By Shannon Nee, eHow Member
“Wives, respect your husbands.” Paul seemed to think that was necessary to include in his letter to the Ephesians. As Miss Piggy would say, “Who, moi?” Yes, moi. I’m tired of seeing husbands mistreated by their wives…I did it to mine for years. I learned the hard way, and he paid the price, so let me redeem that hardship by sharing with you how I now show him respect.
COMPLIMENT HIS WORK
Men are very connected with their work, and a lot of self-worth is invested in what they do to make money or otherwise “show” themselves to the world. I take every opportunity, always sincerely, to compliment my husband on any achievement or success, even if it’s small, that has to do with his place in the world–especially among other men. I just try to let him know he’s my main contender, no matter what!
APPRECIATE HIS HUMOR
When he’s being funny (and he often is), I smile and laugh as much as I honestly can. I don’t patronize him, but I do try to encourage him! During the years he sheltered his heart I could hardly get him to repeat some silly old joke. When he’s humorous with me now, that means he’s opening his heart and showing love. And reciprocating the good feeling means I’m respecting him.
SHARE HIS THOUGHTS
Part of learning to be a respectful wife was learning to really hear what my husband said. I try to listen carefully, thoughtfully, when we talk together. I want to make my replies intelligent and supportive. It is a strong sign of respect to show him that I value his thoughts and concerns enough to weigh them with love and wisdom before I speak.
LET HIM BE HIM
Day in and day out I shelled my husband with a constant barrage of critical talk. That’s right: nagging. He couldn’t cook right, talk right, or even watch TV right. I don’t know what I thought I was trying to accomplish…but it sure backfired! Now, to show him respect, I try to keep my mouth shut if I don’t like something. And if I don’t like something, I have to ask myself why, and also, how important is it? Nine times out of 10 it’s some quirk I have a thing about that doesn’t matter a bean.
USE GOOD TIMING
I used to think that whatever I had to say to my husband had to be said immediately, or as close to immediately as possible. I had a lot of growing up to do! When I learned the value of good timing, communication between us improved dramatically. Men, like women, need space and down time. When he’s enjoying a game, time on the computer, or just sitting and thinking, I leave him alone. If I need to talk to him, I keep an eye on his activities, and wait for an appropriate “in.” If the topic is unpleasant, I save it for a daytime discussion when he’s rested and positive. If I want something, I wait until his team wins!
BE NICE IN PUBLIC
Haven’t you seen her? Have you been her? The woman who thinks it’s “funny” to insult and undercut her husband in public? This is a surefire way to get him to really hate you. I tried to not do this, too much, but sometimes temptation got the better of me when I wanted to boost my self-esteem at his expense. How much better now when I show him respect instead, by laughing at his jokes, praising him about some accomplishment, and letting him tell a story or have a conversation without interrupting him.
DISTANCE THE KIDS
I used to start arguments with my husband in front of the kids. Oh, what a shame that was. Talk about disrespectful: How about trying to make the most important man in their lives look like a fool? I beg you, women, please don’t do what I did. If you feel some serious fracas coming on, keep it down until you can be alone with your husband and have it out, as evenly and quietly as possible. There is untold damage in tearing down a father. Build him up, praise him, respect him instead. It is an incredible blessing for children to have a father that their mother respects.