A huge THANK YOU to everyone who responded to the survey on whether you believe respect is earned or given.   The results are in with compelling arguments for both sides:

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 as this verse illustrates:

“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.” 1 Peter 2:18

However, 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 there’s no respect…

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

I began this series on respect by stating  that studies suggest three out of four men would rather feel unloved than not respected in their 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:

“Respect is a commandment of us from God. 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 the divorce rate wouldn’t be so high…

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