28. Conference Insights Part 1: What is Respect?

Posted on February 13th, 2012

On February 5th 2012, Wise Wives held its first multi-speaker event at the Islamic Center of Irvine called the “Respect Conference” that highlighted the importance of respect in a husband/wife relationship.

We were lucky to have three wonderful speakers that gave us so much useful and inspirational knowledge from their personal and professional lives that I’d like to share here.

Two of whose lectures, Noha Alshugairi and Megan Wyatt, I will be summarizing in a blog series because they were interactive lectures and the third, Yasmin Mogahed, will be uploaded as a video. Enjoy!

Licensed marriage & family therapist Noha Alshugairi was our first speaker. With her straight forward, comprehensive and stimulating manner, she approached the topic head on by asking the audience what “respect” means to them.

The list included:

  • Communicating politely
  • Consideration
  • Open-mindedness
  • Compromise
  • Acknowledging his thoughts and ideas
  • Treating him how you want to be treated and
  • Protecting his property

Agreeing with all these points, she then asked them for specific examples of how someone showed respect to their husband lately.

One woman responded with an example that is important to apply in every marriage. This woman was out with her husband and he said something that bothered her in front of other people. But instead of publicly announcing her disappointment to the whole crowd she waited till they got home and were alone to confront him about it. Noha called this a “private scolding” between husband and wife. She said that this was a very smart thing she did, and that “scolding” should always be done in private, and especially not in front of the children if any.

Another woman responded by saying that she shows respect by being kind to his parents, which Noha said is very important and if you take care of them it is an act of worship on your part.

A third response was, “I respect his income.” Noha smiled and was amazed at how smart the audience was as she wrote that one down, exclaiming that this was also very noteworthy. Reaffirming that a wife should never put her husband down because of how much he makes.

Other great pieces of advice that she emphasized were:

  • “When you get upset at your husband, look at the big picture, weigh the pluses and minuses.”


  • “Don’t compare your husband with other husbands.”


  • When your husband does something to help, “appreciate his efforts, even if he dressed your baby in an ugly outfit.”


  • “You must respect yourself first before you can respect anyone else.”


  • “Respect cannot be forced… there is a big difference between surface respect and deep respect.”


  • Fights usually stem from misunderstandings and “misunderstandings occur when assumptions happen.”


  • When there is a problem “don’t look at external behavior, look at the cause.”


  • Husbands cannot read minds so use “I statements.” No matter how much we would like our husbands to know what we want without us saying it, we have to realize that this is highly unlikely. Instead say “I want…” or “I would really love…” when you would like your husband to do something. “If you use ‘I statements’ a lot they might begin to pick up on what you need before you even say it.”

Read on to Part 2, where Noha teaches us where to focus our energy in order to lead happy lives/marriages.


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