101 Ways to Respect to Your Husband
This is the viral list of 101 Ways to Respect Your Husband – everyone loves lists, right? “Just give me a list of things I can do…” they tell me. So here it is. But understand, the hard work that comes with heart change and marital transformation really takes place when we work our way through The Respect Dare (Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2012).
I hope you’ll join us at least here by subscribing to the TIPS! articles – you’ll get this list in a nice little free download plus we walk the rough road of doing hard things in marriage and family…together. And it breaks the BIG CHUNK of 101 THINGS TO DO into bite sized pieces over time. 🙂
But what I really believe you should do is get a handful of your girlfriends together, hunker down, and work your way through the book together, or maybe sign up for the eCourse. And please pray – God may want you to join our ministry and mentor other women using a discipleship method that creates deep relationship with God, self, and others – crazy quick. I’ve never seen this before, either, but He grows Greater Impact by calling others.
If you have trouble respecting yourself, you may also want to join our Strength & Dignity eCourse. Why? because your respect “currency” for him is only as valuable as your respect for yourself.
I know God wrote The Respect Dare – it was finished in less than a month, perhaps just 15-20 hours of actual writing time, and I’ve had many people talk about the discipleship aspect of it, and the incredible spiritual experience of doing it in community. I’m not taking credit here, btw, and know I also don’t want the responsibility, either. And no, I’m not adding to the Bible. 🙂 But God is awesome. And I’m not even a writer. 🙂
I just can’t stress enough that doing the book in a community of women, crying and praying and working hard together is what I believe God intended for you.
I know a list may be of help, but if you want REAL CHANGE, join us in doing the dares. We’d love to have you with us on this hard journey.
And more importantly, I believe God might be grooming YOU for leadership – being a Titus 2 woman, helping other women learn these things and impact other families. So yes, I know you are just trying to impact your marriage, but there may be a bigger picture out there for you to consider.
Your marriage might be hard right now because you might be in Titus 2 Leader Boot Camp.
Just think about it…
And feel free to add more ideas in the comment section. 🙂 While we’ve watched God work miracles in many marriages as wives walk through The Respect Dare together, we don’t claim to know everything. And some of these things to do might not “work” with your husband. But if you do end up doing the book, know that God will work a Jesus-sized miracle in your heart. And respect won’t simply be an action you do for a guy you really don’t feel that way about, but rather, an act of obedience for a God who is changing your heart, one trusting moment after another.
And one day, like thousands of other women, you will wake up and discover that your marriage is better, you feel loved, and you actually DO respect this guy you married – because God will have matured you, and made you more like His Son. And most importantly, you’ll feel closer to Him. I don’t know if you’ll get there the first time you do the book, or the fiftieth… but it will happen if you persevere. And if you want some great examples about how to speak the Truth in love, check how disagreement is handled in this post. #HumblySubmitted…
Don’t miss this before you go:
If you want a download of this list, be sure to sign up in the sidebar for the TIPS! articles – we’ll send a copy of it to you for free. 🙂 You can get it on Amazon, and if you like paper booklets, we understand, but know you can always get it here.
1. Refrain from interrupting him in conversation.
2. Make eye contact while listening to him.
3. Avoid rolling your eyes while speaking with him. This communicates that you think his ideas are stupid – he’ll stop sharing what he thinks with you if you keep responding this way.
4. Smile pleasantly while conversing with him.
5. When he is speaking, listen intently, trying to understand.
6. Appear approachable instead of judgmental while listening, asking questions to further your understanding, even if you think you might disagree.
7. Avoid pursing your lips and scowling while speaking to him.
8. Understand his point of view when you disagree, knowing that even though he may not be communicating emotionally, he might feel strongly about his thoughts.
9. Affirm his point of view, especially when you disagree.
10. Do something he likes to do with him.
11. Help him carve out time to spend with his friends.
12. Choose carefully whether or not the issue at hand is worthy of disagreement – the more you disagree with him, the less he values your input.
13. When a course of action is decided upon, support the decision enthusiastically instead of begrudgingly.
14. If you disagree with a position he holds, after understanding and affirming it (“If I understand you correctly, you are saying…I can see why you would say that because…”) let him know you have another thought (“A concern I have about this is,” or, “What I am wondering is,” “What I’m struggling with is…”)
15. Continue doing these things even when he disappoints you (otherwise you’ll lose credibility with him)
16. Don’t take it personally when he commits an oversight – his mind is probably on something else and he isn’t focused or forgot
17. Say, “Thank you!” when he does something for you, regardless of what it is – wise women are appreciative of all things. Anyone can be grateful for big things, a wise woman is grateful for the small also.
18. Say, “Thank you for going to work,” or “Thank you for looking for work today,” if he is doing either. Wise people thank others for doing the things they do daily, instead of taking them for granted.
