Skip to comments.Your husband doesn’t have to earn your respect
Posted on 02/26/2014 3:16:21 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
I cant tell you where I was or who was there or when it happened. I dont want to add to this guys humiliation, so I am keeping this vague and generic. I can simply tell you that, some time ago, I found myself in the same vicinity as another married couple.
I certainly cant read their minds, and I dont know what goes on behind the scenes, all I know is that the husband couldnt seem to utter a single phrase that wouldnt provoke exaggerated eye-rolling from his wife.
She disagreed with everything he said.
She contradicted nearly every statement.
She even nagged him.
She brought up a funny story that made him out to be incompetent and foolish. He laughed, but he was embarrassed.
She was gutting him right in front of us. Emasculating him. Neutering him. Damaging him.
It was excruciating.
It was tragic.
It also was, or is becoming, pretty par-for-the-course.
The respect deficiency in our culture has reached crisis levels.
Ive discussed at length how men should treat women. Ive written about the lessons I plan to teach my son; lessons about how he should love, honor, respect, serve, and protect the women in his life. Indeed, men need to respect women, and we, as men, are far from perfect in that regard.
Those posts the ones where I call on us men to improve the way we treat women tend to be very popular. Theyre popular when I write them or when anyone writes them. Proclaim that women, mothers, and wives should be respected, and a chorus will shout amen. Every day on Facebook brings us another viral post excoriating men and supporting women. Ive written a few of them myself.
But Ive noticed that the corollary a message about the respect women must give men, a message challenging wives and encouraging husbands isnt quite so palatable for many people. Disrespect for men has become standard practice. That scene I witnessed was sad but unremarkable; weve all watched that kind of thing play out a thousand times over. Men are disrespected by their wives theyre disrespected publicly, theyre disrespected privately, theyre disrespected and then told that they have no right to be upset about it because they arent worthy of respect in the first place.
Disrespect for men is a joke to us now. A little while ago I stopped on the way home from work to buy my wife some flowers. As she rang me up, the cashier quipped: Uh-oh, whatd you do? I wasnt particularly amused, but I chuckled. She continued. I dont know if this will be enough to get you off the couch tonight!
Ah, yes, the old husband is punished by his wife and sent to the couch meme. Im not sure if this actually happens in real life, or if its an invention of 90′s all men are fat, witless, oafs sitcoms, but the popularity of the stereotype is telling. Is this how we see husbands now? A man gets in trouble with his wife, she scolds him and puts him in time-out on the couch. Now he has to placate his alpha-bride by showering her with flowers and jewelry.
Men are painted like children or dogs. They can be shooed off of their own beds by their wives and sent to cower in the living room until she permits him to return. This is only slightly less offensive than the cliché of the sadistic wife who punitively withholds sex from her husband. You didnt clean the garage like I told you. No sex for you, mister! Next time, follow my instructions!
Did you ever see this Samsung ad from several months ago?
A worthless, grunting, Neanderthal of a husband instantly evolves when his wife plugs a contraption into his back. The ad caused a slight dust up when they released it, but nothing NOTHING like it would have if the husband and wife had switched roles in this charming piece of viral marketing.
But with men on the receiving end, a few people complained, some angry Youtube comments were posted, Samsung sales were unscathed, and everyone quickly moved on with their lives.
Thats because disrespect for men isnt exactly a trendy outrage.
These cultural messages arent harmful because they hurt my manly feelings; theyre harmful because of what they do to young girls. Society tells our daughters that men are boorish dolts who need to be herded like goats and lectured like school boys. Then they grow up and enter into marriage wholly unprepared and unwilling to accept the Biblical notion that wives should submit to their husbands because the husband is the head of the wife. [Ephesians 5]
It is a fatal problem, because the one thing that is consistently withheld from men and husbands respect is the one thing we need the most.
Yes, need. We need respect, and that need is so deeply ingrained that a marriage cannot possibly survive if the man is deprived of it.
