We all have moments of disagreement, conflict, misunderstanding and lack of communication.  If you can dig down and get to the underlying reason for disagreement or conflict many times, it’s about how we didn’t communicate well enough. Our spouse or significant other didn’t really understand and hear what we were trying to tell them.

Miscommunication and misunderstanding are often blamed when a couple gets divorced, separated, or even just starts to head down the path to a disconnected and less than satisfying relationship.

However, in a recent study of 1500 people who have been happily married for more than 20 years, they cited mutual RESPECT as the reason for their marriage longevity and deep relationship. Why do you think that is?

Why would respect rank over communication as the number one ingredient for a happy marriage?

I believe that Respect for another person IS the foundation of good communication. Think back to a time when you had a deep and meaningful conversation with someone. During this significant time of connection ask yourself – how much do I respect this person? Chances are on a scale of 1-10 the rank is somewhere between 7-10.

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.”            

Laurence Sterne

As humans, we tend not to want to waste time on relationships that aren’t mutually beneficial. There’s not a lot of self-development or growth in a relationship that is mostly one way. An example of a one-way relationship might be where you serve another group of people who lack certain skills or have needs you can support. Think soup kitchen, grief recovery, children’s advocacy organizations, and the like. These people groups have needs that should be served by those who have “filled up their self-development bucket with other more reciprocal relationships. I have great respect for those groups that I serve, but I don’t count on them to feed me.


Noun:  a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

Verb:  admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

Both Love and Respect are essential in any marriage relationship. Women want to be loved and feel loved, and men want to be respected. However, both partners need to feel a sense of respect at all times.

As R&B legend Aretha Franklin put it so well:

What you want
Baby, I got it
What you need
Do you know I got it?
All I’m askin’
Is for a little respect when you get home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(Just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB

We all want respect – so what does that look like in your relationship? What is it you happily receive from your spouse that shows they understand and respect you? Take just a moment and share with us in the comment box below.