Friday, February 10, 2012

Love Busters- A "Must Read"

I love studying Dr.Willard F. Harley's insightful epiphanies that emerged from almost 40 years of experience in marriage counseling. I am particularly drawn to witty wisdom that has practical application and leads to lasting change in marriage. He is well-known for his best-selling book, His Needs, Her Needs, and his more recent, Love Busters.

Dr. Harley identified a common thread that united so many couples in their marital isolation and frustration. He says, "Lack of empathy is the core of the problem."

According to wikapedia, "empathy is the capacity to recognize and to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sentiment or semi-sentiment being." Harley recognizes that many agree that empathy is a prerequisite to compassion. In order to love whole-heartedly, you have to step outside of your perspective and look at the situation through your spouse's eyes.

Without empathy, we minimize the harmfulness of our thoughtlessness. In most cases, a spouse does not have malicious intentions towards his/her significant others. Nevertheless, the negative result manifests all the same. Dr. Harley calls all the ways that spouses are inconsiderate of each other's feelings as "Love Busters" because that is exactly what they do--destroy the romantic love that a husband and wife share.

I think it is important that I "back up" and clarify that a husband and wife should exhibit unconditional love, which flows from Christ, and is undeserved. Unconditional love is what solidifies the commitment. However, romantic love is differentiated by feelings. In other words, a couple with unconditional love but lacking romantic love may feel unhappy because of unmet needs, yet are still bonded by their commitment.

Dr. Harley identifies six categories of common "Love Busters" in marriage. Click on each link to learn more about these behaviors you will want to consciously avoid in your marriage.

1) Selfish Demands

2) Disrespectful Judgments

3) Angry Outbursts

4) Annoying Habits

5) Independent Behavior

6) Dishonesty


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