Often, people will say that a husband should only be respected if he earns it. This attitude is precisely the problem. A wife ought to respect her husband because he is her husband, just as he ought to love and honor her because she is his wife. Your husband might deserve it when you mock him, berate him, belittle him, and nag him, but you dont marry someone in order to give them what they deserve. In marriage, you give them what youve promised them, even when they arent holding up their end of the bargain.
This doesnt mean that a man has a license to be lazy, or abusive, or uncaring. He is challenged to live up to the respect his wife affords him. If his wife parcels out her respect on some sort of reward system basis, the husband has nothing for which to strive. As the respect diminishes, so too does his motivation to behave respectably. Respect is wielded like a ransom against him, and he grows more isolated and distant all the while.
They both swirl in circles around the drain. He fails, so she gives him no respect, and then he continues to fail because he feels disrespected, and she continues to give him no respect because he continues to fail. And so on, and so on, and so on, all the way to the divorce attorney.
The same thing happens with love. If love is unconditional, then the light of love always shines in your marriage, even in its darkest times. But if your love is given in direct proportion to your spouses ability to earn it, then it will inevitably diminish and fade over time.
Love in a marriage is, as people often point out, a choice. But its also a duty. So is respect. I love my wife because I choose to love her. I choose to love her because that is the vow I made; it is my charge, my warrant. Luckily, its usually pretty easy to love my wife because shes kind, warmhearted, and beautiful. But if she becomes less kind, and I withdraw my love because of it, then my love was never love to begin with. It was just a pleasant feeling; a natural response to her nicer tendencies.
This is not to say that women should tolerate a man who fails in his duties, but that her intolerance for his failures can only be constructive if it is rooted in respect. Sadly, many women will approach their husbands and say: You need to stop doing such and such or start doing such and such, because youre a failure and I dont respect you.
She might not explicitly state this, but it is the message she implicitly sends. There is zero chance that this message will help to heal the damage; it only plunges another dagger into the already gaping wound.
A few months ago I wrote a post about pornography. I stand by every word I typed, but I feel like I could add another couple thousand sentences to the end of it. Ever since I published that piece, I have heard from hundreds and hundreds of men and women on both sides of the porn problem.
Men emailed to tell me that they developed a porn habit and it did great damage to their marriage. But they told me that they resorted to porn after years of being disrespected, shunned and belittled by their wives. They werent making an excuse only offering some perspective and context.
And hundreds of women told me that their husbands developed a porn habit and it caused them to lose all respect for them. This inability to respect their husbands nearly, or in some cases completely, wrecked their marriage.
A vicious cycle. The men didnt want to fight for a marriage if they werent respected, and the women didnt want to respect men who wouldnt fight for their marriage. He withholds his love, she withholds her respect. Theyve both set fire to the thing that needs to be fixed.
Respect is our language. If it isnt said with respect, we cant hear it. This is why nagging is ineffective and self defeating. This is why statements made in sarcastic tones, or with rolling eyes, will never be received well. We have a filter in our brains, and a statement made in disrespect will be filtered out like the poison it is.
Men are notoriously reluctant to share feelings or display vulnerability. Many times, we keep those inner thoughts locked away our feelings guarded and hidden because we know we are not respected. A man will never be vulnerable to someone who doesnt respect him. Never.
A man isnt satisfied or content if he isnt respected. If he cant find respect where he is, he will seek it somewhere else. This can have disastrous implications for a relationship, but it applies in other areas of life as well. A man is much more likely to stay in a low paying job, a physically demanding job, a dangerous job, or a tedious job, than a job where he isnt respected.
Im only emphasizing this because I think it might actually be news to some people. Society does not permit men to be vocal about their need for respect, so the need is often ignored.
I could sit here all day adding yes, but husbands also need to
disclaimers. I wont, because Ive probably written a dozen or more times on that subject. Every once in a while, I think we should talk about what wives need to do. And here it is. This, above all else. Respect your husbands. Even when he doesnt deserve it.
ping for later.
