History. Traditionally, our Judeo-Christian culture generated unconditional respect one gender for the other. Both men and women respected the other gender more than their own, because they had vastly different roles in relationships and life. Neither sex was expected to abandon its natural characteristics in order to please the other. Men were men, and rugged individuals and the most reliable men were the most admired. Women were women; the more strong-willed and feminine girls and women were most influential at taming and most successful at domesticating men to brighten a wife’s future.
It started to change a century ago and accelerated in the last half of the 20th Century. Over the last five decades political radicals including feminists divided society into ever smaller and smaller interest groups in order to fractionalize the electorate. Rugged individuals, strong-willed men, feminine women, and the concept of ladies and gentlemen were shamed out of social existence. Unconditional respect for the opposite sex died in an epidemic meltdown of gender likeability and mutual appreciation.*
Society Today. Mutual respect between individuals is nowadays conditional on their relationship, whether personal, professional, or political. The absence of unconditional respect between men and women weakens mutual respect, the strongest relationship glue. Men shy away from marriage, and women make unwise choices. Marriages crumble easily, wives weep dismayingly, and men escape their smaller version of personal pain. Also, men strike back; more strictly and irresponsibly they impose their natural dominance to the further dismay of women and disadvantage of children.
Marital Compatibility. Whether beginning or in the midst of a disrupted marriage, wives as relationship experts have the greater interest for strengthening mutual respect. Yesterday’s article 1806 describes how wife’s gratitude can be transformed into mutual appreciation and upgraded into mutual respect. An even more natural form of mutual respect becomes available when the following motivational forces are integrated in a couple’s life in ways that both spouses benefit and appreciate the other.
- Women need a brighter future. Men are driven to compete with Nature, other men, and to control human events. If husband admires his success as producer, provider, protector, and problem solver, his ambitions enlarge, and he seeks improvements that energize wife to brighten their future together. If wife can exchange appreciation with him until it becomes mutual, than she generates mutual respect.
- Women are driven to nest, nurture, and nestle with loved ones. Men need a place to flop, eat, throw their things, and prepare for tomorrow’s ‘battles’ outside the home. Her nest and his flopping place require mutual appreciation to enable harmonious interweaving of interests. As she earns husband’s appreciation by merging their disparate interests, she generates mutual respect.
- Men want independence, the freedom to do as they choose. Women want a man alongside to help with the contrary and overly complicated events surrounding a woman’s nest and nesting. It requires continual compensation for husband giving up his freedom. If wife can compensate and deliver mutual appreciation, she generates mutual respect.
- Men fear insignificance especially in the eyes of their woman. Women fear abandonment first by their father and especially by their man. Wife’s continual appreciation of husband’s significance energizes him for greater recognition from her—instead of seeking it from another woman. Appreciation that reflects significance on husband thus generates a form of respect that keeps him at home.
- Women focus primarily on the future. Men focus primarily on the present and immediate future that affects what they do in the present. Mutual respect and wife’s support of husband’s decisions about present-day things earn respect for her decision making. Her judgments are very sound when she endorses his decisions, and it encourages him to trust her for consideration and plans about their long-range future. She thus earns his appreciation and mutual respect isn’t far behind.
- Men are primarily energized by the need for self-admiration, most of which they earn through various accomplishments and fulfillment of ambitions. Women are primarily energized by the need for self-importance, most of which they earn by inspiring others to call them important. These motivational forces are so dynamic and influential that mutual respect grows out of mutual appreciation of each other’s abilities and consequences.
- Women are born pretty, and men are born handy. Both know they are blessed that way from their first conscious thoughts in toddlerhood. Husband’s continual recognition and appreciation of wife’s prettiness and wife’s endorsement of husband’s capability generate mutual appreciation. Mutual respect can thus be reinforced daily.
- Women are born vain, but men learn vanity through experience. Mutual appreciation grows out of both spouses accepting—without competition—the other’s ego as a blessing for their relationship. Each spouse’s ego makes the other feel good, which enhances self-respect and mutual appreciation.
- Women are endowed with natural modesty, but men are not. Mutual appreciation grows out of wife’s insistence on feminine modesty and convincing husband that he loves her largely because of it. Mutual appreciation morphs naturally into mutual respect.
- Women are particularly motivated by their natural relationship expertise. Men are likewise energized by their hunter-conqueror motivational urges. Mutual appreciation and respect grow out of self-restraint by husbands and self-control by wives to avoid offense to men.
One continually reinforced characteristic provides the greatest relationship glue, mutual respect. It can’t be too much for husband and has to be good enough for wife to glue together all the other traits and stormy features to seal her marriage for longevity. Also, out of those motivational forces come hundreds of behaviors that distinguish men and women as different.**
*The earning and growing of mutual respect was thwarted and weakened severely by Feminism. I describe the hows and whys in the series, “Dark Side of Feminism.” Also, article 1391 provides details about generating greater mutual respect.
**In fact, those ten motivation forces are the foundation of this blog. All that you read here, unless otherwise indicated, flow out of and are derivatives, byproducts, and spinoffs of those ten factors.