas a passive bystander waiting for your spouse to do a new dance with you. I get youwould prefer it; all of us want our spouse to be the first to do the respectful-loving thing.But, can a wife wait for her husband to really love her so she will then show himrespect? And can a husband wait for his wife to respect her before he will show herlove?The goal is to learn to be a guardian of your own relationship, noticing your negativedance and the associated feelings so you can stop this destructive pattern on your own,manage your tendency to escalate, and even end up soothing yourself and yourpartner.In ConclusionAfter working with some of the most unhappy and dysfunctional couples over the years,I have come to believe that anyone can learn to practice respectful-loving. In this new
  3. 3. www.DecodingHim.comway of living, you don’t have to deny or attempt to repress your varied sometimes uglyfeelings or shy away from conflict. Instead you make a deep commitment that, no matterwhat, the line separating anger from disrespect – from contempt, control, vengefulnessor punishing withdrawal – is never crossed again.For years I have helped couples move into what has been for most a new landscapeof respectful-loving. Do they achieve perfection? No. But over time and with hard work,for every single couple that commits to this path, the baseline shifts – respectful-loving behavior becomes the norm.My message to those couples was the same message I now have for you. You have thecapacity to move your relationship to a level of safety, love, respect and peace.About the authorAna Loiselle is a Licensed Relationship Coach, Speaker and Author. As the owner ofThe New Mexico Relationship Center, she has applied sensible, positive and effectivestrategies to help singles and couples work out their relationship challenges. Shespecializes in improving communication, and understanding how to make relationshipswork. For more information visit or call 505.872.8743.For more free tips and insights on what really attracts a man, how tomake yourself irresistible to him and how to capture his heart, click thelink