19. When you ask for something say, “Would you please…” Wise people do not assume attitudes of entitlement, but rather understand the preciousness of others to God and treat others accordingly, instead of taking them for granted.
20. Don’t argue with any act of generosity he displays, even if you think it is not necessary, or if it’s for you and you don’t think you need it. Accept his generosity.
21. Compliment him on acts of generosity, “You are so generous! Thank you for doing that.”
22. Don’t correct his efforts in diapering, feeding, or playing with the baby, unless there is a significant safety risk involved. If he wants help, he will ask you for it.
23. Have emotional control when you bring up issues.
24. Understand that talking about issues when you are upset does not yield the best result for either of you.
25. Don’t get frustrated with him when he doesn’t express his feelings well.
26. Accept his feelings, and affirm him for sharing them, even if you don’t agree with his position (“That sounds like it is a difficult thing for you…I appreciate your sharing this with me. How can I help?”)
27. Don’t talk about issues when he is tired, distracted, or hungry.
28. Don’t assume he has a negative feeling, instead, tell him, “I’m sure you have a good reason for what you are saying, can you share with me what it is? I’m confused.”
29. Don’t ask questions beginning with the word, “Why?”
30. Say, “Excuse me,” when you are trying to get his attention, or say his name.
31. Don’t just launch into conversation, say his name and then ask if he has a few minutes to talk about something.
32. If he does not have time now, ask him if later would be better, or if he would suggest a time that works for him.
33. Introduce him to people at social gatherings, even if he’s already met them, unless they are very good friends of yours whom he sees frequently. “David, I think you’ve met my friend, Sarah.” This helps him feel more comfortable in social situations with you.
34. Apologize by saying, “I’m sorry I did XYZ. I feel terrible that I ABC and will try not to do it again.”
35. Don’t be disagreeable.
36. Actively agree with him frequently, saying, “You are right! That’s a great insight.”
37. Learn how your stuff from your childhood effects your perceptions and continue to work through those things to grow.
38. Contact him via email or text to let him know you are praying for him – check to see if he has any specific requests today.
39. Initiate intimacy.
40. Cultivate your own relationship with God.
41. Take care of yourself physically – get rest, exercise, and eat right.
42. Find out what “domestic support” looks like to him and do the stuff that matters to him.
43. Smile and greet him when you first see him and when he comes home from work (or you do).
44. Let him finish his sentences without interrupting and without finishing them for him.
45. Ask him what he thinks about stuff that’s important to you or the kids.
46. Stop what you are doing when he is talking and make eye contact with him, being a good listener by being interested in what he is saying.
47. Give him at least one compliment a day that builds him up – point out a character strength and say why it matters.
48. Be enthusiastic about intimacy, pursuing him…
49. Encourage him to spend time with his friends, and make it easy for him to do so.
50. Touch him when you are speaking to him.
51. Make him favorite meals regularly.
52. Ask him for advice about things you are dealing with.
53. Do what he suggests.
54. Ask him daily if there is something you can do for him that day. Then do it.
55. Help him de-tox from his day by providing a quiet, calm environment for him to come home to.
56. If you are working, try to work your schedule such that you can arrive a few minutes before he does to relax and freshen up a bit.
57. Get dressed daily and avoid “letting yourself go” physically.
58. Let him know daily something you admire about him.
59. Don’t poison your marriage with criticism. Ask him for what you want, but refrain from telling him he is failing at something – it will demotivate him.
60. Ask him how his day went – then really listen to him about it.
61. If you break something of his, fix it.
62. Don’t openly disagree with him in front of others.
63. When he apologizes, smile broadly, kiss him, and thank him for apologizing and understanding. Then tell him you forgive him. It’s like it never happened.
64. Don’t dredge up issues – if you choose not to confront him about something, you have chosen to let it go. He won’t trust you if you bring up things from the past.
65. If he treats you badly consistently, it is okay to say to him, “I’m not feeling super-amorous tonight… you XYZ’d me today, and I know you apologized, but I feel like you aren’t going to change your behavior because you keep doing it.”
66. Avoid getting lazy in your relationship – ask God to keep your heart prioritizing your husband in your life.
67. When you see him, smile broadly, whether you have seen him 28 other times that day, or whether it is the first time.
68. When he comes back from work or an errand, stop what you are doing, and greet him enthusiastically. “Honey! I’m glad you are back! I missed you!”
69. Let him know how whatever he does positively impacts you. “Baby, thank you for consistently paying the bills for our family – I appreciate that and am thankful to not have to deal with that stressful task.
70. If he lets you know something is bothering him, be a good listener – don’t give him advice unless he asks for it.
71. If you have an idea that might help him with something, come to him and say, “I’ve been thinking about how ABC has been bothering you, and this might be a silly idea, and you probably already thought of it, but would it work to XYZ?”
