Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · Wife's Role

Conversational Respect in Marriage

A young man who had recently lost his father was asked by a friend,

“What were your father’s last words before he died?

“My father didn’t have any last words,” the son replied. “Mother was with him right up ’til the end!”

We laugh at a cute little story like that, but the sad truth is, that scenario is lived out in many, many marriages.

I remember once when we were on vacation, a woman and her husband were seated near me as I read at the poolside.  The husband’s phone rang, and based on his (loud) conversation, he was talking to one of their adult children.  The entire time this man was on the phone, his wife was telling him something he needed to say to their child.  It was almost hilarious.  The poor guy could hardly express his own thoughts into words because his wife was feeding him lines the whole time he was on the phone.  I’m guilty of doing that on a bit of a smaller scale, but it’s still wrong.

Why is it wrong to talk over our husband, or talk for him?  I believe it’s the respect issue that comes into play.

How is respect shown when we remind him what to say, correct what he just said, or talk for him when he’s being talked to? The truth is, we are showing disrespect instead!

Respect is seen when we:

  • Give our husband a place of honor.  In conversation, that place is to be still while he’s talking.  We shouldn’t correct, interrupt, or answer for him.  He is not our son – he is our husband.
  • Wait for him to answer – even if it seems like he’s NEVER going to come up with what he’s wanting to say.  Many times he doesn’t speak because we are impatient and jump in too quickly.  I’ve watched a man literally forming the words and begin to answer, but never be able to say his thoughts because the wife couldn’t wait that long!
  • Wait for him to finish talking with the other person before we share our thoughts or question.  If he’s talking to someone else, we wait, then perhaps motion that we would like to add a thought or question, then wait for him to let us know when he’s able to listen.
  • Think long and hard about the need to correct him – even later.  Unless it’s a serious faux pas that he needs to go back and make right, does it really matter that he said it was three years ago when he built the barn out back, but you know it was four years ago?!  Ask if it’s something you can just let go of, and if it is, then do it!
  • Learn to listen.  Be quiet and listen.  Nod.  Smile.  If he’s telling his infamous joke again,  let him have his moment of glory and don’t spoil it by exclaiming your disgust or disapproval.

Many husbands that don’t talk in marriage learned not to bother after years of disrespect from their wife.  Show your husband honor in conversation and let him have the last words!

11 thoughts on “Conversational Respect in Marriage

  1. I heard this once: “Women want to be loved; men want to be respected.” Put another way, without respect, men do not feel loved. Thank you for bringing this topic to light today.

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  2. Thank you for the kind reminder, I realize that I am quilty of this frequently, as you know John is slow to speak and get it out and I want to jump in and help him😁

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    1. I love your honesty and sweet spirit. When John does speak, it will be worth the wait, and it will only serve to strengthen your marriage as you show that respect to him. Thanks for your comment, Becky. I love watching you two together.

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  3. I have to laugh at this blog. My husband does practically all the talking and its hard for me to get a word in! LOL. Thinking about printing it off and slipping it into his lunchbox for a little lunch time reading…not really. Even though he does a lot of the talking, you made some really good points. I probably shouldn’t be telling him to “take a breath” or “time out, I want to say something”.
    Great read. πŸ™‚

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    1. You laughed at my post and I laughed at your cute response. Whether he talks or not, I guess the real issue is respect in our speech – no matter how few words we’re “able to get in.” I trust the lunchbox note will include a sweet little something that will make your husband laugh and smile! Thanks for your input!

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  4. Great advice! I’ve been married for over 15 years and it takes love, kindness and patience not to interrupt. The following bible principles have served me well over the years.
    Matthew 7:12 – β€œAll things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them.
    Colossians 3:12-14 – β€œ…clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, humility, mildness and patience.”
    James 1:19 – β€œ…Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger…”

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