Recently a friend of mine from an online forum I frequent posted about respect in a relationship. We all want to feel respected, especially by our significant others, but sometimes over time we lose touch with one another. Things become routine and we forget to go the extra mile to make sure those around us feel special. There are even times when we can go the extra mile but choose not to because we don’t feel it will be appreciated or returned.
I sat down with my husband that night and asked him “what makes you feel respected?” He sat there for a while and couldn’t really come up with a good answer. I asked him “what could I do to make you feel more respected?” and he jokingly answered “if you and the kids met me at the door when I come home, all dressed up with smiles on your faces and the house was clean and dinner was on the table.” He immediately laughed it off and we made some jokes about ’50s housewives meeting the husband at the door with a smile and a scotch and the smell of meatloaf wafting in from the kitchen. But even though he laughed it off, I knew a part of him really did want that. Mental note.
The next day I made sure the kids were dressed (I always dress them in the morning but they somehow manage to lose clothes throughout the day) and I fixed my makeup right before he came home. We all greeted him with smiles and hugs and you know what? He was in a good mood for the rest of the night, which in turn made the rest of the family happy.
Then last night I was being super lazy and didn’t manage to start my routine until late in the day. I was still exercising when my husband came home, the kids’ toys were scattered all over and dinner wasn’t started. I could sense this made my husband a little stressed, which in turn made me stressed and of course the kids could sense this, and they became agitated. I felt really guilty.
So today was back to my normal routine. I started dinner on time and made sure all the little messes around the house were taken care of. It took my about 15 minutes to get the house in order. Not much time at all! Husband came home after a 14 hour work day, kids ran up to give hugs, I greeted him with a smile and handful of broccoli ready to go in the steamer and lo and behold, he was happy again. Even when his work called and asked him to drive all the way back to let someone in, he laughed it off.
I have to marvel at how easy it is to make a man happy. Attention, food and maybe a beer here and there. I put so much work into making my kids happy- my whole day, in fact- that taking 15 minutes out of my day to make sure my husband is happy is a walk in the park.
So ladies, sit your husbands down. Ask them what makes them feel respected. You may be surprised at the answer and even more surprised at how easy it is to make him feel important.