Men don't like to be labeled as dense. Yet often times we are told we are. You just don't get it or me. On some level that's true because we think differently than women. When we perceive our wife as emasculating it can be very difficult to remember she is crying out for love. It is hard not to be defensive at a time like this but for the sake of your marriage that is what you are called to. Most women aren't deliberately trying to be disrespectful they just haven't 'decoded' you either.
Here is a story from pages 83-84 that explains how one man came to understand that his wife was crying out for love and not intentionally being disrespectful.
On a Saturday evening, I threw a dish in anger that hit my wife in the face and left a small cut. She called the police and I was handcuffed and taken off to jail. A magistrate thought it best for me to sit out the weekend there and held me over on a LOT of bond. I wouldn't pay it...after about four hours on a steel cot the novelty wore off and I really started to think hard about why I was there. with nothing to read, no place to go, and not able to sleep any more, I basically paced and prayed for two days. One single Scripture stayed in my mind the whole time: "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church..."
For two days, God replayed the memories I had of our arguments and in each one I was acutely aware of how I had failed my wife. It was like pausing a video and having Someone point to it and say, "See, right here you could have reached out to her and reassured her, but you were too busy trying to prove your point."
At one point I was seeing her face, all distorted with rage as she screamed at me, but totally without any sound...the mute button had been pushed on this memory, and then little by little the sound came up so I could hear it. Only the words were not what my wife had been screaming at me. Instead, they were replaced with other words that I needed to hear: "I want you to LOVE me, why won't you LOVE me? I'm afraid and insecure and I need you to hold me and LOVE me..."
And that's when I began to weep. All this time I had been so totally wrapped up in my own needs--to demand respect, to be right at any cost, to win a petty argument--this hurt our priceless relationship. I had been so caught up in the words that I had totally missed her heart, her need.
This was my epiphany, and this is why Scripture commands me to love my wife as Christ loved the church. In my conversations with men since then, I have seen the color drain from their faces as I tell them about my experience, and I see the dawning of their own awareness as they realize how they have blown it too. We NEED this command, but not many of us know just how badly.
Anyway, God sat me down for two days in jail, took away all the distractions, and forced me to look at myself in a way I had never done before. By the end of it, I had been totally emotionally ruined and rebuilt, and I could hardly wait to get home and share with my wife what God had shown me! My last evening in my cell I was freer that I had ever been. I knew the Lord had spoken to me and I knew I was going to do something about it, first in my own marriage, and then in others if the Lord allowed.