Respect in Marriage Matters- 3 Ways to Show You Care

respect in marriage

If you’ve been struggling with your relationship, you aren’t alone. Many couples experience frustration and anxiety when one party doesn’t feel respected. You might know that you’re fighting without knowing the reason why you’re fighting- which can cause even more stress and anxiety. If you’re tired of losing arguments, of fighting over stupid things and of wondering whether or not your relationship is going to survive, it’s time to take action. Respect in marriage matters. Here are three meaningful ways that you can start to demonstrate respect and compassion to your partner in an effort to improve your relationship.

1. Let your partner win sometimes

Nobody wants to lose an argument, but sometimes you need to let your partner win. This demonstrates that you value and respect your partner’s point of view, but it also shows that you don’t always have to get your way. Part of being in a relationship means being willing to let the other person take the lead sometimes. If you’re ready to show your partner that you’re able to change, start by letting them have the final word.

2. Let your partner feel needed

If you’re used to handling everything on your own, your partner might not feel needed. This can be especially true with military couples after a deployment. Instead of trying to prove that you can survive without your partner, let them know how much you truly need and want them in your life. This could be anything from letting your husband take care of the baby one night, asking your wife to show you how to cook something, or asking your partner’s opinion about how to best handle a workplace problem you feel stressed about.

3. Let your partner know you value his or her opinion

Respect essentially boils down to one thing: value. When you demonstrate respect to someone, you let them know how valuable they are to you. One important way that you can show your partner your respect is to let them know how much you value their opinions. The next time that your partner offers advice on something, take it. The next time your wife suggests you wear a different tie, do it. The next time that your husband suggests you apply for a specific job, listen. Part of a successful relationship means demonstrating that the other person is important. Valuing their opinions is one of the simplest ways to show them how much you care.

Want more marriage advice before your big wedding day? Go to and enroll in our online Florida premarital preparation course. Many couples who have completed our course highly recommend it.


How Can You Handle a Disagreement in a Productive Manner?

Couple in a disagreement

Here’s a scenario. You and your spouse are having a disagreement. Each of you has a different idea about the issue of contention. How can you get past the frustration and handle this disagreement in a productive manner?

First, you need to decide what “handle this disagreement in a productive manner” means to each of you. Then, that will guide you towards an end-goal during your discussion. The interpretation of that phrase is what leads you down one road or another and towards a goal. It’s as if you’re at a fork in the road. One road leads to more arguments, anger, and perhaps even insults and verbal abuse. Yet, another road leads to keeping the peace, continued happiness with your partner and keeping a happy home.

As an illustration, consider that making the decision to turn onto one road is when you decide what goal you prefer to follow. Then, driving the car down that road equates to the steps you take with what you think, say, and do during the next few minutes or hours with your partner so you can get yourself down the road you choose and to your end-goal there.

Let’s explore two very different types of interpretations of “to handle this disagreement in a productive manner.” Keep in mind that there can be other interpretations and if so, the person will be led down an even different road as they attempt to realize that different goal. For this discussion, we will focus on one interpretation which generally leads the couple into a worse conflict and another which generally leads to a calmer conversation.

The Fighting Road

If one of you interprets the phrase “to handle this disagreement in a productive manner” as meaning “I will get what I want” (because what I think is the best way and so of course it’s the most productive way to handle the disagreement) and your partner interprets that phrase similarly (so they think their idea is better and they will also fight tooth and nail to get it), then the two of you will be locked into an escalating fight where the goal is to control and win (what only one person wants). In this case, each person has as their end-goal “to win with my idea.” Unfortunately, this road typically leads to a worse conflict where neither truly “win” because of what they also “lose” (the trust, respect, good feelings from their spouse).

If you choose to think and act like that couple, then you and/or your partner might be:

1. Intimidating the other by yelling louder or interrupting them so they can’t even put forth anymore of their thoughts

2. Insulting the other so they will buckle and accept your idea instead

3. Trying different tactics to “prove” your idea is superior to your partner’s idea, or that your partner’s idea is “stupid” whereas yours makes the most sense

4. Refusing to talk with each other anymore while harboring resentment, being angry with each other, and with no resolution in sight

The Power Couple Road

On the hand, if you are part of a couple where you each decide to interpret the phrase “to handle the disagreement in a productive manner” to mean “we will agree to some solution to resolve the current issue, if possible, but the main goal is always to maintain the well-being of our relationship and stay respectful, loving, and happy together” then you will not be locked in a fight where the goal is to control and win what only one wants. In this case, your partner’s happiness, ideas, and feelings are a top priority and you want to maintain a happy home. So you and your partner go down a road where each is saying and doing things towards that end-goal by calming the situation and winning by gaining ongoing good feelings towards each other in a respectful and loving relationship.

