Love Or Respect: Which Do You Prefer?

How Husbands Should Treat Their Wives

This is Part 2 of the Series: “Love, Sex, And Marriage in Islam.”

Men and women are different. Despite being equal in every mental aspect and almost every physical aspect, we are still different. Therefore, it should be no surprise that there is a difference in how husbands treat their wives and wives treat their husbands.

The most important emotion a husband can show his wife is love. That is what women are looking for from their men. Love.

Respect, friendship, and support are all important. But love is the foundation of all of these things.

I can give you all sorts of anecdotal evidence. Stories about women enduring all sorts of mental abuse and neglect because want their men to love them. And I can also cite cases where a woman would leave an otherwise good man if she feels he doesn’t love her.

But rather than do that, I’ll just quote from the Quran and hadith.

And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.

Surah Nisa Verse 19

And from the hadith:

He has further stressed: “The most perfect believer in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.” Collected by At-Tirmidhi.

Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) are showing us the way men should behave with their wives.

  • Treat them with kindness.
  • Do not dislike or hate them.
  • Treat them with the best behavior.

It is very difficult to have a relationship like this with a woman and not love her.

And the interesting thing is, the more you love your wife, the more she respects you. Which brings me to my next point.

How Wives Should Treat Their Husbands

Men don’t need love as much as women do. But what men do need is respect. Men will fight each other over perceived disrespect. So it is important that a woman always show respect towards her husband.

Respect means to hold someone in esteem or honor. What men most want from their wives is to be honored and respected. The easiest way to turn your husband against you is to attack his ego.

And on the other side, the more respect you show your husband, the more he will love you.

The command to respect your husband comes from Allah in the Quran when He says:

So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard.

Surah Nisaa Verse 34.

And from the hadith:

When any woman prays her five, fasts her month, guards her body and obeys her husband, it is said to her: ‘Enter paradise from whichever of its doors you wish.’” Collected by At-Tirmidhi.

So you see that the primary commandment for a woman towards her husband is to respect him through obedience and modesty.

And it so happens that when a woman increases her respect for her husband, he likewise increases in love for her.

And when a man increases his love for his wife, she likewise increases in respect for him.

It Takes Two To Make A Marriage Work

Chances are if you ask a man why he doesn’t show more love to his wife, he would say: “I will love her more when she respects me more.”

And if you ask a woman why she doesn’t respect her husband she may say: “I will respect him more when he loves me more.”

The fact is it takes two people to make a marriage work. The husband has to show his love to his wife in order to gain her respect. And the wife has to show her respect to her husband to gain his love.

This love and respect also plays out in sexual relations between husband and wife as I explain in “The Ultimate Muslim Sex Guide.” Men are turned on by women who respect them and women are turned on by men who love them.

My advice to you, if you are already married, is to begin showing your spouse more love and respect.

Brothers, whatever stage of marriage you’re in, show your wife that you love her.

  • Kiss her more often; not just when you want sex.
  • Buy her little gifts for no reason at all.
  • Just tell her you love her and why you love her and tell it from your heart.

If you do this, you will see your relationship with your wife grow to unprecedented levels. Your wife will begin to treat you like the great man she always wanted to marry.

Sisters, the same for you. Whatever stage of marriage you’re in, show your husband that you respect him.

  • Obey him without question when he asks for something within reason.
  • Let him be the man; do not shout at him or belittle him.
  • Ask his opinion and advice about things in your daily life.

When you do this, you will see your husband’s love for you begin to overflow. He will want to love you and protect you and make you happy in any way he can.

For those of you who are not married, please take this advice and keep it in the back of your mind. It’s very easy to lose love and respect for your spouse after the honeymoon is over.

But try with everything you’ve got to give love and respect and, Inshallah, you’ll get so much more back in return.

The next post in this series is a video called “5 Qualities to Look For in A Husband.” Go watch it now.

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24 thoughts on “Love Or Respect: Which Do You Prefer?”

