Respect, what is it and how does it affect you in your interpersonal relations.

first let’s define what Respect is, and we will start with the dictionary descriptions according to Merriam.

 What does respect mean?
  1. a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
    due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

It is an action as well as a feeling. When respect is lost in a relationship undue critical comments start to arise, as well as a host of other issues, all stemming from a lack of respect.  A lot of time respect is given away, especially by people who are dependant on their significant others, also known as co-dependent.

  1. 1.
    characterized by excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction.
    “you go with her all the time because you’re a little codependent”
  1. 1.
    a person with an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction.
    “codependents confuse caretaking and sacrifice with loyalty and love”

*Now I want to be very very clear, I am in no way tolerating, promoting, condoning or excusing abuse and disrespect in a relationship, in any form of relationship romantic or platonic. *

*Please note if you are in a physically abusive relationship, seek professional help, take precautions to keep yourself and kids safe, keep an extra set of clothes, important documents and money in an emergency bag that you can keep with someone you trust, best if it is someone the abuser does not know, create an emergency exit plan, and if shtf, call the police asap. That’s what they are there for* 


Change, is it possible?

Image by Tú Anh from Pixabay

If you are in a turbulent or abusive relationship and you decide that you want to stick it out and make it work, for whatever your reasons, here are some tips on how to do it effectively and safely. I have been in abusive relationships, my current one has been abusive in the past,  I am constantly working on bettering mine by bettering me. My husband is working on bettering himself and has been making great changes, but understand that it takes time, a lot of effort and real true desire to change. And it can’t be because we want to change for the other person or vice versa, that does not last trust me. We have to want to change for us, for our own deeply personal reason, that change has to come from within because it is in our best interest to become a better human being.  So, if you are choosing to stay in your turbulent relationship then read my advice, I have done these things I am writing about. I want to make sure that you all know that this comes from first-hand personal experience, not out of the dsm-6 handbook of differential diagnosis. I have been through several years of therapy, I have been in counseling, I have learned through trial and error what works and what does not work in abusive situations, especially for myself.


Image by azboomer from Pixabay

1. Have well-defined boundaries, this is especially important for codependent people and people with low to no self-esteem. Yes, boundaries are difficult to build, but once they are in place they offer security against disrespect and abuse. A boundary is a statement of self-respect, it signifies that you will protect yourself and that you know your self-worth. It also sets a clear line for the other person, so they have a clear idea that their poor behavior is coming dangerously close to crossing a line you will not tolerate.  I can not stress this first point enough, boundaries are integral to any relationship, not just abusive ones.  My first marriage had no boundaries and ended roughly and with a lot of bitterness because of it, my current marriage could have been saved a lot of grief and heartache had I had firm boundaries in place from the start.  Boundaries tell the other person that this is the bold hard line and if you cross it, there will be consequences. Those consequences can be as gentle as “I am not going to stand here and let you speak to me this way, I will be in the other room until you can speak to me with the basic respect I deserve as a human being” to going so far as “if you raise your hand, fist or etc in anger towards me or the kids, I am taking the kids and myself to my parents house for x amount of time”. Remember that abuse generally starts small and tends to escalates quickly. And be forewarned that when you have had no boundaries in place and now suddenly there are, this will cause a lot of friction to start, but it has to be done in order to have any hope at a successful relationship where you maintain your dignity and self-respect.  Have you ever noticed that abusive people normally have well-defined boundaries that they are not afraid to let you know about when you cross it or think about crossing it, you deserve to have your own, and you deserve to be able to protect them without hesitation.


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

2. Self Respect goes hand in hand with having well-defined boundaries.  Get you some now! If you want any kind of relationship to be functional, you gotta know your own worth, you gotta love yourself enough to demand some basic respect, and frankly, you gotta respect yourself enough to know you deserve point blank, health, happiness, safety, security, and love. No ifs ands or buts about it. Self-respect comes from little acts of daily self-love, nudging yourself in positive directions even when you feel like giving up. You have to start building trust in your own internal voice again, start small and be consistent. Eventually, you will reach a point where you just know you deserve better and you won’t settle for less than that. It takes time and it takes effort to get to that point but it’s totally worth it.


