The Rebuilding a Relationship Series: Showing Respect At Home

by Gideon Hanekom
April 1, 2019

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Rebuilding a relationship isn’t always easy because frequently neglect otherwise common sense things, like showing respect at home, and that’s a huge mistake.

It always amazes me how many couples think that turning things around in their marriage will only require an apology or some flowers before it’s back to business as usual.

But that’s not how things work.

Repairing a relationship takes more than that.

It must take into account a variety of aspects, which means you will almost certainly have to humble yourself, learn to pay far more attention to your partner than to yourself, and most importantly, show respect at home in ways you haven’t done in a long time. THAT IS THE ENTRY FEE IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT CHANGING THINGS.

Whether we like it or not, relationships are not always easy.

There are definitely things we can do to make things easier, but it’s not always guaranteed.

And it doesn’t matter which type of relationship we are talking about – whether it’s the relationship between yourself and your mother, father, sibling – or the one between yourself and your partner.

Because we are in some sort of relationship with another human being, there is always the chance for things to get complicated.

It’s just how it is.

Relationships can be filled with anger, irritation, frustration and manipulation, just as much as they can be filled with joy, happiness, intimacy, and love.

But as people, we can often time sabotage our own relationships and reduce our chances of experiencing the latter because we’re often not cognizant of what is actually happening in our relationships.

Ignorance is not always bliss.

Until one person is ready to take their things and leave that is.

This is even more true for love relationships in particular.

Some partners oftentimes only see and hear what affects them and not what is affecting their partners.

Sometimes even after many years, one partner is completely ignorant of how they’ve been affecting their partner for all that time.

This is not an opinion, I know this for a fact.

And showing respect at home is one of those things that sometimes goes out of the window first when couples start experiencing challenges in their relationship.

But showing respect at home, and keep showing respect, is one of those vital things that both men and women need to continue showing in order to show love to their partners.

There is no love without respect in my opinion.

There might be an arrangement, but it’s not a love relationship.

showing respect at home

Now, we know that men need respect more than women do because masculine energy is typically driven by the need to feel significant and appreciated.

This is true inside and outside of marriage.

Hence why competing and doing dumb stuff come so easily for us.

We need validation from others.

But women also need to know that their partner respects them, especially as equals.

And this need for respect is closely connected to a woman’s need to feel lovable and worthy.

This is why they will always keep testing their men to see whether the connection between them is still secure.

So, showing respect at home in order to feel respected is a vital part of any love relationship.

For both men and women.

Now, one of the interesting things about respect is that most people will allow you to say whatever you want to them as long as you do it with genuine respect for them.

In fact, respect is so important that some experts believe it is the basis for any healthy relationship and must be practised if you want to repair your relationship or grow a healthy future with your partner.

I tend to agree with that.

I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve worked with where a lack of “showing respect at home” and feeling “disrespected” was one of THE major obstacles in their relationship.

Because once showing respect at home goes out the window, and it becomes evident in the way you’re treating them, what do you really have left?

Now, with all that being said, even though showing respect is a powerful concept, we also need to understand the amount of power showing disrespect has in a love relationship.

Disrespect can irreparably damage a relationship.

I need you to read that sentence again.

In fact, let me highlight it for you …

Disrespect can irreparably damage a relationship.

Therefore, even though showing respect is desired, showing disrespect is more powerful and damaging.

So, while it’s important that you show respect to your partner if you can’t manage to do that at times (I’m not sure when that would be though), it’s even more important that you NEVER disrespect them.

Let me repeat that one too,

NEVER EVER disrespect your loved one.

Which brings us to the next important question – how can you show respect at home to your partner?

Well, there are many different ways you can show respect with none being more right than another.

It’s not about what you do to show respect, but rather THAT you show respect.

Here are some examples for showing respect at home

You can show respect to your partner by being grateful for the things they do and saying so.

And whether you say thank you, send an email, text or snap chat, you should show your partner that you recognise the efforts they made.

The more specific the better.

You can also show respect by treating your partner as an equal, which you can do in the smallest of ways.

For example, you show respect when you truly value your partner’s opinion (even when it’s different from yours) and you allow them to speak during a conversation or disagreement.

When you listen to what is said and respond appropriately you show respect.

But very things are as disrespectful as when they’re trying to talk to you but you’re either reading a text, scrolling through Facebook or you blatantly interrupt and speak over them.

One can tell a lot about the levels of happiness and intimacy of a couple when observing how they speak to each other, especially when they disagree on something.

It doesn’t matter what you believe about your relationship or you tell me – the truth about where things are it is evident in how you actually speak to and interact with your partner.

Respect is also shown by the sincerity of your words, thoughts and actions.

So, “thanking” your partner with a voice dripping in sarcasm is extremely disrespectful and hurtful.

Another way to show respect to your partner is simply by living up to your promises and doing what you said you’ll do.

And doing that also shows that YOU are a person to be respected in that you’re trustworthy.

Listen, there are hundreds of ways to show respect to your partner, but again, it’s not about what you do as much as it’s about THAT you show respect.

At the end of the day, the only true test of your respect is your partner.

Do they feel respected?

If not, then your opinion probably doesn’t matter at this point and your relationship will most likely pay the price in the end.

I’m not trying to make you feel bad here but I’m also not going to tell you that your disrespect doesn’t matter, because it does – hugely!

So, if you are looking for ways to rebuild your relationship and repair the hurts of the past, start by showing respect at home in all kinds of ways today, rather than reserve your best for others outside of your relationship…

In our next post in this rebuilding a relationship series, we’re looking at making your spouse a priority.

About the author 

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of, a renowned relationship blog that ranked among the top 50 relationship blogs and top 100 marriage blogs in 2021. The blog is dedicated to providing valuable insights on cultivating healthy relationships and love in daily life. Gideon holds a Master's degree in theological studies and transitioned into professional counseling almost a decade ago. In addition, he completed graduate and post-graduate studies in Psychology at Massey University. With over seventeen years of marriage to his wife and two children, Gideon brings both professional and personal experience to his relationship advice. His articles have been featured on respected platforms such as and The Good Men Project.

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