7 Ways to Bring Respect Back into Your Marriage

7 Ways to Bring Respect Back into Your Marriage

As wives, we desire our husband to love and cherish us.

We want to hear sweet nothings whispered in our ears and have love notes tucked under our pillows with pledges of love from our husbands. We like to feel our husband’s arms around us reassuring us of his affection and attention.

But, our husbands have desires too. Three of their strongest desires (in my opinion) would be respect, intimacy and food.

Most of us wives understand that our husband needs food and intimacy. It’s kind of common knowledge, but respect?

Yes, respect is a major need that he desires to be fulfilled by you, his wife. You are the one that sees him when he excels and when he fails. You are the one that he has vowed to spend a lifetime with. Yes, he needs respect from you.

But how?

How can we as wives make an honest and deliberate effort to respect our husbands — every single day?

It doesn’t come that easy when we know his weaknesses. But we have to, we need to.

Why?

Because most of us chose to marry our husbands. Most of us were not the recipients of an arranged marriage. No, we fell madly in love with one certain man and pledged our life to him. In fact, many of us quoted wedding vows with the words “honor and respect” in them — and we were talking about our husbands!

So if he needs it, and we promised to give it, then we need reminders on how to respect him every single day.

Here are some relevant, everyday tips that you can start using today to bring respect back into your marriage. A wife that respects her man is a wife that is dearly loved. It’s true! It’s a tested and proven cause and effect. Just try it for yourself!

7 Ways to Respect Your Husband

1.    Don’t nag. Wow, this is a tough one sometimes. Life gets busy and he forgets to fix the sink or cut the grass. Don’t muse on these things. Just be patient and wait. Ask that God to remind your husband of those things so you don’t feel tempted to repeat requests — over, and over and over again.

Another option? Consider taking the time to figure out how to get the job done yourself, so he can focus on other things. I know you are probably busy too, but if you can squeeze some of his duties into your schedule, you will only reap happy marriage benefits from your sacrifice of love!

2.    Just listen. As a busy mom of six, I multi-task. Do you do that too? Sometimes my multi-tasking sneaks its way into my conversations with my husband. As he’s relaying current events to me, I may be sweeping or braiding my daughter’s hair. But, one small gesture that I can do everyday to show my husband respect is to simply stop and listen. I can put down my broom for a few seconds to give him my undivided attention.

When I focus on him and his words, my body language is saying, “You’re important to me and I want to hear what you have to say.” Try it today and see an instant positive response form your hubby!

3.    Don’t correct. This is definitely a pet peeve of mine. Countless times my husband and I have been engaged in a conversation with another couple and the wife continually interrupts. “No, honey. There were three men in the store.” “No, Sweetie, you picked up the green one.” She has to correct him — or else the story would never be the same.

Don’t be that wife. I have yet to meet a husband that enjoys his wife interrupting his conversations or correct him — especially in public. It belittles him and only adds tension to your marriage.

4.    Give thanks. Did he take the family out to dinner? Did he lead the family in devotions? Did he change the light bulb? From the simplest to the most difficult tasks and gestures, thank him. Verbalizing your gratitude shows your husband that you truly respect the work he does — no matter how small or big.

5.    Praise him. Do you love your husband’s eyes? Tell him. Does he have an impressive baritone voice? Let him know you’re his biggest fan. Is a a loving father to your children? Tell him so. Take every opportunity to praise your husband. He’ll love it, and focusing on your husband’s talents and abilities will cause your heart to respect him more.

6.    Give him his own space. Men like to have their own little cubby away from everyone else. This “man cave” is a place he can go to be alone and just think. Especially if he’s a dad, there will be times when he needs to get away. Let him have that space and furnish it as he desires.

7.    Welcome his advances. Nothing makes a man feel disrespected more than a wife that pushes away his physical advances. It makes him feel undesirable. Lean in to that kiss, squeeze extra tight on that hug and focus on your special physical relationship that only you two share. Enjoying the physical part of the marriage is one of the most powerful ways to let your husband know he has your respect.

Respecting our husbands doesn’t always come easy. It’s something that God had to give us clear instructions to do. But if we do strive to respect our husbands, then we will experience a happy, close-knit marriage that few people get to experience.

Respect your husband now and cultivate a strong marriage that provides a strong foundation for a happy home.

DO YOU DESIRE TO HAVE A HAPPY HOME?

Many times we think happy homes only exist in fairy tales. Happily ever after can become your family’s story! In my new ebook 25 Days to a Happier Home I take you through 100 plus pages of 25 daily challenges that inspire you to create a happier home for your family. Parenting, marriage, home-making and financial issues are all addressed in this new book. Honest wife-to-wife and mom-to-mom advice helps encourage you to complete each challenge and continue molding your home into one of the most pleasant places on earth!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

25 Days to a Happier Home by Alison Wood25 Days to a Happier Home is available in an easy-to-read format that is available for most reading devices. Join the happier home challenges today — your family is worth it!

