Sometimes we think that love is all you, your wife or husband and children need to have a healthy relationship. But we need more than that. We all need respect, especially from those who are closest and most intimately connected with us. Healthy relationships require equal respect, dignity and concern.
Respect is the cornerstone of every strong relationship. Respecting your partner means that you recognize them as a whole person and realizing that neither partner has authority over the other. Respect means that you value your partner’s opinions and that you have complete trust in their judgment.
If you want to have a healthy relationship with your partner then you need to understand that respect is sometimes far more important than love. By being with a partner that respects you, you will always have someone that will take you seriously whenever you have a problem. There are a lot of ways to demonstrate respect to your partner.
Awareness: Be aware that you deserve respect whether or not you are being respected.
Balance: Have mutual respect for the relationship and for one another.
Choices: Make conscious choices that are respectful of yourself, your relationship, and whoever else is involved.
From: ABCs of Healthy Relationships
Encourage Spending Time Apart
Encouraging spending time apart shows that you respect the life your partner has built thus far. It’s totally normal to want to spend all your time with your partner when the relationship is new, but even in the beginning it’s important not to ignore other important relationships in your life, such as your friends and family. Remember that you will never find a person that will be able to take care of absolutely all your social and emotional needs. By spending time apart, you will both grow as individuals, which will make spending time with each other much more interesting.Show That You Trust Your Partner
Demonstrating trust is essential if you want to have a healthy relationship. Unfortunately, many people don’t have genuine trust for their partners and often go through their partner’s personal things without permission. Going through someone’s stuff won’t solve anything. If you thing that they’re hiding something, confront them. Through proper communication you will be able to solve all your problems.
Additionally, if you don’t show your partner that you trust them, they will automatically start to feel distrust towards you.Appreciate Your Differences
Just because you don’t share certain interests or ideas doesn’t mean that you should criticize your partner. In fact, if you want to have a strong relationship with your partner, then you should definitely learn to respect their opinion even when you don’t agree with them. Learning to appreciate your differences will help you find out more about your partner.
By taking time to understand a different point of view you will get to experience the world from a whole new perspective, even if you don’t end up changing your mind. A great way to show love and respect for your partner is by doing an activity together that you wouldn’t normally do.Be Reliable
It’s important to be reliable as soon as a relationship begins. Whenever you make plans you should stick to them; cancel or reschedule only if you absolutely have to. You should never say yes to a dinner if you’re uncertain whether you’ll be able to make it or not. By being someone your partner can rely and depend on will show them just how much you respect their time.
Reliability is extremely important in every relationship, since you want to know that you have someone that you can call or see whenever you have something on your mind. Being reliable will make it easier for your partner to trust you and open up to you.Communicate
Communication is considered by many to be the hardest part of a relationship, because it means that you have to be completely open and honest with your partner no matter what. Unfortunately, many people find it hard to open up even when they’re in a relationship for years. Nevertheless, if you really want to show your partner how much you respect them and value their opinions, then you should learn to communicate and be more open.Resources
- ABCs of Healthy Relationships. http://www.pamf.org/teen/abc/buildingblocks/respect.html
- Downe, S., Finlayson, K., & Fleming, A. (2010). Creating a collaborative culture in maternity care. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 55(3), 250-254.
- Hendrick, S. S., & Hendrick, C. (2006). Measuring respect in close relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 23(6), 881-899.
- Lanham, H. J., McDaniel, R. R., Crabtree, B. F., Miller, W. L., Stange, K. C., Tallia, A. F., & Nutting, P. A. (2009). How improving practice relationships among clinicians and nonclinicians can improve quality in primary care. Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 35(9), 457-466.
- Rempel, J. K., Holmes, J. G., & Zanna, M. P. (1985). Trust in close relationships. Journal of personality and social psychology, 49(1), 95.
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