Do you find disrespect popping up in your relationship more than it should? How do you handle it? This article will try to identify ways disrespect creeps into marriages, and proactive steps you can take to handle it with maturity, understanding and love.
Most couples are finding it way too comfortably disrespecting each other. Ordinarily, you will think that this is a situation that most couples would try to avoid, but it is happening all the time if you care to notice. This attitude of disrespect does not just happen in their homes but in public as well.
This comfort of showing disrespect to each other is often a sign that you are taking each other’s commitment for granted. When this happens politeness goes out the door and you are likely to become more reckless with how you treat each other because you assume your partner will stick around anyway.
To build a strong relationship in your marriage, there must be mutual respect between both parties. You should make a decision to place high value and importance on your partners. Mutual respect is very important in marriage.
Respect, just like love, in your marriage should be unconditional, you cannot show your partner respect and strong emotional connection only when they are doing okay (by your standard), or meeting your own high expectations.
When there is no consistent show of character, especially mutual respect, then your marriage will sooner than later hit rock bottom and abuses of different kinds will creep in. Most couples should know that the way we treat an object is determined by the value we assign to it.
Not to be respected, or not be treated with value and understanding is not acceptable in a healthy relationship, it should not be part of your marriage. You need to draw the boundary from the onset, letting your partner know what acceptable behavior is and what you will not tolerate. It is different for people and relationships.
Disrespectful behavior is disregard for your partner’s feelings and a lack of empathy. If your partner keeps repeating a pattern of behavior that is disrespectful to you, and not making an effort to change, then they are telling you that they do not place a premium value on the marriage, and it is important that you set boundaries so that adjustment can be made.
When each partner deliberately takes steps to have mutual respect, then you can build the kind of marriage that you truly wish for; where you can honor and love each other, putting each other’s needs above your own.
As a person (man or woman), you have two mirrors in your life that reflect back your image: your work and your partner. Those mirrors answer important questions about your identity, your worth, and meaning in life. Both send strong messages about your manhood or womanhood the reflection you receive from your spouse can make the difference between a life of satisfaction or one of frustration.
Most people don’t do it with the intention of hurting their partner; they are just self-centered and only concerned with their feelings at the moment. Listed below are subtle ways spouses may be showing disrespect to their partners, and hurting their feelings:
1. Making Condescending Remarks About Your Partner’s Thoughts And Feelings
When your partner does or says something that does not make any sense to you, do you ask more questions to find out how they arrived at that conclusion, or do you just let them know how dumb and misguided you think it is? When you always think you are right, every opinion your partner has that is different from yours sounds ridiculous.
To you, it has no ground because it is not supported by your personal experience. However, it is based on your partner’s personal experience which is just as valid and important as yours.
Once you can learn to acknowledge, accept and respect that, you will find that your differences don’t have to be the point of contentions but an opportunity to learn another perspective other than your own.
2. Dismissive Body Language/Tone Of Voice
What we communicate to each other is not only composed of words, our body language and tone of voice also contribute to the message that you send to your partner. So when they are speaking, and you respond with an eye roll, sucking your teeth, a condescending or sarcastic tone of voice, it communicates disrespect even if the words you are using don’t. To them, you are saying they are incompetent, or what they are saying does not have any merit.
They will feel insulted and looked down upon. It is important to be intentionally conscious about how your body language and tone of voice play a role in the message you are sending your partner. It might take some practice but the extra effort is worth protecting your relationship from the damage of disrespect.
3. Threatening To Leave/Give Up On The Relationship
Your partner needs to know that they can get through troubling times when they come up. Each time you toss around the idea of leaving and don’t, you chip away their trust and your commitment more and more. How can you expect them to be fully committed to you when you are showing them you rather leave than find a way to make it work when things get tough?
The best way to handle not knowing how to handle or fix whatever problems you are dealing with in your relationship is to just be honest with your partner about it.
Let them know you feel discouraged or frustrated, instead of using the situation as an opportunity to throw in the towel, use it as a way to connect and work through the problem together.
4. Name Calling
Names meant to hurt your partner have no place in your relationship at all for any reason. Doing so is child’s play and only makes the problems you are dealing with already worse. Learn to direct your frustration towards the problem you are dealing with, and not towards each other.
