A marriage is based on love, trust, and most importantly, respect.
But what happens when you’re unsure of how to make your wife feel respected within the relationship?
In this article, I’ll be sharing 22 incredibly important ways to respect your wife, and how to be the husband she wants and deserves!
1) Recognize that she’s more than just a wife
Before you married, your wife was a daughter, a sibling, a friend, a colleague, the pretty stranger on the subway….she was an entire being in her own right!
And that’s probably what attracted you to her in the first place. This incredible woman who stole your heart with her sense of humor and quirky personality.
But the truth is, she still is all those things.
You see, after a few years together, it’s easy to stop recognizing a spouse as a being of their own. We become so entwined in married life, that you may only view her as “The Mrs”.
When in reality, she’s so much more.
So one of the best ways you can respect your wife is by recognizing the person she is.
Don’t limit her to playing just one role. She’s your wife, but she’s also a human with her own desires and needs.
2) Treat her the way you’d like to be treated
Does this point need much more explanation?
It goes without saying, if you wouldn’t like to be shouted at, don’t shout at her.
If you wouldn’t like to be lied to, don’t lie to her.
It’s a simple one in theory, but unfortunately, many couples forget this number one rule of respect.
Because in a fit of rage or when things aren’t going your way, it’s oh so easy to cross the line and disrespect your wife.
But in doing so, you’re not only disrespecting her, but you’re also disrespecting yourself and your commitment as a husband!
3) Give her space
I can’t stress this point enough – we ALL need space and time to do our thing.
Your wife included. Maybe she needs an afternoon once a week to catch up with her friends?
A morning to take herself to the spa?
A fitness class that she goes to alone, to get out of the house, to destress from work, or simply just because she likes it!
The point is:
By giving your wife space to do her own thing, you’re allowing her to keep her sense of individuality. She’ll be a happier wife as a result, and this will only benefit you.
Not to mention, it’s a sign of trust as well as respect. And isn’t a marriage based on those two qualities?
4) Encourage her dreams and ambitions
If you’re not already her biggest supporter, get on board!
Your wife’s ambitions and dreams matter. No matter how you feel about her latest business venture, share your concerns, but never shut her down.
Allow her to make her own mistakes and to grow from them.
Encourage her to take risks, live out her dreams, and be there for her if they don’t work out (leave out the “I told you so” comment too, no matter how tempting it might be to say!).
5) Respect her boundaries
A healthy marriage, like all relationships, is based on boundaries. Respecting them is an incredibly important way to show your wife you respect her.
But here’s the thing:
Instead of seeing boundaries as something to “break down” to make your life easier, see them as something positive.
Your wife is literally giving you the blueprint of how she wants to be treated! Every time she enforces a boundary, she’s telling you what’s acceptable to her and what isn’t.
If you’re unwilling to respect her boundaries, you may have other issues in your marriage (and within yourself) that need urgent attention.
6) Make an effort with her loved ones
It’s all very well visiting your in-laws once a year to keep the peace, but think about how your wife feels every time you roll your eyes at their mention, or when you avoid making plans?
No matter how committed she is to you, her family and friends will always be an important part of her life.
So by showing them respect and cultivating strong relationships with them, you’re showing your wife just how much you respect her.
7) Check in with her before making big decisions
Thinking of buying a new car?
Got plans to quit your job?
Tempted to adopt that dog you’ve secretly wanted for years?
Whatever it is, no matter how “trivial” it might seem at the time, if it affects your wife, you need to consult her first.
Please note though – this doesn’t mean you need to ask for permission.
Asking your wife’s opinion opens the door to having a discussion. And from there, you can reach a compromise that suits BOTH of you.
It’s showing respect to the fact that you share a life with her, and acknowledging that your decisions will affect her, directly or indirectly.
8) Always have her back
When you made the vows to commit and love your wife until death, you also signed up to be her teammate.
Keep that in mind whenever your wife is facing her own battles. You may not need to fight them for her, but you can certainly support her and have her back.
And if you do need to defend her?
Do it at all costs!
Even if you don’t agree with your wife’s actions, it’s important to show solidarity and loyalty. You can share your honest opinion with her later in privacy, but in public, you should always maintain a united front.
9) Don’t take her for granted
When was the last time you thanked your wife for all she does for you?
When was the last time you acknowledged all the times she’s put you before herself?
Showing gratitude doesn’t need to be dramatic or overly romantic. All it takes is an acknowledgment and a thank you! So, the next time she:
- Puts your laundry away
- Takes the car to get fixed at the garage
- Makes your favorite meal
- Runs a hundred errands after working a full day
- Drops by to visit your elderly parents
Show her your appreciation!
Not only are you respecting your wife by thanking her, but you’re reassuring her that all her effort hasn’t gone to waste, that you do appreciate and take note of it.
10) Follow through and keep your word
When you’ve made a promise to your wife, no matter how small, even if it’s just an agreement to take the trash out every day, honor your word.
Part of respecting a person is respecting their time, emotions, and trust in you.
The bottom line is:
If you can’t keep your word, you’re showing her that you don’t value her. This will make her feel unappreciated, and it will also decrease the level of trust she has in you.
11) Don’t air your dirty laundry
Fellas – your wife is driving you crazy and all you want to do is vent to your friends.
The thing is though, these guys can’t keep anything to themselves. The next thing you know, the entire town is talking about how your wife reacts during arguments.
She’ll be embarrassed. She’ll be hurt. What happens in your marriage should stay within the confines of the marriage.
So, don’t disrespect her publicly (or privately for that matter). Even if she manages to forgive you, others will always remember.
If you must vent, confide in a trusted friend. And be fair in your recount; painting your wife as a she-devil might make you feel better temporarily but won’t do you any favors in the long run!
12) Be the teammate she needs
I mentioned earlier how you signed up to be her teammate and this involves having her back whenever she needs you.
But from a different angle, being a teammate includes supporting each other in daily life. In the mundane things like grocery shopping or cleaning up after the kids.
The traditional setup of a wife at home and a man at work has evolved and changed (and rightly so) over the last couple of decades.
Now, most couples share household and financial responsibilities. If she’s pulling her weight in the marriage, can you confidently say the same?
13) Accept that she may change as a person
The woman you married will not be the same woman five years down the line. 10 years down the line she may have changed even more.
That’s the beauty of marriage; you get to love all the different versions of your wife as she progresses and grows as a person!
Now, for some, this can be a hard adjustment. There might be times when you miss the “old her”, but never forget that you committed to love her through thick and thin.
Celebrate the changes your wife goes through as a woman. Be by her side throughout them, and support her in her growth.
Respect her right to change and develop as an individual.
14) Remain honest and open with her
This goes without saying, but honesty is a must within a marriage.
As you become comfortable in your life together, never assume your partner knows what you’re thinking or feeling.
Communication is the key to avoiding misunderstandings, so be open. Share your thoughts. Open your heart to your wife.
Even when you mess up…Never assume it’s okay to gloss over the truth.
One white lie can easily spiral into bigger, more harmful lies, so if you really want to respect your wife, at the very least commit to always being honest.
15) Keep arguments constructive, not destructive
Here’s the thing:
There’s no manual on how to argue “the right way”. And trust me, no marriage is without disagreements and the odd fallout.
But there are ways to keep things constructive. Try to:
- Stop to take a breath and calm down when arguments become heated
- Respect each other’s space if one is too angry to communicate effectively
- To avoid playing the blame game
- Focus on the issue at hand without bringing up past behaviors and arguments
- Learn to agree to disagree
- Work out a resolution TOGETHER so both of you can move forward once the argument is resolved.
And if all else fails?
Seek professional help. We don’t get behind the wheel of a car without the training and guidance of a professional.
We don’t enter our careers without following a mentor or taking classes first.
So why should marriage be any different?
A professional marriage therapist can give you the tools to work through your arguments constructively, and what better way to pay respect to your marriage and wife?
16) Never stop working on yourself
As your wife changes and grows as a person, you owe it to her (and yourself above all) to do the same.
By investing in your own self-development, you’re respecting your wife by continuously trying to better yourself, to be a better man, husband, and friend.
