In response to one of my first articles, a male reader commented that men deeply desire to be respected by their wives. If you have read any literature on marriage, this is not a new concept to you. However, you may be surprised to know how strong this desire is for a man. In fact, in the widely popular book “Love and Respect,” the author Emerson Eggerichs goes as far as to equate a woman’s desire to be loved with a man’s desire to be respected!
To many of you, the term respect may seem ambiguous. Personally, the first image that pops into my head is the family from the television show “Little House on the Prairie,” consisting of a strong, kind husband and his meek wife who dutifully obeys him. The dictionary defines respect as “to hold in esteem or honor” and “to show regard or consideration for.”
While women should look for ways to express respect to their husbands, they must also wholeheartedly avoid exhibiting disrespect. Unfortunately, many women are not even aware of one of the most frequently abused forms of disrespect: gossip. Most men feel utterly betrayed when their wives say negative things about them to friends and family. According to “Love and Respect,” men view their wives gossiping about them as a form of infidelity, feeling betrayed in the same way a woman would feel betrayed if her husband had an affair. While this may seem extreme to us women, the fact remains that man need to be respected even when they are not present.
Ladies, I am going to be honest with you: I have procrastinated writing this article for several months because as a woman, I know what a challenge this can be. I have wonderful friends and a good relationship with my mom, and I love sharing with these women the latest happenings in my life. Doing so solidifies my bond with them. However, no matter how close I am to these women, they do not need to know about my grievances with my husband, no matter how seemingly menial. Although sharing such information may make me feel closer to them, it will only bring negativity to their view of my spouse, and the last thing I want is for my best friends to detest my husband! In addition, my husband may feel betrayed and have difficulty trusting me because I placed closeness with my friends over intimacy with him.
Please note that I am not asking you to paint your marriage as perfect. No one’s marriage is perfect! Even Mr. and Mrs. Ingalls have their disputes. However, try to refrain from sharing the juicy details of an argument or blabbing about your sex life. By doing this, you will not only feel closer to your spouse, but you will also see his relationships with your family and friends improve. Just remember: don’t gossip, girl!
Thank you again, Rachael for another great take on the husband/wife relationship!
Photo credits: (book cover and Little House stock photos), ThePhotoBin (Flickr) and Kevin McShane (Flickr)