He Respects You as Much as You Respect Yourself
Paste your dHow do you earn respect? One way is to show you respect yourself. People in general, and men in particular, will show you no more respect than you seem to have for yourself. One way we judge how much others respect themselves is by what they put up with. Again, this is especially true of men.
An example: Billy and Jane are getting married. Billy comes from a family where physical violence is a common way of dealing with problems or getting what you want. Jane tells Billy the first time he lays a finger on her she will divorce him. They marry, and Billy does all manner of horrible things to Jane. He yells at her, ignores her, and stays out late without calling. He flirts with every other woman he sees, and has multiple affairs. However, he never uses violence against her. When she said she would leave him if he hurt her, he believed her, and he respected that line.
Billy is neither loving nor good-willed, but even so, he respects the line Jane set because she respects herself enough not to put up with violence. Billy violates her in other places, where she does not respect herself enough to say no and mean it.
Your husband is probably a better man than Billy, but like Billy, he responds positively to self-respect, and negatively to a lack of self-respect. Please do not hear me saying it is your fault if your husband is not showing you respect in certain area. He should do what is loving and right no matter what. He should, but most of us fall short of what we should do. Understanding this dynamic can help you precipitate some changes in your marriage. Look at the areas where he treats you poorly and ask yourself if you respect yourself as you should in those areas. If not, why should you expect him to? When you start to respect yourself more in any given area, you pressure him to do the same. Of course, change take times, but if you stick with it, expect him to gradually moderate his behaviour.
If you are looking for a good place to start, Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s Boundaries in Marriage is an excellent resource. (Also in Kindle) It is especially good if you read the whole thing carefully before you try to apply it! I also suggest you start slowly with a couple of areas, rather than trying to make sweeping changes.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and respect self-respect.ocument here