The Importance of Respect In A Marriage #MarchMarriageChallenge

I shared with you a review of a lovely book called, I Choose You Today, a short while back. When I saw the #MarchMarriageChallenge, I couldn’t help thinking of the book and also wanting to join in with Melissa Ann of The Eyes Of A Boy and several other fabulous bloggers.Click on the image below to find the links to the other blogs in this challenge.

MarchMarriageChallenge

The Importance of Respect In A Marriage

If you were to ask me what I’d choose in marriage, love or respect, I’d go with respect. I know you’re going to tell me that love is so much more than respect and that love includes respect. You might even tell me that love trumps everything and that even when we can’t respect someone, we can love them. I’m still going to choose respect.

To me love is rather difficult to define, whereas respect is easy to identify. I think, love is more a feeling, while respect is evidenced in behaviour.

“The truest form of love is how you behave toward someone, not how you feel about them.”
― Steve Hall

What is respect in a marriage?

When you respect your partner, you understand that she is a unique individual and not a reflection of you. He is not an object you own. You learn how to respect the other’s needs and to mesh your own needs with theirs, so that both of you can work towards what you want to achieve. You don’t control, manipulate or try to change her or  into what you want her to be.

treat each other with respect

How can we show respect in our marriage?

# 1 – Make sure you speak well of your spouse to others. If you are having problems in your marriage speak to someone (preferably a qualified person) in private. Don’t put your spouse down in public. It shows a lack of respect and doesn’t reflect well on you.

# 2 – Respect his/her family of origin. Our spouses might not agree with their families from time to time. Leave them to deal with their families. Don’t humiliate his or her family.

# 3 – Show common courtesies. Although it’s nice to let your hair down with your spouse, it’s also important to be polite, kind and respectful of his time and personal space.

# 4 – Examine your own behaviour and responses from time to time. There are times you might feel frustrated with your spouse. Check if it’s their behaviour that is causing the problem, or your own unresolved issues.

# 5 – Don’t argue in public. Nothing is more embarrasing than having a husband and wife argue in front of you. You might lose your temper, but keep discussions and arguments to resolve in private.

“I wish that people who are conventionally supposed to love each other would say to each other, when they fight, ‘Please — a little less love, and a little more common decency’.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

# 6 – Be quick to apologize. Own your mistakes and acknowledge the hurt feelings of the other.

# 7 – Show gratitude. Look for the good qualities in your spouse and acknowledge them. Thank her for all she is and him for all he does.

# 8 – Seek her opinion. Actively seek your spouse’s opinion on things. Often their perspective on a situation will throw new light on a problem you might be facing.

#9 – Don’t be sneaky. I’ve often seen wives hiding information about spending, etc from their husbands, even if they are earning. And husbands, will go out for a drink and pretend it was work. Dishonesty is definitely not a mark of respect.

“Love is honesty. Love is a mutual respect for one another.”
― Simone Elkeles

#10 – Never, ever get your children involved your marriage. Perhaps this should have been at #1. Making your children choose sides and disrepect your spouse is an absolute no-no in any marriage.

“Two people can only live as one when each is prepared to give and receive trust and understanding. Above that lies respect. Without respect for how the other feels, no marriage is worthwhile.”
― Helen Hollick

I’m sorry if this sound like a set of rules. This post comes out of my own experience and beliefs. Respect in marriage, and any relationship, is something I feel very strongly about. Do you feel the same?

I Will Never Forget

I Will Never Forget: A Daughter’s Story of Her Mother’s Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia
by Elaine C Periera
Published by iUniverse
ISBN 1475906900 (ISBN13: 9781475906905)

Book Description

It is extremely difficult to watch a loved one decline as dementia ravages his or her mind, robbing him or her of memory, thinking abilities, and judgment. In her touching memoir, I Will Never Forget, Elaine C. Pereira shares the sometimes heartbreaking and occasionally humorous story of her mother’s journey through dementia, as seen through the eyes of her little girl.

Pereira begins by offering entertaining glimpses into her own childhood and feisty teenage years. Through it all, Pereira shares how her mom’s unconditional love and creative parenting style helped mold an opinionated young woman into a resourceful adult who eventually would move mountains on her mother’s behalf. As Betty Ward slowly begins to wander down the dark and narrow corridors of Alzheimer’s, Pereira details her mother’s amazing ability to mask the truth until something as innocuous as a drapery rod suddenly launches a waterfall of events. As their roles shift and a new paradigm forms, Pereira transforms into a caregiver who blindly navigates dementia’s unpredictable haze while her mother orchestrates Houdini-like disappearances and surprisingly rallies to take charge of her own destiny.