  1. Salaams and Jummah Karim. Most definitely agree and many of us lose sight on this key point that men need respect and women need more love/emotion – both need each attribute just in different emphases and applications. Again with the nefarious influence of social engineering by western researchers, agencies, doctines (feminism, socialism and so on) spreading this fitnah not only within their own lands but across the globe, it has totally distorted this essential balance of respect and love for men and women respectively.

    Such doctrines have tried to erase the natural boundaries between genders and hence their needs and requirements so that men start acting like women and vice versa so we have the social disorder, fitnah and unhappiness in society as well as marriage today.

    May Allah SWT guide us to teh struth and give us sabr Ameen.

    Blessings of jummah upon you and your family.

    1. Wa Alaikum Salaam Sr. Khadijah,

      Concerning the doctrines and “isms” you mentioned, I’ve always felt the same way as well. It is a topsy-turfy world we live in today where the good is seen as evil and the evil is seen as good.

      May Allah protect you and your family and the entire Muslim Ummah from these trials.

  2. I do prefer to Both Love and respect, as I’m an teenager so I do not have any knowledge about how a husband should love his wives and how a wive should love or behave with her husbands and what Quran and Hadeeth says about this. By the time I finished reading this article I’ve a little bit knowledge over this topic….

    1. Still a teenager? Don’t stress yourself about marriage just yet (though you should be thinking about it). You’ve got a lot of time to worry about it later, Inshallah.

  3. Assalamualeikum,

    I apologise for the late reply. I’m not very good at replying quickly. ;p

    I like this article. It’s vey comforting and inspiring to know how loving and openly affectionate (yet not inappropriate) our Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wassalam) was.
    I never really looked for other articles about the subject, but if there really are only negative things out there, I’m glad I didn’t. InshaAllah, more people will know about the right Islamic way and have a happier marriage and a better view of Islam.

    JazakAllah Khair for sharing this.


    1. As-Salaamu Alaikum Sr. Farida,

      In order to give proper advice on this, one would have to know the full story.

      Perhaps your husband is experiencing some sort of sickness that is damaging his libido. Or perhaps he’s going through a tough time at work or in some other area of his life. Maybe he’s just too tired and stressed out to think about sex.

      If you’re certain it’s nothing like that then you may want to look at other possible causes.

      Has he lost some attraction to you? Is he just not as physically attracted to you as he once was? Is there something you can do to boost your sex appeal to him?

      Another question to ask is, does he actually love you and want to be married to you. If he does, then you can build on that and try to work out the issue.

      If you believe there’s no love, you have to ask yourself do you want to try to change that, or have you also lost your love and are willing to go your separate ways.

      Hopefully, that isn’t the issue and it’s just a matter of making a few changes.

      I strongly suggest you look into joining Rekindle The Flame. There’s lots of good advice that is directed especially at people in your situation. You’ll be amazed at the little things you can do to bring love and romance back into your marriage.

      May Allah make it easy for you.

  4. aslkm, i just want to know some knowledge about ,does husband have the rights to use wife;s earnings.inspite of his earnings.
    can he demand her money.

    1. Wa Alaikum salaam,

      I will tell you what I know about this question. But I encourage yo to ask other as they may be more knowledgeable than I am.

      The man is responsible for caring for his wove. He has no right to take her wealth by force, doing such a thing is sinful,

      If he persists in this way, you can refuse him, or hide your money necessary.

  5. i cant hide my salary from him.i earn too less. he wont be quite until he finish my salary.i work .i takecare of home,i he is never happy nor help me.he never show me love n care .insted he shows hatred a lot.he sed he forcebly got married .which has hurted me a lot.i feel like to depart .bt my family say there is no respect for a girl who has no husband.
    m nt happy

  6. what if your husband feels you don’t respect him, and you are so tired and overwhelmed that you don’t take time to show him you do respect him; how can this situation be reversed and it is possible to make him feel respected after he has started to say: you no longer respect me! ??
    please make dua for us.

