Let me start by saying that my copy of this book has made its rounds among friends and loved ones. Its pages are well-worn; proof that it has been touched, just as the words within it have touched people the world over.
The book centres on the a theory that men and women have different and distinct “primary emotional needs”, and these needs are as necessary to their well being and emotional survival as breathing air is to all. Using Ephesians 5:33 as the foundation of this theory, he says that the primary emotional need for a woman is to be loved, while a man’s is to be respected.
Dr Eggerichs puts forward three cycles which help to evaluate a marriage. The first cycle he mentions is The Crazy Cycle. This is where wives respond to their husbands with contempt or disrespect because they feel unloved and husbands get discouraged and stonewall, isolating themselves to avoid feeling disrespected, which in turn makes wives feel unloved. These emotions drive husbands and wives to act out in many different ways, but putting it simply her negative responses are motivated by not feeling loved and his negative responses are motivated by not feeling respected.
The second cycle is The Energizing Cycle, in which case a husband or wife initiates a positive response, energizing the other to reciprocate a positive response. This is a great cycle in marriage, until someone drops the ball and no one desires to initiate again. If a husband or wife fails to initiate or energize, the marriage will plummet back into The Crazy Cycle.
The third and final cycle is known as The Rewarded Cycle. This is where a husband or wife responds out of love and respect regardless of how the other spouse is behaving. This cycle requires a selfless attitude and humility, and it is a perfect example of what Christ would want husbands and wives to follow.
While these may all seem theoretical, the book is loaded with great examples and illustrations and even personal testimonies. It offers insight into what a great marriage can be when things are done as they should be done and the marriage partners work towards improving their relationships.
I recommend that you get this book as soon as possible. If you are married, read it with your spouse; if you are engaged, read it with your fiancé. Even if you are single, it is a good read for you as you prepare to enter into a fulfilling relationship.
To your success!