Marriage Will Not Work Without Respect

BY: - 8 Nov '12 | Marriage

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Usually when we discuss the key ingredients for a healthy marriage, they usually include love, trust, communication and honesty. Respect is sometimes the unspoken expectation for each individual. The reality of respect is that it means different things to different people. The husband in a marriage may not see staying out until the early morning hours as a sign of disrespect to his marriage. A wife who doesn’t value her husband’s voice in their marriage may not consider it as a lack of respect. Most couples don’t realize the impact of not being clear on their expectations has on the marriage overall. When we aren’t vocal or expressive about what we need or how we feel loved and respected, we lose the opportunity for our spouse to give us just that.

Respect comes in many different forms. It can be displayed in how we communicate with one another, in the actions we take toward one another and in how we are listened to and treated.

Respect in communication. Communication is always the most common struggle in our relationships. Most of us struggle because we leave our partner guessing at what we need instead of being forthright with our desires. We can definitely show respect in our communication style. Using a loving tone even when we are upset isn’t easy, but it always generates the best results. Being careful in our word choice when dealing with our spouse also demonstrates a high level of respect. If we want respect, we must first be willing to give it.

Respect in actions. The actions we show in our marriage are definitely reflective of the level of respect we have for our spouse. Staying out late, ignoring our partner’s needs or minimizing our mate’s feelings may not be a big deal to us, but could definitely seem disrespectful to our loved one. When we think of how we would like to be treated, it is usually the same for our mate. Once we know, for sure, what brings our spouse joy, the goal becomes doing that more often. When we know what hurts our spouse, that goal becomes eliminating that completely. No excuses!

Respect in our listening. When you ask most people what makes them feel respected it will more than likely focus on being listened to. Each of us has a powerful voice and the greatest way to show respect to another human is to really listen to them. I don’t mean simply hearing them out, but listening, making sure you have an understanding and taking action (when needed) on what you’ve heard.

As the title states marriage will not work without respect. Many of us may not even realize certain behaviors are considered disrespectful. Communicating, listening and correcting our actions will ensure that we and our spouse are on the same page. I’ll end with the amazing words Ms. Aretha Franklin pointed out years ago, “R.E.S.P.E.C.T, find out what it means to me”.

BMWK family, what are others ways respect can be shown in a marriage?  

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 635 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit and


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Ebony Power 100: Just Grateful to Be in the Room

BY: - 8 Nov '12 | Entertainment

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Lamar and Ronnie Tyler on red carpet of Ebony Power 100 Gala


Lamar and Ronnie Tyler on red carpet of Ebony Power 100 Gala

Lamar and I had the honor of being selected to the 2012 Ebony Power 100 list. Each year, Ebony reveals a list of the nation’s most influential African Americans; from politicians, athletes, entertainers to authors and thought leaders.   We are so grateful to be on the list with such accomplished and influential honorees  such as: President Obama, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

We are so happy that the work that we’re doing to promote positive images and healthy marriages in the African American community is being recognized. And it is a testament to the fact that what we are doing is effective and is needed in our community .

Grateful to Just Be in the Room

But with such a star studded list of honorees, you can imagine that my inner groupie was bursting at the seams when we were invited to attend the Ebony100 Gala. When we walked in, Susan Taylor,  Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine, was right next to us on the red carpet.

Lamar and I only knew a handful of people there personally. We felt like small fish in a very big pond. But it didn’t matter, I stood back and enjoyed people watching and resisted the urge to be a complete groupie when I saw Vivica Fox, Sherri Shepherd, Tom Joyner, Gayle King and host of other celebrities. We were inspired by all of the influential people. And thought…… although we’re in the room, we have a long way to go. We were both motivated to take our work to the next level.

Photo that we took at the Ebony Power 100 Gala. One of these days we will really be on the cover!

Grateful to Meet So Many Influential People

The one thing that I really appreciate about the Ebony Power 100 list is that it doesn’t just include celebrities, but it also includes people, like Lamar and me, that are using our voices, skills or talents to make a difference. People like 15 year old Mary-Pat Hector.   She is founder of Youth in Action, an advocacy group, and was named national youth director of the Rev Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. Mary-Pat spoke during the Gala dinner and said:

“You don’t have to wait to be great. You have the power to change the world now.”

Ronnie Tyler and Mary-Pat Hector, honorees at Ebony Power 100 Gala

While at the event, I also met Janet Emerson Bashen, President and CEO, Bashen Corporation. She’s the first black woman to hold a patent for web-based EEO software invention. No, she was not a developer. But, she saw a need for her product and took the initiative to have it developed. She started her company in her own home with an idea and a passion to succeed.

Janet Emerson Bashen and me, honorees at 2012 Ebony Power 100 Gala. Having a great time at the after party!

Grateful for our family and friends.

I am also grateful for my friends and family whose support enables us to do what we do!!! They have supported us from the beginning. At first, by being the only ones reading our site everyday. But most importantly, they help us with our children so that we are able to maintain a healthy and stable home life for the kids while we work.

I am grateful for my husband. Working together with him has made our bond tighter. He’s an awesome business partner, husband and father.  And everyday, he goes above and beyond to support our business, our family, and me.

I am grateful for my 4 wonderful kids…they are driving force behind what we do.   We know that strong healthy marriages help to give our kids the foundation that they need to succeed in life. We do this for our kids and for community.

BMWK – what are you grateful for?


Disclosure:     This post is part of a series that is sponsored by Hallmark and the  Life is a Special Occasion  campaign.     All opinions and editorial content expressed are my own.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 528 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.


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