“Love and Respect”

Two or three weeks ago, he asked me to please read “Love and Respect.”

I said, okay.  So I’ve been reading, or rather, trying to read “Love and Respect.”

It’s kind of hard to read.

It seems to come from the perspective that the husband isn’t so bad and the wife is a raging, screaming banshee.  If she will just calm down and respect him, then he will be a changed man and he will love her.

Now, maybe there are situations like that, but mine isn’t one of them.

I am not a raging, screaming banshee.  I will go in the other room and cry, but I will not raise my voice at you.  I will suffer in silence rather than bring up something that is bothering me.

I’m not saying this is the healthiest way for me to handle situations.  I’m just saying that that is what I do.

Another thing the book says is that the Bible says that wives are to unconditionally respect their husbands.

I don’t see that.

Unconditional love I get because that is part of the definition of love.

Respect is not unconditional.   Respect is given when someone is respectable.

Now, I can treat you with respect even if you are not respectable, but I probably won’t respect you if you are not respectable.

So, if my husband doesn’t have a relationship with my/his daughters, I can’t respect that.  I am respectful towards him in the sense that I don’t yell and scream at him, I don’t call him names, I don’t tell everyone how awful he is.  I still keep the home and make meals  and wash clothes.  But I cannot respect that he is not a daddy to his daughters.

The book would have me believe that it is my place to respect him no matter what he does.

Another thing about the book is that it claims that if you will just do these things, every thing will be hunky-dory.

I’m sorry.  There are no absolutes.  Life doesn’t work that way.  Some couples may be able to apply his principles and it may work for their situation.  It may be the answer they needed.  But, you know what, there is no way that one humanly written book can be the answer to every relationship.

This book also seems to be a lot about the author and his experiences and his “rant” with marriage and wives and women.  And that’s fine if someone want to write about their experiences and what they have learned.  That’s what I do on my blog.  But for him to tout it as the answer to troubled marriages is disconcerting.

I have not finished reading this book.  I don’t know if I will.  My bookcase is filled with many marriage, relationship, “good wives” books that I have read in an effort to make the marriage better.  “Love and Respect” is not one that I would recommend.

“Love and Respect” has simply given my husband something to beat me over the head with.

Oh, another thing that I don’t like about the book (and a companion book, “The Respect Dare”) is that it makes the husband’s behavior the wife’s responsibility.

I’m sorry, but my actions are my responsibility and his actions are his responsibility.  I’m not saying that people do not impact each other, because they do, but, at the end of the day, each is responsible for their own actions.

If he believes he should love me, if he believes he does love me, then that is his responsibility.

Last week at work, a client called who was furious.  She was almost a raging, screaming banshee.  She was demanding to speak to someone about an issue and she wouldn’t calm down and she refused to leave a message.  She was upset and she was acting irrationally.  I had option.  I could be rude back.  I could be offended.  I could simply transfer the call to someone’s voice mail and be done with it.

But I didn’t.

While I did not respect the way she was handling the situation, I was calm and respectful towards her.  I, with the help of someone else in the office, was able to run down the person she needed to speak with and transfer her call to a live person who could help.  While I really do not like to be spoken to the way she did, I did not let her behavior alter the way I dealt with her.   Her behavior was her responsibility and my behavior was my responsibility.

I’m not saying that I always handle every situation in life the way that I should.  I’m just using that one example to say that each person’s behavior is their own responsibility.

Thank you for listening to my rant about “Love and Respect.”

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This entry was posted in codependency, covert abuse, divorce, emotional abuse, family, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Love and Respect”

  1. Sofia Leo says:

    Books like “Love & Respect” are nothing more than tools abusers use to keep us in line. They must never be held accountable for their actions because that would be an admission that they are not perfect. Oh, I could rant about this shit for days!

    If you want to read something that will do YOU some good, try “Why does he do that?” by Lundy Bancroft. Don’t let the subtitle (“inside the minds of angry and abusive men”) put you off – they ALL read from the same script, no matter what your particular situation is. It’s an exploration of relationship dynamics and a great explanation of the mindset of the abusive partner.

    A father who wants nothing to do with the raising of his own children (while living in the same house!) does not deserve respect. A husband who asks for sex when he knows it makes his wife cry does not deserve respect. A partner who does not want to be half of a team, to the detriment of his entire family, does not deserve respect. He’s a dick.

  2. 1000000% agree! I would even argue that putting a husband’s behavior on the wife’s shoulders is asking her to take a position above God–He gifted us free will and bears no responsibility for our actions…we alone are accountable for our own actions. Making a wife responsible for husband’s actions is sinful. Throw the book in the garbage where it can’t be retrieved.

  3. The blind leading the blind or in this case an abuser leading and abuser. Sounds like the person who wrote the book is as bad as the guys he is trying to help. Anyone knows treating someone that way isn’t normal or right other than another abuser.

  4. lonelywife07 says:

    I read that book….even went to two of their conferences. IF you’re in a God.y marriage to a GODLY man…yeah, I can see that what they’re pushing might work….but like Sofia Leo said, it’s a tool for abusers!
    Throw the book in the trash and start working on your CORE (Leslievernick.com) so that you are stronger and can leave this miserable man and marriage! You need God NOW more than ever…don’t turn from the One who loves you most…run towards Him!

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