I have also noticed that the wives of high earning men NEVER belittle their husbands in front of them. I think that also is a circle. The more the wife respects the husband, the more the husband feels compelled to earn.
Oh yeah, I hear you. Mind you there was a lot more stuff. But this a key piece for me.
Read an article on the internet a while back that said a near 100 percent predictor of divorce is contempt. If the couple had contempt for each other, or one spouse for the other, they were almost certainly headed for divorce. Makes sense. Who would stay with someone they feel contempt for?
I have never married... and when presented with “my choice” of which antidepressant-doped, fat, ignorant, tattooed single mom with 4 kids by 3 ex-husbands I can provide for... it’s a bit of a turnoff to the whole concept of marriage.
Years ago, I took to heart what Dr. James Dobson said about husbands....
‘More than anything else, a husband wants respect’
Very simple concept, but like the author of this thread, I have seen women absolutely neuter their husbands publicly or privately
to other women.....
I would have terminated the transaction at that point and walked out of the shop. Might have spoken to the manager first and asked whether stereotyping of customers was common in that establishment.
This cr@p will continue for as long as it is allowed.
This “marriage” is obviously not a partnership, not a real marriage. The wife either hates her husband for some un-stated reason or, like my first mother-in-law, is on an extended power trip. If I were him, I would claim verbal abuse (with accompanying cell phone voice clips) and divorce her, taking the kids with me. The wife’s actions are also harming their children, who have become accidental victims of her comments.
Yup--and the author's admission of "chuckling" even though he wasn't amused didn't help, either.
I would not have chuckled, smiled, or shown any amusement for it at all.
Interesting perspective. There’s thing I’d point out about using TV ads to gauge cultural trends, though: Most TV ads are targeted at women, not men. For whatever reason, this even applies to TV ads for broadcasts aimed at a male-oriented audience. A perfect case in point was the Tide car in NASCAR. Tide sponsored a NASCAR team for years, and I’m certain there isn’t a single man anywhere whose family uses Tide just because his favorite driver was driving around the track in a bridge orange and yellow car with “TIDE” splashed across the hood.
It's like reading a coroner's inquest of my first marriage. I'll bet I'm not the only one here who sees it, either.
what pray tell is “respect”
You are not alone, my friend. I read this and thought “He’s talking about my marriage!”
I’ve found the secret to a happy marriage, as a husband, is to be (self) respect-ABLE, have a good sense of humor, stay sociable with others, and frequently ask myself “who am I being as a husband?” (and then adjust).
Then, her side career as a Professional Contrarian goes on hiatus.
We forget that the only reason society gets away with disrespecting us is that we LET it. If companies that air such insulting ads lost all their male customers, how long do you think they’d keep airing those ads? If TV programs that insult men were loudly and consistently boycotted, how long do you think they’d remain on the air? Women alone aren’t a big enough demographic to support our entire economy. Why are we acquiescing to the destruction of our own power?
You seem to be attracted to the wrong kind of women. If those are your choices, you're making bad choices. Stop using the welfare office for your mate hunting ground. Try going to church to meet someone there.
Over the years, I have always had a chuckle, when this statement is thrown out by women....and so, let a man, admit his inner feelings to his women, he will only find that during the next conflict, that the info will be used against him....any sort of male weakness, as perceived by a women, is a negative.....
Valentine’s Day is not a real holiday. Just the bastardization of a saints day to make money off of those stupid cards.
I’d say “no reason... hope you can find a good man some day too”.
My wife is one to use this tactic and it has, unfortunately caused a coldness in our 20 year marriage. She often requires of me to cite specifics during an argument. I replied that were I to keep track of the specifics of a grievance, then our marriage was no more.
