The first principle of a healthy marriage according to St Paisios the Athonite is Respect. In the Orthodox Christian Marriage service, the epistle reading is taken from Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Strong language is used in this Epistle – women are told to “fear” their husbands, and husbands are commanded to “love” their wives; headship of the couple is given to the husband, while the two become “one flesh”. The Elder reminds us that “fear” really means “respect”, and respect is impossible to have without love. He puts it this way, “The Scripture says that the woman should fear her husband, that is, respect him, and that the husband should love his wife. It is through love that one can have respect. It is through respect that one can have love. What I love, I also respect; and what I respect, I also love. In other words, love and respect are not two different things, they are one and the same”.
To speak practically about this, we can measure the amount of love that we have for our spouse by the degree to which we respect them. Respect involves not only outward activity, but also inner disposition. For a man who properly respects his wife, his “headship” will not be burdensome to her, but will rather resemble the leadership and responsibility exhibited by Christ Himself for the Church; His yoke is easy, and His burden is light, not heavy-handed and dictatorial. A man who properly loves his wife will respect her thoroughly, especially her God-given freewill, that not even He dares to impede. In this case, the husband will not “command” his wife, but will lovingly and respectfully lead, keeping her needs and feelings always on his mind without being swayed from the road that God is leading him. The man’s leadership will be one of self-sacrifice, if he has proper respect for his wife, and will indirectly foster inside of her love and free submission to his headship.
A wife who is properly respected by her husband feels his love, and willingly reciprocates by respecting him in turn. But even if she is not loved properly, she is still called to offer respect to her husband. Her respect of him will be manifest in her submission to his leadership, and even by the look in her eyes when she gazes upon him or speaks about him to others. A woman who is not loved properly, but who repays her husband with this respect will eventually melt his heart, as hard as it may be, and she will be rewarded for her humble respect – both spiritually, and in the way that her husband relates to her. The humble respect for our spouse is a powerful tool for obtaining the love and respect that we want to receive from them; and in fact, it would be hypocritical of us to demand something that we ourselves do not give!
Teaching of St Paisios on Marriage PART I: http://www.familywellnessministry.org/the-teachings-of-st-paisios-on-marriage-part-1/
 Eph. 5:20-33.
 Family Life, Pg. 44