“Respect is one of the greatest expressions of love.”– Anonymous
Last year, I have had the opportunity to meet a couple who works as a marriage counselor.
We talked a lot about gender roles, communication techniques and psychology that day. But what pique my mind was what they believe is the recipe of a good relationship:
Trust, love and respect. That according to them, is the recipe of a fruitful marriage.
I will not go into details about trust or love for now, because I think those two values deserve their own blog articles. So I’m just going to focus on respect today; something that I felt was taken for granted in most modern relationships.
To the counselors, respect is the soil that makes it possible for love and trust to grow. A relationship can function without love or trust; but a relationship can’t even exist without mutual respect.
A relationship with mutual respect, but no trust nor love is like eating fried rice with no meat and egg. You will get full, but it will not taste so good.
Sure, a relationship without love or trust is a disaster waiting to happen and you won’t want to be in the same room with that couple. But basically, a relationship can survive with mutual respect alone.
However, without mutual respect, a little disagreement can easily lead to an all out war. A joke can trigger a cold war. A little mistake can lead to murder(?)
Respect is the bone that holds a relationship together…
When a couple can manage to respect one another, even when things get a little heaty; you can bet that the relationship will eventually be fine at the end of the day.
The key is to learn the ability to communicate your negative emotions in a respectful manner.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should hide your opinion, pent up your negative emotions and be agreeable all the time like some bobbing china doll with slanting eyes.
Instead, communicate your disagreements and opinions with dignity. Like how one human being supposed to talk to another human being.
Yes it is not easy and takes a lot of self control; but it is all worth it.
Probably we’ll talk about this further in our next post, but for now, try to remember the role of respect in your relationship the next time you fight with your loved ones.
As a general principle, you want to disagree with their opinion, not that person.
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