Forever is a long time when it comes to avoiding issues and annoyances that can put a damper on your marriage as a whole. That’s why so many marriages end in divorce. But while any number of things can go wrong and lead to a divorce, most, if not all, of them start from one particular issue. The Huffington Post recently touched on this issue in a post detailing the six signs it’s time to get out of your marriage. Not surprisingly, this one issue was at the top: lack of mutual respect.
“When one or both spouses stop respecting one another,” the site notes, “the foundation of the marriage is torn apart and little can be done to mend it. This is the biggest cause of divorce and is usually behind all the other issues involved.”
Very true! Love and respect are tied together, especially within the realm of marriage, and if you lose respect, love will soon follow. Here are some things you can do to keep this from happening.
1. Trade places.
One of the most common reasons that people tend to lose respect for their significant others is that they simply take for granted all of the things that person brings to the marriage — or else they FEEL they are being taken for granted. Regardless of which side of this you’re on, you can do one thing to prevent it. Trade places with each other. Now obviously, you can’t switch jobs and other essential responsibilities that rely on your individual identities. However, you can identify areas where you give to the marriage that can be “swapped out” for a few days (e.g. laundry, household fix-it jobs, paying bills, budgeting, etc.). Take three or four days to walk in the other person’s shoes. This often helps you achieve an important level of empathy with your spouse, which allows you to rebuild or reawaken respect.
2. Find time to date.
People often cease respecting one another because they forgot what it was like to be a couple. By extracting yourselves from the day-to-day monotony and making “couple time,” going out on more dates, etc., you can start to see each other as unique individuals again. With that, respect and love are never far away.
3. Show appreciation.
Showing your spouse you appreciate them often has a way of being reciprocated. In other words, if you do it, they do it. It’s not foolproof, and won’t work every time, but if just one of you starts showing more appreciation for what the other does, it can lead to some huge advancements in the quality of your marriage.
Are you and your spouse having trouble maintaining respect for one another? What are some specific areas you struggle with?