I used to have an idea about what respect meant to being a man. I thought I would be happy to be married to a woman that didn't insult me, or to one who didn't always think that I was stupid or that I was wrong all the time. All I cared about was a woman that didn't have negative feelings about me. As long as she didn't think badly of me, I imagined that I would have been ecstatic with her. In the back of my mind disrespect was the opposite of respect so to not show one meant the other. In other words, you show me respect by not disrespecting me.
But it recently occurred to me that this idea is too... uh... "post-modern". Disrespect and respect are in fact not opposites. You can refrain from disrespecting someone you do not respect. You don't even have to think negatively about someone and still not respect them. You may not have any feeling about someone at all and still not show them disrespect. But do you respect them? Probably not.
It's also possible to respect someone and to disrespect them at the same time. You may respect someone and talk badly about them behind their back, especially if you are angry with them. Think back on your teen years. Even if you respected your parents, you no doubt did many things that you knew were disrespectful. So in fact disrespect and respect are really not all that related.
Disrespect is an action. Respect is an emotion.
Respect is more than not arguing in public, or not insulting a person. To respect a person you MUST look up to him. A wife should think that her husband is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If she doesn't feel this way, then why is she married to him? She is not fulfilling his desire to be respected and he is obviously not fulfilling her desire to be with someone who is worthy of her. Husbands and wives are more than roommates with benefits. They are lovers and best friends. They have searched the ends of the Earth and in the end forsook 3 billion other people so they could be with this one single person forever. Choosing a spouse isn't simply inviting that person to be a part of your life. It is also EXCLUDING all other people from the intimacy in your life. To get that feeling and to ensure that no one supplants the spouse a deep desire must be maintained throughout the entire relationship.
We can think of our relationships with the opposite sex by examining our competition with the same sex. Men compete with other men with strength, intelligence, and power. Women compete with other women with beauty, charm, and style. So to win a Woman's heart, show her that she is the most beautiful, charming, fashionable person in the world. To win a Man's heart appears easier. Simply look up to him. If he is the man for her, this should come naturally.
Before a woman marrys a man, she must in her heart replace her Daddy with the man. She must stop looking to her Daddy for protection, guidance and support and begin to look to the future husband. If she didn't grow up with a Dad, who does she look up to? Who does she turn to for support and guidance? Who does she look to for protection or answers? Her Mom? Her friends? Herself? That is the right of her husband. He deserves to fill that role first. She must look up to her husband. THAT is respect. Feeling that he can do anything, even if he can't. Knowing that he has all the answers, even if he doesn't. She should be so blind to all common sense with regards to him. THAT is love. I really think that women want a man that does this to her. Correct me if I am wrong.
Maybe I'm being a hair "melodramantic" here, but there are relationships like this. And they seem quite nice.