As I reflect on my 23 year long marriage, I’ve remembered some incidents and occasions that had faded. ES (estranged spouse) sleeping on the couch when baby #1 was a newborn, because he “needed his sleep.” Asking ES to go to marriage counseling 15 years ago and him refusing. ES routinely leaving the house or returning home without a word, no hello and no goodbye. The thoughtless gifts, the martyred sighs, having to plead to get him to participate in decorating the Christmas tree. My putting up with these behaviors and more. I see now the lack of respect for me these behaviors clearly show. How the relationship couldn’t survive his lack of respect for me and my acceptance of it.
I hear Dr. Phil in my head saying, “You train people how to treat you.”
I excused and rationalized his behavior (and mine). When I did discuss how I felt, he quickly agreed and moved on. I don’t think he really heard me, he simply wanted to avoid confrontation. I want to learn how to train people to treat me better. I’ve got a feeling it starts with treating myself better.