Dear Friend -
I was talking to your husband this weekend. He asked how I was doing since I got laid off from my job.
I told him that I had started a greeting card business and I was making some progress getting the word out. He was disinterested but pretending to care. I could only guess that he was picturing me sitting with disheveled hair and still in my pajamas late into the day at the dining room table piled high and cluttered with stamping supplies, doo-dads and lace making hand-made cards.
Then I said, "I create cards for wives to give their husbands."
Your husband successfully kept the smirk off of his face and his eyes never completed their roll. But he did begin to step away.
"The cards have a message of respect . . . to help women learn the language of respect . . . how to show respect for their husbands."
Your husband stopped, dead in his tracks and focused on what I was saying.
He blinked. Then, this man of confident countenance softened and wistfully, wishfully asked, "Would you show them to my wife?"
No, sorry, I can't tell you who I was talking to. I won't name names. It would not be fair to your husband or to you, his wife. Neither of you need to have your cover blown. His request was not meant to be a confession. It was an expression; an expression of his deepest desire.
To outsiders, you marriage is "perfect". Your love for each other is so obvious, your friendship is the envy of others around you. You adore him and he respects you.
But it was clear that your husband feels that something is missing. I'm familiar with his desire. It is the desire of my husband too. Despite all of my husband's faults and failures he still desires my respect. It would appear that your husband desires yours.
Check out my cards. See if there isn't one that would assure your husband that you really do respect him.
And - I would also invite you to join me in The Respect Dare™ E-Course with author, Nina Roesner. It is 9 weeks of community and encouragement. We walk through the book as she challenges us to make positive changes in our marriage and shows us how to improve intimacy with God. (It might remind you of "The Love Dare" as depicted in the movie "Fireproof".)
I don't happen to feel that a marriage needs to be in trouble before we learn to strengthen it. Based on everything I have seen in your life I can only guess that you feel the same way. You don't wait for disaster to strike before you get prepared. It is much easier to prepare than it is to react in case of emergency.