Opinion

Relationship Disrespect

What would you do if you found yourself in a situation where you have no choice about your life? Decisions are not consulted with you, and often made without how you would feel or what might offend you. Where you’re put down for your feelings if they are not happy. Where respect is something that is missing, and you are treated as though your worth is that of a child. Except you’re not, you are merely another possession who should know their place, and be quiet about how you feel, so as not to spark the onslaught of verbal assassination due to disagreement or nonconformity. You use your voice for a boundary, commentary or disagreement and are harshly reprimanded

Confidence in you is all but lost, but at the end of the day there is love of you. You are sharing someone else’s life, even if you have no choices in the matte. You’re kept, loved, but despite the lavish life, there is nothing else. So, you stay quiet, to keep peace. Sounds like it is right out of a 19th century novel doesn’t it. Is it enough? Could you continue?

When one spouse is derogatory in their remarks about you such as comments about your intellect, hobbies, or job or even the kind of person you are, these comments are blatantly disrespectful. It’s a form of verbal abuse. A person who commits such offense may justify their words with, “I am saying this to help you,” or maybe, “I am just being honest.” Derogatory comments such as these are not helpful, supportive or motivational. This is one form of treating you as if your feelings do not truly matter to them. 

If your partner tells you to, “just get over it,” or “other people have it worse” they are marginalizing the way that you feel, and what you find unjust. Do they ignore the effort you put into the relationship? Respect is when you understand something is valuable, and important, or that you take it seriously, and should be treated in an appropriate way. Spoken to in a manner that shows respect. No one wants to feel like they don’t matter in their own lives, especially to someone you are in a relationship with. 

If your partner doesn’t stand by you in times of conflict, merely showing indifference to your pain, or tells you they, “do not want to hear it,” these are signs your feelings matter little to them. They will say things such as, “I don’t know what the big deal is,” or “you might be too sensitive.” That is behaviors that need to change. To have a romantic relationship, people need to believe that they matter to the other. If someone is disregarding your feelings, or your needs, or they take the side of someone who is hurting you, that is not acceptable. That is blatant disrespect. 

If your partner puts their schedule, outings, money spent on outings before yours and out of inclusion with you, that is disrespectful. When the scales have tilted and your partner cares less about what you need than their own needs, that’s a problem. It matters how you feel. Even if the “income earner” is the Lord and Master of the finances, equality in all things that individuals need is paramount to feeling value. Anything short of this can often feel like one is equal to the children rather than being a partner and no one should ever feel undervalued. 

If your partner makes life decisions without consulting you it may be just that you have given them permission or maybe he or she feels entitled to formulate their life path, without including your feelings. Disregarding your right to be involved, to plan, to converse, and to listen to your needs may be one of the most disrespectful behaviors in a relationship. Did they move jobs, homes, pay, or friends without consulting you? If their schedules are busy and there is no inclusion or time for you chances, are they do not regard your time or inclusion as a valuable asset to their own needs. 

Chances are they are not worried about disappointing you. Life has chaos that happens, and that is truth. However, even if we cannot help letting people down, omitting their inclusion in our life decision brings disrespect to a whole new level of disappointment. If they seemingly care little about your disappointment, if they are constantly letting you down, it is important to be clear on how you really feel. 

Everyone knows that money brings power. If your spouse is the one bringing in the salary, they may feel total control over you. If they cannot highlight the ways you have contributed to the household, there is a clear sign they do not see it. Money does not entitle the owner to treat others as merely service ownership. There are jobs for everyone in a partnership. If you are doing your share, and they are living their life that does not include your needs or desires, such as they plan everything, trips are always what they want, dinners what they will eat, outings they only want to participate in, this is a selfish behavior indicative of entitlement to treat you as a servant. If your spouse regards you merely as the cooker, the cleaner, or whatever service they require, you are being disrespected. 

Feelings such as these can make you feel alone, disregarded and without purpose or path. It is with urgency that you become clear on what the exact state of occurrences are, write the down, be clear on your efforts to regain inclusion in your own life, and begin to communicate with your spouse. If you feel you need a mediator to assist you please seek counseling immediately. How you feel, what you desire, and your needs are vital because this is your life too. If your spouse doesn’t understand that, it is your job to ensure he at least hear that message from you, or you will be doomed to rinse, lather and repeat. No one deserves that.

Take care, Reba

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Sex at Every Age!?

Yes. That’s the topic. When relationships mature into wise mindful working relationships that constructively work, what happens to the intimacy between two people? In the movie, “Yours Mine and Ours” with Lucille Ball and Henry Ford; his character, Frank Beardsley, explains to this daughter the realities of life. I am going to mess this up, so I will try and say the quote as best as I recall. He said, “Love is easy. It’s the mundane that counts. You show me a man who loves when there’s laundry to do or the dishes need to be done. Anyone who can get through the bad stuff to get to the good stuff, now that’s true love.”

He was correct. Life is truly about the art of either being content or not being content but still being present in the moment enough to enjoy it and not allow whatever chaos seems to be unfolding pisses you off one more time. Yet this fundamental key to genuine authentic behavior seems to elude even the most mature of people.

What happens in the most general of terms is that one or both partners in a relationship begin to take each other for granted. The niceties present in the beginning seems to subside when the duties and stressors of the day become more important to “get done” than the undeniable necessity of feeding the other’s soul. Before long everyone is walking through their life passionateness about love and over-impassioned about things that just don’t matter. Their focus on what should be is directed to what they believe is societal “must be’s.” In the end, they create more anger, angst, jealousy also division because they have sold out to the better job, the better home, the best this or that. The worst thing is that they don’t even know it’s happened to them. No wonder hey cannot focus on how to offer their partner any possibility of intimacy. They’ve all but completely robbed themselves of it.

When the mini-explosions, the constructive criticisms and the monumental disappointments of life resonate as the prominent feeling of the day, how can one stop, and take care of themselves or their partner? By electing to be a little romantic. Romance as a general descriptor is not dead, it’s an action or word with supporting action of professing or doing something for someone else that they need. Whatever you choose to do must be something they would ask for, they would require, and that they would tell you but are electing not to.

So the next time you feel like spouting off that which has offended your great senses, remember that person who you want an intimate relationship with, is watching. Even though you’re not pointing the rage at him or her, they feel the anguish you do which is the antithesis of what you’re trying to achieve. Stop yourself from a constant barrage of what you feel, and give weight to the fact that your partner may need to see your kindness, your loving side, your Justice and especially the side of you they fell in love with.

No matter what happens at any age, things are always better after a mature and loving conversation. Everyone feels better when they feel heard when they feel loved and cared for. Everyone wants to feel like they’re your priority. Once you make that person feel the way you intend, they will return the favor and that intimacy that has been missing will eventually be alive and kicking in your relationship. It just takes motivation and action.

Good luck. Happy Valentines Day!

Rebecca Nietert