Question: How do you show love and respect to your husband?

Showing love to Skywalker is an easier practice for me. I try to go through 1 Corinthians 13, the famous passage on what love is and isn’t, and do what it says. Of course following through on this isn’t so easy, but at least I know what to practice. Am I patient? Was that kind? Was I being self-seeking or looking out for him? And I can very quickly determine whether or not that word or action was loving.

I also try exercising love languages. Skywalker’s love languages include receiving acts of service and quality time spent together. I like to throw in little gifts once in a while…for variety…but it has to be practical ones as he’s not sentimental much. So I pack him good lunches (or try to), try to have nice dinners for him to come home to, give massages, occasionally surprise him with snacks he likes (but know aren’t so good for him) and I guard our schedules to ensure we have sufficient time to ourselves through the week.

As for respect…I DO respect him, but I’m learning this is a hard one to show. I believe it’s hard for a lot of wives out there too. Not nagging or mothering Skywalker is showing huge respect. It goes both ways but not speaking “down” to each other shows respect. I’m also learning to respect his sense of timing or trust his words that when he says he’ll take care of it, he’ll do it. It might not my way or in my exact timing, but he’ll do it. Me keeping quiet demonstrates my trust and respect for him. Of course, there’s been a couple times where he’s said he’ll do something, then DIDN’T do it…so then I have right to be mad about it, but even then, respect is about extending grace by not purposely trying to lay guilt on the other person.

I’m not one to compliment much…but am learning he NEEDS to hear that I respect certain things/characteristics/decisions he made or that I admire different qualities he’s shown. Hearing I respect him is as important to him as hearing he loves me is to me.

In general, I think it’s also in calling each other to be better versions of ourselves…in ways that motivate and nourish us as individuals. He is not me, I am not him. It’s easy enough to find buttons that set the other person off, but loving and respecting each other is about finding buttons that add boosts of energy, well-being, emotional nourishment, etc. Those are the ones a marriage NEEDS. So….learning and practicing.

How do you show love, and in particular, respect to your husband?
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One response

  1. Ahhh, good topic. I remember at a marriage conference a speaker said something along the lines of a woman’s top relational need is LOVE and a man’s top need is RESPECT. One area of respect that I have been working on with my husband relates to purchases. HB definitely isn’t an extravagant spender (nor am I) and it’s hard to say who is more frugal, but it seems that I can’t help but give him feedback on almost every purchase (or planned purchase) he makes– even if the purchase is a gift for himself! I’d say things like, “Are you absolutely sure you want to get that camera now rather than wait six months for a newer model to come out?” “Did you check if there were cheaper 3-star hotel in the neighbouring area before you booked our reservations? Are you sure you want an orange backpack? Do we really need this extra feature on our appliance? I didn’t really think these comments were harsh/unreasonable, but the problem was that I was voicing these opinions all the time. And often times, it was for things that were just personal preferences eg. I like this color or feature, while he preferred another. The worst is, I even sometimes do this after purchase (which only feeds buyer’s remorse, something I know all about having studied marketing in school!).

    It wasn’t until HB said, “Jella, you are always criticizing my purchases. I run cost comparisons and even research to death small purchases of under $50 because I’m afraid you’ll criticize me if I make the wrong decision, and you still do! If you ever wonder why I can be indecisive, that is why.” Oops. I totally didn’t even realize I was doing that. And I didn’t realize what impact my words were having my husband’s ability to lead and make decisions for our family as the man and head of our household. I was being disrespectful.

    So now I’m learning to hold my tongue (especially for things that are merely personal preferences). I even try to encourage him to disagree with me or go about things his own way (but it is HARD because who doesn’t want to get their own way all the time?), because I know given his personality and mine, this is good for the both of us.

    I am also learning to show love by being more affirming. Being affirming is not really a strong trait of mine, but I do find that showing support and excitement for my husband’s decisions (especially the really good ones) makes a big difference in my husband’s happiness, confidence and even productivity ;o)

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