Women will correct, rant and harangue men as much as men will let them. It is part of being a Man to know when she is right and when she is just being...well...a woman. In the one case he performs adjustments to himself and in the other has says “My Immortal and Beloved Darling please STFU.
I agree wholeheartedly up until the point where he starts quoting the Bible and how women should submit to men, which is utter bullshit. Both men and women need to be completely open to each other with their feelings, which is in a way, I think a form of mutual submission.
At the end, the article continues to push a stereotype - that men are reluctant to share their feelings. Consider that the first half of the article described the common case (I lived it for many years), of wives publicly displaying passive aggressive behavior towards their husbands - interrupting, eye rolling, recounting unflattering stories, etc. Is this what counts as being communicative? Both parties need to regularly start sentences with “this is how I feel...” and “how do you feel...?”. It doesn’t matter if there’s a solution, or whether of not anything comes from it. Communication is priceless. I lived on a diet of “No”, “I don’t know”, “hmmmm”, and silence (at least in private) for almost twenty years until I said “enough”, and filed for divorce.
Now, when I’m with a group of married men, and their commiserating about the lack of sex, the steady stream of “yes dears”, and the continual tap dancing in order to avoid incurring the wrath of their wives, it pains me quite a bit. I do hold my tongue though. Everyone has to walk their own path.
You’re a brave man for posting this :-)
I’m not marriage so my struggle with this area usually manifests itself in the workplace with my attitude toward supervisors . I struggled with the passages in the New Testament about the wife respecting/submitting to their husband until the pastors showed that the word refers to “lining up under authority” (not direct quote), like an enlisted person under the NCO, under the commanding officer, who is uner the authority ultimately of God. When I have trouble with individuals in the chain of command, I have to remember that the L-rd of Hosts is completely trustworthy.
Thanks for the article.
I’m important! I write a blog!
The Bible commands husbands to love their wives. Women are made as responders. If he loves you the love will be returned.
Control and ownership have no place in a marriage.
One can never demand respect or submission from a spouse. Where there is love, so those things will fall in place when needed in the marriage.
“In the one case he performs adjustments to himself and in the other has says My Immortal and Beloved Darling please STFU.”
Well, yes, maybe without being vulgar...works at my house.
Remember, the last thing you said that your wife agreed with was when you said, “I DO.”
I happen to think Love between a husband and wife is worthy of setting aside a day to honor each other. Yes, we honor each other every day, but life gets busy, and it's nice to have a day where we, as a society, take some time out and show appreciation for our better halves.
And it doesn't have to cost a dime. There've been lots of lean years where I wrote my wife a nice little note and she baked me some heart shaped chicken with a heart shaped cupcake for dessert.
And if you're not taking time out to honor your spouse on this special day set aside to do just that, well, I'm sorry for both you and your spouse.
I hope for your sake you come to the point where you don’t call the word of God bull. It is possible you are taking it out of context. Continuing on in the Word will show you that likewise, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, even giving up His life for her. It take an understanding that comes from reading the whole thing. If you would read Ephesians 5:22-33 you would see what might be in modern language the requirements of mutual commitment, and that commitment is not to be conditional. If the commitment is conditional, there is no chance of weathering bad times.
Yes, I do believe that for a wife to unquestioningly accept and obey everything that a husband says is bunk, likewise, that men have superior standing with God.
They have the greater responsibility before God. The standing is the same: Gal 3:28-29.
I do believe that for a wife to unquestioningly accept and obey everything that a husband says is bunk
That is you reading into the text.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
As the church to Christ is the submission of the wife to her husband, as Christ loves the church so should a man love his wife. When that happens to the extent that it can on this earth, there is the marriage with the love and respect that God desires, and for which mankind yearns.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ
Yes, not specifically to the married but of one to believers to serve each other.
I have no use for feminists, and a lot of the time women in general irritate me. Yes, I said it-—so much for the sisterhood. I’ve seen enough of men portrayed as bumbling fools to know it’s a very real fact, and I hate it.