Image by Jochen Pippir from Pixabay

3. Get a backbone, straight up people will treat you how you teach them to treat you. I know this one sounds harsh, but its a cold hard reality. I didn’t start seeing a real positive change in my current relationship until I started standing up for myself. It’s not easy by any means, especially when you’re not a confrontational person, but it’s either stand strong and stand up or get pushed down and browbeat.  I remember in the first years of our marriage during one of our fights,  telling my husband that I shouldn’t have to stand up for myself, especially to him, he should be the one protecting me.  He agreed with that but he also knows himself, a lot better than most people know themselves, and he told me point blank that I needed to stand up for myself because otherwise, he would take advantage of the fact that I am nonconfrontational and exploit it until I finally and firmly tell him to back off. And he was true to his word because for many years he did exploit that point in our fights because I foolishly refused to stand up for myself. Then one day I finally got so damn fed up with his badgering that I told him to just STFU and leave me the F alone, and to my shock and awe he asked “what the hell did you just say”, and I repeated it, he goes “no before that what did you say about getting cat food?” and then he just laughed and did exactly what I told him to. He shut the F up and left me alone while he went and got cat food. Funny how that worked, because I tend to not hold back anymore and our fights have tamed waaaay down from it.

 Adopt a no bull attitude.

4. Take NO BULL SH!T. When you finally start to respect yourself and stand up for your self this becomes so much easier. It helps to know that you are fully capable of providing for yourself and your dependents without that a$$holes help. It may not seem like you can at this moment, but honey a moment tis but one drop in the ocean of your lifetime.  trust me, I understand how flipping hard it is to try something new, especially with all the bs that is pinging around in my head from years of being verbally bullied and demeaned. But you have to, absolutely have to, take that first step. I know it’s terrifying but the only way to get better is to take that leap of faith in yourself. Do what you can to educate yourself, if you can take college classes do that, but if you can’t afford to or aren’t being allowed to, take free courses online. Don’t have access to a computer at home, the library is the next best thing, can’t get to a library, no worries because a lot of these sites work on smartphones too.   These four sites all offer free courses,  https://www.edx.org,  https://www.udacity.com,  https://www.udemy.com, https://www.khanacademy.org   and almost all of them are auditable courses, and if you want the alphabet soup after your name, they offer paid certificates as well. Many of the programs are from well-renowned schools like Harvard and MIT so you know it’s not just fluff.  Even if you don’t get a degree having the knowledge is so empowering in itself. Please remember that the only real person who can keep you a victim of abuse is you, and I know how shitty that sounds to hear, trust me I do, but the only way I have made it where I am and continue to go is because I know that I am the only one who can give my power over to someone else. I know words hurt, but they hurt less when you stop idolizing the person berating you, they sting less when you realize that man or woman is flawed just like you and sometimes more so, they are human, they are flesh and bone and they know they are not acting right, that is why they lash out, it is to keep you from seeing it too. At the end of the day, you have to realize that your life is solely in your hands, it is solely your responsibility, to say otherwise takes your power away from you and gives it back to the abusive putz in your life. If you want to see changes you must be the one to make them, because they haven’t and they won’t. Not until they see where they are going wrong and take full responsibility for their actions and words and behaviors. But that takes time, a hella effort on their end, the desire to change, and often times miracles.

Love it or leave it.

