Joy met Kenneth in her third year at nursing school in OAU—Obafemi Awolowo University. They fell in love afterwards, and few months after her internship got married. But the blissful moment never lasted for too long. After three kids, Kenneth changed his attitude towards her—everything she does seems unreasonable, stupid and meaningless and he would insult, beat and sometimes keep nothing at home for the family. The worst of it, Kenneth finds pleasure abusing the woman he calls ‘a wife’ even in the presence of close friends and immediate family members.

No matter what happens, every woman deserves respect from partner—whether in marriage or in courtship. Respect is the glue that binds your relationship. Without it, you’re at 99.9 percent risk of losing your peace, dignity and self-worth. But, it doesn’t come just like that, the responsibility lies on you, the woman. As you might have heard, “it’s a man’s job to respect a woman, but it’s a woman’s job to give him something to respect (anonymous).” So, how can a woman command respect from her man in today’s society? Note, the following tips are less of my opinions; they’re basically feedbacks from several discussion I’ve held with some respectable gentlemen about their dream woman.

BE YOURSELF

You might have been told, by most relationship books and magazines, that the best way to win a man’s heart and strengthen a relationship is “do what he pleases even when it hurts.” I must say, this is one principle that has landed most women into some pretty unhealthy and imposing relationships. A man will only respect and adore you when he sees you are not easily tossed around. When finds you confident and articulate in your dealings, he’ll never cease to admire your personality. Simply put, focus more on building your values, passions and above all, your confidence.

BE OPEN

I once asked a friend one thing he hates about ladies, “pretence,” he replied within a millisecond, “you [ladies] act as if you don’t want something when you need it. You act as if you are perfect or too good.” For those of us who are conversant with this Nollywood movie: “Dumebi The Village Girl,” what do you think attracted Sweet Mango Dumebi to Frank despite her ruggedness? Pride and dignity! She’s local, illiterate and completely raw but she doesn’t send. She did not hide nor shy away from what she’s made of even though it’s inappropriate.

In other to be treated differently, we must think differently, act differently and walk differently. Show him what you’re made of—all your flaws and blemishes and take great pride in them. He will not cease to adore you. Remember, you don’t have to adopt a strange personality in order to please a man; show him what you are made of with pride and dignity and he’ll cherish you for that unless he is not your man.

SET A STANDARD FOR YOURSELF AND STICK TO IT

Women are often seen as easy-to-manipulate. A guy once said to his friend,”no woman is expensive. Just give them what they want.” Men’s common beliefs are clear: you can step into her shoes if only you have what it takes: money. Sadly, many ladies fall into this trap and end up being mistreated.

But, “in order to be treated differently, you must act differently” (Sherry Argov). Get out of the crowd, create a standard for yourself, based on your values and stick to them. He’ll climb up to that standard if he belongs to you. A woman with principles is a priceless gem in the hand of any man.

RESPECT HIM

Respect, they say, is reciprocal and the golden says: do others what you would like them do to you. Respect his opinions, values and beliefs even if they differ from yours. Make it a responsibility to appreciate his nice gestures and reprove him with a gentle, friendly tone.

WORK ON YOUR INTELLIGENCE

Quality men adore smart, intelligent, wise and industrious women; a woman who engages them in meaningful, intelligent discussion rather than love, sex, events fashion and the likes. They highly esteem a woman whose words are full of wits and wisdom, who can find way around any problem rather than given to her emotions. The major reasons men keep to selves is to avoid women’s emotional outburst, but when he’s assured that you will inspire a solution, he’ll never let go of you.

To command respect, work on building your self-image, be free to expose your flaws with pride and dignity. Set a high standard for yourself, if he belongs to you, he’ll climb up to it. Respect him genuinely. Work on your intelligence. Remember, if you want to be treated differently, you must, therefore, think differently, act differently and walk differently.

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