Marriage forms a vital part of life. It is an element, which stands in the basement of comfort, satisfaction, love, and support. People dream about marriage since childhood. Little girls start dreaming about their dream marriage and imagine when a Prince will come and take them away. Fairy tales are perfect and full of magic. The world is not as perfect as fairy tales are. Marriage has two sides as well. One side gives comfort and love, while another creates a range of problems in marriage. This paper centers around one of the most widespread problems of the contemporary world. Hundreds of couples suffer from issue of love and respect in relations. This paper is aimed at outlining the reasons of negative experience in marriage, the basement of conflicts in relations, consequences of misunderstanding and quarrels. It shows practical methods of solving problems between spouses and tells why assistance of a marriage counselor is important.
Keywords: marriage, counselor, spouses, coaching, assistance, love, respect, relations
Love & Respect in Marriage Coaching
1. Description of Love and Respect in Relations
Marriage forms a vital part of life. It is an event, which everyone starts imagining in childhood. There are hundreds of movies, cartoons, books telling about love, affection, tenderness, and admiration. Love is equal to the fire burning in the heart. It is something that makes people believe in magic and fairy tales. Since childhood, children believe in a sweet feeling of love. Little girls start dreaming about wedding and wonder when a prince will come to take a beautiful princess to the castle. When children grow up and become teenagers, they experience the first love. They experience all charms of this beautiful feeling. The first love is a great experience for everyone giving an unforgettable memory about sincere feelings. Teenagers learn not only how to love, but also how to forgive, make concessions, how not to cheat, and how to respect. They experience first wounds and first heart breaks. It is a difficult period, but it is a mandatory step in the process of identity. When teenagers get to another stage of life, they tend to change their perception of the world.
Adulthood makes individuals accept the world in a more sober and tangible way then in teenage years. Adult people value two most important feelings in relations – love and respect. These two feelings are the basement of the marriage. When it comes to marriage, two lovers make an oath to love until the end of time. Since childhood, everyone dreams to have his/her own happy end in relations. Some people are lucky to meet the love of their life and experience eternal love. Nevertheless, for some couples it is a matter of time when marriage starts having trouble.
2. Brief Description of the Issue
Nowadays, love and respect play the leading role in basement of relations. Of course, trust, passion, affection, and support take a special place in the solidity of marriage. Nonetheless, many couples experience problems in marriage. The main issue of hundreds of couples is love and respect. When it comes to marriage, both partners need to feel love, passion, care, and support. Marriage considers pure feelings of love as a basement of relations. It is an art to keep the fire of love burning with the same intensity during whole life. Life is like a rollercoaster, which consists of difficulties. Sometimes a couple can hardly go through hardships and difficulties. Daily problems may accumulate a boost of negative emotions and explode in the most inopportune moment. In marriage, there is a concept telling that a woman should feel love and then she will give respect in return. Many psychologists believe that a perfect combination for marriage is when a husband loves his wife and wife respects her husband for the love she gets. Unfortunately, nowadays couples have trouble in relations. As a result, couples break up and gain disappointment in the opposite gender. When people get married, they believe in miracles and true love. Nevertheless, time shows that life has many trials and not every couple can overcome them. This is the point where love and respect play a leading role.
3. Current Statistics on Love and Respect Issue in Relations
According to Marriage Guardian (n.d.), “In a 2010 study of 134 chronically and seriously distressed” married couples, 48% showed clinically significant improvement at 5 years after receiving 26 weekly therapy sessions and 27% were separated or divorced”. The survey shows that couples who ask professionals for help get the necessary support and solution of problems. Marriage coaching considers the development of various keys to solve the problems of many couples. It is important not to lose the moment and ask for help when problems start to arise. It is difficult to save a marriage when a couple has been suffering for a long time from a range of problems. Marriage does not tolerate issues between partners without attempts to get rid of them. Spouses should tend to change atmosphere in the family if they want to save marriage. The number of couples who have managed to change things for the better is high enough to say that marriage coaching is effective. Those who have divorced after therapy could possibly have asked for help too late. Divorce is not a sentence, but it affects lives greatly. It blunts feelings of love, affection, trust, and tenderness. Issues in marriage arouse in many couples, but it is not a reason for despair. It is a reason to see the value of marriage for both partners, to show sympathy and respect during difficulties, to strengthen relations after walking through hard times together. Couples should understand that issues are a part of marriage. It is impossible to live in marriage without difficulties.
