Tip for Success in Love, Marriage, and Life:
“You don’t respect me!”, Reggie says to Regina in frustration and anger”.
You’re always criticizing me and telling me what I am doing wrong”.
“Why do you talk to me like this?”
“Because I don’t respect you!”
This is a snippet of an argument between Reggie and Regina.
They have been married for 27 years. They are empty nesters with two adult college grads who no longer live at home.
This is not their first argument about feeling disrespected. It has been a constant theme when communication breaks down between them.
The first time Regina heard Reggie say he felt disrespected by her was about 5 years into their marriage, after their second baby was born.
They had a conflict because they had parenting styles as well as different expectations about what was needed to provide the best environment and experience for the growth and development of their children.
Two examples of arguments over the years.
“She made all the decisions without consulting me. I was just expected to pay the expenses”
“She was also demanding about me taking more responsibilities at home”.
Now the children are out of the home, living their own lives, so the arguments are no longer about child rearing. However, there is still no resolution about shared responsibilities around the house and other issues.
- Order in home
- Plans for retirement
Reggie continued to feel disrespected because of the way Regina talked to him.
Regina continued to feel disrespected because Reggie would not listen to her. “He doesn’t care”, Regina would say.
So, they kept arguing
Even though these arguments put a strain on their marriage, they did enjoy positive experiences with their friends and family.
However, at home, the slightest, innocent infraction would trigger underlying negative feelings they had about each other.
Each argument built an additional layer of an emotional invisible wedge between them.
Some therapists call this wedge an invisible divorce.
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How do Reggie and Regina remove the wedge?
So, what is respect in love, marriage, and life”? What does that mean?
The dictionary defines respect as:
- A regard and consideration for the feelings, wishes, needs, concerns, rights, or traditions of others
- Treating another person in a way that shows you admire them and care about their feelings and their well-being.
It is often expressed during conversation, like the snapshot of the conversation between Reggie and Regina.
Regard and consideration for each other’s feelings, wishes, needs, concerns, and rights are truly missing
Treating each other in a way that the other feels admired was missing as well.
Respect is also a reflection of how they care about each other’s feelings and well-being.
Reggie and Regina defined respect differently.
Reggie defines respect as being acknowledged for what he does for Regina and the family. He is very successful in his career and is proud to be a good provider.
He doesn’t understand why that is not more important than doing chores at home.
Regina defines respect as Reggie treating her with kindness and politeness as well as supporting her to have more order in the home.
Why is respect important?
Respect reflects how couples feel about each other.
The way Reggie and Regina argue reflects the negative feelings they have about each other in the “heat of the moment.
Negative feelings from each unresolved argument have built up and created an emotional wedge between them.
Reggie and Regina need a breakthrough.
If they don’t turn things around, the love that they have for each other will become hidden and buried underground. Neither wants that.
How do they turn things around?
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The first step is to turn things around is to understand that what they have been constantly arguing about is a symptom of a bigger problem beneath the surface.
They need to get to the root of the problem to be solved.
Reggie and Regina Made a Decision
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Once they discovered the root of the problem, they made a decision and a commitment to solve that deeper problem between them.
- Even when it was difficult
- Especially when they didn’t want to.
It took time and work:
- Reggie worked hard to stop over talking Regina
- Regina worked hard to stop interrupting Reggie when she was feeling impatient
It wasn’t easy. Sometimes when they hit the rough spots, they became impatient with each other and wanted to stop.
What helped them to move through those tough times was they were open to support.
With that support they were able to discover and overcome unconscious internal resistance. It paid off.
With the support Reggie and Regina received, they were able to stay intentional and focused to get the results they wanted.
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In three to six months, they began to enjoy the results they wanted: feeling more respected.
They were feeling better about themselves and each other.
To their surprise, they began to receive positive feedback from their adult children, other family members and friends.
The question they were asked often was, “What happened to you two? You’re acting like high school sweethearts!
Reggie and Regina just smiled. They knew what happened and how hard they had worked
And there’s more, the other five pillars were strengthened as well
How About You?
Simone Secci Avatar of user Simone Secci Simone Secci @simonesecci
- What is it like for you when your mate doesn’t show respect to you?
- How difficult is it for you to be respectful to your spouse or mate when they disrespect you?
- On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with how respect is expressed in your relationship?
- What happens when you talk about it?
- What will your relationship look like and feel like if there was more respect?
- On a scale of 1 – 10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how satisfied are you with how the both of you of work through situations when either of you feel disrespected?
If You Would Like Support like Reggie and Regina to strengthen the pillar of “Respect” in your relationship, I am offering complimentary consultation calls to help you to get started.
This call is designed to support couples like you to discover how to move past just understanding pillars of a healthy relationship to living them.
Each pillar by themselves will improve the quality of your relationship and when they work together, they multiply their effect.
If you are ready to discover the first step to move toward bridging the gap from where you are to where you want to be in your relationship.
And, if you want to enjoy more quality, depth, connection, and fun in your relationship then scheduling a complimentary call is designed for you.
Registration is easy. Fill out the questionnaire at this link:
I will be in touch with you when I receive the questionnaire to schedule a time for our conversation: just the two of you and me.