4 Simple Things to Work on For a Healthy Marriage (Part 3 of 4)

Find out what it means to me
Cue Aretha, please.

So I talked about Trust, Honesty, and Communication. Part 3 of my Marriage Series is about Respect. 


As a teen, my dad and I were like oil and water. I was never Daddy's little girl. We would often fight about cleaning my room. It always started with him moving my stuff and me not being able to find it in my room.

I would yell at him for invading my privacy.
Then he would say that I didn't 尊重 (respect) him. 
Then I would talk back and say that he didn't 尊重 (respect) me. 
Then it would escalate about how it's his house and I'm under his roof.
Then I would be like, "I can't wait to move out." 
Then he would go, "Wait until you're a parent." 
Then I would run to my room and slam the door. 

Rinse and Repeat 

Where am I going with this story? 

Self-respect allows for respect to be earned from others. 

I needed to learn how to respect myself before earning my Dad's respect. I had a messy room because I didn't respect myself enough to take care of my own living space

As I grew up, I learned why I needed to clean (albeit I still have my messes) and I learned to respect myself by picking up after myself.

After I moved out, I ended up marrying a man who is also a clean freak and purposely buying a house 10 minutes away from my Dad. 
How does that translate to a marriage? 

Do you ever see a couple get married and one or both of the partners just "let themselves go"? They don't bother keeping themselves attractive? Like they've basically settled? 
"I found the one, now I'm done."
I'm not saying I haven't let myself go a little compared to when I was single. 
I don't wear heels all the time now. 
I don't go shopping for sexy negligee.
I don't get my nails done regularly
I don't do my full makeup routine (primer, foundation, concealer, highlighter, bronzer, blush...shimmer shimmer, glamour glamour) every day.
Sometimes, I forget to pluck that lone hair sticking out from that odd place. 

However, my husband and I continuously work on respecting ourselves by taking care of our own health physically, emotionally and mentally. 

In return, we earn respect from each other.  Mutual respect between two people means each individual respects themselves enough to earn respect from their partner.

When I feel confident, sure of myself and attractive, that is when I respect myself the most; therefore, I do things to maintain that feeling.  

I try my best to treat my body like a temple by exercising regularly, having a sensible diet and getting a decent night's sleep. I have a skin regimen. I cover my grey hairs when I remember. I don't drink or smoke. I stay out of the sun. 

I challenge myself to be more self-aware, to learn new things and to be open to new experiences. I'm working on how to communicate better about my feelings. I put myself outside of my comfort zone so I don't become stagnant. 

I remind myself to ask for breaks, to ask for help and to practice more mindfulness.

By doing all these things, I keep myself positive and I don't depend on my husband for my happiness. 

However, as you know, relationships aren't easy

There are days when I don't want to work on myself, where I go down that rabbit hole of darkness and self-pity and I start to lose myself. And I let it happen. I'm a toxic wife during those moments. 

However, the most important thing is I drag myself out of those days, put my running shoes on, some light make-up and a smile, ready to face the world

I think when we stop caring about ourselves, we start to believe that we don't deserve respect and that is reflected in how our partner treats us. 

A healthy marriage requires both partners to continuously work on themselves, keeping each other in check and constantly assessing what we need, want and deserve from each other. 

So Readers, how do you work on yourselves every day? Is respect to be given or earned?


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