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R-E-S-P-E-C-T: What It Means To Your Marriage

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No marriage is perfect. Most couples will struggle with major issues from time to time throughout their marriage.  However, for a relationship to survive, both partners must be able to treat each other respectfully. The loss of mutual respect can destroy a marriage quickly, or more often, lead to a painful, stressful and unhappy life for a couple. We all deserve to be with someone who treats us kindly and values our love and company. If you are having problems in your marriage, a lack of respect could be the ultimate root cause.

5 Signs of Disrespect in Your Marriage

  1. Your Partner Doesn't Make Time for You

Whether your spouse is always playing on their phone, always busy, or they spend their time with their friends exclusively without you, if your spouse does not make time for you, they do not respect you. Your spouse should take the time to spend with you in conversation and activity alike.

  1. Your Partner Only Takes Care of Self

A good spouse that shows respect for their partner will be concerned about the needs of their partner, their family, and their household. Only having care for your own needs without regard to your spouse or the household is extremely disrespectful to your marriage and family.

  1. Your Partner Hides Things from You

When you respect someone that you are in a relationship with, you must be open and honest with them. If your spouse is hiding things from you it is a sign of disrespect. Saying that they didn't tell you because they didn't want to worry you is no less disrespectful.

  1. Your Spouse Doesn't Listen to You

When you have something to say to your spouse, they should be willing to listen. If your spouse will never listen to anything you have to say, or if they flat out refuse to let you speak, this is a serious sign of disrespect that you should not tolerate, and it borders on emotional abuse. 

  1. Your Spouse Makes You Feel Less Than

A spouse that makes you feel less than desired or needed is not respecting you. While no one is perfect, you spend your time trying to make your spouse and family feel loved and cared for. When your spouse is quick to make you feel as though you are less than you should be, it is a serious sign of disrespect.

3 Ways to Re-establish Respect in Your Marriage

Once a couple has fallen into a pattern of treating each other disrespectfully it is often difficult to change. The temptation is to focus on changing your partner’s behavior. However, re-establish respect requires each partner to focus only on changing their own behavior. You have to be willing to take responsibility for your part in the marriage break down. 

  1. Appreciate each other’s Differences

Part of establishing and maintaining a respectful relationship is learning to tolerate and accept that your spouse is different than you. Different is a good thing, not a negative. You each have different strengths and weaknesses. What did you appreciate about your spouse when you married them?  Was it their kindness? Did they make you feel safe? Were they a good listener?

By expressing and showing your appreciation for one another’s strengths and accomplishments, you support and encourage one another so you can get through the hard things.

Appreciate your differences and build each other up and you will  find a newfound respect for your partner.

  1. Communicate thoughtfully with love and care

Communication is one of the most important parts of a relationship, and one of the hardest. Don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader. If you’re upset, it’s important to talk openly about what’s bothering you. Don’t be accusatory. Use “I” statements, like “I feel really ignored and unimportant when you cancel our plans at the last minute.” Your emotions are always valid. Don’t feel bad for feeling what you feel.

Avoid taking to each other in rude and disrespectful ways, e.g., you do not engage in name calling, and do not insult or demean your spouse or partner. Talk to and treat your partner in ways that you would want to be treated.

The better you communicate, the quicker you restore and maintain marital respect.

  1. Keep your partner in mind when making decisions

Decision making in a marriage is not my way or the highway. A marriage is two people, and both need to be involved in the decision-making process. Unfortunately, couples often approach decisions as a negotiation rather than a discussion.

  • Trying to convince your spouse that they will be happier or better off if they do things your way.
  • Suggesting that your spouse has something wrong with them because they can’t see things from your point of view.
  • Insisting that if your partner really loved you, they would do what you want.

All three tactics are bullying your spouse into doing what you want. The problem with this type of decision making is that you have already made the decision by yourself and are trying to make your partner accept it. Instead, you need to listen to your partner’s opinions, wishes and values  and consider them worthy of serious consideration when making decisions that will affect both of you.  Decision-making needs to be a team effort with decisions arrived at jointly.

Decision making means you are both fully involved and respect both points of view.

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