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"No thank you."

Ouch! I know you've felt the pinch whenever she has given you the "No, I don't feel like doing that/watching that/eating that/having that." It's not a nice feeling but we must learn to respect it. When we get married or into a relationship, we assume we'll be singing off the same hymn sheet forever and ever, amen. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I'm pretty sure there have been occasions where your partner asks you to do something for her, you politely decline and expect her just to respect your decision right? If so, why can't you do the same for her?

"The Law of Respect" according to Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend states that "if we wish for others to respect our boundaries, we need to respect theirs." However annoyed her decision to say “no thank you" might make you, please respect her decision. By all means, discuss it to see if there is a compromise to be had but don’t force the issue. I have been pulled up on many occasions for not listening to the first "no thank you” and then proceed to keep on asking the same question until I got my way. Soind familiar? Shocking I know. Do not follow this example as it does not respect her right to refusal without question. Both parties should feel free enough to say "no" to one another, even if the other doesn’t like the response they receive. Showing respect in this arena will draw you closer as it fosters an environment where real honesty can be had between the two of you and that is a freedom you cannot buy. My wife gets her way a bit more these days but you know what they say... “Happy Wife, Happy Life” ...right?

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