How to Respect Your Husband

At least once a day one of my wives I coach will ask me, “He wants respect!?!?!?! How do I respect my husband, when he doesn’t deserve respect?!?!?”

Or, put another way, “How do I respect my husband, when he’s having an affair, had an affair, lost his job, lays on the couch 24/7 and doesn’t bathe???Instead of respect, I am starting to hate??”

Yep. I know that guy. And these are Great Questions.

We all have heard, respect must be earned, right? Yes! Well…uhm….hmm….there is another logical thinking brought on by women in this very spot.

Before you stop reading and go quacking at me in email, follow me for a minute? For the rest of this article?

We all can say, in the “real” world, yes, respect must be earned. But what about in a marriage…where there may be cheating, chaos and a partner who wants to bail because he’s in a midlife crisis, or some other major change?

We respect someone we work with because we understand they are our boss or an upper level from us. We respect a police officer or military person because we understand he/she has power over us. We respect doctors and lawyers because we understand they know more than we do. We respect a husband because…well…we understand if we decide to respect them…they will BEHAVE that way.

Does that make sense?

We respect, not because they deserve it, but because we make a decision and decide TO just give respect. Doesn’t matter if they deserve it or not. You just decide. Period. Because in a mode of helping or serving another, we make that decision.

Does that make sense? If not…keep going….stay with me…follow me…

Let’s define Respect:

Respect is: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

To be specific we can define respect into words we recognize:  Giving consideration, thoughtfulness, attentiveness, politeness, courtesy, civility, deference, esteem, admiration, think highly of, have a high opinion of, hold in high regard, hold in (high) esteem, think much of, approve of, appreciate, cherish, value, set (great) store by, prize, treasure, look up to, pay homage to, idolize, put on a pedestal, lionize, hero-worship, honor, applaud, praise, favor” like as a teacher he was highly respected for his industry and patience.

How’s that for a definition? Do we Understand the definition?

Okay – now that we understand….the other thing we must bring into account is the rule we learned early in childhood, “Treat others how you want to be treated.”

Or, my personal favorite, learned in late adulthood, “Treat people the way you want them to behave.

So by you treating your husband with respect, not because he deserved it, but because you simply decided to do so, you are showing him what respect looks like and in doing so he may or may not recognize you are respecting him and he may or may not learn or live up to be one who is to be respected.

Wait…But I May Lose…

Hmmm…. Let’s look at this…what do you have to lose? Money? Ego? Pride?

And how much does it cost you to have respect for the man who is someone you really want to hang out to dry by his neck? Nothing. Not a penny.

Okay – I should not have said that but I’m trying to put this into perspective. When you have such anger and resentment toward a person, it’s hard to talk to them and look them in the eye, yet alone respect them. I understand this completely. However, in the case of your ill/MLC husband, your perspective on his choices at this moment in time are key to understanding him and then, yes, respecting him.

If you struggle with this right now, come back to it in a week. Understand what it means to respect. And give it freely…because you CAN. You are in control of you. You can walk to the left or the right. You can think about pink or blue. You can respect or not respect, simply because you make that decision.

Think about it this way: the child you scold for not hanging up his clothes vs that same child, walking in his room, heading to the closet and holding the clothes he has hanging on hangers and admiring each piece, touching each piece and admiring each piece…saying out loud, “My goodness, you have the nicest clothes and they look so lovely hanging in here.”

It may not make an impact the first time or the 2nd time, but by the 3rd time, you child may want more of “good compliments” and hang up all of his clothes so you will admire all of them.

This may not be the best example but I’m just trying to show you how it can be done.

Telling your husband how thankful you are that he put his laundry into the basket (for the 1st time) is teaching him that same thing. Telling him you appreciate the 3 minutes he took to take out the trash when he lives elsewhere is impacting your long-term relationship. I promise.

Wait…I hear you….that question is coming back….

Because it does. It asks:

How do you give this respect to a man who cheated on you, yelled at you, embarrassed you, defamed you, doesn’t live with you, ignores you, ignores your children, hates you, and may have rewritten your entire relationship as one that you forced on him 30 years ago just to ruin his life?


I regress to the above. Let’s begin with the fact that you KNOW he only keeps all this bad crappy information on you in the forefront of his mind so he can leave you. If you change or do things differently from being the “negative bitch” he believes you are, then he won’t have a single bad thing to say about you. So figure out what he doesn’t like about you or the reason why he left, then stop doing all of it, in fact…do the opposite!!

Bottom line: How do you respect him.

ONLY One way: YOU JUST DO. You just make a decision to respect him. Period.

Yes. It IS that easy. Fake it till you make it, my darling women readers who I love and adore and pray for you daily….hear me please….

The reason he may have left was because he wasn’t getting respect from you. And this other girl, this other woman, this horseface of a lady, who appeared out of nowhere, who isn’t any prize of a human, gave it to him. He may have clearly flat out said, “My wife doesn’t respect me…” and horseface heard that message loud and clear. Horseface did what you didn’t and like a roach that creeps into your home undiscovered, she invaded your life.

You say, “But he’s stupid! He doesn’t know what to do, all his ideas are horrible.”

Are they? Or are you making them horrible because he’s entertaining some other woman? Chances are you didn’t think of him this way when you were first married, so why are you changing it up now?

My own husband did not deserve respect. I determined it was because of his actions toward me…and my lack of respect was my way of punishing him.. Truth is: He deserved respect because…well…2 things: 1) Because he’s my husband and I (the oath I gave to him when we got married. Yes, I went there. Like the HR department follows a contract they agreed to with an employee, like the lawmaker goes to the Constitution, me, a wife, goes to the oath I made on my wedding day where I said “till death do we part.” who married an imperfect man That simple. If I wanted to stay married, I had to remember this. So I tried to imagine how I would treat him if he were my boss. I always respect my boss or whoever pays my paychecks right? I would do the same to my husband.

It was HARD. I was not good at it. I always took over. I was the man in our relationship. That was hard to stop and shut up and let him take control and let go of the fact that he just may screw up. Cause he did. And I had to be okay with it.

Mostly because he asked me to respect him so many times in our marriage and I laughed at him. I feel horrible now. But I laughed. In my mind someone needed to earn respect before you gave it to them. NOT TRUE>

Giving respect is not rocket science, it just calls on you to calm your ego. The ego that begs to punish him. But if you want your marriage to survive this…

  1. Listen to him.
  2. Agree.
  3. Don’t tell him what to do.
  4. Find a way to Say “You’re Right!”
  5. Understand him.
  6. Appreciate him.
  7. Don’t fight.
  8. Let him be the leader.

I want you to know I pray for all of you to get through this horrible time and keep your families together. You are the lone leader on this path and I’m here to help hold your hand.

Come back here often and please share to anyone struggling. We can beat this. You – it only takes ONE person – to save your family. Be the difference in your family that you want to see.


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