Respect…Essential for a Solid Relationship

Love is a wonderful thing. And having someone who loves you is also a blessed gift. However, having mutual respect and love with someone only increases the rewards of that bond exponentially.

-K.MacConkey (TheDailyKickstand)

Love without respect is simply impossible

When we meet someone, we generally know right off the jump, whether they are our people or not. Every once in a while, we meet someone special that things just click. Our bond with this person deepens instantly, and we consume our attention and intention with getting to know them. We share ourselves equally in the hopes that a relationship may blossom.

Yet, what is it truly that lends itself to our new found affinity for said person?

True, there is a primal and sometimes sexual or lustful attraction but what is it that holds our attention after the shiny object syndrome wears off? What is there in our connection that strengthens the bond we have together?

In a word?


It is one of the important elements of healthy relationships.

The very same thing Aretha Franklin wailed about back in 1967. “All you need is a little respect.”

Just a little bit (to get a lot)

When we offer respect to our new mate, often times it is immediately given back freely. As long as the new union of souls remains consistent in the ebb and flow of mutual respect, then the relationship grows.

However, sometimes stuff happens. Things may get said in haste or anger or perhaps a misunderstanding arises, what then?

Once that breach of trust has been committed, how can we restore our partners trust and respect in us?

Help, I screwed up! How do I regain the respect of my lover?

Once trust has been broken and the respect our mate has for us has been tarnished it can be an arduous uphill battle to regain the ground that we lost. At times it may seem as though the odds are insurmountable and we would be better off just cutting our losses and moving on-NOT SO FAST!

Though it may be a tough task to regain lost trust, especially if we have committed a serious act that damages the trust that led to that respect such as infidelity or betrayal. In some cases, yeah it’s never going to be possible, not everything is fixable.

However, let us pretend that you’ve owned your misdeed and offered an honest and heartfelt apology. Let’s also say that you’ve been given a second chance; it does NOT mean you are out of the woods, my friend. (Sorry to disappoint you)

But, how do we regain the respect of our love once we have broken their trust and caused them to question our integrity?

  1. Time & Consistency: It takes real time to regrow trust and respect once they are damaged or lost. Hours seem like months as we attempt to regrow what was once given mutually and freely. The only sure-fire way to regrow respect is by earning back the trust of our mate. This requires an undetermined amount of time and a consistent effort to show that our scruples were a short-sighted mistake that we know better than to make a second time and are heartfully sorry for as well.
  2. There’s Counseling: For some, counseling is a route they would choose to take. It gets expensive, but if a couple has real deep differences or serious trust or infidelity issues, it may be the only savior. But, a truly solid and mature couple can work through their troubled times if they do so with love and respect for the other. (Can you see the double edged sword here?)
  3. Openly Communicating Needs: If we can begin an honest dialogue with our partner, there is still hope! But, we need to be able to openly accept our responsibility, and atone for our transgressions. Also, we have to work incredibly hard to allow our lover the freedom to express their feelings, their opinions, and yes, also their needs from us in order to get back what we lost. This can actually be a productive talk and also a blessing. If we are able to get them to open up and calmly tell us what we need to do then we have a roadmap of sorts to mending the rift.
  4. Honesty & Transparency: Once trust is broken, respect has been lost, and we’re on the edge of being thrown back into the dating pool denied the opportunity to fix our mistakes we have to be totally honest in our words. No amount of omittance or denial is possible any longer. And we most likely will have to traverse a probationary period in which we must be 100% transparent in all that we do. But, be careful not to open yourself up to manipulation or an abuse of that power. And learn to build trust in a relationship.
  5. Love & Affection: It is going to take some serious love and affection to win the heart and soul of the one we love if we have messed up so completely as to lose their respect and trust. There will be doubts, and challenges on the road to recovery, and if we truly wish to fix the situation then we must above all else reassure our lover whether it takes a week, a month, or a year. If it is worth it, we do it. Only you can decide for yourself what price you are willing to pay as you attempt to prostrate yourself at the foot of the altar of rebuilding your relationship. Just make sure you can do what is required.
  6. Follow-Through: This is possibly the most important step to rebuilding the respect lost in your folly. If you are going to try, you simply must be in it for the long haul. It’s a marathon, not a sprint remember. It will take time, it will test your resolve, and it will take everything you’ve got not to throw up your hands and resign. Believe me when I tell you that giving up halfway into it will only further damage your reputation and the way that others view you as well.

Is that juice worth harvesting?

If you answered yes, my friend, you certainly have your work cut out for you. It is going to take some real ole fashioned trying to make it work. But, with absolute humility, love, the right approach, and an honest and truthful effort you can do this!

The only question is this:

How badly do you want to right your wrongs?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer here. It simply boils down to the feelings you have for the relationship and your partner. Oh- and your integrity. Good luck, killer!