We always hear how a husband should love his wife. As a woman it’s easy to understand another woman when she says “I feel unloved”. We know our husbands love us, but yet we still feel unloved. We can’t explain it.
We’ve all heard the “wives submit to your husbands” part, but yet we don’t know how to submit. What do they mean by submit? The same goes for respecting your husband. As a woman I do not know what it means to ‘respect’ my husband – I know that I DO! But when the same way we say we feel unloved, they say they feel disrespected. We do not have a manual on how to ‘respect’ our husbands. What makes them feel respected?
For men and women it’s as different as that: Women want love and want to feel loved, Men want respect and to feel respected. For women it’s easy to love unconditionally because we are born to love, nurture, comfort and care for. Men will never get it right to be sensitive enough unless we ‘criticise’ them and help them along the way. The same way women will never get the respect thing right unless men help us along the way. And all of this means: communication.
Before we had children our marriage and relationship was pretty damn good. We had a solid relationship, very stable and loving/respecting marriage. Children definitely throw the spanner in the wheels and the whole dynamic of your relationship changes. You find yourself bickering and edgy and feeling very unloved or disrespected. Most of the time it’s the little things that trigger all of this.
Having PND does not help one Iota. It just aggravates those feelings of being unloved. Over the past year I’ve had a really rough time in general. New house, new province, new baby, no support. And our marriage has certainly felt the strain of it all. Both of us were left feeling unloved/disrespected.
Last week my hubby and I had a chat about issues we were having and we decided to start at the small annoying things that aggravate us and to just help out. Instead of just giving up we would just help out and do the little things for and with each other even if we didn’t feel like it. A simple example would be that I got so tired of the mess in the house that I would often just let it get out of control because my hubby didn’t want to tidy up after the kids or help clean a spill – so neither did I.
On Saturday I found a book called “Love & Respect”, bought it and started reading. I am not even half way but I get what the whole respect thing is about. I still don’t know how to make things feel respectful, but I get it. I get that just like there are things that my husband does that make me feel unloved – it is not his intention. The same can be said about the things I do that make him feel disrespected – it is not my intention.
We see the world through different glasses: Blue and Pink and our hearing aids are blue and pink too! Therefore we always send each other messages in code and blow up when the message was received or interpreted the wrong way. In the end we are both left feeling unloved/disrespected.
I think you may start to see the pattern of feeling unloved or disrespected. We interpret the small thing very differently. Dr Emmerson calls it the crazy cycle.
My husband and I have spoken a lot about this whole love and respect thing over the weekend. And I think we are now just understanding it all and making sense of it. It’s so refreshing to have such new insight. I always knew I needed a perspective change I just didn’t know how!
The one thing my hubby and I spoke about was this ‘code’ and how we do not need to send each other hints. I do not need to hint at birthday and anniversary dates I just need to remind him the same way he doesn’t need to hint but rather just tell me how it is. It saves a lot of heartache and upset in trying to decipher the blue/pink code, when it can all just be avoided by helping each other out.
This past week has been far better than the previous year. It has been a lot easier because we took the steps to just help out and not get upset about the small things. Just because my husband leaves his shoes in the lounge does not mean he does not love me – the same way that when I leave my mug on the speaker it does not mean I disrespect him. But this was how we were interpreting things.
The A-Ha moment about respect and love is not the words. For me it’s the fact that we do not need to change as people. We do not need to change who we are or to expect our partners to change. We just need to stop interpreting what our partner is doing as a negative thing. It is not their intention nor ours! We just need to be more lighthearted in our approach and uptake of each others actions and words.
So ever grateful for the perspective change!