10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 6: Respect! Respect! Respect!

I don't know who owns this, so if there's a problem, please contact me and we'll discuss it.

I don’t know who owns this, so if there’s a problem,
please contact me and we’ll discuss it.

Respect! Respect! Respect!

One of the most important things you can do in your marriage is to respect your partner. Without respect, you have no relationship. Well, you may have a relationship, but it won’t be a happy one.

Respect is a complicated subject, so we’ll start simple. What does it mean to respect?

Turning to dictionary.com, my usual source for simple definitions, we find:

verb (used with object)
9. to hold in esteem or honor: I cannot respect a cheat.
10. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone’s rights.
11. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person’s privacy.

What does it mean, to hold someone in esteem or honor?

Let us look at something most men are somewhat to very conversant in: sports.

Sports fans typically have one or more favorite players. While they most likely do not have a personal relationship with any of them, they often will make a hero out of them, will set them up on a pedestal, will even wear replica jerseys with their hero’s name and/or number on them. They’ll root for them. They’ll cheer for them when they perform well. They’ll pain with them when they don’t.

Would you agree with this assessment?

Respect is simple; treat your wife this way.

Respect comes from true love

One of the fruits of true love is respect. Respect includes non-judgment. More on this later.

Don’t be nice just when everything is hunky-dory. Although that’s important, what’s even more important is that you be nice to your wife when everything is not hunky-dory. That’s when it will be most appreciated.

To show regard or consideration for, think equal partner.

When you get married, you are not entering into a relationship where you expect your wife to take care of you, cook for you, satisfy your every need and desire, including being at your beck and call every time you get “the notion.” You are not marrying your mother. Nor are you marrying a slave.

Many men, myself included, have gone out and pursued a hot woman and eventually married her. From there, it was all downhill, especially for her.

While I never viewed my wife as a conquest, my actions, I think, conveyed otherwise.

Having finished my pursuing after marriage, I went into the lazy mode. I no longer treated her like she was the best thing that ever happened to me. I just went on being my lazy self, a side she never saw of me. She undoubtedly thought, as so many women have, that her husband had changed after marriage.

The truth is, I had never changed at all. The change I actually made was in the pursuit of my goal. What I did after marriage was revert to my natural state, that of being taken care of. The change was in the pursuit.

True, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but I think it applies to a lot of guys, perhaps even more now than it did in my generation.

Respectful treatment of your wife

Respect is all these things and more. Here are a few things you can do to show respect to your wife.

Respect starts from you. Do not expect your wife to respect you until you first respect her in all things.

Respect doesn’t necessarily happen all at once, either. However, if you treat your wife with respect before you are married, and you continue after you are married, you will surely win her over and she will return that respect.

Privacy is a thing one might not consider in a relationship, but it is an important one. For instance, if your wife keeps a diary or journal, it is not your right to read it without her permission. If she has one or more girl friends to whom she confides, it is not your right to pry into their conversations.

In the event of disagreements, never lose your cool, never yell, never let the sun go down without reaching some sort of agreement, even if it’s no more than agreeing to disagree, with the idea that “We’ll discuss it further tomorrow.”

If your wife hurt your feelings, instead of getting angry, tell her straight up, “Honey, that really hurt when you said/did that. Can we talk about it?”

Do not expect perfection, unless you expect perfection out of yourself. Then, if you become perfect, you will naturally allow for imperfection in others. That’s what perfection does.

Don’t set up standards for your mate, not even if you are willing to abide by them yourself. Accept your wife for the lovely person she is.

Never make judgments. Judging your wife implies that you are superior and your wife is inferior, and she will feel that superiority coming from you, and I guarantee that won’t end in a good way.

Show you are grateful for her efforts, not only verbally but in action. Think of special little things you can do for her or with her. She gets tired, too. Set aside a regular date night, even after you have kids, if you have them. She will appreciate it.

Don’t sit in front of the television all night. What you spend most of your time with indicates what you think is most important in your life. If you spend more time watching TV than you do talking/ interacting with your wife, then what is your wife supposed to think? She will think, quite rightly, that you value the television set more than you do her.

Shut the TV off. Talk with her. Play games with her. Go on walks with her. Enjoy nature together. In short, enjoy each other.

Remember, you married her because you enjoyed being with her. At least, I hope that is why you married her. Show her that you still enjoy being with her.

Never order your wife around. If you want her to do something, ask courteously. Never demand. Again, your wife is not your slave.

Never cheat on your wife!

Let me say that again: Never cheat on your wife!

And don’t flirt with other women, either. That often leads to cheating, however unintentional.

Respect your wife and she will love you unconditionally for it.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Johnc785
    May 21, 2014 @ 21:54:47

    Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. eeceddeeagdd


    • Cris
      May 22, 2014 @ 05:09:40

      🙂 Way to go! I wish I had that option, but for two reasons I don’t: 1) no beach within a thousand miles; and 2) all my kids are grown up and have moved away. That’s both a 🙂 and a 😦

      I hope you had a wonderful time! I absolutely love the beach, for even if the water is too cold, there is always something to find on the beach.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


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