This is the journey of one control freak wife and one gentle spirited husband as they seek to balance their

roles in their home
and bring an extra measure of joy to their already happy marriage.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

respect that's deserved and respect that's earned

I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately.  Normally it is a bad thing because I'm usually reflecting on myself and my self-criticism gets ridiculous. 

This time around it has been focused on my relationship with Steve and trying to figure out how to go about getting myself where I want to be with him.  

There is no doubt about it... I love my husband passionately.  I can't imagine being married to anyone else. I can be a real shrew at times, but he has the patience of Job. To some degree that is part of my issue. He can be too patient and too understanding sometimes. I love him, but respecting him is a whole other story.

IMO there are two kinds of respect: the kind you deserve and the kind you earn.  There is a certain amount of respect that every human being deserves. Any decent human being will demonstrate respect for their fellow humankind. Their existence on the planet dictates that.  

Then there are those in our lives where we look at them and know that they have earned that extra measure of respect.  Our value systems dictate how others earn that respect from us.  For example, I know for myself that I value hard work, perseverance, and achievement, so therefore those whom I have a great deal of respect for model those qualities.  

The thing with Steve is that he doesn't have those qualities naturally.  Steve has many attributes that I love such as kindness and considerateness.  Loving isn't the same as respecting though. Hence my reflection and some of my conclusions.

Steve is my husband - a certain amount of respect is deserved because of who he is to me.

Steve is the HoH in our DD relationship - a certain amount of respect is deserved because of that role.
I married Steve for who he is and I don't have the right to expect any more growth or change than I expect from myself.  

Maybe I need to examine why I value what I do and realize that other attributes deserve my respect as well. 

It isn't fair for me to make it impossible for him to earn my respect. 

I'm thinking that it may go hand-in-hand.  If I treat him as if he has earned my respect and not just the respect that he deserves, then the actions to earn it will follow, and I will learn the benefit of valuing all the positive attributes that Steve (and others for that matter) have to offer.  

Sometimes the change that is needed is yourself.

1 comment:

  1. JW, it was a real light bulb moment for me when I realized that counting the good stuff and disregarding the bad (as much as possible) was vital to our marriage. And yes, that I could respect my husband for whom he is as a person, his many fine qualities, without going toe to toe with the ones I most value in myself. We are so different, you see, that measuring us up, comparing, doesn't do much for either of us. But when I learned to open my mind to the varied possibilities regarding respect, valuing who he really is, as opposed to how I thought he should be, a lot changed in a good way. I am not sure if that was very clear, but your post was, and I agree! Sara