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Words of Respect

By Donna Martin

We women love to hear romantic words like love, cherish, special, beautiful, angel, and the many other “love” words you will find written in the myriad of greeting cards.  When spoken to us by our husbands these words make us feel so loved; these words touch our souls.  So then we speak the same “love” words to our husbands to make them feel loved and cherished.  Remember though, that men need to feel respected; they do not respond to the same kind of “love” words as women do.  Of course your husband will appreciate these love words (they are much better than critical words), but how can you speak in the language of respect?

Here are some suggestions:

Words like respect, hero, proud, strong, impressed, etc. will mean much more to your husband than “love” words.  So try to speak your husband’s “respect” language.  You may be surprised at how loved he will make you feel when you make him feel respected.


Article 4 in a Series about Respect

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Reader Comments (2)

It's so confusing in our relationship because it seems that the emotional roles are twisted up. I am a girly man for lack of better words, I have a partial emotional side of a woman and some of a man but caught somewhere in the center of both.. And even then I am not so sure about the center!! My wife, Crystal has no emotions almost at all, she blows up on confrontation and can't have a civil conversation emotionally or physically with her if it involves her, or something she thinks the opposite about. We have been together five years married from three months of courting and we have no way to "pet" each other with words because while I speak with emotion she speaks with actions.... What are we to do this stands in the way of our eternal bond.....?

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Chris Davidson

Sorry we are so long at getting back with you. For some reason we missed your comment.

First all marriages are unique. No two spouses are the same and we often have differing ideas about how to show love. In a relationship communication is so important. You and your wife must find a time when you are not upset and communicate with each other about your needs for love and respect.

Take your wife out where you can spend some time with her alone and talk to her about what you feel maybe using the same words as you used in your comment to us. However, begin the conversation in a positive way, telling your wife about the things she does that make you feel loved and respected. Then follow the steps to resolve conflicts. We call this the "STARS" process.
S - Stay Calm - Crying and screaming cuts off communication
T - Talk and Listen - It is as important to really listen to what your spouse has to say as it is to talk about your feelings.
A - Admit Fault - Apologizing is a sign of maturity. It might be good to apologize for the part you played in the conflict. By doing that it could possilbly encourage your spouse to apologize for the part she is playing in the conflict.
R - Resist the Urge to Attack - Many people are tempted to rattle off what has upset them about their spouse when trying to resolve a conflict. Instead try discussing first the kinds of things that you had not thought out or the things that you may have done wrong. Then you can gently mention some things that you preceive that your spouse did wrong. This way you can prevent yourself from attacking.
S - Search for Common Ground - Try to understand your spouse's point of view and together agree on a solution that satisfies you both.

When someone gets mad and starts screaming that is usually because they feel like they are being attacked and it is their defense against attack. Understand that so that you can not take it personally. If you continue to have communication issues it would be good to talk to a marriage counselor or maybe your pastor.

A good book for you and your wife to read is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael and Donna Martin

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