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Marriage Advice For Men: How To Regain Your Wife's Respect

Relationship Advice for Married Christian Men

If you ask the average man who’s on the brink of a divorce, what is his toughest challenge in trying to “save his marriage,” 9 times out of 10, he’ll say, “Rebuilding the trust with his wife.”  

How do I know this? Because that’s usually the second question I get asked when men seek marriage advice from me and from the men in our organization.

So, what’s the first question they ask?  “How can I save my marriage?”  

Unfortunately, that first question is difficult to answer, because it only takes one person to forgive in a marriage, but it takes two people to reconcile a marriage.  That’s why when I share marriage advice for men, I try to get them to focus on the things they CAN control, rather than on the things they can’t.

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If Couples Want A Happy & Strong Marriage They Need This First

Having worked with, coached, counseled, trained, and mentored over a thousand men in my career, I believe there’s an even bigger challenge than rebuilding the trust in a marriage that I think most men overlook.  Because I’m almost never asked about it concerning a marriage in crisis -- and that’s earning and regaining a wife’s respect.

Obviously, trust in a marriage is one of the most, if not the most, important part of a godly marriage.  But there can be no trust in a marriage unless there is respect for the person IN the marriage.

Think about it.

Love is an action you do and a gift you give, regardless of who the person is, and how long you’ve known them.  God commands us to love one another, whether they love us back or not. Jesus says in John 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This command doesn’t come with any pre-qualifiers.

And when it comes to being a husband, most Christian men are familiar with what Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25-27 – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”  Again, this comes with no qualifiers.


advice for married men

Is Trust Something You Earn?

Trust is usually a bond that is built over time and sustained when the other person makes us feel safe around them – emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. But, in this light, most people (even Christians) believe trust must be earned - first.

But I disagree. Based on my personal journey and my professional experience in sharing marriage advice for men, I believe trust should be freely given and should only be required to be earned after a person earns our “distrust” - first.  Just think of little children and how trusting they are of adults (especially their parents), until that trust is either broken or abused.

Case in point, when the children wanted to get closer to Jesus to be blessed, the disciples rebuked the children.  And the Bible said Jesus got offended with the disciples and said to them in Mark 10:13-16 - “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. And Jesus took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” 

When it came to their faith and trust in God, Jesus was telling his disciples that God desires us to be “child-like”, not “child-ish.” Yes, there’s a fine line between being faithful and being foolish when it comes to trusting people, but God expects us to guard the gate to our heart, not build a wall around it.

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If You Want A Stronger Marriage, Respect Is A Must!

Then there’s respect.  Respect is a conditional honor, and it must be earned; and even if it’s not earned, we can still show respect to people we don’t personally respect – just by refusing to be disrespectful. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:12, - “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”  Whereas trust makes us feel safe around others; someone we respect usually earns our admiration based on his or her character - who they are, how they behave, and how they treat us.

So, let’s quickly review: 

  • Love is an action you DO and a gift you GIVE to others, even if they don’t give it back.

  • Trust is a bond OTHERS BUILD with you, and you GIVE to them.

  • Respect is an honor you GIVE to and BESTOW on others when they earn it from you.

And when it comes to respect, in Ephesians 5:33, the Bible connects love with respect in marriage in a harmonious way. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

So, as a husband, what do you do when you still LOVE your wife, but you’ve LOST her RESPECT – and now she no longer TRUSTS you? In other words, what can you do to regain your wife’s respect, or is it even possible to do so?

I say “Yes” it IS possible to regain your wife’s respect, but “No” it won’t be easy.  I believe regaining someone’s respect can even be more challenging than rebuilding trust.  Because trust often gives us numerous life opportunities to rebuild and be regained during seasons of loss, struggle, hurt, and disappointment.  

But respect, on the other hand, is usually tied and assigned to one’s identity, and it requires us to think totally different about a person after we’ve lost respect for them.  This is no small task.

how do i fix a broken marriage?

Marriage Advice For Men Who Want To 'Win' Their Wife Back

When it comes to marriage advice for men, here are four (4) biblical and practical suggestions on earning or regaining your wife’s respect:

  1. Be humble.  

The Bible says, in James 4:6 – “God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.”  Not everyone liked Jesus, who was without sin, but even Jesus’s enemies respected him.  At the core of His character, Jesus was meek, humble, and gentle in Spirit.  


If you’ve lost the respect of anyone, especially your wife, a good place to start would be to demonstrate a humble spirit and contrite heart.  

In that context, you have to be okay NOT receiving your wife’s respect or her forgiveness; but still remaining humble.  That means releasing any feelings of entitlement, holding no grudges, and continuing to honor her even if she’s not honoring you; and continuing to pray for her emotional healing even when she’s hurting you.

what is the best marriage advice

  1. Be responsible.  

This comes naturally if you’re being humble.  Being responsible is being willing to take full responsibility for the pain and suffering you’ve caused your wife.  That doesn’t mean owning her part or her responsibility in your marriage, it just means fully accepting yours.

Being responsible means not blaming, shaming, complaining, or explaining any mistake, bad decision, or choices you’ve made that caused her to lose respect for you.  It means adopting the posture of King David after he committed adultery and murder. He said in Psalm 51:3-4, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”

what should a man bring to a marriage

  1. Be honest.  

You would think this would go without saying, but the honesty I’m referring to is being honest beyond reproach.  That means be willing to tell the truth about everything and anything, especially the little things, not just the big things.  

That also means being honest with yourself when it comes to accepting responsibility for your actions, using “I” statements instead of “You” statements when you’re having difficult conversations with your wife and others. 

A lack of honesty is what breaks trust, but it also causes us to lose the respect of others.  But by becoming a man (husband) of your word, by keeping your promises, following through on your commitments, and allowing your yeas to be yeas and nays to be nays, not only can it go a long way in regaining the respect of the people you’ve hurt, but it can also go a long way in earning the respect of the people you haven’t hurt, yet.

Marriage advice from couples in a happy long lasting marriage

  1. Be patient.  

Just like trust requires time to rebuild once it’s been broken, so does respect.  But remember, trust is a bond that causes us to feel emotionally, spiritually, and relationally safe around someone; respect is about earning a person’s admiration as being an honorable human being – based on who you are, how you behave, and how you treat others – and that’s usually measured by our level of consistency over time; so, be patient.

Patience doesn’t require you to be perfect, it just requires you to commit to the process; to the point that inconsistency on your part should surprise those who know you best, because inconsistency goes against your character as a man.  

Staying Together Is Built Upon Trust AND Respect

So, as the saying goes, it takes years to build trust, but it takes less than a day to break years of trust.  The same can be said for respect. As a husband, regaining your wife’s respect isn’t about getting her to love or even like you again – this may or may not happen.  But it’s almost impossible to deny any man (or husband) respect, if he’s been humble, responsible, honest, and patient over the duration of his relationship with others. 

Difficult Things Men Need to Understand about Marriage


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