Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Respecting Your Husband

I shared last week that I get regular emails from Nina Roesner, Founder of "Daughters of Sarah."   Here's what came to my inbox today.  Sometimes I need to get out my steel toe boots when I read her advice!  Ouch!

Saving Your Marriage and Avoiding Trouble - 3 Quick Tips to Speaking Respect to Your Husband - by Nina Roesner
At a small gathering of women the other night, one of the wives' husband popped his head in to say, "Hello," and ask if there was anything we needed. "I don't want you all thinking he's like this all the time," she joked. "He's really not that helpful and I'm doing most of the work," she continued. Her husband had a very subtle reaction - his body stiffened, he smiled through clenched teeth, and his brow furrowed just a bit. While the other women were laughing at what his wife probably considered some good natured teasing; apparently he didn't agree.

Recent research by Shaunti Feldhahn demonstrates that 81% of men feel disrespected by their wives during conflict. Dr. Emerson Eggerich suggests that the desire for respect is as deeply rooted in men as the desire for love is in women. Wives who fail to recognize their own disrespectful behavior slowly degrade the relationship with their own hands. The impact is as significant as a husband failing to demonstrate love to his wife. This article briefly addresses 3 ways to show respect to husbands and turn around a marriage headed for disaster.

Tip 1: No Put Downs
As demonstrated in the above example, while most men will tolerate humor at their expense, it feels like criticism and packs a painful sting. Imagine the opposite scenario, a wife coming by to see if her husband and his friends need anything, and her spouse makes a joke about how she's really quite lazy? According to research, men feel inadequate and humiliated by teasing. Improve your marriage by putting an end to the put downs.

Tip 2: Be His Number One Fan
Taking things up a notch from ceasing to ridicule and poke fun at your husband means publicly affirming him. A husband whose wife sings his praises to other people feels something most men are wired to delight in: adoration. One of the easiest ways to adore your man is to publicly affirm him. Pay him a compliment in front of his friends or co-workers or boss.

Tip 3: Stop Arguing
Michelle found that when her husband had an idea for his business, she had a habit of letting him know what was wrong with it and why it probably wouldn't work. Over time, she discovered that he stopped confiding in her. After 4 weeks of keeping her "opinion" from flying out her mouth, her husband started sharing an idea he had with her. She said that he opened up significantly in the weeks that followed and now she is the first person he wants to talk with whenever he has an idea for his business. She went from critic to encourager, just by keeping her mouth shut. "I need a safe place I can work through my thoughts," he said. "Just because I have an idea, doesn't mean I'm going to do it. Sometimes it's nice just to dream." Stop arguing and start encouraging!

The next time you are tempted to tease or argue, challenge yourself to be your husband's number one fan. Do this for 12 weeks and see what a difference it can make in your marriage!
Bottom Line: Respect is a man's language and many feel it is lacking in their relationships with their wives. Want to improve your marriage? Learn to speak the language of respect!

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