I was 19 when I got married and while I was over the moon in love with the man of my dreams, I realized early on that there is much more to marriage then simply being “in love”. Marriage can be fragile. It requires constant nurture and a lot of effort. It involves doing those everyday acts of kindness and love that make ordinary relationships extraordinary.
As a little girl, I dreamed of the day that I’d find my prince and live happily ever after. I’m blessed to say that I did find my prince and we most certainly live a happy life. My husband is my biggest support and my best friend. He pushes me to follow my dreams and strengthens me during times of disappointment and insecurity. I tremendously respect and admire the husband, father, and man he is, and am glad I can call him mine. While I fall more and more in love with my husband everyday, that is not to say that our marriage is perfect…actually it’s far from it. I’ll be honest, not every moment of the last four years has been wedded bliss. Like any other marriage, we’ve had our ups and downs. And while I’m no marriage expert, I would like to write about one thing in particular that has been on my mind lately regarding a happy marriage– that is respect.
It all started one Saturday about a month ago when I had a huge list of chores that needed to get done. We had a busy week coming up and only one day left to prepare for it. I made a list of everything that needed to be done and made a plan in my head of how the day was going to go. Without a word in edgewise (or even allowing time for my husband to offer his help), I told my husband, “Here is want needs to get done today, and you are going to help me.” He nodded his head ok as to acknowledge he really had no choice in the matter, and so the day began. As the day progressed I unconsciously found myself hovering over his shoulder questioning his every move.
“Are you sure that is how you fix it?”
“I don’t think you are doing that right.”
He shrugged it off at first, trying hard not to show how completely annoyed he was with me, but soon he had had enough. I could tell he was frustrated but I was blindly unaware of why. When I confronted him about it, he explained how belittled he felt by my questioning remarks. When I later reflected on how I had treated my husband that day, the love of my life, I was ashamed. With each nagging and questioning remark I had stripped him of his manhood; and worse, I had treated him as though I was above him instead of an equal partner in our marriage.
Too much in today’s society, men (especially husbands), are made out to be mindless dogs. They eat, sleep, work and obey their wives. Their opinions are irrelevant and they have no say in matters. The divine role of men, husbands, and fathers has become a joke, and I disgracefully played right into it. I realize that no successful, or even happy, relationship can result from such a hideous thing.
From that moment on I’ve tried to treat my husband with the respect that he deserves.
I try to tell him often how much I appreciate his hard work and all that he does for me and our family.
I try to tell him often all the qualities that I love so much about him.
And lastly, I try to refrain from nagging or disrespectful comments; and instead, try to make more of an effort to see his point-of-view.
I’m not at all perfect at it, but by treating my husband with more respect I in return have been shown more love and appreciation. I feel more united in my marriage and closer in our relationship. More than ever, I see my husband as my prince, my hero, my protector, my best friend and my eternal sweetheart. And by showing him that respect, I think he can view himself as the same.
Again, I’d like to reiterate that having been married for only four years I am by no means an expert. However, this was a learning experience in my marriage that I felt impressed to share on the blog. Wives, do your best to respect your husbands; and husbands, love your wives. I know from experience that it is easy to fall into the trap of criticizing or taking your spouse for granted, but there is simply no place for that in a truly happy marriage. By showing your spouse constant love and respect, and by putting their needs above your own, there will come a deeper love and a new found respect towards your spouse. I’d like to end with one of my favorite quotes on marriage:
This is how I feel we should view and treat the relationships we have with our husbands.
Thank you for reading, and allowing me to share with you what I am most passionate about. I welcome and look forward to your thoughts, experiences and views on the matter.