You can get a copy of the book HERE:

25 Days to a Happier Home

I am also giving away three ebooks to three sweet readers! I hope and pray this book will be a blessing to your home and that you and your family get to live happily ever after!

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Alison Wood is a mom of six kiddos, wife to one amazing husband, church-planting missionary in Southeast Asia and a parenting writer for online magazines. She encourages wives and moms at Pint-sized Treasures Follow her there!

A Peek Into This Woman’s Everyday Marriage (and memoir giveaway)

*Guest post by my lovely friend, Emily T. Wierenga—because sometimes marriage comes hard.

Lisa Jacobsen

The other night we left the boys with my sister, rented a hotel room in the mountains. We planned to snowboard the next day.

We bought take-out and I couldn’t rest that night. For hours, we lay there in our separate beds because the room came with two, but I couldn’t sleep. And I cried.

Trent stretched out his hand across the space between our beds, his fingers reaching for me in the dark. “Hold on to me, Em,” he said. “I’m here.”

“Hold on to me, Em. I’m here.”

We’re not exactly John and Yoko.

Trent’s a math geek and I’m a literary nerd. He’s loud and I’m quiet. He’s athletic and I run into walls. We both like books. We both love camping. And we’re both over-the moon crazy about each other and our boys.

But marriage has come hard for us.

Hard, with years of anorexia and insomnia and fists punching the wall.

I’m putting away the laundry, the seven loads which Trent folded for me while playing a computer game, because between my books and my boys, I can’t seem to take a shower or do any house cleaning. Let alone fold the laundry.

And I’m putting the baskets away when he calls “Suppertime,” because Trent’s made burgers, and on the table, a salad: with peppers and grated Jalapeno cheese, lettuce, bacon bits, and grated carrot, and chopped onions which always make Trent cry–it’s the only time I see him cry– and “I made you fancy salad,” he says.

Like my friend says, there’s nothing sexier than a salad-making man.

But truth is I’d be a wreck without my salad-making man.

The one who held me those long, skinny anorexia years.

Our best conversations happen over a board game because games are Trent’s love language, and we’re still getting the intimacy thing.

I used to fight him when I got mad, sometimes with my fists, and he’d shake his head and grab my wrists and then finally leave. Slam the door and drive off while I wept into the couch pillows, but that doesn’t happen anymore.

No man is perfect, and Trent will say things that unintentionally hurt me, or he’ll forget to take out the trash, but I will also do things–like forget his birthday, as I did one year–and ours is the kind of marriage that throbs with love.

Ours is the kind of marriage that throbs with love.

The kind of love that will not give up: not through anorexia, not through insomnia, not through moves to Korea or moves home to take care of parents with cancer, not through slammed doors or tears or fists, because there’s also the salad. There’s the laundry. There’s Trent taking the kids to his parents so I can write. There’s him reaching out in the dark to hold me, to pray for me.

I want the kind of marriage that dances into its Golden Anniversary, that kisses each other on wrinkled cheeks and laughs at each other’s jokes long after the sun has wound down.

I want the kind of marriage that dances into its Golden Anniversary.

And maybe the secret is to never stop reaching out in the dark. To never stop taking hold of each other’s hands. And to never let go.

Not even for a moment.

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(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

My memoir, ATLAS GIRL, is releasing this month, and I am excited to give away TWO copies today. Just leave a comment below to win!

The giveaway is now closed. The two winners will be notified soon!

And thank you to everyone who participated, as well as for your encouraging comments. ~ Lisa 

From the back cover:

“Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.

“Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.”

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Click HERE for a free excerpt.

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I’m also giving away a FREE e-book to anyone who orders Atlas Girl. Just order HERE, and send a receipt to: atlasgirlbookreceipt@gmail.com, and you’ll receive A House That God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir an absolutely FREE e-book co-authored by myself and editor/memoir teacher Mick Silva.

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ALL proceeds from Atlas Girl will go towards my non-profit, The Lulu Tree. The Lulu Tree is dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. It is a grassroots organization bringing healing and hope to women and children in the slums of Uganda through the arts, community, and the gospel.
64519_10153705975080099_2037134714_n Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

How to Help Your Quiet Child Talk to You (& why it’s so critical to do so)

How to Help Your Quiet Child Talk to You (And why it's so crtical that they do so)

You wouldn’t have to know us long . . .

Before you concluded that we’re a family of talkers.

And it’s true. There’s little we enjoy more than a rousing conversation.

Unless perhaps it’s a cup of French press coffee.

But in spite of the fact that most of us are talkers, if you stuck around long enough, you’d observe a few who were less talkative than the others.

Oh, they might smile with their eyes or nod in agreement – or disagreement – but they don’t really say much.

These are my quiet children.

And I have a deep appreciation for their quiet spirits and silent ways.

But over the years? I’ve learned that there’s also a danger with our non-talkers.

Danger?

Yes, and I’ll tell you why.

While there’s nothing wrong with choosing to say less . . .

Choosing not to communicate can be harmful to your child.

It’s critical that your children tell you what they are thinking and feeling.

It’s critical that they are able to voice their struggles and concerns.

It’s critical that they learn to communicate for the sake of their family relationships, friendships, and future marriage.

So while I have no wish to change their personality, as their parent, it’s my responsibility to help them learn to communicate what’s on their heart and mind.

And if you have have a more reticent child, it’s your responsibility too.

How does a parent encourage a Quiet Child to start talking?

1.     Set aside time. Your willingness to prioritize the time shows your child that you are serious about this and that it’s very important to you. A child is far less likely to open up if you’re always rushing around or on your way somewhere.

It takes both space and time to reach a quiet heart.

2.     Ask questions.  Your child might not be too eager to volunteer what is going on inside him or her, so why not begin with asking some basic questions?

  • How did that make you feel?
  • What have you been thinking about lately?
  • What is your favorite . . . (book, movie, food, etc) and why?
  • Do you ever feel afraid? What kinds of things make you fearful?
  • What did you like best about today? About that event?
  • What do you enjoy the most? What kinds of things make you feel happy inside?

3.     Wait patiently.  For their answers. Be willing to remain silent until they come up with something. If you have a really “tough” case, then maybe throw out some words or possible ideas to get them started – but only as a last resort.

4.     Listen without judgment. Okay, so I know we’re the parents and I’m not suggesting you throw out discernment or wisdom. But try to resist the urge to pass judgment, to solve the problem, or generally sweep through and take over.

Instead, simply nod your head and express your interest in what they have to say. (Only later, if necessary, come in and and correct “wrong” thinking.)

5.     Explain that communication is not an option. It is expected that each child of ours will learn the skill of communicating. Just as it is “not an option” to avoid eating with the family or helping out around the house, so it is with talking together. While it might be more difficult for some children than it is for others, it is still expected that they will participate and eventually grow in this area.

Now that some of our quieter children are older, they’ve been able to express how much they needed to open up and share their hearts. They see what a difference it makes – in both their relationships and their own inner peace –  to be able to talk about their joys and struggles.

So if you happen to have a Quiet Child? Strike up a conversation and enjoy a good heart-to-heart.

You both will be very glad you did.

*What do you do to encourage your quiet child to open up? Or, if you were that “quiet child”, what helped you to communicate your thoughts and heart? 

In His grace,
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(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love eBooks Tiny*Our books are now available:  100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson

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Why Wait Until the Fourth of July to Set Off Spectacular Fireworks?

Why Wait Until the Fourth of July to Set Off Fireworks

I’m hoping you won’t think any less of me.

But I’m not really much of a texter.

I know that puts me hopelessly behind the times and my dear husband has done his best to bring me up to speed. He even went out and got me a snazzy smart phone.

So one day I heard this peculiar swoosh sound emanating from the thing. Curious, I picked it up and saw there was a green bubble square indicating I had a message.

A message? For me??

And suddenly I’m a young girl in junior high who’s just been passed a carefully folded-up note – intended only for my eyes.

No name given, but I recognized the number. Knew it by heart. It was his.

The message went like this: “Hey Gorgeous, you’re my girl.”

That’s it. That’s all he said.

But, ooh-hoo! Did that ever light some spectacular fireworks in my heart! I nearly swooned with love for the guy.

And I decided that I liked my new phone.

And I liked texting.

And I sure did like him.

It also got me thinking . . .

What about a reply? I should write back to him. What kind of “note” could I deliver in return? Hmmm…..

So I set out on one of my secret campaigns – a little love campaign.

Each day I wanted to say something I loved or appreciated about him.

Just one thing. Short and sweet.

Things I figured he knew? But just in case he had any doubts or it wasn’t as clear as it could have been.

Oh yes, I was going to try and send a few fireworks his way as well.

On some days I whispered my message in his ear. On others I shared it quite loudly in front of the children. I sent out emails and scribbled notes and left them on his desk. I even – believe it or not –  texted a line or two.

So maybe you’re considering starting a little Love Campaign of your own?

If so, I highly recommend it. It’s really quite fun – with or without a snazzy smart phone – and you just might find that two people can play this game.

Looking for ideas? Here’s a sampling of the ones I sent out to him:

  • I couldn’t do this without you. And I wouldn’t want to either.
  • Honey, you make me laugh!
  • I loved being with you this morning.
  • You are my knight in shining armor.
  • I’m crazy about you, Baby.
  • You’re a good dad. Making homemade ice-cream with the kids at 10:00 pm!
  • I miss you when you’re gone.
  • I was glad for your clear head in that difficult situation earlier today.
  • This is my favorite place to be. Snuggled up in your arms.
  • Thank you for looking after me.
  • My heart belongs to you. Always.

And if you’re wondering if my strategy was successful?

Well, yes, I’d like to think it was.

He seemed to like my notes and messages. I could tell by the way he smiled and by the way he hugged me extra tight when he got home at night.

I mean, why wait until the Fourth of July to set off the fireworks?

A few thoughtful words – written, whispered, spoken, and texted too. Little love notes scattered everywhere.

And spectacular fireworks all year round!

In His grace,
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(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love eBooks Tiny*Our books are now available:  100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson

If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).