The stack of books I'm trying to read is much larger than what my calendar allows for. When I do actually finish a book though, I want to use the blog to tell you what I thought about it. I'm happy to lend this or any other book in my library if you live near me and don't look like a hooligan.
Love & Respect is a book written by Dr. Eggerichs, a PhD level counselor and evangelical pastor who brings both backgrounds to bear on the relationships between men and women in the context of marriage. His primary thesis is that men and women simply talk past each other and don't realize they're doing it. A man's primary need is to feel respected, and a woman's primary need is to feel loved (not excluding the man's need to be loved and the woman's need to be respected). But when the man doesn't feel respected, he unwittingly acts unloving to his wife, and when a woman doesn't feel loved, she unwittingly acts disrespectful towards her husband. Either spouse can start this "crazy cycle," as Eggerichs calls it. Eggerichs then helps men to understand and react to the primary need of their wives to feel loved, and helps women to understand and react to the primary need of their husbands to feel respected, through what he calls the "energizing cycle": His love motivates her respect, her respect motivates his love.
This book was given to me several years ago by a couple who used it in their marriage prep and found it immeasurably helpful, and I've already started using it in the limited counseling that I do. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who works with married couples. But more importantly, I would recommend this book to anyone whose marriage has become lackluster, who really thought marriage was going to be more than the constant bickering that tears them down each day. Marriage doesn't come easily, but it's worth the fight. This book is no magic bullet to make marriage easier, but it's a tool to help in the fight to keep marriages together.