My best friend and I had a discussion about manners. What she said was true and she challenged me to write about this. Manners are about respect. Period. I am not writing to you today about which fork to use or how you should load a dishwasher. I am writing to you today about a much more serious matter. Manners are about respect for yourself and consideration for others.

As a couple, this can give intimacy or it can be divisive. When couples complain about what their partner is not doing for them, there is a question that needs to be asked. What are you doing for your partner? Respect goes both ways. Are you asking for respect and not giving that respect in return?

Out of respect for my husband, I let him know all of my financial expenditures. I tell him when I am going somewhere and let him know when I am on my way home. When I am away on business, I call him every evening. That is respect.

Out of respect for me, my husband leaves the toilet seat down. Out of respect for me, my husband is always thankful for the meals that I prepare for him. Out of respect for me, my husband also lets me know where he is going and calls to let me know that he is on his way home.

There are things that are disrespectful that I have witnessed in public. There is no respect in engaging in yelling in a public place. I have heard people say that they don’t care what other people think. That my dears, is not the point. It is about respecting your partner.

Manners are about mutual respect. Even when my husband and I are disagreeing or are at odds with each other, there are certain things that demand mutual respect. Think. How are you respecting and honoring each other? How are you giving love because you respect your partner? I challenge you today to make a list. Don’t check your partner. Check yourself and see how you can love, honor and respect your partner. Have some manners!

Master Relationship Coach
Kari Petruch