How Couples Can Honor Each Other


  • “When we project upon the other that they should do things the way we do, we stop honoring and having reverence for their individuality.”
  • Are you honoring your partner? In this episode, learn the ways you can honor each other to build a closer relationship!
  • “You have to honor the other, and they have to feel honored in that individuality, for the relationship to go deeper.”
  • Let today’s episode give you some tips and inspiration for strengthening your bond with your partner!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Honor the individual in the relationship. What does this mean? Well, first, you have to recognize there’s that side of the coin. She has her own life, he has his own life. It’s so important, like, “Oh, they aren’t me.” This is so important. They are not me. They don’t have to think like me, be like me, act like me, your job is not to create a mirror of yourself, okay? This is not the job in a relationship.

Your job is not to project yourself and ask this person to adopt all of your values, all of your beliefs, all of your thoughts, all of your argumentations, all of your supposed greatness and perfection, so that they become you. They’re different from you. They don’t need to be you, they don’t need to understand you, they don’t need to support you, they don’t need to cheer you on, they don’t want to be enthusiastic for you, they have their own life, and if they are those things for you, how dang blessed are you? How lucky are you? What an extraordinary thing that this person puts up with you? That this person cares for you, that this person has committed to you. What a blessing.

We got into this world, where we expect way too much of the other, the individual. They’re supposed to be your best friend, they’re supposed to be your intimate partner, they’re supposed to help you with business and finances, they’re supposed to clean up around the house with you. They’re supposed to be the perfect pair. We expect so much from them, to do things for us. Our expectations of the other, for how they treat us and behave with us, the way that we would like them to, are completely absurd.

And some of you have had this happen to you before, it’s like they expect you to be exactly like them. I’m very different than Denise, my wife. Denise is very different than me. And whatever it is about us, we cheer that on. We completely support it. She loves all the weird, extroverted, jumpy on stage guy and stuff. She loves my career, she cheers it on. She doesn’t want to do that. We tried doing a podcast together when we moved to Puerto Rico years ago. And I think we made it maybe a month or two, and we were like, oh, we don’t enjoy this together. It was more like, oh, that’s your thing. And we don’t have to have the same things, just like she built two amazing and huge exercise studios, right? That was her last part of her career, then she sold them. And I’m not going to ever build an exercise studio, I suck at building the community that she would build, with the 30 plus women who worked with her and for her. She had a magic that she could do there, that I was like, “that’s crazy, you’re amazing.”

She doesn’t expect me to be her, and I don’t expect her to be me. I know that sounds so simple, but that makes all the difference when the stuff hits the fan, when there’s an argument, or when the person’s going through a hard time. See, it’s like when she’s going through a hard time, I don’t think that she should solve going through that hard time, the way that I would. Does that make sense?

When we project upon the other that they should do things, and be things like we will, we stop honoring and having reverence for their individuality, which is probably what drew them to you in the first place.

Maybe you had some things in common, but part of the attraction was there was a polarity there. That polarity of like, “oh, they’re a little different, they’re interesting, oh, I like this about them.” But then as relationships carry on, what happens is that polarity now they try to make each other the same. And then when they try to make each other the same, a little of the magic is lost. A little of the vibe and the pop goes away. And also frustration enters the game. Instead of grace as the material between, is frustration that they are not the same as me. And when it’s, “they’re not the same as me, whoa.”

I had a very difficult coaching conversation a couple months back with two clients. We were talking like, cover magazines, billion dollar-level people and this couple. And they were just I mean struggle, struggle, struggle, struggling. And I was doing mediation with them, and they had this moment where they were talking about parenting, and what was very clear was, they were mad at each other that they don’t parent the same. And, yes, we as a couple have to be on the same page. And we try to get on the same page. But different styles are okay. Because it turned out that the child likes both mum and dad, so who’s right? Mum who has a different style, dad who has a different style? Who’s right? Well, the kid is happy and loves them both. It’s okay that people have different styles, it’s okay.

Matter of fact, if you can find another person’s styles and their strengths, and you support that, and you cheer that on, that is what we exactly mean, by honoring the individual.

I cheered Denise on for all sorts of ways she is and thinks that’s so not me. It’s just not my thing. She’s so good at so many things. One of the things that she’s so amazing at is design and making everything just gorgeous and pretty. I’m the sloppy guy, I’ve got stuff all over the place. I took 30 minutes to clean this place, just to get ready for the show today. You know what I’m saying, I’m not built that way.

She’s traveling right now, so my counter is just, I’m a guy who like, if I’m going to use something every day, it stays on the counter. Why would I put it away, I use it every day, nah. Her, as soon as it touches the counter, and it’s done, put away. Difference, but I love that about her. Our house is gorgeous.

I love that when we travel, she has a different style of traveling than I do. So she sees things differently than me.

You have to honor the other, and they have to feel honored in that individuality, for the relationship to go deeper.

So I’m always trying to do that, she’s trying to do that, and somehow, we both feel very honored in our relationship because I see her, she sees me. And it’s okay that we’re different. And our biggest fights are when we expect each other to think the same or be the same or do the same. Does that make sense?

I think this is really profound: honor the other, honor their individuality, and honoring it means accepting it, not judging it. Honoring it means being open to it, but it also means celebrating and cheering them on.

If you could give a speech about your spouse or partner, you should talk about all the unique things about themselves and be so prideful, joyous, happy about that. But also, let me share this with you, I can immediately tell, in seven to nine minutes in a mediation, ’cause I always make sure to ask this question, I always make sure to ask this question. Now remember a mediation, they’re fighting. And sometimes it’s court referred, like literally, it’s legal, that this process is happening. It’s not just, “hey, can you help us, coach?” It’s no, this has been like court referred. And what I learned in this process is, ask a very simple question, how lucky do you feel that this is your partner? If you feel lucky to have that person in your life, I know you’re honoring the other. You’re honoring their individuality.

I think what happened is, we expect so much for our couples, our spouses, we forgot how blessed it was that among 7 billion human beings, God or universe luck, serendipity, cosmos, biology, chemistry, whatever you want to call it, put you two together. You felt that at your wedding, you felt that on those first couple dates, you felt that at the beginning, that lucky to have this person, I’m so lucky, I found a person finally. This is the one. And then four years later, like oh, yeah, which by the way, I’m not here to judge. I said at the beginning, some of you have ended relationships. Tons of people watching this have been divorced, or separated, or not going through anything. There’s zero judgment on this to me.

I am totally okay that couples don’t make it. I’m totally okay and understanding that it’s hard. And sometimes we judge wrong, or sometimes people change. Life is long, people change. And sometimes what people change into, we don’t want to be a part of. So this is not me going, all marriages have to last forever and be Pollyanna about it. Lots of them don’t. Most of them, ultimately, by the end of this decade will not, literally the vast majority will not. That’s just where we’re heading. So I’m not here to judge it, and I don’t have any opinion about it. I’ve been in ups and downs, throughout my life in different relationships. I don’t have judgment, but I’m here to suggest that when they’re great, you feel lucky to have that other person in your life.

I was on Clubhouse recently and one of the hosts asked me such a great question. They said, “Brendon, what’s something that has been a secret to your success that most people wouldn’t think about, when they think about all the marketing you do, or all the business, or all the investments, or all the leadership” or whatever, and I was like, “I lucked out with the right life partner. I chose the right person. And I feel lucky to have her in my life, especially because I’m an idiot.” So it’s like, hey, if you could have a little more, the more grace you have, the more luck you feel, that the other is in your life. Just sharing.