If you choose to think and act like that couple, then you and/or your partner might be:

1. Thinking of more alternatives: discussing more ideas until you both agree to one, even though the “solution” you decide on may be one that neither of you originally proposed- however, you are both “satisfied enough”

2. Standing down- letting your partner get their choice instead so you both stop arguing and continue happy together rather than angry with each other

3. Supporting your partner’s feelings even though you don’t agree with their proposed solution (example: partner is fed up with kids that day and proposes selling them online – instead of yelling that your partner is stupid for thinking that way, you give your partner a hug, say you’re sorry they had such a hard day with the kids, you know the kids can be extra challenging some days, and ask what can you do or both of you do now to help alleviate your spouses’ distress)

4. Agreeing to have different ideas: tabling the discussion because “it’s not worth it” (it’s not worth hurting each other over this issue) and you decide you each can just continue thinking differently about this and still get along fine- OR- temporarily stopping the discussion by mutual agreement so each of you has time to calm down and/or to think of more ideas for more discussion at another time

5. bargaining or negotiating such that you or your partner get what one wants now but only by also making the other one happy by giving them something in exchange now or in the future, and both of you are satisfied with the deal

This second scenario of resolving a disagreement in a productive manner is one that generally leads a couple down the road to having a stronger, respectful, and happier relationship. With such a couple, they both do all they can to make choices in what they say and do to keep the closeness and happiness they feel in their relationship as their first priority, even when they (at least initially) disagree.

Ultimately, though, this couple chooses to agree on one very important thing. They agree to put the topic of disagreement in the background (as less important) and to put their relationship first.

Engaged Begin to Plan Couples Thanksgiving Traditions

Bringing turkey to the table at thanksgiving

Two Families, One Thanksgiving

Now that you’re both becoming part of two families soon, you will want to discuss your couples thanksgiving traditions. Where and with who you will be spending this holiday tops the list of talking points.

So, where will you spend Thanksgiving?

Since each of you are probably used to spending the Thanksgiving holiday with your own family it can be a challenging conversation trying to figure this out.

Here are some alternatives to consider as you and your partner work out your Thanksgiving plans. Use the below possibilities as a springboard to your discussion. You may come up with a different plan that will work for you. Be prepared to brainstorm and negotiate as you narrow down to the best idea for your Thanksgiving holiday this year.


1. Spend it with one family and call the other one’s family.

2. Split the time and spend some of the day with one family and the rest of the day with the other’s family.

3. Arrange to invite both families (if nearby) to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday altogether at one of the parent’s houses.

4. Invite both families to all eat out together at a Thanksgiving buffet dinner (neutral territory).

5. Celebrate a just-the-two-of-us Thanksgiving. Then either call or video chat with each other’s families.

6. Celebrate with friends only. Either call or video chat with your families.

7. Make the Thanksgiving holiday do double duty and have it also become a party related to the wedding, such as an Engagement Party or Bridal Shower where you can also invite close friends as well.

8. Agree to take turns going to each other’s families every other year.

9. Take turns going to each other’s families but agree to some uneven schedule you both agree to, such as three years here, then one year there.

10. Just make a decision for this year. Agree to table discussion about future years until those years arise. Decide on any criteria (such as financial if travel costs are involved) you both think would be important to include to help you achieve a mutually satisfying decision in the coming years.

11. Celebrate Thanksgiving always with one family but celebrate a different important annual holiday with the other family.

12. Celebrate Thanksgiving on two different dates during Thanksgiving week, for example on Thanksgiving day and on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Arrange to spend time with each family on the different dates.


Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to listen carefully to each other’s feelings and ideas and then to arrive at a mutually agreeable decision that you’re both happy enough with. Agreement on any other Thanksgiving-related issues will just be gravy on top.

We would like to thank our customers this Thanksgiving holiday season. Thank you for taking our Florida Premarital Course and for including strengthening your relationship for marriage as part of your wedding planning. We wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.