I'm currently reading a book that I thought had some interesting ideas, and am curious on your thoughts.
One main point it suggests is that of unconditional love and respect. For example, he says that your active love for your wife should not be conditional upon her respect for you. If you continually receive criticism, you should not withhold your gifts, physical affection, service, or loving words. Similarly, the wife should not withhold respect from the husband, even if he is not acting in ways that demonstrate love. The author is clear in stating that men require respect and women require love. The opposite is somewhat true, but to a lesser extent.
Here's a snippett. The man he's quoting(Gottman) is the foundation on which most marital psychology is based on these days, according to my sister, who is currently finishing her masters in psych...
Gottman writes in the book Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, "... a man s blood pressure and heart rate will rise much higher and will stay elevated longer than his wife (p.146)... men are far more likely than women to be stonewallers (85%)... when tension builds... We have found repeatedly that men get flooded far faster during tense marital exchange than do their wives. In fact, it often takes only the arrival of... criticism... to flood men. (p. 147)... Men avoid emotional conflicts by going off by themselves...If you ask a male stonewaller to describe his state of mind, he often says, 'I am trying not to react.' He feels like he s idling in neutral even though his wife perceives his silence as an act of hostility (p.148)... Because men are so vulnerable to feeling flooded, a wife's criticism can easily cause the husband to withdraw. The wife is then likely to interpret his response as a rejection of her because she doesn't realize that he's feeling flooded. She couldn't imagine needing to withdraw over such a minor criticism... (p.151)... Such interactions can produce a vicious cycle, especially in marriages with high levels of conflict. The more wives complain and criticize, the more husbands withdraw and stonewall; the more husbands withdraw and stonewall, the more wives complain and criticize. This cycle must be broken if ... marriages are to avoid dissolution... if the wife becomes belligerent and contemptuous, the husband is likely to withdraw even more..." (p.152).
So who can relate, and do you agree that disrespect should be met with love, and a lack of love should be met with respect?
These questions can apply to both married and unmarried couples. Personally I think that the married couples will be more likely to agree and apply it, but I guess we'll see.