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?
like what you're reading?