A Disrespect Barometer

How do we know when we’ve crossed the disrespect line? Thankfully, there is one easy barometer: Check for anger.

Before I elaborate, let me ask you to consider a question: If you are in a conflict with the man in your life, do you think that it is legitimate to break down and cry? Most of us would probably answer yes. Let me ask another question: In that same conflict, do you think it is legitimate for your man to get really angry? Many of us have a problem with that—we think he’s not controlling himself or that he’s behaving improperly.

If a man can’t articulate his feelings in the heat of the moment, he won’t necessarily blurt out something helpful like “You’re disrespecting me!” But rest assured, if he’s angry at something you’ve said and you don’t understand the cause, there is a good chance that he is feeling the pain or humiliation of your disrespect.

If you want confirmation of this, consider the extremely telling response from the survey. More than 80 percent of men—four out of five—said that in a conflict they were likely to be feeling disrespected. Whereas women are far more likely to be wailing, “He doesn’t love me!”

Unconditional Respect

Just as you want the man in your life to love you unconditionally, even when you’re not particularly lovable, your man needs you to demonstrate your respect for him regardless of whether he’s meeting your expectations at the moment.

Women often tend to want to control things, which, unfortunately, men tend to interpret as disrespect and distrust (which, if we’re honest with ourselves, it sometimes is). Marriage is about putting the other person’s needs above your own (he’s required to do that too, remember), and it does tremendous things for your man to know that you are choosing to trust and honor him.