5. Mocking Or Insulting Your Partner
This is much worse when you do it to your partner in public. There is a big difference between joking or laughing together about something your partner did versus joking and laughing about what your partner did at their expense.
Some people have a high sense of humor, and it is okay if your partner gets it but once the joke becomes hurtful to them it is no longer funny, some harsh words can sting really hard especially when it comes from someone that you love.
At the end of the day having respect in your relationship simply means you treat each other with courtesy and place equal importance on both of your thoughts and feelings. The fact is your partner’s opinion matters as much as yours and deserves to be treated as such no matter how awful they may sound to you at the moment.
Something that may deem disrespect happening in a blue moon is not the end of the world, you can just talk about why it was wrong and discuss ways to make sure it does not happen again.
However, if it is something that you get comfortable with doing, especially on purpose there are some deeper and more serious issues in your relationship that really need to be resolved, preferably with professional help.
6. Men Need For Respect
A recent poll was conducted with married men. In that poll, they were asked to respond to two questions:
- Would you prefer to be unloved and alone but held in high regard and respected?
- Would you prefer to be loved in a relationship but treated with contempt and disrespect?
Not surprisingly, 74% of the men preferred to be unloved and alone but respected.
In marriage, a man’s need for respect is higher than a woman’s desire for respect. When a wife starts showing respect to her husband, she engenders the seed of mutual and reciprocal respect from her man.
The woman is designed to be a huge influence on the life of her husband. The influence is not from the perspective of trying to change her man or fixing him but to drive and motivate him as an encourager and supporter. A husband who enjoys the trust of his wife will attempt to accomplish anything; he will develop endurance to withstand anything that life throws at him.
He will persevere through defeats and failure and yet still maintain an upbeat and positive mental attitude that things will work out just fine. He will face the world headlong, facing life challenges with confidence. Men often equate respect with love.
The more he is respected by his wife, the more he feels loved by her. The burden on men is that they are judged every day by life, and if the wife can rate him highly, the opinion of the crowd will not count.
One of the dangers of men getting disrespected at home is that they will seek for respect and validation outside. There are hundreds of individuals and businesses that prey upon a husband need to feel good about himself.
When a woman is always dissatisfied with their husbands, does not believe in him or show him respect, they will start feeling hopeless; they will lose motivation and drive to attempt new challenges because they don’t see the need in it. If the spouse is not giving him the affirmation, support and encouragement he needs at home, they will be unloved.
Wives, empower the man in your life. Have positive expectations for him. Let him know your need for mutual respect, your desires, your needs, speak plainly so he can understand and help to fulfill them. It frustrates him when he does not know your needs and desires, and he is trying to meet them.
Men cannot read your mind and are not very good at reading in between the lines. But they want to respect you, love you and make you the happiest woman on earth. Let your husband know that you are proud of him. Learn to trust his judgments; these are two very powerful ways to show him respect.
If a man knows his wife is truly proud of him, he can withstand any arrows thrown at him. When a woman feels content around the husband, he is validated and empowered as a man. He feels adequate and knows that he is doing a good job of being a husband to you.
Showoff your husband, let people know how awesome your husband truly is. When you do this, even when he does not deserve it, you are lifting up both of yourselves. You are inspiring him to a new standard of behavior (one of love and mutual respect). It will inspire him to step up to become good men.
Men often react with anger when they feel disrespected. You might have unintentionally made him feel disrespected. If you always question your husband’s judgment or try to teach him or tell him to do everything, his self-esteem will erode.
When you nag him or constantly remind him of his inadequacy, it is a confirmation that you do not trust him. Men hate to be nagged! Also, never ever compare your husband to other men. Just as it is destructive for a man to compare his wife with another woman, it is battle you will not win when you compare him with another man.
Your man needs your respect and admiration, he craves for it from you, as much as you need love and honor from him. They need this validation, not because of pride, but because most times men truly feel inadequate, men carry fragile egos.
One of the ways you can disrespect your husband is by criticizing him in public or trying to control things he is responsible for. These actions humiliate him and cause him to react in many unexpected ways.
Mutual respect between couples can be achieved if each party truly commits to making the union work, and play their roles with honest intentions while enhancing each other’s strength and focusing less on their weaknesses.
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