This weekend, I got sleepy, sloppy, and comfortable and as a result acted foolishly, arrogantly and disrespectfully. Very embarrassing. Proof that the moment I start to think I have something down, I'm probably messing it up in that same breath.
Due to recent events in my own attitude, today I'm skipping to chapter 12, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T". This is a concept that to begin with seemed foreign and almost made up to me when first presented, but has proven to be a pivotal need in my relationships, especially my marriage. As a female, respect always registered as a synonym for something else like love or kindness. It took me a while to really get that it consisted of attitudes and actions (even down to a few word changes) that could fill my husbands needs and ultimately give me what I'm needing as well - really change our whole life together!
-How do you register on his respect meter? One of the most eye opening experiences is to ask, "do you ever feel disrespected by me?" and then "what are the things I do that disrespects you?" Intentions count for very little in this department, I found out. Regardless of what you intended or even thought you were doing, certain things can still be disrespectful and sabotage good things you're trying to do.
-Accepting him for who he is - This acceptance can feed an open spirit towards you, rather than shutting him down and pushing him away for who/how he is. This is one of those things that I thought I did (accept him) but really wasn't. Everything from being more like a girl, more like me to just being what I wanted, not what was best or even wise, I found myself expecting or demanding, none out of respect for him and all making him feel as though openness with me was pointless.
-Respecting your personality differences - Similar to the previous one, but it focuses more on taking those differences and allowing them to enhance your relationship. Those differences are part of what attracted you in the first place. Why do we suppress that?
-Choosing words wisely - As women, we can take the words men say and boil it down to meanings they didn't really intend. "It's okay" suddenly turns into "I hate it and think you are dumb for even suggesting it". Well, turns out, much to my surprise, guys aren't much different. Certain phrases or questions can be triggers that send them into a despair of sorts, not that different than us. The phrases and triggers are just different. The best example that I've seen in myself and Randy is this: I say, "Why are you doing it that way? This way makes more sense!" In my mind I'm just trying to help and share my 'experience and wisdom'. But he hears, "You're stupid, certainly not as smart as me and can't do anything right on your own!" This is especially where asking him what makes me feel disrespected is helpful because, if you're like me, you might be really surprised at the seemingly 'little' things that totally set them off.
It's kind of a heavy day for me. I hate it when things get out of control, I feel like the ground I gained just slips away from me and feel no better than years before. But I guess there is much to be thankful for in second (and fortieth and 100th) chances. It is a beautiful new SPRING week that can hold many wonderful things. Hope we can find them all!