Respect is earned

These past few weeks have been all about respect for me. Jack and I have returned to a bit of groundwork focusing on respect and a bit more communication. He has gotten sassier as the winter has dragged on and it’s only the beginning of what may be a long New England cold snap.

But it’s been making me think about how respect also works in my marriage and showing mutual appreciation and respect for one another.

With Jack, respect has meant that he understands my personal space and that teeth and lips aren’t allowed on humans. I have to take a bit more of an alpha mare role, but also show that he’s safe with me. He has to trust me along with respecting what I ask of him. But it’s also a two-way street. I have to respect when he’s having a bad day and define what success means for that day. I have to understand when he’s in pain or when he’s being scared or insecure.

In my marriage, respect is also a two-way street. It’s a mutual respect of each other and our individual needs. I have to respect when he’s had a long day and also respect his judgment. (If he gets us up in the middle of the night because he thinks someone may or may not be breaking in and tells me to shush, I need to listen.) He also has to respect my moodiness and when I just need some quiet time or when I need him to be there for me.

Every day, I develop more and more respect for my husband and every time I work with Jack I have to build more and more respect. It takes constantly learning, being open to respect and also acknowledging when you’re being disrespectful to build the relationship up. When you are disrespectful, you have to realize it, acknowledge and commit yourself to not being disrespectful again.

Without mutual respect, both my marriage and my partnership with Jack wouldn’t work. It would fall apart at the seams. Respect binds the people (or person and animal) together in the relationship.

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