Lack Of Respect = Diminished Intimacy In Marriage
Satisfaction and a sense of “US” is contingent upon the respect that spouses have and show toward one another. It is an essential part of the foundation of a healthy marriage. Respect is a recognition that each partner is an individual and has the free will to make independent decisions about what they think, say, and do.
In marriage, respect is the give and take, the willingness to talk things out and listen to each other born out of loving consideration and patience. When both partners feel accepted and respected, they have a more intimate connection to one another.
How Respect Can Break Down in a Marriage
If you or your partner is stressed with your own issues, you may become irritable and negative, and vent your frustrations on your spouse. The venting can easily erode into partners becoming increasingly negative and disrespectful to each other. An inability to resolve or manage conflicts or differences can lead to anger and frustration, which can start the same cycle of negative interactions and result in the loss of respect.
When respect breaks down in the marriage, one partner exerts their dominance of the other with selfish demands and decision making. The result is:
- Poor Communication
- Reduced intimacy and Rejection
- Reduced desire for sex or lovemaking with their spouse.
Once respect has broken down in the marriage How can you get it back?
Eliminate the Negative and Rebuild the Positive.
When couples lack Mutuality, Reciprocity, Accommodation, and Acceptance, there is a power imbalance, a dominant and a submissive spouse, which creates a lack of respect.
- Mutuality. Everything you do as a couple needs to be good for both of you. You need to use collaboration and cooperation in your relationship to make decisions. Consider how your decisions will affect or benefit each other.
- Reciprocity. There are two of you in this marriage so there must be a give and take on both of your parts. Support your partner by pitching in when you know they are having a particularly stressful time. Sacrifice some of your activities to do something with the whole family.
- Accommodation. Let each other know what your expectations are and do your best to adjust to each other. Be more sensitive to each other’s feelings.
- Accept that you married a less than a perfect partner and you are also a less than perfect spouse. Focus on building each other up, not tearing each other down.
The key idea is for each spouse to work on changing their own behavior. Do not police or correct your spouse’s behavior. Follow the Golden Rule: Treat each other how you want to be treated.
Avoid treating each other in rude and disrespectful ways:
- Don’t engage in name calling
- Do not insult or demean your spouse
- Do not ignore or avoid our spouse
- Do not speak to each other sarcastically
Treat each other as a cherished partner:
- Speak thoughtfully and with care.
- Listen to what your partner has to say and view their opinions as worthy of consideration.
- Consult with your spouse before making decisions that affect you both.
- Take an active interest in your spouse’s life
- Negotiate and Compromise with your spouse
Couples who can establish and maintain respect enjoy high degrees of trust, security, and a sense of unity. They are less anxious, more able to express their own wants and needs, and they are more able to resolve differences in a mutually acceptable fashion.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises