R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Does Your Partner Respect You?
By: Rick Wallace
On any level, relationships are highly complex and dynamic environments through which people engage one another; however, the complexity in relationships does not get any more complex than it does in romantic relationships.
When you begin to evaluate the structure that represents love, there are two components that are immensely vital to achieving optimal success in your relationship — trust and respect. For the most part people understand the concept of trust, and they know what it feels like to have their trust violated, so it is easy to understand why trust is so vital.
On the other hand, the concept of respect can be ambiguous — difficult to apprehend. Nevertheless, respect is essential to building a solid relationship that will be capable of withstanding the tests of time.
The Reason Respect is So Important
Trust provides the security, confidence and comfort necessary to function within the relationship, but it is respect that sets the standards and expectations of how the two of you will engage one another on a number of different levels.
Respect is the culmination of the recognition of the importance of the other person in your life, admiration for that person, and appreciation for the role that they play in your world. Generally speaking, respect is a reflection of inner-character. In other words, it says more about you, than it does about the person whom you are extending respect to.
Getting Past a Common Misconception
There is a common view that may or may not be applicable in other social relationships; however, it has no place in a romantic relationship, and that is that a person has to earn respect. In a romantic relationship, respect should be extended, even when you may not feel like you the person has earned it. Women, this is especially true when it comes to your mate. Men yearn respect, and any hostile or disrespectful behavior will be perceived as contempt and met with some form of anger or distance.
Men, this should be easy for you, because of how much you value respect; however, it is equally important that you don’t get caught in the trap of reacting to behavior in lieu of extending respect. Managing a relationship is not easy; sometimes it calls for you to treat your partner in a way that you may feel they are not deserving of. However, keep in mind that the ability to respect another says more about you than it does them.
What Does Extending Respect to Your Partner Mean?
When you extend respect to your mate, it says that I appreciate you, and you matter to me. It says that I am aware that you are human; however, I value all that you are, even in your imperfection. Respect provides the foundation on which you will engage one another. It provides the constraints that control your actions when you are angry or disappointed. Respect demands that you remain aware of your own imperfections when evaluating the imperfection of your mate. It is the stabilizing force in the structure of any romantic relationship.
It is also important to take the time to gain an understanding of how your partner perceives respect. You may be viewing it from two different angles. It will be important that the respect that you show them is expressed in a manner in which they perceive it to be respect. You will find that a healthy level of respect will provide the strength to get through almost anything.