72. If he wants to talk to you and you are in the middle of something (texting, email, completing a sale, reading the last paragraph of a chapter, a complicated work project, whatever) don’t try to multi-task. STOP. Say, “I really want to hear about this – I want to give you my undivided attention, and I’m in the middle of a conversation with so-and-so about such-and-such. If you give me just five minutes, I’ll be all yours.”
73. Better yet, if it is something that can wait, let it wait – that way he’ll feel important to you.
74. If he approaches you for sex at an inopportune time, give him a passionate kiss and say, “I am SO into this right now! And you know what? I’m dyin’ because I’m late to XYZ – so you keep this fire burning until (time later that same day) and you will be so very glad you started this…I don’t know how I’m going to think straight today now that my mind is on YOU!” Wink.
75. If he gives you a gift, receive it graciously, no matter what it is. He will grow more confident as a gift giver over time and will most likely figure out what you really want, unless you criticize the desire to improve out of him.
76. If he doesn’t hug you back when you hug him, ask, “Can you wrap those muscular arms of yours all the way around me? I love how safe I feel when I’m enveloped in your arms.” Then purr.
77. When he fails at something and tells you about it, no matter how awful and dire the situation is, respond with, “Honey, I am behind you. I believe in you. You are a smart guy and a hard-working man and I know we’ll get through this.” Then let him figure it out. Pray for him while he does. Know he’s already kicking himself for failing at something, so getting mad at him doesn’t help and just makes him demotivated.
78. Don’t offer to rescue your husband or do something to solve his problem. If he wants your help, he will ask for it. He needs time to think through what to do, and needs to know you trust him to figure it out. If you mother him, you will turn him into a dependent boy instead of allowing him to figure out how to be a real man.
79. Don’t make jokes at his expense. Ever. Not in private, not in public. Not ever.
80. Don’t demean him in public. Ever. If he didn’t do something he said he would, speak to him as if he were a colleague of yours if you were in a fine educational institution. Do not berate him in private or in public.
81. Have grace if he makes a mistake or forgets something, even if it is important. Men do not think the same way we do – expecting him to act the way you (or another female) would is ridiculous.
82. Don’t compete with your husband. If you must play against him, don’t be out for blood. Try to set up game situations such that you and he are on the same team.
83. If you win at something and your husband loses, play yourself down, not up. No one appreciates arrogant attitudes.
84. If you lose at something and your husband wins, congratulate him on his skills – even if he behaves like an egomaniac.
85. If you are supposed to leave at a certain time, be ready to go at that time.
86. Use your husband’s name when you are speaking to him, or some other appreciated term of endearment.
87. Follow up with him about a struggle he’s shared – ask him how it’s going, especially if you sense it is going well, then look for an opportunity to compliment him.
88. Compliment him in front of his coworkers as often as possible.
89. Smile at him often around his coworkers. You communicate volumes to the people he works with by whether you admire him or not.
90. NEVER criticize him in front of people he works with or in front of your kids.
91. Talk about things he is interested in.
92. Engage in hobbies he enjoys with him.
93. If he is completing a task, just go hang out with him. Offer to bring him a glass of water or cup of coffee. If he asks why you are there, say, “I just like being with you.” If he is like most men, he will appreciate your presence, even if you aren’t working together.
94. If he is working outside, in the garage or something similar, ask if you can be with him while he does it.
95. Avoid arguing with him. Instead, try to find areas of common ground and talk about those.
96. Keep him up to speed and in the know with what’s going on with the kids – don’t let him get surprised.
97. Reserve emotional outbursts for your girlfriends. He doesn’t know how to handle them.
98. If he asks where something is and it is right in front of him, just tell him where it is without pointing out that he should be able to see it.
99. Give him space to process conflict the way he needs to, even if that means putting space between the disagreement and the resolution.
100. Touch him in the middle of a disagreement. Better yet, plant a big kiss on him. It will help both of you.
101. Don’t speak critically about his family, especially his mother. Handle conversations about his family with care, remembering that he loves these people.
102. Don’t tell him directly that he is wrong, but rather after telling him, “I’m sure you have a good reason for thinking/doing ABC – do you mind if I ask you a few questions to help me understand? A concern I have is XYZ… how does that fit?”
103. (and yes, I know I said, “101,” but the list kept growing…and I said “initiate” a few times…) The most important thing you can do for your husband is spend time with God, developing THAT relationship, as it is the most important one in your life. If you want to do both at the same time, do The Respect Dare book. Subscribe to the blog. Subscribe to the TIPS in the sidebar. It’s the mission of our ministry to help you connect in healthy ways with God, yourself, and others.
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One more thing – if you are a leader of women, you’ll want to attend our Deflating Defensiveness Retreat that turns conflict into connection. He has ministry for you – and He’s blessed us with a unique and different discipleship and training method – one that quickly facilitates intimate connections and lasting change. Please hear my heart and consider it.
Love to you,