Love and respect greatly affect an atmosphere in the relations of a couple. Many people believe that these two qualities will never disappear from daily life of the married couple. When love and respect remain on the same level all the time, people call it true love. It is a perfect mix of qualities of both partners making them live in perfect harmony. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (2004) in his famous book Love and Respect outlines needs of spouses in a very original way. For men, he uses an acronym C-O-U-P-L-E to outline the needs of a woman. Each letter states for one necessity. According to Eggerichs (2004), “a woman needs closeness, openness, understanding, peacemaking, loyalty, and esteem”. As for women, Eggerichs (2004) mentions another “acronym C-H-A-I-R-S, which means that a man is dependant on conquest, hierarchy, authority, insight, relationship, and sexuality”. This book presents a balance between love and respect, which greatly affects relations between spouses. There is a range of practical advice how to make a marriage life full of satisfaction and comfort.
4. Symptoms of Love and Respect Issue
However, it is a sad fact that lack of love and respect takes place in many contemporary families. It is not a secret that issues in relations lead to a wide range of minor problems, causing stress and tension between two loving people. The result of love and respect appears in misunderstanding, lack of intimate relations, apartness, loneliness, constant complaints, and selfishness. In general, all the problems of a couple form a massive combination of problems, which may shake the marriage. It is a matter of time to take two loving individuals to the first trial of marriage. Life is not perfect and difficulties have a great effect on people. The secret of q strong marriage is in the way two people can go through hardships and keep the same feelings as they had in peaceful time.
Love and respect are an issue, which leads to various problems. If a couple does not take into consideration this issue for too long, then they will suffer from other problems. This issue entails changes in communication, which define the destiny of two people as a couple. When love and respect start to disappear from the relationship, a couple starts experiencing problems in communication. Firstly, partners find it hard to solve problems together; they can hardly take into consideration each other’s points of view. These couples have trouble in taking decisions together. Flaws of both individuals become glaring and two loving people notice only negative qualities in a character of the partner. Lack of communication results in apartness. Partners start existing apart from each other. Moreover, it causes lack of intimacy and tenderness in relations. A husband and wife become selfish and start thinking only about their own comfort. Together with love and respect, partners lose passion, affection, care, and support. Many rows arise between two loving people and result in constant complaints. Neither of partners gets satisfaction from marriage. According to McWade, “it is important to correct marital issues before they become habitual behaviors and are impossible to change”.
Marriage is a sensitive element, which can be easily damaged, but which can hardly be recovered. It does not take too much time to increase the intensity of problems between two partners. If a couple denies the fact that there are problems in relation, it will only intensify the effect of current issues. Love and respect do not appear in a sudden way. Various factors predetermine the appearance of this issue. It is obvious that the lack of attention to the problems of a couple leads to conflicts.
When it comes to issues in marriage, a couple becomes nervous and stressful. A relationship between two people becomes full of conflicts and rows. Marriage coaching considers letting know couples about possible reasons, which result in the lack of love and respect in marriage. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (2004) mentions in his work Love and Respect a fact that when a woman does not get love from her man, she treats him without respect. It is a cycle making two partners dependant on each other’s feelings. It is important to know what may destroy a pure feeling between two lovers to prevent the crack in relations. Marriage is a serious step for both partners and it implies that two partners are ready to stand to various factors, which can affect in a negative way. When two people decide to marry, they should understand that it will take some time to change ways of living, combine habits of both partners, avoid routine, and find compromises in difficult situations. However, people tend to make mistakes and, sometimes, it results in serious problems.
5. Causes of the Issue
One of the factors causing problems in relations is communication. When two partners pay more attention to their friends than to each other, it creates distance between them. A couple should share secrets, ideas, thoughts, and fears about future. Moreover, digital communication in social networks can also affect relations greatly. When one of the partners spends more time in social networks than in real life, it not only causes suspicions, but creates an invisible barrier between the two people. It is important to stay true in relations and not to hide emotions. When someone decides to hide emotions or pass over in silence about troubling questions, it only results in cooling of the feelings. This is the first reason why issue of love and respect may take place in relations.
When two people start living side by side, it is a matter of time when they start noticing various things in each other that lead to annoyance. Irritation is not a great issue in the beginning of relations if two partners find the ways to live with each other’s bad habits. Nevertheless, there are many examples when irritation grows and leads to conflicts. Each partner believes that another one should change for the sake of relations. It is a rare moment when both partners agree to change together. This is the reason why conflicts are dragging. Many couples believe that conflicts will vanish with time. They suffer from misunderstanding and quarrels, though they do not take an action to solve the issue. Indifference in the resolution of conflicts leads to constant blaming of each other. It aggravates relations between two partners and erases the satisfaction from marriage.
When it comes to cohabitation and marriage, people tend to think that they can implement the previous way of living in the new relationship. Partners usually believe that they can prove that living according to their rules is much better than according to partner’s rules. In this situation, one of the partners starts commanding and tries to impose his/her previous way of living. It is impossible to change someone in a radical way. Marriage is an art teaching how to live with partner’s principles and rules. When someone tells what to do, it only arouses aggression and irritation. This becomes another reason of a conflict.
Another factor, which can cause a range of problems in relations from the point of view of love and respect, is money. It is important to build a family budget on mutual efforts to improve the family’s welfare. When only one partner gives away everything to create comfortable living conditions, it will become a cause of many conflicts. Financial situation is a sensitive topic for many couples and the way they solve it results in the general level of relations. When there is an issue of financial stability in a family, it results in the crack of relations. It arouses many conflicts and gives the sense of the wrong choice of a life partner.
Distrust usually becomes one of the factors causing the issue of love and respect. It usually happens when two partners experience innuendo and understatement between each other. Trust defines the level of relations and predetermines the interaction between two partners. It is a matter of time when two people can fix the trust they used to have at the beginning of the marriage. Distrust plays an essential role in the issue of love and respect. If two people live with suspicions, fears, stress, and tension, it will lead to the lack of feelings and emotions. Lateness, secretiveness, mendacity, and evasion of conversation result in general distrust. This is the reason why partners lose respect with subsequent disappearance of love.
6. Methods, Techniques and Topics Applied to Coaching that Helps to Get Rid of the Issue
Psychologists around the world have managed to work out various methods and techniques how to save a marriage. Couples tend to suffer from common problems and difficulties in relations. There are many pieces of advice and techniques how to solve problems between spouses. Many couples who look for help and support, but are scared to ask for help tend to buy guides and brochures helping to save a marriage. In this case, both partners should listen to each other’s feelings and help each other find solutions. Love and respect issue considers a wide range of problems. It is a fact that communication is the first reason why partners lose their feelings towards each other.
Communication is the first sign of problems in a marriage. It is an indicator of love and affection between partners. When a couple gains troubles in communication, various techniques will save a couple from conflicts. At times when a couple goes through difficulties, a communication barrier results in avoiding each other. The first key to feeling relief in a complicated situation is to make appointments. A couple should have enough time for each other to discuss issues in the family. Moreover, it develops trust between partners and makes them feel confidence in each other. If it is necessary, partners should turn off phones or other devices, which may interrupt minutes of communication. Nothing should distract partners from talking. If it is hard to communicate in a normal voice and every talk ends up with a loud quarrel, it will be useful to talk in a public place. A couple will have scruples screaming at each other at a library or in a restaurant.
