Everyone agrees that respect is something very important and that it is the key to a lasting marriage. Annie Gottlieb wrote the essay Respect: At The Heart Of Successful Marriage and elaborated on how people interpret this in their own different ways. She basically explains exactly what the word respect means and through what methods it is applied to a marriage. The author has made a good point but what I realized, while reading the essay, was that she doesn’t explain how lack of respect can lead to separation or divorce.
One main issue that needs to be considered is that when there is no respect between the married couple, it could have a bad effect on the basic family functions. Another important issue that needs to be discussed is weather there is any children in the family and what results that might lead to when there is misunderstanding between the parents. The five basic family functions are socialization, sexual contact, reproduction, emotional and economic support.
For example, if the husband works and constantly fights with his wife that she only looks after the children and doesn’t do anything else, that shows disrespect toward her. When he cannot respect the fact that his wife wants to raise the children well and that she still contributes a lot to the family, that leads to communicational problems. Also, if either one of the two does not have any respect toward their partner but still fulfils only his/her own sexual needs, the other person will start feeling degraded and used.
As soon as one couple’s sex life starts falling apart, the emotional support starts fading away too. It is important that there is socialization, and most of all emotional support, in a marriage so that there can be understanding and respect between the two people. When there are children involved in the family, misunderstanding between the parents can have a bad effect on the children. If parents cannot stand each other any more, they should think about the children first, before thinking about separation or divorce.
Even when the two adults have “fallen out of love”, if there is respect, they can value what they have achieved and stay together for their children’s sake. However, if it is clear that the couple has absolutely no respect towards each other and that there are no chances left, than it will be better for the whole family, that they either separate for a while or divorce. When there is no respect whatsoever and there is no chance of re-establishing it, then it just wont work out.
Even though the author, Annie Gottlieb, did talk about the basic “element” that is needed in a marriage, she did not elaborate on the fact that without it the family functions can be destroyed very easily. All couples and married people should respect each other so that they can value what they have. Even when there is no more “chemistry” between the two adults, there has to be appreciation and they should try and save their marriage, if not for them, for their children’s sake. Respect is the thing that will make them realize how far they have come and that they owe it to themselves to give it another try.