Leadership at Home – How To Get Your Wife’s Respect

Greetings Leaders!

I haven’t blogged on this topic before, but I have several friends struggling with their marriage and have this on my mind and heart. Let me start off by saying that I am no different than you. I have good days in my marriage, and bad. I’ve messed up and lost my wife’s respect before. But, I’ve somehow managed to stay married for 25 years and think that my wife respects me… at least most of the time… or some of the time. You know, with women it’s always hard to tell what they’re thinking (just kidding!). Here is some advice on how to gain your wife’s respect.

Getting your wife’s respect is simple, treat her as the most important person in the world. Sometimes when I’m out and about running errands, I cringe when I hear couples talking to each other. They don’t treat each other with courtesy. They bark orders, whine, complain, scold or scowl. I can assure you this is not the way to a woman’s heart.

Here are 10 things that will, over time, earn your wife’s respect:

  1. Forgive her for being her. I know what happens after 25 years of marriage. You find out every single fault your wife has. She also discovers all of yours. You have to allow her to be her, and to realize that the “perfect” wife just does not exist. Well, except for the Proverbs 31 woman… but I think that was more one man’s dream instead of reality.
  2. Spend time with her. I know. You are busy. Men today don’t get enough credit for a lot of the things we do. Many of you have taken on some of the household chores as most women now also are in the workforce. You may be sharing car pool duty, coaching your kids in the afternoon, running to games or practice. You may cook, clean or do some of the housework. You deal with morons all day at work and want to sit down and relax when you come home. You’re not going to like this, but, if you want your wife’s respect you’re going to have to do more. You need to give her a hug when you get home. Don’t make a bee line for the television. Yeah. I know. Basketball playoffs. World Series. Superbowl. UFL. Golf. Whatever… maybe even the History Channel. But – your wife has to come first. I’m not saying you can’t do these other things, but everything has a time and a place. Stop to spend some time with your wife. You may even want to try Date Nights.
  3. Read number two again. If you are NOT doing some of the household chores, you should be. Now… don’t get in her way. I know many women have “their way” of doing things. Laundry, Dishes, Vacuuming. But, perhaps you can convince her to let you help with something, if you’ll just stop to learn how to do it the way she wants. I didn’t say this was going to be easy did I. Ok, since you’re upset I might as well bring this up now. This also includes cleaning up after yourself.
  4. Mind your tongue. I know this is old fashioned. But, if you talk to your wife like she’s your dog, guess what? That’s right. No respect. You don’t have to say things sweetly, but, you should be polite. Gentleman can be polite can’t they? I think you can too. Talk to her like you talk to women at work. Isn’t she more important than them?
  5. Control your finances. I love toys. I like big cars, large screen TVs and techie things. I enjoy sports, eating out and traveling. I get it. However, if you want your wife’s respect, you should only buy what you can afford AND you should be spending some of this money on her too. Women like to be spoiled, they also like security. Spoiling them and going broke in the process is not the way to gain their respect. Neither is a ton of money in the bank when you haven’t bought her roses in over 10 years. Be sensible. Learn how to control your finances.
  6. This one is going to hurt. You must learn to L-I-S-T-E-N. I’ve been guilty of the nodding head syndrome that men have, just ask my wife. Having this genetic disorder of nodding your head, watching television and thinking of work while your wife is trying to tell you something about the kids is no excuse. You have to learn to listen. Do whatever it takes to learn this habit. It can be learned and your wife will respect you for it.
  7. Never yell or raise your voice in anger. Yes. I’m guilty of this one too, and you wonder why you’re reading advice from someone like me. I can tell you from experience, if you raise your voice, no matter what point you are trying to make, you’ve already lost the fight and your wife’s respect. You can be mad. You can be upset. You can argue and debate… but don’t raise your voice or call your wife names. Learn to fight fair.
  8. When in front of friends… never… ever… put your wife down. If you can’t say anything nice…… you get the picture.
  9. Be present when dealing with your kids. Kids need a dad, just as much as your wife needs a husband. If there is one thing my wife and I usually don’t see eye to eye on, it’s our kids. Yes. It is difficult. But, you must be present and willing to discuss how to raise your kids. If the two of you cannot agree, go get some counseling.
  10. Last but not least – don’t expect your wife to hop into bed with you on a moments notice. They have long days to. Learn to meet her halfway and don’t take things too personally if she says no. If you want to enjoy each other physically (how’s that for diplomacy), talk to her about it ahead of time. Try to get the kids down early. Give her a massage. Having said that, you should also learn to be spontaneous. Every woman is different and you just need to figure out what your wife wants in this department.

Well, I didn’t mean for this to turn into a book. You know there are so many other things you could do, but let’s not get overwhelmed. Try some of these things and see if it makes a difference.

Best of luck!


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5 thoughts on “Leadership at Home – How To Get Your Wife’s Respect”

  1. Take it from someone that has done everything on your list for more than 20 years, it does not earn your wife’s respect. My wife looked at me as being weak, too easy and treated me like her personal housekeeper and massuse. The more I did for her the more she wanted. The more time I spent with her she felt I was too clingy. She cheated on me and I forgave her. She has me wrapped around her little finger. I think it is time for me to make some serious changes…..

  2. Hi Fred…

    Generic advice is always… well… generic. There are not many things that work in every situation. Having said that, I think the advice is sound… within reason. I also blogged about making a marriage work and think I also need a posting on what wives should do to gain their husband’s respect!

    I completely understand what you’re saying and unfortunately I’m sure you’re not alone. By doing the 10 things above, you can be sure that you’re doing something positive to making a marriage work. However, you also need to have a partner who is reasonable. Making a marriage work takes two people with commitment. Not just one.

    Having said all that… you may need to work on some things yourself. Being nice doesn’t necessarily mean being a doormat. You may need to work on holding your wife accountable. If you want some changes, I suggest you and your wife go get some counselling – don’t try to go it alone.

    I wish you all the best!

  3. When I found my marriage at a crossroads more than a year after D-Day, it was confidence that garnered respect from my wife. With the discovery of her EA I made the typical mistakes most make. Trying to shoulder all the blame, not recognizing the fog she was in, begging and trying to immediately morph back into the knight in shining armor. All that got me was more distance from her, more lack of respect and her depending on TOM even more. What I mean by lack of respect is that I turned into just the kind of man she didn’t want in her life. She needed me to take her hand and lead. Once I got my arms around it, read Love Must be Tough and worked on my confidence the tables slowly began to turn. She began to “believe” the marriage could recover because she saw my confidence in it come back. So when we reached what I considered my crossroads, the second breach of NC, there was no hesitance in the conversation. It was cool and controlled. She knew it was my deal breaker and without that it was a show stopper. She both resented me for making her do it and respected me for setting the boundary. When I joined TAM in early 2008 I included confidence in my signature line as one of the four words I thought would pull us through. It turned out to be one of the most critical in regaining my wife, my marriage and my life. Carry yourself with confidence with your wife and she will respect you.

  4. Thanks Matt! I had to guess at some of the acronyms. TAM? Talk About Marriage? I totally agree with you. Women love confidence in their men. If you can be confident, strong… and also serving and loving… I think that goes a long way to make a marriage work, at least from the husband’s side. I still work on these every day! All the best…. JT

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