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I think you are lucky that you have a receptive husband who was willing to change and become more respectful. It sounds like you have a healthy dose of self-esteem and were able to be firm and loving about changing the respect in your marriage. It also takes confidence to compliment oneself in an appropriate manner. I hope that the original writer can learn from your experience and try to make these positive changes as you have!

It is not easy for an insecure person to compliment him or herself. He or she may not have the ego strength to be positive when someone is being negative. It takes a tremendous amount of confidence to compliment your spouse when he does not compliment you and to compliment yourself in order to teach your spouse how to be more complimentary! This is why I suggested the initial letter-writer seek professional help to strengthen herself and her confidence. Thank you for your great ideas and for showing us that working on improving respect in a marriage is really possible!


May you continue to have hatzlocha in your marriage and with your family!


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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to [email protected]. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at