Respect is an old fashioned virtue, and it lies at the centre of one's ability to achieve happiness and success. Respect can be defined in many ways, but it ultimately means "honor or esteem; consideration or regard." As a marriage counselor, it is my job to explaint the role of respect in a marriage as it relates to Nora and Torvald Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House. Respect for each other and for yourselves is essential for a healthy relationship.
To begin with, Torvald, you need to treat your wife as your equal. Mariage is an equal partnership. Just because Nora is a woman does not mean she cannot hold a serious conversation with you. Once,Nora mentioned that the two of you had never, in the whole eight years of your marriage, had a serious conversation (Ibsen 1015). The success of your relationship hinges upon your ability to share equal responsibilities.
Torvald, you need to learn to respect your wife for being a wonderful and dutiful woman.
Now, Nora, you also need to respect your husband. An important step towards a strong, respectful relationship is honesty. Keeping secrets does not show that you have consideration for Torvald. Even lying about little things such as eating macaroons can be a potential threat to your relationship (Ibsen 946). Most importantly, keeping secrets about borrowing money can be extremly harmful to your relationship (Ibsen 952). Yes, your husband should not mind, but you should also trust him enough to confide in him.
Also, it is equally important for both of you to respect yourselves. Nora, you finally stood up for yourself during the confrontation with Torvald after Christmas. After a lifetime of being treated like a doll in a doll'shouse, it was time for you to take control of your life...