Respect in Marriage
By: Rachel Hanna
How do you show love to your husband?
How are his needs different than yours in your marriage?
I used to love my husband in exactly the way I wanted to be loved. I used to write long love letters, express my vulnerability about how our soul-mate connection is palpable near and far, and bought thoughtful, meaningful gifts.
I still do these things sometimes, but I’m grateful to have learned a lot more about the male culture through Laura Doyle’s six intimacy skills.
One thing I’ve learned is that while my husband appreciates my giving, he feels especially happy and masculine to shower me with love.
Learning to receive graciously has deepened our closeness tremendously, as my husband feels successful as a husband when he gives and I feel adored.
Previously, I thought one way to keep him close and attached was to be the one who showers him with gifts.
I’m very surprised how authentic and feminine I feel as I shift gears and embrace my receptivity by saying thank you whenever gifts, compliments and help are offered or given, instead of feeling the need to pursue.
The number one way I love my husband these days is by pouring myself into respecting him.
How do you concretely define respect?
I used to have some vague thought that respect was sitting up straighter as my husband shared something important.
Laura Doyle has taught me what respect really means, and how it is literally a man’s oxygen.
Simply put, respect, according to the intimacy skills, is listening without trying to correct, improve or advise.
I used to make that mistake all the time.
My husband would share a business idea, and I would give a halfway compliment about his creativity, and then share how it really made more sense to be thinking about the topic totally based on my perspective—and mostly dismiss his thoughts.
This either led to arguments, or resentment, which showed up as passive aggressive distance.
I also felt it was my place to jump into therapist mode when my husband shared a normal, everyday stress, in attempt to guide him down a path which included a different job, more aligned with his mission—from my perspective.
I sure acted like a know-it-all.
I would add to or look down on a lot of what he said.
It was ruining us.
Do you secretly think you know way more about everything than your husband?
I did. I was wrong. Very wrong.
My husband is a brilliant, capable, successful, loving, giving, incredible man.
Thank G-d I found these skills.
They have changed everything for us.
Now instead of waiting for my husband to do something wrong or share that an idea doesn’t make sense from my own judgmental stance, I simply listen with eyes, ears, and a heart of respect.
I listen to my husband’s brilliance with an open, accepting heart of love, and I am either quiet as I attentively listen, or I communicate, “I hear you,” which creates emotional safety for him to feel comfortable sharing more.
I look for reasons to trust him, reasons to believe in him, and mostly, I just accept him as he is.
Instead of trying to change him, my focus is on becoming the happiest me, with a rich life of self-care and pursuing my dreams.
Life is so much sweeter this way, and my husband feels respected.
I’ve learned he feels most loved when he feels respected.
Respect gives him oxygen, and the more filled up he is, the more passionate he is to give tremendous love to me as well.
How can you let go of your judgment and shift into acceptance and love, even if you have a different perspective?
What’s possible for you and your marriage, as you grow in respecting your husband fully as he is?
Thank you for being devoted to creating peace and love in your marriage.
Hashem wants to express Himself in your home. He can only do so with peace.
Accepting who our spouse is, and loving him as he is, brings such peace and beauty, and invites Hashem right on in.
is a Laura Doyle relationship coach. She is passionately confident that her coaching has the power to transform even the most challenging marriage struggles, with Hashem’s help. She believes that each marriage can be filled with peace, love and joy. Rachel commits to coaching from an authentic place, only sharing what has worked in her own marriage. Click here to check out Rachel’s story and apply for a complimentary discovery call to explore coaching. Click here to enter your name and email to receive updates regarding marriage talks and workshops.