During our pre-cana seminar, our wedding presiding priest asked us, “Did you know that the lack of respect is the number one cause of marital separation? It’s not money, and not even infidelity. It is the lack of respect.”
I remember this recently when a friend has posted something about her one and only desire: to find a man who will accept her for what she is – and she is glad that she’s found that man. Well and good. But really, let’s be honest here: Is acceptance all we can ever ask from our (potential) lifetime partners? Isn’t that a non-negotiable to begin with? Isn’t it that we are supposed to accept people as they are – regardless if we are romantically involved with them or not?
I’d say more than finding a man who will accept me for who or what I am – I’d go for someone who will respect me and treat me like a queen – and someone who can earn my respect, as well. That’s the clincher these days. It’s so easy to say “I accept you for who you are.. even if sometimes you irritate me and
so I can’t help but raise my voice over you in public.” DUH.
Respect sets the bar higher for both men and women contemplating marriage. It isn’t just about accepting the good and the bad about your partner. It is valuing the other person still – despite of the bad.
How does a wife show respect to her husband? I found this list:
1. Communicate with him respectfully.
2. Let him know he’s important to you.
3. Try to understand his reasons, even when you disagree.
4. Ask for his help.
5. Let go of the small stuff.
6. Tell him you love and respect him, and that you like him.
7. Give him some space for his hobbies
8. Show him that you respect him and trust him.
9. When you go out together don’t bring up problems.
10. Focus your attention on what he’s doing right.
11. Show interest in what he feels is important in life.
12. Be happy and positive when he comes home.
13. Give him half an hour to unwind after work.
14. Don’t allow any family member to treat him disrespectfully.
15. Defend him to any family member who tries to dishonor him.
16. Compliment his efforts above his performance.
17. Seek his advice when you face challenges.
18. Set and work on goals together.
19. Don’t over commit yourself, leave some time for him.
20. Be forgiving when he unintentionally offends you.
21. Find ways to show him you need him. Guys need to be needed.
22. Don’t fill his every spare moment with chores.
23. Peel away your pride and admit your mistakes.
24. Rub his neck and shoulders when he is stressed.
25. If he wants to talk, listen and ask viewpoint questions.
26. Express appreciation for his hard work.
27. Tell him you are proud of him for the person he is.
28. Give advice in a loving way; do not nag him.
29. Reserve some energy for him when he wants you sexually.
30. Don’t expect him to spend all his time on honey do projects.
31. Commend him for being a good man.
32. Brag about him to other people even when he’s not there.
33. Share your feelings with him but keep it abbreviated.
34. Tell him 3 things you specifically appreciate about him.
35. Honor him and show your respect in front of everyone.
The complete list of 67 can be found here.
I cannot say I am respectful 100% of the time. Sometimes and unintentionally, I know I have offended or disrespected my husband in one way or another – ah my friends would attest to this, haha! But more than anything else, I know I have found a man to respect and I am treated just the same.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
– Ephesians 5:33
A side note to single ladies: This is the thing with women. We cannot put a man in high regard if he cannot respect us. Power-tripping, insecure, or abusive (verbally/physically/financially!) boyfriends should be a red flag – unless you are OK with settling for less.
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
– Ephesians 5:28