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Women Living Well Blog: Why Marriage is Difficult

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, June 8, 2009

Why Marriage is Difficult

I found my son's tank in my daughter's room - she had decorated it with heart stickers and I had to laugh at the irony! I had to laugh at the obvious difference between my little girl and my little boy.

We were at Chuck E Cheese over the weekend and they had a slow moving carousel with 4 little horses. My little girl chose a horse, climbed aboard and rode with smiles the whole ride through. Do you know what the other three boys did? They rode backwards, hung from the side poles and jumped on and off of the ride the entire time. I had to laugh again at the difference between little girls and boys.

When I flip through a toy catalog it is obvious how different God made boys from girls - the girl toys include doll houses, barbies, princess dresses, pretty ponies and pretend baking items. For boys there are transformers, spidermen, Nerf guns, swords, planes and trains.

Why is marriage difficult? Because God made men and women differently! And then we come together and rub each other the wrong way - we can either choose to respect and love each others differences or... fight. And then how we handle that conflict will determine whether there is peace, joy and unity in your marriage or contempt, bitterness and isolation.

Dr. Emmerson Eggerich says in his book Love and Respect the secret to surviving is this communication code:

1. Love is her deepest need and respect is his deepest need. (Do you believe this? You may already have your doubts this is true - but this is not man's psychology - this is God's truth.) I believe this based on the Bible. Ephesians 5:33 says,"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." In other words, a wife needs to feel love and a husband needs to feel respect. Consequently...

2. Without love she reacts without respect, and without respect he reacts without love.

And when this happens marriage becomes very difficult. So if you are struggling today in your marriage, I recommend you follow the guidelines that God created and give your husband unconditional respect. God does not say that your husband needs to first earn it - but simply that the wife is to give it up willingly.

As you willingly give your husband what he so desperately needs - respect, you will find God cleansing your heart of contempt and bitterness and you will be lovely in your husband's eyes. As you radiate the beauty of a respectful wife - in most cases (not all) the husband will begin to feel safe to draw near to you in loving kindness. Then you will find your difficult marriage fading away.

Walk with the King!



Blogger Morgan said...

The heart stickers on the tank is pretty funny.

My husband and I read Love and Respect a year or two ago. It's a very good book!

June 8, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

The differences you listed (esp. the merry-go-round!) made me smile this morning. :)

June 8, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger daningo said...

This is so true. However, it is really difficult. Our struggle is that there are areas that he "lets go" like finances and then I get frustrated because it is hard to respect that. I bring it up and we fight he feels no respect and gets mad I feel unloved and it is a nasty cycle. How do you respect the areas where they struggle? I have told him that I do respect him but if he isn't making good choices I can't just sit back and not say anything. If I am not making good choices I would want him to say something. Sorry if I am venting but this was an issue last night. HELP!!

June 8, 2009 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger Eddie and Amy plus 6 said...

Dr. Emmerson Eggerich book Love and Respect is hands down THE BEST marriage book we have ever read!!! It's amazing how it really comes down to just 2 little words! Love and Respect!

June 8, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Mom24Blessings said...

Great blog Courtney! I wish I had read this book 13 years ago when I was a newly wed.

Daningo, I know Courtney is traveling today and since I know her so well and I *think* I know what she would say so I will offer a suggestion. The bible is very clear that we MUST respect our husbands-our respect is not based on their worthiness but rather the biblical command. One thing that is hard is seeing our husbands make bad decisions and those decisions affect us and our children. When these issues come up I try to keep quiet for a period and pray that God would prepare my husbands heart when I approach him. When you approach him try looking at it as you are his helper and offer to help him in whatever area he struggles. If he doesn't pay bills on time you could offer to take over that job or help make a budget for your family. Look and pray for creative ways to help him out. Gods ways are not our ways and when we are patient and respectful we give God a place to work. I find He always does a much better job than I do anyways=) I hope this helps answer your question and I am not over stepping my bounds. I'm sure Courtney will have more to add too! I'll be praying for you today.

June 8, 2009 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Daningo - excellent question and you are not alone in feeling this way!!! Every husband is flawed so I believe every wife must struggle with this is some form or another.

Kelly (mom to 4 blessings) I LOVED how you jumped in here and you are one of the most respectful wives I know! You answered beautifully - prayer is KEY! And leaving room for God to work is another key! You hit the nail on the head.

I will add to her answer on Wednesday as I highlight your question for all my readers to hear. I have a feeling you are NOT alone in feeling this way. I won't say your name in the blog - but I will say that I had a reader ask this question "How Do I respect the areas where my husband struggles?"

Tomorrow is Tasty Tuesday - so look for your answer here on Wednesday!

Much Love,

June 8, 2009 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger daningo said...


June 9, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

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