I finished up Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs recently, upon the loving and gracious suggestion of my wife, who read it last year.

We have both committed to being life-long learners in the important areas of life, and it had been a while since I read a marriage book, so I gave it a try.  If just glancing at the book, it’s easy to think that you grasp the perceived “point” – she needs love, he needs respect – without reading the book.

But the book goes into so much more depth than just the fact that these needs are primary for each partner in the marriage relationship.  It goes into why those needs are primary, how to satisfy those needs for the other partner, and how to deal with challenges in these areas.

Nancy and I both felt like Love & Respect is primarily a book about communication.  We read books about a number of different marriage topics during our engagement, but not one specifically about communication.  I was initially shocked at some of the stories about how horrible spouses were to one another and thought, “Oh we’re not that bad.”  Then I caught myself in that comparison trap and remembered how easily little tiffs can escalate, build upon one another, and fester into something awful.

Love & Respect helped give me some great tools about how to effectively communicate my love to Nancy.  It also had some helpful ideas on how to communicate when I’m not feeling great about how she and I have interacted.

Communication is key in any relationship, but vital in marriage.  Give your marital communication a tune-up with Love & Respect.  Your spouse will appreciate it.