Silence and solitude are important only in the first minutes after quarrel. It helps a person to reduce anger and irritation. However, a couple should not keep silence for too long. It is essential to express feelings, emotions, and thoughts about problems in a family. Love is an element, which urges two loving people to find solution in a difficult situation despite hurt and disappointment. During talk, partners should show interest in each other’s opinion. This is a perfect moment to show respect. If spouses interrupt each other during a conversation, it will be important to set up a range of rules. These rules may forbid interrupting a partner while he/she is talking and carrying on a conversation in a loud voice. It is important to hear your partner and learn about his/her point of view.
Every couple experiences conflicts that affect marriage greatly. It is always hard to find a solution and to learn how to avoid serious problems. Nevertheless, psychologists have worked out some methods, which will help a couple to reduce the risk of conflicts. It is essential to realize in a conflict that both partners are victims. During rage and anger, a couple tries to hurt each other’s feelings as much as possible. It becomes a competition to show a partner his/her negative sides. However, it is hard to keep patience during burst of emotions; a couple should remember that with every quarrel they lose a part of love and affection. There is a method teaching partners to stop in time. During quarrel, in times of increased tension, each partner can imagine that this quarrel is the last one. A couple can imagine that after this explosion of emotions they will never see each other again. This is a tough method to remind partners about love and respect. This makes spouses stop quarrelling as soon as possible.
Another technique that will rescue relations between two partners is to make a marriage a priority. When two people decide to unite their lives, they promise to stay together regardless of the situation. When it comes to difficulties in relations, partners tend to separate from each other for a certain period. Slowly but steadily, they move away from each other and this causes selfishness.
There are various techniques to get rid of annoying symptoms. A couple should always remind each other about the way their relations started. It is the first key to keep relations fresh and touching. Another way to make a marriage full of affection is to be thankful for everything a partner makes. Words of gratitude bring sense of worth and express respect. This is an appropriate technique to show gratitude and respect at the same time. Respect should not be taken for granted. It is important to remind a partner about his/her importance and value.
When it comes to marriage, a couple often meets the problem of material support. It is a sensitive issue for many couples, which destroys relations. It destroys feelings and makes partners dissatisfied and mercantile. In this case, a couple centers its interests on money and material support. Nevertheless, psychologists suggest many ways to solve this problem. It is important not to blame a partner in case of money problems. Both partners should keep calm and discuss the further behavior to change the situation. A couple should allocate roles and define steps important in improvement of financial position. What is more, spouses should decide how much money they should spend to keep in balance various areas of everyday life. A couple should enjoy marriage and create appropriate conditions to enjoy peace and comfort in the family.
7. Biblical Perspectives on Love and Respect Issue
When it comes to relations between spouses, there is a regularity stating that a woman should feel love and then she will give back her respect. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (2004) in his book Love and Respect takes love and respect as a basement of the relationship. He outlines a biblical meaning of love from the side of a man and respect from the side of a woman. Love and Respect shows readers that a secret of relations was formulated many decades ago. This statement takes place not only in people’s minds, but in the Bible too. This holy book invokes men to give love to their wives in order to get respect from her. Bible states: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). Women have a sensitive nature and men should take into consideration a fact that women need to feel love. Women take to heart everything their men do and say.
When a woman falls in love, she ties her soul to her one and only man, who will become the whole world to her. A woman is ready to give away anything for the sake of love. A man should be very attentive, caring, and supportive to make sure that his wife gets enough comfort and love to repay him with respect. Bible states, “If you marry, you have not sinned, but you will have trouble” (1 Cor. 7:28). This statement remotely describes that marriage is not perfect; it has problems and it brings troubles. Nevertheless, the Holy Scripture teaches what qualities help to save a marriage and prolong its duration. As for respect from the side of women, Bible states the following: “…the wife sees that she reverences her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). It is a centuries-old wisdom that a man needs to feel respect for everything he does for his wife and their well-being. A man is a breadwinner who needs to feel love, care, support, and respect from his wife. If there is a balance between love and respect in marriage, a couple has all the chances to have their own happy end.
