Joy For January: Respect For Your Partner

You might be wondering what “joy” has to do with “respect”, but I think that for most men, being respected within their own home leads to joy for them.  Men love to fix problems, they like to be the One Who Saves The World From Destruction, and they like to look good whilst they are doing it!

But here is the rub, right?  Most mothers I know spend much more time reading, researching, speaking with other mothers about parenting, observing children of different ages than Dad, who may be off at work all day.  We want to share what we have learned with Dad, and some of our ideas can be different or strange to him.  So what is Dad’s role in all this and how do we make him feel respected?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, about how some families have a structure where the roles for “work” are fairly rigid (ie, the mother takes care of the house, the father works outside the home) and how some families have more fluid roles between mothers and fathers…..So how do we balance these roles in relation to parenting, homeschooling, and all the while providing our spouse with some joy through respect?  A tall order in many ways!

We are coming up on 18 years of marriage, so I would like to think I have a few things to share on this.

  • I think one thing is to have respect for your spouse in front of your children.  Yes, we probably all disagree in front of the children, but I think providing an overall attitude that Dad knows what he is doing is beneficial.  He may do it differently than you, but that doesn’t mean he is wrong.  If you don’t like what he is doing, can you talk about it later not in front of the kids?  If that is possible!
  • I think it really is okay to say, “Go ask your father.”  :) I know that sounds corny, but  think how many decisions you make in regards to your child all day long and give Dad a chance too!
  • What are the top things that irritate your husband?  Does it drive him crazy to come home to a house with toys everywhere?  Does he need some quiet to transition to being home?  Some things are just inevitable when one lives with young children, but at the same time, instead of just brushing these things aside, perhaps take them under consideration and see if you can meet some of Dad;s needs or even wants even part of the time.  Happy Dad!
  • Okay, ahem, how is your intimacy?  Men connect emotional intimacy through the physical.  That part of your life really should be a priority.  Enough said. :)
  • Do you have a rhythm for your weekend?  A lot of mothers comment that they love having Dad home, but the weekends are a bit crazy.  If you could  sit down together and plan out what needs to happen on a weekend that might really help.  For example,  if you need time alone when that will happen, if Dad needs time alone when that will happen?    Do you plan anything fun together as a family?
  • Dads don’t go through the same  hormonal swings we do with pregnancy, birth, lactation.  I find many Dads, especially first-time Dads,  really do miss their wives a bit as they adjust to parenthood.  Do you ever get to spend time with just your spouse?  Even if it is early in the AM, or later in the PM, it is worth cultivating that intimate time!  It seems like some mothers/fathers put their relationship last when they have small children (and babies and toddlers  have such  serious needs to be met), but as your child grows it seems partners should be able to talk after your children go to bed!  And finish sentences!
  • Does Dad have a part in your homeschool?  What strengths and talents does Dad have that he could teach the children?  It is really fabulous to hear small children who think their Dad is the strongest, fastest, smartest.
  • When does Dad interact with the children and care for them?  Dads need to be around for the little things in order for children to trust them with the big things.  That in itself builds respect.

I know this post sounds hopelessly old-fashioned, but one day your children will be grown up and gone.  At that point, I really want you and your spouse to be looking across the breakfast  table at each other in love. 

Marriage is such a wonder and a joy.  I have no doubt that my Beloved Creator made my husband just for me.  I hope you feel the same way about your spouse as well!

Live in Joy Together Today,

Carrie

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8 thoughts on “Joy For January: Respect For Your Partner

  1. Thank you for your post and sharing your wisdom. I think it’s all true. My husband and I have been married for 13 yrs and I see he is very different to me! He is a very different creature to me but the perfect counterpart for our life as one together.
    When I set my eyes on respecting him and making sure all his needs are met it makes him WANT to LOVE me the way that I need to be loved. I probably take old fashioned to another level.
    Yophi

  2. Thank you for this very important post, Carrie. My husband and I are coming upon ten years and it sure took us at least half of it to figure out how to support one another in a way that makes us feel whole and loved. I would have really appreciated some of these insightful words in the early stages of my marriage. There’s nothing wrong with old fashioned….
    xoxoxo

  3. I feel like I will be doing a disservice to my 5 year old if I don’t let him go to kindergarten in the fall. He goes to a very awesome preschool a couple days a week for a couple of hours and his teachers tell me that he is confident and they are positive he will succeed. What should I do? I should also mention that my husband wants him to go to kindergarten and get a traditional public school schooling.

  4. Such a great post! There have been way too many times where I would simply override Daddy (even in front of the kids!!!) because I felt like I knew best! Another lesson I needed to learn and I am so glad to leave that terrible habit behind! He is my rock, my saving grace, my partner, and my best friend! I love my husband and I cherish him utterly because he is just plain awesome!!! It never ceases to amaze me how transforming love can be!!!! I am filled gratitude and respect!

  5. Hi Carrie,

    What a perfect post. One worth reading over and over. I read a book a while back (I can’t remember the title as I type this…something about respect). The premise was that women want to feel loved and men need to feel respected. I felt like a had a good relationship with my husband, but after reading that book, we are in sync more often not.

    On a another note, have you ever noticed how often T.V. shows portray dads as the big loveable lug who is kinda stupid and the wife and kids are always snarky?

  6. Hi, from New Zealand. I just love what you say about Dads, it is all such good advice, I have been married for 34 years, and think its great advice. cheers and “Happy days” Marie

  7. Pingback: Back to Basics: Work Hard On Your Marriage « The Parenting Passageway

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