My mother always breaks down and cries when we reminisce about past experiences, primarily because of the pain that she suffered when my father left. To date, memories of her unsuccessful marriage still haunt her, and she is forever perturbed by the unanswerable question as to whether it was hers or my father’s fault that the marriage never worked out, culminating in my father walking out.
“Your dad left because he said I didn’t respect him” she would always tell me when I try to probe as to what exactly made my father leave.
This always makes me wonder, what kind of respect did my father expect from my mother? Was he really disrespected, or did he just misunderstand the whole concept of respect? This is because my mother comes across as a very respectful individual, to an extent that she sometimes seems overly submissive to me. Maybe, being unmarried, I also misunderstand the concept of respect in a marriage scenario.
People talk about respect in the workplace, for their neighbors, in marriage and even respect for other races. This makes me wonder at the frequency with which people talk about respect, even though it is an old fashioned virtue that still lies at the core of our lives and our ability to achieve success and happiness.
But the issue here is about respect in marriage. Who is to be respected and who is not to be respected? My father accused my mother of not respecting him, but did he respect her?
There is a common saying that, respect begets respect. People should not expect to be respected when they do not respect other people. Respect is something you earn, and not command, from people.
A violent, arrogant, bigheaded, self centered husband cannot expect to be respected by his wife, obviously because he does not extend the same respect to her. A certain woman confessed to us that every time she raises a point that contradicts that of her husband, she earns herself a bout of shouting and ridicule, coupled with accusations of disrespect. One wonders, is the husband so perfect that he cannot be wrong, or is it just that he cannot fathom the concept of his wife being right when he is wrong? The fact is that the man is just covering up his mistakes and hiding behind the concept of respect.
The concept of respect is not one sided, it is a reciprocal practice in which women respect men and men respect women. What society needs is for every man, woman and child to be accorded the same respect. Men should desist from treating their women like inferiors who donot deserve respect. Women should also respect their husbands because they are the heads of the family. This will lengthen the survival of most marriages. Allow me to say this; if there is respect in marriage there will most probably be no divorce.
We are all human, and we are most of the time prone to our nature of retaliation. To the men who beat up their wives for every slightest error, don’t ever dream that these women will ever respect you. Every time they look at you, they see a barbaric, animal like human being who is the exact opposite of the loving and tolerant husband that every woman dreams of.
Then their respect for you fades. For all those men who are clamoring for respect, revise your behavior and conduct towards women. Respect your wives and they will respect you in turn.
Don’t think I’m biased towards women only, no. They also have their weaknesses that need to be addressed.
Men are the heads of the family and they need to be respected accordingly. Women are prone to pointing out their husbands’ faults and failures, and expressing discontent with them, at times even saying that they wish they had married a different husband. This will only work to weaken your marriage.
Yelling, nagging and belittling your husband is the worst form of disrespect. Treat your men like kings, and they will treat you like queens. Men are more willing and able to lavish their wives with love and affection when they feel respected. One man told Sunday Standard that he divorced his wife was because she called him a sissy for failing to build his own house. It is imperative for women to rally behind their husbands and support them. Do not look down upon your husbands.
Good communication is the glue that holds a relationship together. Respect builds a successful marriage. Good communication skills will work to iron out the little differences in a relationship.