Nicole and Jeff were taking their three children to the zoo for the day.
As they were driving, Jeff got off the highway on an unfamiliar exit to Nicole. It wasn’t the official zoo exit.
“What are you doing?” Nicole said.
“Taking a shortcut,” Jeff said.
“Well, how do you know about this short cut? Have you ever taken it before?” Nicole snorted. “I don’t want to be late. We are meeting the Smiths.”
“I know,” Jeff replied. “We won’t be late.”
“I hate when you do things like this,” Nicole said.
Nicole was furious with Jeff. She did not want to be late.
Jeff was mad too.
This is a common type of scenario in many marriages. Let’s dissect it and see what we can learn from it.
Do you know why Jeff was mad? What he justified in his anger? What did Nicole do wrong?
Jeff was mad because he felt disrespected. Men need to be respected by us in their judgment and abilities. This isn't about pride. It is about a man’s feelings of inadequacy.
A man's highest need -- above his need for your love -- is your respect. He needs to know you respect his judgments. It doesn't mean you have to agree with them, but you must respect them.
When it comes down to it, the truth is, we women often tend to want to control things, which, unfortunately, men interpret as disrespect or distrust.
In research conducted by marriage expert Shaunti Feldhahn, many men said the one thing they wished they could tell their wives was to “show more trust in my decision-making abilities” — which is code for “I’m not stupid.”
While our men are not looking for wives with no opinions, many of them wish we wouldn’t question their knowledge or argue with their decisions all the time. A man deeply needs the woman in his life to respect his knowledge, opinions, and decisions.
So, how should have Nicole handled this situation?
She also could have put herself in his shoes and asked herself a couple of questions: