Respecting your spouse is important

Published 8:00 pm Saturday, May 26, 2018

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how important it is to respect your spouse.

Respecting your spouse isn’t the same as loving him or her. You might love someone romantically, but how can a marriage be successful if it’s not respectful?

It’s pretty easy for me to think of reasons I respect my husband. He is extraordinarily talented. He works hard at his full-time job, at several regular freelance gigs, with intermittent freelance photography and design projects and with his own artistic passions. He is so accomplished but, while he takes pride in his work and feels a sense of accomplishment when it’s done, he never brags or uses it as an excuse to lift himself above others.

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He also works hard around the house, taking good care of me while I put in long hours at the paper. He cares for my mother and my aging grandmothers as if they were his own and never hesitates to head to my mom’s house if she needs something.

Like me, my husband is committed to sucking all the marrow out of life during our limited free time together and never complains about the experiences we have, whether it’s an amazing vacation or a quiet Sunday spent together.

My husband and I have been married for more than three years and, just last week, celebrated the 10-year anniversary of when we started dating. While we’re still very much in love, that honeymoon phase might possibly, ever-so-slightly, be fading just a bit.

But it’s how much I admire him for all of his good qualities that keeps me falling head over heels for him every day. I can’t imagine being in a relationship with someone I didn’t respect as much as I respect him.

It might seem pretty rich for me to dispense marital advice having not even reached my fourth wedding anniversary. But, as my mom so nicely reminded me recently, I am speeding headlong toward middle age, so I’ve got more years of life experience than I care to admit.

So, young people, if you’re in a relationship with someone, and you can’t find any reasons to truly respect them as a person — get out. If you objectively examine that person and you find that they don’t work hard at making an honest living, that they don’t value the same things you value, that they don’t care for you like they should, that they don’t treat others kindly, that they don’t have any dreams or ambition to use their God-given talents, that they frequently complain about the blessings they have or that they don’t have causes that are important to them for which they’re willing to sacrifice — get out. You don’t want to be married to someone you can’t respect, so if you’re not married yet, don’t carry that relationship any further.