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Love and Respect

Love and Respect

Image credits: Ebony

Relationships are precious, and as it goes with precious objects, they’re also fragile. They require constant attention and maintenance, thus the tons of books and online articles (like this one) that dish out relationship advice. Of the myriad advice out there, one factor that’s commonly overlooked is respect.

Respect comes in two flavors; both equally important. The first is a feeling of deep admiration for your partner elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. The second is an understanding that the person you’re with is a human being that has amassed a lifetime of beliefs, opinions and perspectives; your agreement or disagreement with these does not negate their validity, or their existence.

Once this is absent from a relationship, constant arguments, resentment, and treading of boundaries become the norm. Nothing stings worse than devoting yourself to someone who has no regard for the things that make you, “you,” and if it isn’t handled resentment begins to bloom. If you find yourself in a such a scenario, or perhaps you’re the one who struggles to respect your partner, here are three things you can do to help the situation:

Image credits: Build your Marriage
  1. Communicate

Sometimes, a lack of respect in a relationship might be due to earlier miscommunication of values or beliefs. Constantly sitting down to educate your partner on your values, preferences, beliefs and their underlying reasons, when situations of disrespect arise, can go a long way to resolve any issues and help you and your partner understand yourselves better.

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  1. Pay attention to your partner’s positive traits

What you focus on becomes your experience, it may be that you or your partner have been conditioned to hone in on mistakes and imperfections while completely ignoring the positives. This can be difficult, seeing as you’re used to the opposite, however, borrowing the perspectives of other people, especially people who hold your spouse in high esteem can help. That said, always looking for the negatives means you yourself have emotional issues you need to deal with; talking to a life coach or seeing a therapist is a good way to explore your psyche and understand your emotions and their origins. If it’s the other way around, paying attention to your positive traits will keep you emotionally resilient while you teach your partner what respect means to you

  1. Leave

Some situations are irredeemable, no amount of patience, or effort will change things, simply because the other party is not willing to co-operate. In scenarios like that, the best thing to do is leave; life is a long expanse of time, you don’t want to spend most of it with someone who doesn’t understand and is incapable of seeing your value as a person.

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