“All I’m askin’ (ooh)
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit), when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)” -Respect by Aretha Franklin
Respect as Google defines it means, “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.”
A lot marriages would probably be saved if individuals let go of past hurts and/or the story they’ve created about their spouse being this “horrible” person, and instead started looking at their spouse through the R-E-S-P-E-C-T lens. Respect was a crucial building block in your marital foundation, after all.
Sometimes when you’ve been married to someone for a long time you can tally up all of their flaws and wrongdoings, and completely ignore or forget to notice all of the things they’ve been doing right. You can also forget why you fell in love with and respected this person to begin with. Please take some time to walk down memory lane… You committed to love this person through all sorts of seasons and trusted that they, too, would love you through all sorts of seasons. That type of commitment hopefully meant you really trusted that person, and that you deeply respected and esteemed them, if you felt them to be capable of fulfilling such a lofty role. The core of who they are probably hasn’t changed. Start looking and taking notice of those admirable qualities again. And remember, no one is perfect all of the time. Practice grace!
Ladies, this is especially important to men, to know that they are respected by their wives. We’re their cheerleaders, and one way we can build them up is by letting them know on a regular basis, that we admire them, we’re proud of their abilities, we genuinely love them for who they are (and not what we want them to be or become), and we’re cheering them on as they achieve both their personal and professional goals.
Men, this goes for you too! If your wife works outside the home, let her know you appreciate her partnership and how she is killing it by helping build up your account. Remind her, you respect her for her professional achievements, and are impressed by her ability to juggle it all. If your wife works inside the home, let her know that you appreciate the years of professional development she’s sacrificed in order to serve and manage on the home front. Remind her you see her working hard at home, and that she’s filling a valuable role to her family, both husband and children. She no longer gets much recognition and is never “promoted” so you have to be that voice to her. The idea behind performance reviews and bonuses may be helpful for incentives to keep her motivated!
When you don’t know where to start in changing your mindset, it might be helpful to place a little notepad by your nightstand, and begin write down each night all of the things your spouse did “right” that day. What attributes did they demonstrate, that made you feel proud to call him or her your spouse? After a little while (probably a week or two of this), you might begin to notice that the story you had created about your spouse starts to change, and now your spouse is no longer the villain, but becomes the hero or a kick-ass team mate instead!
Finally, it probably wouldn’t hurt to start vocalizing to him or her, like when you or your spouse gets home, that you R-E-S-P-E-C-T them (and they’ll probably reflect that back to you)!
Our hope is that you begin to like and even enjoy your spouse again :0)