Relationships have always intrigued me; more so the romantic ones. I enjoy talking to people about relationships and asking them questions, especially when they have been in relationships that have lasted a long time.
One word that comes up over and over again when it comes to what men need to be actively involved and invested in a relationship is respect. One very interesting and important aspect of romantic relationships is that in a relationship between a man and his wife, or a committed romantic relationship, a lot of the rules that we know that apply to our lives in general do not apply in the relationship.
Below are the reasons why you should respect your man even when he doesn’t seem to deserve it.
1. Give respect before it is earned.
In general, most people believe that respect is earned or that it must be received in order to be given. The difference in romantic relationships is that even though relationships are a “give and take”, being committed means that you do the right thing regardless of what your partner is doing. By entering a relationship, you indirectly agree to respect your man and if you don’t respect him, you should not be entering the relationship with him -this is even more true for marriage.
Another important point is that when you commit to spend the rest of your lives with your husband, you typically say some vows. What you commit to do should stay consistent as long as you choose to stay in the relationship. The great news is that, for the most part, people generally rise up to the expectations we set for them. A man who is treated with respect will generally act accordingly.
2. Give respect when it is least deserved.
If you’re in a long term relationship, it is inevitable that both of you will make an error in judgement or you will do something “wrong”. Again, even if you are sure that what your husband or partner did is completely wrong, this is not a reason to start being disrespectful. Your relationship, if it is healthy, should be a place where you are free to be yourself and have the freedom to make mistakes.
Continuing to respect someone when they make a mistake is very important because disrespecting them will only make any problems worse. You can ask questions, express your thoughts and feelings and even request a behavior change but all that can be done while still being respectful. The bigger the mistake, the more important it is for you to respect him. Think about it; if you felt horrible and lousy because you made a mistake, wouldn’t you want and need the love, support and encouragement from the man you love? Men are no different; they need love and respect especially at the worst times in their lives.
Giving someone love and respect does not mean that you approve or are accepting of what they did; it means that you are a mature women who honors her commitment, even when it is hard.
3. Give respect even after the relationship ends.
My belief is that when you get married, it is forever. That having been said, the reality is that some marriages end, as do many committed relationships. When a relationship ends, it does not give anyone license to start being disrespectful. When children are involved, it is even more important to continue to not only show your ex respect but to also make sure that you speak about him with respect in his absence. Children don’t choose their parents but their parents have a choice as to how they will model responsible behavior whether is is during the relationship or after the relationship. No matter how horrible you think “he” is, his children do not deserve to hear him being disrespected, especially not by their mother.
It is important to note that I am not encouraging women to tolerate unacceptable behavior and or bad treatment in their relationships. Instead, I am encouraging women to respect themselves enough to conduct themselves in a way that does not damage their own self esteem, their children’s and that of their partners and in a way that does not destroy their relationships and their children’s relationships with their fathers.
If you are a woman who genuinely wants to be in a relationship with a man, you have to respect him because it is important to him and to the success of the relationship. If you don’t respect him, then don’t get into a relationship with him. If you have yet to marry him, then love yourself enough to end the relationship if you do not respect the man you’re in a relationship with; it is better for everyone. For the married women: if you married him, you must have seen something in him worth respecting. It is important to work on your relationship to restore the love and respect that were there when you decided to marry your husband.
Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and Mrs. Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter