Studies suggest three out of four men would rather feel unloved than not respected in their relationship.  In a survey I conducted on this topic people came up with compelling arguments on both sides regarding whether respect is earned or given:

Respect is earned…

55% of males agree                                        57.5% females agree

“If you are not respected by your partner in return you will give up trying to be kind, loving and respectful and your relationship doomed!!”

“It is easy to lose respect for someone and then find yourself in a situation where because respect isn’t given, it is also not received, and you’re both down the slippery slope.”

Respect is given…

45% of males agree                                        42.5% of females agree

“I believe disrespect breeds resentment. Relationship will only last until resentment outweighs love”

“Behaving respectfully in a marriage is shown/given freely as it is an unconditional requirement of marriage just like acting lovingly. It is a choice, a decision to make your marriage wonderful.”

Underpinning this is whether you consider respect to be action alone, or an attitude in action…

The thing is, you have the choice to behave respectfully towards a person regardless of whether you think they deserve it or you agree with their actions.

A person may earn your respect or esteem based on their behavior or character, but don’t confuse respect with trust.  While respect can be given, generally speaking, trust is earned.

Do you believe a relationship will survive if one partner does not respect the other?

100% of men responded “No”              3% of women responded “Yes”

“Yes a relationship can survive but there will be truckloads of issues and some very unhappy people.”

“I believe disrespect breeds resentment. Relationship will only last until resentment outweighs love.”

If respect is so crucial, we must know what it means and how to show it.

Respect means showing regard for your partner; valuing them, considering them important and treating them with dignity.  You can show respect for your partner even if you disagree with them on issues.  You can maintain a respectful relationship despite your differences.

If there’s no respect…

The level of intimacy will deteriorate and impact the quality and future potential of your relationship.

This is not a topic to be taken likely given the implications.

Author Shunit Feldhahn of “For Women Only” argues men need respect more than love; regardless of whether or not he is meeting his partner’s expectations at the moment.

One woman summed it up like this:

“I believe it is inherent in us to offer respect, but it is more freely given when it is mutual and, for a women, when she feels loved! We have as much of a need to feel loved as a man does to feel respected.”

If respect is so important to men yet 57% of women think their partner must earn it, should love be continually earned also?  My guess is, if love was freely given couples would be happier and their relationship more likely to endure…

Kind regards

Adele Cornish

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