I have watched and listened to many couples complain about lack of respect from their spouse, but when given the opportunity to dig deeper; we usually realize that the problem is a lack of self-respect for oneself which extends to how others (especially close) associates treat us.

What is self-respect?

It is a feeling of behaving with honour and dignity; and has become a must-included vocabulary if our relationships, especially marriage will survive and abuse will be eradicated. Are you intentional about including this in your life journey?

According to Alessandra Torre: ” The true measure of a man is how he treats you when others are not looking.”

” The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.” – Joan Didion.


Characteristics of one who has self-respect:

  • Clear about their values. This is reflected in their dressing, words and actions.
  • Make it clear how they want to be treated. And treat others the same way.
  • Define each facets of relationships in his/her life and draw clear boundaries on each other.
  • Brings value to every relationship they belong to.

Always remember that self-respect is the value you place on yourself. Stop waiting for people, even your spouse and children to place value on you. When you intentionally value yourself, you value others and attract those who also value themselves, as well as others.

Disclaimer; Self-respect is not the same as pride. It is staying true to your values and not being willing to compromise. This helps us to work through challenges, building resilience in life, and maintain our emotional health. Pride is a feeling of being better than others. Pride is a pleasurable emotion that arises when people feel good about themselves. It can bring out both the best and worst in human nature. Owho has pride says, “I am more valuable than you and should be treated as such”, whereas a person who has self-respect says, “This is my worth and I am willing to treat you the same”. Remember that self-respect is the same as loving your neighbor as yourself.


“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.” (Proverbs 31:25).
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5).



Ngozi (Ngee) Okonkwo,
E.D, KRING Hospital,
Founder, Keeping Marriage Alive Initiative.


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