Photo by Rochelle Brown on Unsplash

5. Love it or leave it, all else is madness. Get your head firmly around the idea that you are worth more than the bs treatment you have been served. Realize that you can make it on your own, and take steps towards becoming independent even if you decide to stay in the relationship. Yes, it can even be done when you are a stay at home parent with no money. I do not have a job, I am a stay at home mom of two girls, one who is in first grade and one who is not even a year old yet. I have no real formal education, just a nail tech license that expired four years ago for a different state than where I live now.  I have artistic talents and skills but not anything that could support me on my own if I had too. Aside from all that,  I was damned determined to start my own business, I was so tired of the fights about me not being “productive enough or helping financially” so, I decided to start my own blog and website without having to ask my husband for any help with it.  So far it has cost me a grand total of $35 to date, and I did ask for it to be my birthday gift this year so I technically didn’t pay for it, but it only cost a grand total of $16 with my domain registration, not a real expensive birthday gift, but oh so worth it.  Side note I use this company for my server→ https://www.interserver.net/r/504062 they have been great, have wonderful support and the plans start at $5 a month and you can choose whether you want monthly, quarterly etc billing. *special note, if you decide to use them and go through that link I will get a one time commission for it, which is super awesome because this blog and website is what I do to make money for myself so I can become financially independent.*  In the end you need to find the things that inspire you, writing and blogging are exceedingly enjoyable to me, art is as well but with a ten-month-old that is nursing still, it’s hard to find the time. Do things that are fulfilling to you, things you enjoy. If you don’t know what that is anymore try new things until you find something that sparks your interest.  I didn’t think I would enjoy the process of building a website, but I found out I really enjoy the design and development of it, so I started taking some classes on khanacademy.org on coding and programming that will interlace with the development of my websites.  And since starting this site, and really striving to become financially independent my husband has become a lot more supportive, which has been wonderful. I have found a new spark that is also reigniting my old creative flames. You just have to take a chance on yourself.

Above all to thy own self be true.

Photo by Katrina on Unsplash

Make me a promise that above all else, you will believe in yourself, you will respect yourself and most importantly you will love yourself so completely that no matter what happens in your relationship, you will know you are complete and perfect in all ways, always. There is only one you, and the world needs more of you in it. So be like the army, and become all that you can be!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope that it helps you as it has me. I am here if you ever want to chat and I love you always.

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12 thoughts on “R.E.S.P.E.C.T”

  1. Pingback: Beauty basics for busy mamas - Apple Pie In the Sky

    1. I understand that this particular article is a bit controversial, it may be a trigger for some, and frankly may need some fine-tuning and editing to make more sense and to be a better read. And I am in no way part of the #metoo movement, uber-feminist or anti-man, or an advocate for abuse. Not at all in any way. The advice and info I posted come from several serious life lessons I have personally experienced. I created the article mainly to take away from the idea that victims of abuse and bullying have no power over there situations, all our power comes from the mindset we hold. Our core beliefs. Whether we will stand up for ourselves or not, etc. And until we realize that it’s our mindset and beliefs that are keeping us in a particular situation, we will essentially keep making ourselves powerless to change the circumstances. When I finally stopped giving my self excuses to stay a victim of my situation I stopped being victimized. It took a hell of a lot of internal work, work I still struggle with some days, but once I made the point to change my mindset, stand up for myself and set boundaries, the bullying and mistreatment stopped. That doesn’t mean I still don’t have issues, but I no longer sit and allow those thoughts, mindsets, and excuses to control me from taking appropriate actions. Building self-esteem, self-respect and setting boundaries take a lot of hard work, but its work that is desperately needed. And honestly, not many hotlines or therapists will tell a victim of marital bullying that they are essentially causing their own mistreatment by refusing to stand up for themselves. It is not a popular stance outside of groups like AA or Al-anon, where self-accountability and total responsibility for our life situations are part of the treatment. And truthfully it seems that society wants to treat women in those situations like porcelain dolls that are too fragile to handle themselves and be the creators of the reality they want, society in large plays a major roll in allowing abuse and bullying to continue by perpetuating the belief that victims are weak and incapable of standing up for themselves. Anyway, I hope this clarifies any uncertainty you have about the article. Blessed day and best regards.

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