We sat in a group over dinner with friends. One of the wives chilled the atmosphere. I suppose she was trying to make a point here because she wasn’t willing to make it behind closed doors with him – she criticized the man she married before everybody in the room. It had to be a most painful experience for him! I shrank from embarrassment.

“He doesn’t know what he is doing.”

“I don’t know what he is thinking when . . .”

“No, you didn’t say that; you said . . . ; but we’ll talk about it later.”

Later she told me that her husband never listens to her.

No one has gotten through to her that respect for her husband is just because he is her husband.

But a man should listen! She is the only other one in their marriage: she is the other side of the perspective, a safeguard to ill-advised moves, a balance, influence, a counterpart view.

Who knows when a wall was built between them, when impasse started! But determining to respect your husband and expecting the same from him is about working to listen to the words and heart of the other. It is always worth the work. It is what a marriage that grows requires.

There is a skill that changes everything. She to him and him to her (because what is good for one is good for both), speak and listen day after day with reverence and deference. “Speaking the truth in love” strengthens the bottom line for two have become “one flesh”. Work it through and you will create a marriage that only you can.

Is he right; are you? Often it is the convergence of the two that births inspiration. A husband and wife become sort of a unique personality in and of themselves.

When we do not agree I trust my husband Eric’s decisions now more than ever. We have discussed so much for so long . . .

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