Now that we’ve covered the basics in part 1 and 2 of this series, it’s time to dig into the nitty-gritty of the Love & Respect dynamic.
As we covered in previous installments, men’s world are centered around respect and honor. From what we hear, say, act, and see, nearly everything falls under giving and receiving respect. When we feel like we are not being respected, it sets off our alarms and we either go on the attack or withdraw.
On the flip side, a woman’s world revolves around love. Where a man’s vocabulary centers around respect and honor, theirs focuses on loving and nurturing and, like us, when they don’t feel like they’re being loved, they will go on the offensive.
The Bible specifically told men to love their wives, because it is the harder of the two languages for us to speak.
Likewise, the Bible specifically told women to honor (respect) their husbands for the same reason. Loving and nurturing comes natural to them, respecting and honoring does not.
Today, we are going to cover how men can effectively “speak” their wife’s language and provide them the love they need in order to have a fulfilling and happy marriage. In the next part of this series, we’ll do the same for women and how they can show respect and honor to their husbands.
I would encourage women to read this post even though it pertains to men as it will offer insights into how men operate and vice versa for next week’s post. The more you know on a subject, the more easily all the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together.
COUPLE is an acronym to help men remember some easy ways to express love to their wives. COUPLE is short for Closeness, Openness, Understanding, Peacemaking, Loyalty, and Esteem.
These principles are equally effective for breaking a Crazy Cycle or avoiding it altogether. If you notice your wife starting to go off the handle over something, especially if it’s something trivial, maintain your frame, don’t match her level of irritation and see if one of these criteria aren’t being met. If you’re married or in a LTR, you’ll find that most shit tests are because one of these criteria are not being sufficiently met for her.
On the surface, it might seem like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. A lot of these principles can be a simple phrase or act that takes less than a minute or two. I will try to provide examples for each as they are being discussed.
Being close to your wife is vitally important to her. Closeness means security and affection in her eyes. Now I know where most of your minds are headed and no, we’re not talking about sex.
Closeness most often refers to physical proximity. This can be simply doing some activity in the same room, snuggling up on the couch while watching a movie, holding hands while out on a walk, etc. Many of you red pill men are familiar with the PUA term “Kino” and that’s a large part of the Closeness principle. Be sure to give her physical reassurance that you still love her.
Another form of closeness is comparing it to where you and your wife are versus other relationships. Genesis 2:24 says that a man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, becoming one flesh.
Knowing this, how would your wife feel if you routinely put things above her that shouldn’t be?
Real Life Example: Life around the Jak household is consistently hectic. Both me and my wife are running around after work taking care of obligations while trying to get the kids fed, make sure their homework is finished, and get them ready for bed. This, as you can imagine, leaves us with little time for ourselves.
One night after the girls were down, I plopped down on the couch and began reading. A few minutes later, my wife plopped down on the other side of the couch with her book. Thinking of the Closeness principle, I got up, walked over to her side of the couch, sat down, and resumed reading with my arm around her shoulder.
Her entire mood instantly changed from tired and slightly irritable to happy and loving. All from a small gesture on my part.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re milling about the house, doing your thing when suddenly your wife throws out a rather disrespectful comment to you. You, not wanting to escalate the situation into a full blown fight, withdraw and stonewall her.
In our minds, this is a honorable act since we do not want to cause one remark to begin a full-fledged fight. However, women see your honorable intentions as something else entirely. They see it as you withdrawing your love from them. This in turn causes them to escalate the situation even further, thus building onto the budding Crazy Cycle.
Instead, try opening up to them. Ask them why they said what they said. If what they said does upset you and you don’t think you can respond tactfully, tell her something along the lines of “Honey, I love you and I want to discuss this issue, but I want to do so after I have a moment to cool off so I don’t say anything to make this situation worse.”
At the end of the day, women just want to know you’ve heard them.
This concept ties in with Openness. Women want to know that you both hear them and understand where they’re coming from. Since they often speak “pink language” and we interpret it through our “blue” hearing aids, this can be a bit tricky. However, if you are both onboard with this program, hopefully you are giving each other a little more leeway and patience while you both try to learn each other’s languages.
The easiest way to show your wife that you want to understand what she’s really feeling is simply repeating what she said, how you interpreted it, and asking her “Is this what you really meant?”.
Another way to show understanding is to pick up subtle cues as you both go through your day-to-day routine. Perhaps she had an especially rough day. By the time the chores are finished and the kids are asleep, she’s completely worn out and frazzled. Instead of ignoring it, offer to take her out for a quiet dinner. Say something to the effect of “I know you’ve been very busy all day and you look pretty worn out. How about I call a babysitter and get you out of the house for a bit?”
This section is probably going to be the most misunderstood and draw the most ire, so I ask you approach it with an open mind.
Part of communicating that you love your wife is taking steps to make amends after a fight. This can range from apologizing, meeting your wife halfway in a dispute, or simply employing one of the other aspects of COUPLE.
Now I know many of the guys here are probably thinking, “Apologize? Fuck that!” I’m not saying you kowtow to her every whim and saying you’re sorry for every imagined transgression a woman can imagine.
Rather, if you seriously drop the ball, own it and apologize. You’d want your wife to do the same for you, after all. Owning up to your mistakes is the sign of a man who is confident in himself and is willing to lead by example.
I’m jumping ahead a bit, but a common question that pops up with couples is “Who should break the Crazy Cycle?” to which he responds with “Whoever is the most mature should take steps to breaking the Crazy Cycle with their spouse.” Clever, no?
However, I challenge men to always make the first move. We are called upon to be leaders of our families. We can’t lead when we aren’t be proactive.
This one is a pretty simple concept to understand so we’re not going to spend much time on it.
Being loyal goes beyond the basic rule of “don’t cheat on your wife” although that’s arguably the biggest of the loyalty rules not to break.
Other forms of loyalty is sticking up for your wife in public and putting her and your family before any other obligations. Again, this doesn’t mean have no life outside of your wife and kids. Men need time to themselves or to spend with other guys. If not, we go stir crazy. So by all means, pursue your own hobbies, but don’t do so at the expense of your family (ex: Don’t skip your son’s first baseball game to go play cards with the guys and so forth).
Finally, your wife needs to know you hold her in high esteem. The clearest illustration we can find in the Bible is from Proverbs 31: 10-31.
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Think of how your wife would feel if you heaped such praise on her. For many guys this is a hard, but crucial, aspect to master; something I struggle with myself.
I didn’t realize how important this was, even though my wife was sending me not so subtle hints. Like most women, she has Facebook. As she scrolls through the feed, she sees how other husbands are bragging on their wives for doing this or that. “Why don’t you do that for me?” she asks.
Being a master of subtleties (sarcasm), I’d respond with “Because I don’t have a Facebook account.” What I didn’t realize was that she wasn’t asking me to brag about her on Facebook specifically, but to just brag about her in general.
Yeah, I know, it feels a bit superficial, but just view it this way: You’re wife wants to know that you love her and appreciate her. Bragging about everything she does for you and your family lets her know in no uncertain terms.
- Closeness – Both physical and emotional closeness to your wife.
- Openness – Being open and honest with your wife.
- Understanding – Seeking to understand what your wife means and not just what she’s saying.
- Peacemaking – Seeking to resolve disputes.
- Loyalty – Being loyal to your wife and putting her and your family first.
- Esteem – Holding her in high regard.