8. Assistance for Couples Suffering from Love and Respect Issue
Marriage is a complex element of life. It is a basement of plans; it affects couple’s goals and aims. When two people unite their lives, they expect to get satisfaction from living together and building a family. However, marriage is not perfect and sometimes it goes through a wide range of problems. There is a lot of evidence to prove that a couple needs professional help to save marriage. There are many cases when two partners cannot cope with problems by themselves. Nevertheless, not every couple decides to ask for marriage counseling.
Some psychologists say that marriage is an intimate element of life and it cannot accept the presence of more than two people in it. It is a fact that nobody can understand an issue better than a couple can. However, there is a wide range of marriage counselors who help hundreds of people save their marriage. There is another point of view supporting the idea that in cases when problems of marriage become especially severe, a couple has an only way of finding a solution. In this situation, marriage counselors help couples to find the right direction in search of solutions.
There are different ways out of a conflict between spouses. When there is a question whether to ask for assistance or not, there are various answers to this question. A couple can continue fighting with the issue without help, but it will take much longer than with the help of a marriage counselor. Moreover, a marriage is unlikely to be saved when partners refuse to get help. Another way is to develop a self-help program according to psychological periodicals. Everyone can get help through guides and articles whenever it is necessary. In addition, the most effective way to save relations between spouses is to ask for marriage assistance. Couples agree to get professional help on different stages of issues in marriage. Couples seldom ask for help at the beginning of the problems. In most cases, partners search for professional help when they cannot cope with their issues on their own.
Assistance of a marriage counselor is important to bring the solution of the problems. Assistance does not have an aim to focus on the past. It analyzes past events and creates a basement to develop relations of the couple. It makes possible to outline problems of the couple from outside. In a whirlwind of emotions, it is hard not only to see a problem, but also to find an appropriate key to its solution. When it comes to the choice of a counselor, a couple should take into consideration that a counselor is not a magician. He/she is a human who can experience the same feelings and emotions. The role of a counselor is to discover new facets of relations in a peaceful way. He/she should not be annoyed with a couple, otherwise professional help will become a useless ploy.
Marriage counseling has its own advantages and disadvantages. As for advantages, it explains intentions of various actions of couples, which spouses cannot explain. It shows the consequences of quarrels and indifference to the issue. Marriage counseling opens new possibilities in the marriage life. It outlines relationship patterns, which will be helpful in creating harmonious relations between partners. It explains outrageous behavior in the family life and shows ways how to avoid it. Professional assistance helps spouses change the way of thinking about relations, it helps to bring back to relations love and respect. It gives a couple all-necessary sources to revive relations.
Speaking of disadvantages of marriage counseling, it is important to say that sometimes it is useless to try to save marriage. The helpfulness of professional assistance lies in many concepts. A counselor should help a couple weigh advantages and disadvantages of saving marriage. A highly qualified counselor cannot keep a neutral position while helping a couple go through hard times.
Neutrality keeps couples at the same stage of conflict in relations. It does not outline facets of problems in relations. Furthermore, a good counselor should not foment new conflicts between spouses. It should teach how to get rid of old conflicts and how to avoid misunderstanding in the future. The main difference of a good counselor is that he/she never asks a couple to separate from each other. He/she knows that separation will only harm a difficult situation. Partners who try living separately are more likely to divorce than those who continue going through hard times side by side. It is obvious that choosing a counselor is a very serious step in the marriage recovery.
Marriage is a complicated element of life. It creates not only comfort, but also gives reasons to worry. Marriage is not perfect, but it is worth taking time to go through difficulties. This paper is the evidence that a couple should not stop in fear of problems. It is important to keep patience and continue getting through hard times together with a partner. The Bible has a range of secrets how to make a marriage full of happiness. It teaches people how to love and respect each other. There are many marriage counselors willing to help people fight with their problems. In a case of trouble, everyone should remember that there is a way to find relief. It is never too late to ask for help.