I Will Never Forget shares a powerful, emotional story that can help people affected by dementia take comfort in knowing that they are not alone.

i will never forget

 

The author shares the impetus for writing the book:

My mother’s is a story that needed to be told. She was a kind, brilliant and talented woman all of my life until Dementia took hold distorting her persona and leaving an agitated, bewildered and compromised person in its wake.

In the shadows of WWII, during an era when very few women attended college, my trailblazing mother earned her Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry and later on acquired a Master’s in Education.

Many years later, though, after experiencing a decade of unspeakable tragedies, Mom began to exhibit uncharacteristic and disconcerting changes in her personality. Episodes of irrational behaviors, paranoia, flashes of hostility and illogical thinking, replaced her formally patient, bright, organized and articulate essence.

In what would be her final months, as my mother continued her rapid descent into Dementia’s clutches, her once strong voice faded away. Our quiet visits together afforded me the opportunity to reflect on the vivacious life that defined her. I was determined that she would not be remembered as a withering mumbling older woman but as the strong, courageous and gifted lady who was my mom.

I am humbled and honored to have been able to give back to the woman who gave so much and blessed to have many great friends and family who supported me in my endeavor to write I Will Never Forget.

And another excerpt:

I envisioned dementia as a smoldering fire, its smoke whirling up and down, in and out, around and through Mom’s brain. It would choke her orientation to time, cloud her vision or pretzel-twist her gray matter. It always lay in wait, concealed in the crevices of her short-term memory centers, fogging judgment, reasoning, and logic. For a while, it would remain dormant, having already ravaged parts of her mind permanently until, like wildfires, something sparked it to flare up, engulfing and consuming its insatiable appetite for brain cells.

Mom would never get better. All I could do was be there for every step of her journey through hell and pray that was enough. She deserved better; everyone did. She deserved to go out with her boots on, not have her mind chipped and chiseled away piece by piece.

About the author

Elaine Pereira
Elaine Pereira retired in June 2010 as a school Occupational Therapist where she worked with special needs children. She lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband, Joe. Between them, they have five children — Joe has three sons and Elaine has twin daughters-and soon-to-be five grandchildren. Elaine has a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Wayne State University. Elaine is the author of I Will Never Forget and she was inspired to tell her mother’s incredible story in part to help other caregivers coping with memory loss issues in their loved ones.

My review

Having watched, from a distance, friends and family who have suffered from the what Alzheimer’s does not just to their loved ones but to the entire family, I was keen to get an insider’s view. Elaine’s story is told in a warm and personal way, allowing the readers to see Betty Ward, her mother, for what she was before the illness struck and later as her mind was taken over by Alzheimer’s. This makes the story even more poignant.

Although each patient and situation is different, Elaine’s lucid style of writing and her honesty about her mother’s journey and her own role as a caregiver, makes this book a great read for those who have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and  anyone who wants to know more and spread awareness about dementia and dementia related diseases.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
by Gary Chapman


Since the success of his first book, The 5 Love Languages, Dr Gary Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series with special editions that reach out specifically to singles, men, and parents of teens and young children.

He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.

Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two grown children and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.
Here is an excerpt on the spiritual practice of kindness  from 

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

“1. To remind yourself that ‘Words of Affirmation’ is your spouse’s primary love language, print the following on a 3×5 card and put it on a mirror or other place where you will see it daily:
Words are important!
Words are important!
Words are important!

“2. For one week, keep a written record of all the words of affirmation you give your spouse each day. At the end of the week, sit down with your spouse and review your record.

“On Monday, I said:
‘You did a great job on this meal.’
‘You really look nice in that outfit.’
‘I really appreciate your picking up the laundry.’

“On Tuesday, I said:
etc.

“You might be surprised how well (or how poorly) you are speaking words of affirmation.

“3. Set a goal to give your spouse a different compliment each day for one month. If ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ maybe a compliment a day will keep the counselor away. (You may want to record these compliments also, so you will not duplicate the statements.)

