I just read a great article about the importance of showing your husband respect and HOW to do it! (yes, if you know anything about me, you know I struggle BIG TIME in this area, so trust me, I am preaching to MYSELF here, but maybe some of you could use this information as well!) Below are excerpts from Nancy C. Anderson's article on FamilyLife.com called "Respect Your Husband Like a V.I.P."
*Treat him like a VIP! (respect him Verbally, Intellectually, and Physically.
Learn the art of the compliment...Begin to notice when he does things right and verbally encourage him by complimenting him at least once a day...You may be asking “Hey, why should I compliment him when he never compliments me?” Because if you want your marriage to grow and bloom, you’ll have to water it with kindness and encouragement. Then, as he sees your sincere efforts, he will begin to change too. Don’t give up.
Men like to solve problems and fix things. So appeal to his intelligence by asking him to help you solve a problem. Instead of saying, “This garage is a mess, clean up your camping stuff!” Try, “I’d like your help with something. Could you figure out a storage system for all the camping supplies?” Don’t imply that he isn’t smart. Instead of saying, “I think you are wrong about … ” Say, “I’m confused about … please explain it again.” (Remember to keep your tone of voice sarcasm-free.)
Ask for your husband's opinion about spiritual matters too. If your husband is not the spiritual leader in your home, continue to pray for him and ask him if there is anything you are doing that is hindering his relationship with God. (that is great advice, I need to do that)
Men don’t give a lot of weight to feelings—show them facts and they’ll be more likely to listen. For example: If he wants to buy a car that you think is too expensive, don’t launch into a hissy-fit. Write out your monthly expenses and ask him what other things should be cut out in order to buy his car. Let the facts speak for you. When you cannot reach an agreement, instead of trying to wear him down by nagging or crying say, “Is that your final decision or can I still try to convince you?” If it’s his final decision, then honor it. It’s freeing—let him carry the responsibility of your family.
Ask what he would like you to do and then do it. Find out what his top three needs are. (The woman who wrote this article said her husband likes the laundry done, sex at least twice a week, and for his wife to keep her “girly-make-up stuff” off of the bathroom counter). If these top needs are met, he’s content and easy to get along with. I know it sounds simple, but each of us have different things that make us feel loved and appreciated. You won’t know what he wants unless you ask him.
Be aware of your body language. You can communicate disrespect by rolling your eyes, crossing your arms, or slamming doors. Reflect your new decision to respect your husband in your heart, mind, and body. (yes, this tip has Amy's name ALL over it. I would be the QUEEN of eye rolling!)
The author concludes that article by saying, "Respect is both a verb and a noun—an action and an attitude. So begin today to respect your husband in thought, word, and deed. He will be more willing and able to give you the love and affection you need if he is respected and admired. When I began to respect my husband, he was skeptical at first. However as he saw that I was committed to change, he began to treat me differently—lovingly."