Respect empowers partnership.
Yes/No: My spouse is worthy of (and has) my full respect.
Why Does This Issue Matter?
Respect matters. It's not just a scenario where only men need respect and women need love. Both husbands and wives, need to feel respected and to give respect. Without respect, we are forced to spend a good amount of time watching our spouse rather than taking care of what is our responsibility. Where respect is present, husbands and wives use their strengths to maximize what each person can accomplish. A relationship with respect is a productive partnership. Without it, the marriage flounders.
What If You Said Yes?
If you feel respected and if you respect your spouse, communicate it, take advantage of it, and watch how quickly and effectively you can move forward. Divide responsibilities based on passions and abilities. Relish the fact that your spouse can handle some things better than you. Value their trust when you take the lead on an issue. At all times, communicate well so that both partners are informed on issues and get to speak into topics when they desire. Yet never feel pressure or guilt for both husband and wife to be involved in everything. Live in your strengths and give thanks for a greater spouse.
What If You Said No?
Noticing the absence of respect is important. A relationship can't move forward without it. Yet a second step must follow. Why isn't respect present? Until the second question is answered, there isn't much you can do. In some cases, respect was present but was then lost. If that's the case, confession, apologies, and amends must be made. Change must be proven over time for respect to be regained. In other scenarios, respect was never present. In this case, a couple must determine if respect can ever be given and received. John Gottman calls contempt one of his Four Horsemen of the Apocoplayspe. Contempt will often lead to divorce. Understand the importance of respect to a healthy partnership. Where it is absent, do the work to rebuild it.
Article: 5 Ways a Husband Respects His Wife
Article: 5 Ways a Wife Respects Her Husband
Book: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman