Mutual respect between partners is the foundation of a successful relationship. This respect can be lost when there is infidelity, abuse or neglect. Eventually, you may begin to neglect your responsibilities. These issues can cause such deep-seated pain and mistrust that repairing the damages may seem hopeless. You may question whether it makes sense to even attempt to save the relationship at all. It will be a long and difficult road to regain respect.
Take responsibility for what you choose to say and do. If you cause offense in any way, then you need to admit your wrongs and work on not repeating them. Don't get in the habit of making excuses for yourself, especially at the expense of your loved one. On the flip side, you may find that there is something that you're doing or failing to do that results in you being repeatedly disrespected. Consider that if you don't value yourself, you can't expect anyone else to, suggests the article, "What Respect Really Means in a Relationship," on the Two Of Us website. If you hold yourself accountable, then this will set you on the path to healing.
Be ready and willing to listen to the partner who has been hurt by disrespect. It is important to have these discussions with a nonjudgmental attitude, patience and kindness. This may not always be easy. In some cases you may need to have some of these talks in the presence of a mediator such as a trusted confidante, counselor or family therapist, according to the article, "Re-establishing Respect: The Key to Successful Relationship Repair," on the Centers for Family Change website.
Be willing to share your deepest thoughts, even at the risk of causing pain. However, do not attack and lay blame. Let your partner know that you are not perfect but are earnest in wanting to repair the damage you caused. Going forward, work on fostering this atmosphere throughout the rest of your time together. Keep the lines of communication open so that you will both feel comfortable sharing about anything. In this way, no pent-up emotions will cause you to disrespect your loved one. Your partner can also feel secure in knowing you can be trusted to be real about your feelings and intentions. As trust grows, so will respect.
Treat your partner in the same way you would like to be treated. The golden rule may seem like a cliche, but it can be a guideline for action. Naturally, you don't want to be neglected or hurt by someone who claims to love you -- and neither does your loved one. Practice the golden rule, and you will be less likely to use negative words, be abrasive or neglect the feelings and desires of the one you love.
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