Book Review : Love & Respect

I doubt that I will be doing many book reviews here because, quite frankly, most of what I read these days is what I like to call ‘fluff’, purely for pleasure and escape…not meant to be intellectually edifying, except perhaps for some of the Christian fiction that I enjoy now and then which always contains some sort of useful ‘message’.  Ever since all of the REQUIRED reading of huge and brain-burning medical texts in college, I have found myself mentally rebelling against most things of a serious nature, especially “self-help”-type books. However, occasionally one will come so highly recommended that it will sneak through the gate. “Love & Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is just such a book. In all truth, if I had any sway with school curriculum directors, this book would be on the required reading list for ALL high school students — both guys and gals—everywhere. In my humble opinion, I feel strongly that the divorce rate in this country would be cut in half if that were the case!  I have no doubt whatsoever that had I read this book or been taught at least the general concepts therein at an early age, my life would have been vastly different — in a good way.

An alternate title for this book could have been “How to Have A Successful and Fulfilling Relationship With A member of the Opposite Sex”.  Information given can be applied not only to “romantic love” relationships but also is helpful in ANY relationship one has with the opposite sex. The author hits the nail on the head with his description of what makes men and women ‘tick’ and specifically what each gender NEEDS in order to feel loved and respected, thereby making them actually CAPABLE of giving their partner what they need as well. According to Dr. Eggerichs, men are “wired” by God, their Creator in such a way that they MUST have respect …more so even than love… BEFORE they are even CAPABLE of genuinely and effectively showing love to the women in their lives. The reasons for this are given and actually make sense. A lot of women will have a hard time swallowing this at first, especially those who are ‘Hell-bent’ in their belief that a man is only going to get their respect when he “earns” it. According to Dr. Eggerichs’s research, that is a totally wrong approach and will never result in the woman feeling truly loved by her man.  Women, on the other hand, are “wired” in such a way that they MUST be given LOVE, attention and security in order to show their men the respect they need. It’s a cycle. Once again the rationale and specific examples are given and it all makes sense. The critical “key” in all of this is that each one needs to step up to the plate and be courageous, selfless and devoted enough to give the other one what they need even if they themselves are not yet receiving what THEY need. The author sites countless examples of men and women who were in horrible relationships and/or marriages, some on the brink of or in the process of divorce, who, after giving this approach a try were totally AMAZED at how their mate responded positively. Even when nothing else had worked, an impact was made and relationships were changed.

I must rather embarrassingly confess that I learned a lot about what goes on “between the ears” of the opposite sex in this book, even at the ripe old age of 55!  Things I had never been taught by my loving parents, friends or during nursing school. It has made a huge impact on my views about relationships and, in the event I am ever in a serious relationship again, you can be sure my man will greatly benefit from my new-found knowledge! A must-read for any and all!

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