BUT. Regarding the example of the man who was being publicly “gutted, emasculated, and neutered”: why was he allowing it? Where were his gonads? He just stood there and chuckled like an obliging doormat? For that reason, I have little sympathy for him.
Man up, guys. It’s true that a husband doesn’t have to earn his wife’s respect, but it’s also a sad truth that behaving like a cowed Chihuahua will earn you disrespect.
Case in point-—my brother’s sister and her ex-husband. There was no bad guy in that marriage; they were just two very ill-suited people who should have never married each other. During the divorce, he would get on his knees in front of her and cry and weep and whimper, begging her to take him back. He often called me on the phone and did the same thing....crying and wailing.
There is something about behavior like that from a man that gets in a woman’s soul and irritates the hell out of her. We just do not want to see men behaving like wimps or dishrags or crying babies. I took it as long as I could from my sister-in-law’s ex. Finally I told him that if he EVER wanted to find another woman he was going to have to stop ACTING like one.....he needed to man up and stop the damn bawling.
I understand that many modern women seem to outright despise men. But it’s up to you, men, whether you allow yourselves to be mistreated...or not.
Well, that's an....interesting....way to describe Scripture.
You remind me of my Christian conservative friend who suddenly told me she's become a "conservative feminist" because she hates the Bible's language toward women, the way men treat women as "objects , etc. Neither one of you has any understanding of the submission verse nor the intended relationship between husband and wife.
That particular reference has nothing to do with being second-class, weak, uncommunicative, or ill-treated.
I disagree 365 times. Everyday should be Valentine’s day if you’re in love!
I’ve always wondered why so many ‘smart’ ‘modern’ women are compelled to actually marry men they can’t actually stand. Did she respect him before marriage? Probably not. Marry him anyways? How dumb was she?
Amen, brother. I've also found there is no statute of limitations on past transgressions I've committed, some going back as far as 30 years. I've learned to live with it...
But it's not. Kids get sick. They get bad grades and do stupid annoying things. Jobs get stressful. The Visa bill is more than you can pay. In other words, life gets in the way. Just like we all agree we should take some time out for gratitude on Thanksgiving, it's nice if we all take some time out to celebrate the one we love on Valentine's Day.
Nope, she didn’t respect him then, either, and he was just as much of a crybaby. She was abused in her previous marriage, and said she thought he would be a kind husband.
But she was a professional who didn’t need to jump into marriage or starve.
Some of the most famous, wealthy, successful, powerful, well-known and intelligent people on Earth keep a blog, did you know that?
When women are young, hot and still putting out the poontang on a regular basis men will put up with a lot. So women get the wrong impression. Around the age of 40 or so when the tang output goes way down and things are starting to sag and bellies get bigger, men lose their willingness to put up with “the bitch”. Once the kids are gone so are they. Sad.
When I moved to this town 3 years ago I quickly found out that the intelligent women that left town to go to college never came back. The economy is fairly depressed, all people do is drink and do bathsalts, every person in front of me in line at Walmart or the Grocery store has an EBT card... and it seems like everyone has “settled for Applebees”.
Church? Do you realize how snarky and cliques church is? I was pawned off on a nice church girl that was not what I would consider as anything but a friend.
I have a new plan though... buy a farm and nest build on my own. If some horsey girl shows up and wants to help me can everything from my garden, or decorate the home with her tschotskies... fine... but I doubt that will happen... it isn’t being a “nattering nabob of negativity”...it’s just the harsh reality of what seems to be out there in the real world of rural NW Pennsylvania.
Wow - good to hear your side of things. Getting a farm - great idea.
Actually, I have a vague memory of a website for women who want to meet farmers. It might be this one:
There are many single/farmer dating websites. Apparently women really like farmers. IIRC the Wall St. Journal had an article about a website for single farmers. Of couse they made it sound like *the* answer but the website sounded interesting.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.