What to do when you feel disrespected
One more post on disrespect. As pointed out in the comments, the fact that a woman does not mean disrespect does not help the man who feels disrespected. I have suggested, strongly, that a man needs to see his feelings as just that – feelings, not as fact. Once that is done – and in my mind only once it’s done – then he can to deal with the issue with his bride.
Both love and respect are about feelings, and those feelings need to be given and received; communicated and heard. Loving your bride is of little use if she does not feel loved, and being respected by your bride is of little use if you don’t feel respected. Beyond that, if your spouse is not willing to work to make you feel loved or respected, something is wrong. This is the point I made in Tuesday’s You don’t care about what I want? post. The suggestion I made in that post for dealing with “wants” works for respect as well: make a list of things that make you feel disrespected, and mark the things on the list in order of how much they cause you to feel disrespected.
One warning – focus on attitudes, not actions. Yes, actions flow from our attitudes, but some things are difficult or impossible to do. For example, if you have several small children and you claim a messy house means your bride does not respect you, you have created a near impossible situation. Short of locking the kids in their rooms, the house will get messy from time to time. The other problem in this example is the action expected from the wife is beyond her full control – if one of the kids dumps something in the living room as the husband is walking into the house, there is a mess, and she is “guilty” of disrespect for the action taken by the child. Only when an action is in her power, and not exceedingly difficult, can an action its self be used as a barometer of respect.
You will note I paired love and respect above. As someone suggested in the comments today, men tend to feel a need for respect, while women are looking for love. This is the premises of the excellent book Love & Respect Workbook: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs (also in Kindle Edition ) by Emerson Eggerichs. Lori and I used this book for a twelve-week group study several years ago, and it was a big help to the couples involved. I highly recommend the book for couples or as a group study.
For those who don’t get the picture… (specifically 1:45)