The Crazy Cycle

Men and women do not have the same fundamental needs. It’s simply a reality. Whereas a woman is satisfied, motivated and fulfilled by unconditional love from her husband, a husband is fulfilled and motivated by unconditional respect from his wife. If either spouse is denied this basic need, disaster is imminent. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs calls this reality the “crazy cycle;” a cycle that will spin toward divorce.


Suppose a husband fails to show love to his wife. She will react by treating him disrespectfully. Then as she fails to show him respect, he will react by treating her unlovingly. This cycle repeats over and over until the marriage disintegrates. Breaking the cycle is hard work because wives often don’t feel their husbands are worthy of respect, and husbands often feel they’re giving their wives all the love they need, oblivious to the fact that she’s actually love-starved. Either spouse at any time can stop the “Crazy Cycle” by beginning to treat the other spouse with either love or respect. The role of the husband as spiritual leader means that it is his responsibility to begin loving his wife, whether she deserves it or not.

After all, how many of us deserve the love God showers on us? That’s right—none of us, not a one, zippo, zilch, nadie (that’s Spanish for “nobody”). It is notable that the role of a husband as spiritual leader does not mean that he is supposed to begin instructing his wife in how to properly respect him. But that he is supposed to focus on loving his wife in the same manner that Christ loves the church. This is a tall order, one that should be more than enough to occupy each one of us till Messiah’s return.

Check out the book Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs; it’s worth the read.

4 thoughts on “The Crazy Cycle

  1. Nate,

    I just finished reading Eggerich’s book about a month ago. I highly recommend it to those who are looking to enhance their marriages…great read!


  2. I’m glad you enjoyed the book, Aaron. Where did you run into it? I read it a couple years ago, but the experience of a friend caused me to reflect on the Crazy Cycle again recently.

  3. This is true, i can attest to that. However, what does a wife or husband do whose partner is spiritually not in tune with God?

    In this case i believe it is up to the leading of the spiritual spouse in a loving way to that end as you said. Meaning that the spiritual one has to either love or respect unconditionally.

    This is what God reminded me of once again recently, and basically stirred the Spirit in me saying that i should love my husband and respect his needs as much as i want myself loved.

    One scripture verse i believe that shows the result of this is:

    1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

    I think i will ask my husband to read this short blog entry of yours.
    At any rate, i believe the majority of work here falls on me for the time being.


  4. That’s precisely correct, Tanja. The Crazy Cycle can be stopped or at least majorly slowed down by either of the spouses doing their part to either love or respect the other spouse correctly.

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