Are You Being Disrespected By Your Spouse?
“Wives, respect and obey your husbands….. Husband, also live with your wife the way you know is right. Respect her because she is a woman.” 1 Peter 3 vs 1 & 7a (World English)
Respect is a placing a worthy value on someone, special admiration, putting the other person’s likes, dislikes, wishes, and so on into consideration.
In a relationship between a husband and a wife, it is necessary to treat one another with respect. Regardless of the fact that marriage has made you ‘one,’ you are still two different people, with different background, personality/trait, likes and dislikes.
The bias culturally makes us believe that it is the duty of a woman to respect the man, while the man can carry on as he likes. Unfortunately, this believe is what has placed women mostly at the receiving end of emotional abuse. This is very wrong. Respect should be a two way thing. Not only is it reciprocal, it also has to be earned. While we continue to raise our girls to be sweet, accommodating, passive, well-mannered, and so on, we have to balance this with raising sons not to abuse or exploit such behaviour from women. Stop implying that everything will be okay in a relationship, if only the woman is respectful. The danger in this is that we raise women who believe its okay for a man to disrespect them, since it’s what they’ve been told from girlhood. These girls grow up, get into relationships, and have little or no idea how to detect a disrespectful man early or what to do in response to disrespect.
This should not be so. A lot of marital issues and breakup stems from disrespect.
So, avoid the following:
- A) Communicating respectfully: When you are in a relationship married or not, respect for your partner is key. Don’t use hurtful words, don’t curse each other out or send curses to each other’s parents or family members. While you may not always have the same viewpoint or even agree, you can do that respectfully. Comments like “only an illiterate will reason like that,” “you don’t think before you speak,” “your mother/father did not raise you properly” etc. are not acceptable.
Husband, don’t speak to your wife like an angry dad or like she is an idiot. Wife! Don’t yell and raise your voice at your husband, don’t call him demeaning names and most importantly, don’t mother him. Men don’t like to be told what to do, always make him feel like his opinion is valid. Even in the heat of battle, you shouldn’t disrespect one another. If it gets that heated – someone should walk away for some minutes or even hours, as the case may be.
- b) Intimacy: insisting that your spouse performs some acts that he or she finds demeaning is disrespectful. We are not all the same. We like different things in different ways. Laughing at or disregarding your spouse’s personal choice is disrespectful. Don’t do it. You should both respect each other likes and dislikes. Learn to understand that your spouse do not like some certain things, don’t demand that he/she give you reasons. And if s/he decides to compromise for you, you must make sure to show appreciation, in a loving way.
- C) Treat extended family/friends with respect: When around your partner’s friends and family, you must learn to also treat them with respect. This shows that you respect your partner. They are an extension of him/her and deserve to be respected too.
Ones you start taking these conscious actions of respect, you will notice in no time that your spouse starts to love you more, because respect and love go hand in hand in every relationship.
Written by Tinuola Agbabiaka
Certified Relationship Counsellor & Professional Therapeutic Counsellor