The truth is:
Marriage should be about growing together. But for that to happen, you also need to grow as individuals.
17) Be faithful, always
I’ll be honest, most people face temptation from someone other than their spouse at some point in their marriage.
Some of us may even consider acting upon this temptation. This is our human nature – we all like to be flattered by new attention being directed at us.
But that’s where you need to draw the line.
If you find yourself getting caught up with another woman, remember the hurt and devastation your actions will cause your wife.
Respect her enough to do the right thing – don’t play with fire.
And if you can’t resist the heat?
Leave your marriage before starting up something new. Allow your wife to move on with her life, instead of cheating behind her back and turning her world as she knows it into a lie.
18) Avoid checking out other women
A pretty woman walks by while you’re out having dinner with your wife. Do you:
1) Stare openly, making sure to get a good 360-degree view of her derriere
2) Check her out when your wife isn’t looking
3) See the pretty woman, but continue to focus on your wife and the conversation at hand
If you answered C – congratulations! You’re off to a good start.
Here’s the brutal truth:
It’s natural to take a second glance when someone attractive walks by. We all do it, women included!
But what’s not cool is staring.
Even if you try to time it for the moment your wife looks down at the menu, if she happens to catch you in the act, it’s not going to do you any favors.
You wouldn’t like it if it was the other way around. So, respect your wife by ensuring she never has to doubt your commitment and attraction to her.
19) Be helpful around the house, not a hindrance
I’ve spoken a lot about responsibilities and shared workload around the house in this article.
Because it’s what most women want.
Granted, some still prefer to be the stay at home mom (which is a big job within itself) while their husband goes out to grind each day, but for most independent, working women, they want a husband, not another toddler in the house.
Small things like picking up after yourself, lending her a hand when you guys are hosting dinner for friends (don’t be like Vince Vaughn in the Breakup), and cooking once in a while will go a long way towards being a good husband.
And if you don’t want to do those things?
Remember that your wife probably doesn’t want to either. We’ve all got better things to do than chores around the house, so sharing the workload is far better than one person taking it all on.
20) Learn to compromise
Marriage is all about compromise. Just the other day, my husband said he wanted to convert one room in our house into a gym/exercise room.
Is that what I want? Not really.
Will I agree to it? Yes – because there are things in the house that I’ve wanted in the past which he’s compromised on.
It’s all about give and take. You do this at work, you do it within family and friend circles, so extend that same level of respect to your wife and her wishes.
21) Spend time with your wife
When was the last time you took your wife out on the town?
The last time you wined and dined her?
Or even, the last time you ordered takeaway, snuggled up on the sofa, and binge-watched your favorite series?
Even if it feels like you’re always together (thanks to Covid and the WFH lifestyle) you may not actually be spending “quality” time together.
And quality is key.
So the next time your wife hints at taking the weekend off to get away, don’t groan and make excuses.
Recognize that she’s trying to connect with you. Show her the same enthusiasm back. Give her a reason to brag to her friends about what a wonderful husband she has!
22) Approach issues with love and compassion
And finally – if you want to respect your wife, have compassion and love at the heart of everything you do.
Never forget that this person beside you is more than just a wife. She may be the mother of your children, and if you don’t have kids, she’s still your best friend, your partner in crime, your confidant.
When things get rocky, which they will (it happens in every marriage), approach these situations with kindness and understanding.
Here’s a tip that has helped me out:
Separate your partner from the issue at hand. See yourselves as a team who need to tackle the problem together.
With this mindset, you’ll avoid falling into the trap of disrespecting your wife.
Respect is something that is cultivated and earned over time. The truth is, there will be moments in your marriage where one or both of you feel disrespected by the other.
This is normal – arguments, misunderstandings, petty disputes – can all lead to feelings of disrespect.
But – and this is an important but – if you work your hardest to be respectful towards your wife from the get-go, when these issues do appear, she’ll recognize that you’d never intentionally hurt her.
She’ll know in her heart that you do value and respect her.
And the best part?
None of the tips above are going to cost you much in the way of time or energy. They’re small adjustments that form the basis of any healthy relationship, so what are you waiting for?
Go and be the best husband you can be!