    1. May Allah make it easy for you.

      It seems as if your husband may need to understand the difficulties you’re going through. If you do respect him, just show him that you do; no need to actually tell him. But to give you a more detailed answer, I probably need more details.

      For now, I would suggest that you and your husband really take some time to communicate and spend some time together.

  7. may Allah bless you my sibling in Islam. what would we do without the kindness and dua of our fellow Muslim? your simple yet caring answer has given me so much hope! subhanAllah. JazakumAllah alf alf khair. Please keep making dua for us….all of us Muslim couples out there, struggling in one way or another…and may Allah give you more than what you ask for of goodness for us! ameen!

  8. Asalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahe wa Barakatuhu…

    What do you do if you have violated one of your husbands rights and need to gain his respect back??

  9. I personally disagree with almost all of it respectfully. yes men and women are different infact in all aspects what I do really believe is that men should stop treating women like men yani it is understanding for a man to be respected by other men and even fight for it but that’s just not the case with women. For a man I personally believe his wife’s love is most important and when I say love I mean just about everything including respect. because respect is easy but love is hard and I feel sorry for men whose;s wife doesn’t love them it’s just miserable. Atleast that’s what I have learned from 1400 yrs of islamic history :) my humble opinion

  10. salamalaykum i have one question about what my husband acting this days ind i cant see clearly why he is acting like that when greet him salamalaykum or i would said masalam he dont reply me at all his not like that before.when i ask him why you dont reply he just look at me and leave please can someone explain that to me its bother me too much

    1. Wa Alaikum Salaam,

      This is very strange behavior. It is also sinful. It is mandatory for a Muslim to return the greeting of another Muslim. This is even more important for one’s wife whom we’re supposed to treat with kindness.

      Talk to your husband and try to get the truth out of him. If he’s not responsive see if you can get a local Imam or Sheikh to advise him.

  11. Assalamualaikum Brother,

    What a beautiful article – as a newly wed – i will take this advice. I have a problem with raising my voice during “discussions”, and he tells me all the time that he doesn’t like it and he feels disrespected. I now try my best not to raise my voice and speak to him in a calm manner when we have discussions. Keep up the good work brother!

    1. Wa Alaikum Salaam,

      Keep in mind women are generally better speakers than men and often have louder voices. When you feel yourself getting angry in these “discussions” try to sit down and cool off and not say anything for a while. Sometimes, putting a few minutes in between the back and forth helps to keep the emotions down.

  12. Totally agree with this article… I can say i been through this myself… the viscous cycle of no love, no respect, no respect, no love. And it goes on and on and on.
    Subhanallah never too late to try and stop the cycle.

  13. Assalamu Allaikum,

    I’m guy not happily spending my marriage life, This marriage happened not in a traditional way since it was a love marriage. she is from a lower class family, where as me from a middle class family.Our affair took place for more than 5 years, we didn’t meet each others like other lovers, very rarely we meet each others. Finally with the blessings of my side and her side we started our marriage life in mid of June 2011. We didn’t have a separate place to live, therefore we lived my parents place, since its much more convenient for me. Now we have 6 months old baby boy.

    I’m very disappointed about my marriage life since my wife have a bad attitude about my parents. Sometimes it lead to have big arguments at home between me and wife, she doesn’t like to give her baby to my mum.

    The other point which I have to raise is whether she truly loves my baby. The reason why i tell like is to be honest, from my day of marriage I have not given a pocket money to my wife, but she is getting some amounts of money from her brother who is earning a high salary at a Middleast company. since she doesn’t know the value of the money and she used to spend it with out caring, therefore I wont give her money to spend for day to day activities at home, but if she wont’s anything she can request from me, depending on the neediness I m purchasing the goods/items / clothes for her.

    The funny part is if she gets money (from her brother etc) she used to spend it to her sisters children’s. upto now she haven’t buy a single thing for my son, where as she used to spend over the money to her knees etc..

    she always used to ask what her parents tell, but not me….. :-( very stubborn.

    Please guide me on this


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