Why do some relationships succeed and others fail? Is it Love? Does Love conquer all? Love can see it through and make it all better?
Love is a much needed element but the type of love and the willingness to give love can be the difference in having concrete or straw as the foundation in a relationship. While love feels amazing and inspiring, it often feels more like a verb – it has movement, depth and intensity that is weighted by the giver and receiver. It is an emotion that can be manipulated based on circumstances.
Relationships need Love and Respect and Respect trumps Love, every time.
Respect is as deep and as abiding as Love and runs even deeper like stronger roots twisting intensively down into the earth. Impenetrable. It is a noun – a present and ever-changing thing. A tree is a tree regardless of the on-looker’s feelings about the tree.
The extent of Love is grounded in Respect. One cannot continue to Love without Respect.
Respect demands humility, bridles harsh language in front of and about the loved one. Respect demands awareness to someone’s feelings and encourages understanding. When Love dissipates, Respect rises and gives the courage to end the relationship with dignity. Respect demands more of ourselves in sharing positive communication and become selfless with feelings.
Far too often I hear people say “I love him, but I don’t respect him” or “I used to have a lot of respect for her but she lost that” or “I don’t respect them as my (whichever family member) but I love them because they are (whichever family member).” As difficult as that is to read and understand, it’s just as hard to watch folks exist in relationships that are confused, unfulfilling and motionless. Our relationships should give to our souls and should be comfortable and accepting places to exist and to be ourselves.
If you have Love without Respect in your relationships, what’s the point?