Don’t we hear it over and over in the media? Men just want respect while women want to feel loved. I get it and was sorta listening but when it really came down to it I felt that they were just replacing the word love with respect and isn’t it the same thing? And I love my husband so I obviously was respecting him, right?
My other thought was that respect meant that men think people should obey what they say. Is that what they mean by respect?
One day when I heard it again I really just was thinking “Ok, we aren’t back in the 50’s”. I am not going to just take orders from my husband. And I turned and asked him, “When guys say they want to be respected by their spouse, what does that actually mean and give me some examples”. His blew me away with his answer.
What guys mean when they say they want respect:
#1 Don’t make him look bad in front of others.
Example: He is giving directions to someone who asked how to get to a store. He gives the directions but you know a faster way. Don’t jump in and say “No, that way is too long, here is how to get there faster”. Really, who cares as long as he is giving a way to get there.
No one wants to be interrupted to be told that someone else can do it better. Also, no teasing him in front of others if he is doing something that looks funny or says something that doesn’t seem to make sense. This is super hard for me because I come from a big family of teasers. Our family motto is “If we love you, we tease you until you cry”. Not good for someone who wasn’t raised in that environment.
#2 Don’t tell their embarrassing stories.
Example: You are at a party and someone is talking about going to a certain restaurant and Bam! You have just got to tell the “funny” story that happened to your husband at that restaurant. Your husband is totally embarrassed but it is all in good fun that you tell it…right??
I do this all the time! Especially when I have had a couple of glasses of wine. I think it is funny to tell the story that happened to him but he does not think it is funny to tell others. He is actually embarrassed. It was a joke amongst our friends that when I poured my second glass of wine that “Uh Oh…here come the stories about Matt.” He finally had to sit me down the next day after one of our fun evenings and tell me that I was crossing the line and to stop. If it is a story about myself, it is ok to tell. If it is about him then I need to keep it between us. There are some things that need to remain between husband and wife.
#3 Don’t keep bringing up his mistakes.
Example: So your husband messed up. I could be small that he bought the wrong type of cereal or big that he forgot to pay a bill. Whenever someone talks about their cable company, you bring up “Remember, Honey, that time that you forgot to pay that bill and got our cable cut off”.
No one wants to relive their mistakes over and over. Maybe we bring up others mistakes over and over to make ourselves feel better about our own mistakes? Let’s get the psychologists involved to really dig deep. It could be a whole other discussion about male ego. But we all know that male or female we all want to feel like we are smart people.
We All Want Respect
When I think of all of these examples he gave me of giving him respect I came to big realization. WE ALL WANT RESPECT! Even women want respect too and he has been giving it to me more than I have been giving it to him.
Men say they want respect more than love because when you point out their short comings they don’t feel lovable and when they feel like they are awesome they can actually receive your love. Feeling good about themselves comes before they can accept love from you.
Now I need to actually remember to keep my mouth shut after my second glass of wine. 🙂
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