We have been looking at Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and specifically at how husbands can show love to their wife. Dr. Eggerichs uses 6 basic areas to express how a husband can do this and they follow the letters C-O-U-P-L-E. We have made it to P which talks about peacemaking. This is my second post on peacemaking.
Dr. Eggerichs describes the topic for today through recounting a story from a husband he was talking with. The husband said, “every time he and his wife got into a fight, she would get “historical.”
Most husbands have probably run into this situation. They have an issue with their wife and when they try to resolve it they don’t really get anywhere. So, the husband may agree to disagree or just drop the issue. The problem is that most wives can never let the issue go. It may go away for a little while, but it will probably come back up sometime in the future.
Two guys will discuss something and if they don’t come to some agreement or understanding they will just drop it. Depending on the issue they might hold a little grudge or choose to treat the other differently about the issue, but for the most part they drop it and move on. They move the relationship forward by moving on and finding areas where they do have commonality or agreement.
Two ladies that get into an argument are totally different in resolving a conflict. They will be out of sorts with each other until they can each state their sides fully and then they can forgive each other. Ladies are great at this but this often does not work when a wife uses this same approach with her husband.
Dr. Eggerichs describes this by saying, “the typical male resolves conflict without a lot of discussion, sharing of feelings, or apologies. Some men might apologize to one another, but as a rule it’s just sort of taken for granted that they will just drop it and they do.” So why is this the case. It probably comes back to a man’s need for respect. A guy has a hard time with asking for forgiveness or apologizing because to him it is a blow to his respect. Two guys can resolve a conflict by agreeing to drop an issue because both guys can go away with their respect intact.
So, when a wife approaches her husband and lays out issues that they have had for the length of their relationship it is not surprising that the husband takes it as an attack. A husband’s path of dropping an issue is accepted by his wife as that he is secretly angry with her. The wife is actually trying to resolve things with her husband when she brings up things from the past. It is her desire to feel loved that motivates this approach. She wants to find understanding and peace and make sure her husband is not angry with her but is using the same approach she would use with another friend. Her approach is meant to try to increase feelings of love between her and her husband.
So, how does a husband find a path of resolution with a historical wife? It comes down to him being able to say he is sorry and ask for forgiveness. The husband needs to be able to do this no matter if he thinks the issue is his fault or his wife’s. I will discuss this further in my next post, but a wife need’s to understand that you are not angry with her and by saying you are sorry for the time that she has rested uneasy about this issue shows her that her husband loves her.