Which would you prefer:

To be loved or to be respected?

The answer is obvious. Of course it’s better to be loved.

You can have all the degrees and achievements and fame in the world, but without love it feels a bit hollow.

Do you think most men would agree?

If your answer was yes, think again.

According to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, best-selling author of Love & Respect, a man’s deepest need is not love.

It’s respect.

A man would rather feel respected by the woman in his life than adored by her.

If he doesn’t feel respected, it doesn’t matter how much affection she showers him with. It won’t touch his heart.

Many women are well aware of what they call their man’s “touchy ego.” Men can get offended easily. Some guys find it difficult if their partner earns more than they do.

But many women dismiss a man’s ego needs as immature or juvenile. “He just needs to get over it,” she declares.

Dr. Eggerichs would disagree.

In a survey of 400 men, he found that, if forced to choose, three quarters would prefer feeling “alone and unloved” to feeling “disrespected and inadequate.”

A man’s need for respect is as deep as a woman’s need for affection.

His “fragile male ego” is actually the core of his strength.

Without respect, he feels like less of a man. Without love, she feels like less of a woman.

When a woman disrespects a man, he doesn’t feel loving towards her. When she feels unloved, she respects him even less.

This vicious cycle of feeling disrespected on his part and unloved on her part spirals out of control, until a couple is locked in conflict and unable to give each other what they most desire.

So many problems in relationships stem from one false assumption:

The belief that your partner needs the same things you need.

Even though John Gray brought the differences between Planet Mars and Planet Venus to our attention back in 1992, we still find it hard to inhabit the mind of the opposite sex.

It’s a problem for both men and women alike. We assume our partner wants the same things we want. We can’t imagine how anyone could be that different.

Without an understanding of the opposite sex, we tend to give our partners what WE would want. Women lavish love on the men in their lives. Men respond to women with trust and admiration.

But what she really wants are the same kind of romantic gestures she’s giving him.

What he really wants is for her to trust his judgment and abilities, just as he trusts hers.

So how can you get your partner to give you the love and affection you crave?

The answer might just be to give him the respect and admiration he craves.

Here are three suggestions.

Tip #1. Let him know he’s the man.

Even though the title of “Man of the House” is mainly symbolic these days, let him know that he’s the man for you. Ask for his help with tasks that could benefit from masculine strength or skills. Let him man the barbecue. Don’t fall into a competition over who wears the pants in the relationship. Your roles are different but equally important.

Tip #2. Treat him like an adult.

It’s easy to slip into treating a man like just another kid who needs ordering around, but try to resist. He is a grown-up. It’s not your job to remind him of things. Men hate nagging for a good reason. It makes them feel like a child.

Tip #3. Speak admiringly of him in public.

Even though the opposite sex can be an endless source of humor, try to avoid using him as an example. Don’t make fun of him in front of others. Even though it may be funny to you, it shames him. He wants to know you’re proud of him. How you speak about him to others offers the best clue as to whether you really respect him deep down.

There’s one final consideration:

What if the man in your life isn’t worthy of your respect?

What if you can’t trust him as much as you’d like to?

What if the only reason he does anything is because you nag and remind him?

Not all relationships have a strong enough foundation to last. At the bare minimum, he needs to show you love, and you need to show him respect. If either of those components is missing, the fate of the relationship is at stake.

Should you stay with a man you can’t respect?

Turn the tables for a minute. Imagine your partner asking himself if he should stay with a woman he couldn’t love. Your answer is telling.

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