“4. As you read the newspaper, magazines, and books, or watch TV or listen to radio, look for words of affirmation which people use. Observe people in conversation. Write those affirming statements in a notebook. (If they are cartoons, clip and paste them in your notebook.) Read through these periodically and select those you could use with your spouse. When you use one, note the date on which you used it. Your notebook may become your love book. Remember, words are important!

“5. Write a love letter, a love paragraph, or a love sentence to your spouse, and give it quietly or with fanfare! (Chances are, when he dies, you will find your love letter tucked away in some special place.) Words are important!

“6. Compliment your spouse in the presence of his parents or friends. You will get double credit: Your spouse will feel loved and the parents will feel lucky to have such a great son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

“7. Look for your spouse’s strengths and tell her how much you appreciate those strengths. Chances are she will work hard to live up to her reputation.

“8. Tell your children how great their mother or father is. Do this behind your spouse’s back and in her presence.

“9. Write a poem describing how you feel about your spouse. If you are not a poet, choose a card that expresses how you feel. Underline special words and add a few of your own at the end.

“10. If you find speaking ‘Words of Affirmation’ is difficult for you, practice in front of a mirror. Use a cue card if you must, and remember, words are important.”

The Truth Shall Set You Free

“Your mother is evil,” he told her. She listened quietly, not arguing. For the first time in her life, she gave herself permission to agree with this.

His words resonated with her and she sought to process them as she wrote in her journal the next morning. The words flowed – as she wrote of that little girl who had to grow up faster than necessary. The memories came rushing back, the pain, the feeling of being used, and the knowledge that she had been a pawn in her mother’s games. And with the words, came the tears, unshed for many years. Racking sobs – crying for that young girl, that young woman, that older woman – each a part of her and every one of them needed healing.

She was grateful for the man who has stood by her through this process – challenging and cheering her on as she redefined the dynamics of her relationship with her mother.

If he had said those words to her a year ago, she would have fought against them and accused him of being mean. Today, thanks to the journey she had started some months back, she was ready to face the truth.

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The Truth Shall Set You Free

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. ~ Aldous Huxley

Whatever happens to us is stored in our minds and even our bodies. We try hard to suppress the painful memories. We don’t want to face up to our own vulnerabilities and the fact that we have been hurt. This is even more true when the person who has hurt us is someone we love very much – a parent, a partner or a sibling.

We pretend we have not been hurt at all. For to acknowledge our pain, is to paint our loved one as a ‘villain’. This is where misplaced loyalties and wrong notions of what love is come into play. We take on the role of martyrs for the cause of family loyalty and love.

 

the truth shall set you free

And so we continue to suffer. Our hurts continue to affect our lives and other relationships.

It is only when we are ready to face the truth that health and healing can begin.

If we our blessed as the woman in my little piece at the start was, then we’ll have people in our lives who will challenge us to the truth – challenge us to heal. But it’s up to us to want this healing. The process is not easy. But if we want to be authentic, it is the only way.

We can choose counseling, group therapy, spiritual exercises or journaling as ways to begin the healing process. The good news is that it’s never too late to be healed. Even if we’ve been suppressing our pain for a lifetime, if we are willing to release these secret hurts, we can be healed. And the truth that we tried to suppress will itself be our healing!

The truth shall indeed set us free!

the truth shall set you free

 

The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be. – Shakti Gawain

The Secrets Of Happy Families

Some families just throw of happy vibes don’t they? They always seem to be there for one another. Their relationships seem to be based on honesty and trust and they just enjoy each other’s company. Wouldn’t we all like to be part of such a family?

What Are The Secrets Of Happy Families?

Author Bruce Feiler asked himself that, after a reunion with four generations of his own family.  Then he went out to look for answers that resulted in his book :  The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More

 

Background:

Driven by his own need to find solutions to making his family work as a unit, bestselling author and New York Times family columnist put in a lot of research into out about families. He collected problem-solving techniques and team-building exercises from creative folks in Silicon Valley and even the Green Berets! Then he tried out these ideas in his own family.

The Secrets of Happy families is a collection of over 200 unique practices that can be used to draw families closer, create better relationships and teach children valuable lessons while having a lot of fun.

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, but I found the author’s style very interesting and the book filled with anecdotes and information. It made me smile, made me go ‘aha’ and made me want to consider many of the ideas he has shared.

Watch the author being interviewed by Katie Couric here:

You can download The Happy Families Toolkit here.

This post is written for the letter ‘S’ for the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014.

I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.