3. Respect each other’s opinions.
This is critical for a supportive close relationship. The first step in respecting your partner’s opinion is to ask for it. Decisions that affect you will often affect each other.
As Steven Covey said, “The key to commitment is involvement”. I heard that when I was 20 and have been using it ever since for all personal and business relationships, sharing my thoughts and asking for input from others. When you involve your partner you are demonstrating respect and honoring their value.
Reem was angry that her husband was always constantly asking her what to do all the time when it came to her children.
“Nicola, he drives me mad asking me what to feed the baby or where to put the nappies, he should know.”
“What if he didn’t ask and did it wrong I said.“
“He does get everything wrong all the time.”
“So do you tell him that,” I said?
“Oh yes, but he never listens or learns.”
Reem’s constant criticism had led her husband to not want to take decisions for fear of being moaned at. Then Reem became annoyed that he was asking her opinion on everything. I suggested to Reem that if she wants this to change she needs to empower her husband and let him decide what he thinks is best.
So she agreed to try the sayings “whatever you think” or “it’s your call” and not to moan if she didn’t like the choice he made, as she, after all, encouraged him to take the lead. This simple statement shift made a HUGE difference in their marriage. He felt respected and she felt less burdened.
4. Respect each other by making joint decisions.
Make your decisions together and continue to dialogue until you reach a joint compromise or agreement to disagree and move forward.
What about if they do something that causes you to lose respect?
If there is lost respect due to infidelity: financial, emotional, cyber, or physical or due to an act of violence then respect MUST be rebuilt through consistent acts of kindness over a period of time.
Supporting and maintaining respect during the course of a relationship takes effort. We are all human, and if someone begins to treat us negatively, inconsiderately, and disrespectfully, we often tend to respond in kind.
This can set off a vicious cycle where the mutual disrespect can feed on itself. Similarly, an inability to resolve or manage conflicts or differences can lead to anger and frustration, which if expressed in negative and blaming ways can start the same cycle of negative interactions and result in the loss of respect.
To support couples re-establish respect I share that you can never really “work on the relationship, you can only ever work on yourself.” It is disrespectful to police your partner, so I work individually with men and women to re-establish respect by treating their spouses differently and freeing themselves and the relationship of negativity.
Most people believe in Karma but they tend to forget this within their close relationships. Start treating your spouse how you would like to be treated is the quickest way for respect to come back.
Hope you enjoyed reading this.
From my heart to yours,
Written by Nicola Beer
Originally appeared on SaveMyMarriageProgram.com