Is There Respect in Your Relationship?

My four year old, Charlie, had heart surgery last month. It went amazingly well, only 47 hours in the hospital! The first 24 were a bit overwhelming for him, not totally understanding what was happening. He would cry and get mad at all the tubes. I found myself hesitating to give into his bad behavior. I know that it was because he just had open heart surgery, but there was something inside of me that said – go easy here, it’s still bad behavior!

It made me think about some of the many relationships I had in the past. My past is a blur of bumps and boyfriends. It made me consider some of the ‘excuses’ I had made for their bad behavior. Well, of course he has trouble with his feelings, he never had a Dad. He’s drinking so much because something bad is going on. He wouldn’t really hit me. Maybe he doesn’t just want sex; maybe things are going to get serious.

Pla-ease. I ignored all the flashing lights on the dashboard.

Many of my relationships were wasted time and took a piece of me away because I was willing to make excuses in a desperate attempt to feel love. WARNING: Sex does not equal love. Though early on in a relationship it surely feels like you are wanted totally and completely, just the way you are. (Please note here, that you are actually, naked.)

Let’s see, how did those relationships turn out? One never asked me out officially. One was a drunk and eventually went to jail for a DWI. One grabbed me by the throat and put me up against the wall.

Some people do change. I for one did. As a young woman though, I see that I did not respect myself, my body or my reputation. That had a much larger impact in my life than I could see at the time. You later bring it into your marriage, into your family and into your heart.

What I want you to hear is this: Be wise. Use judgment. Build trust. What you see is what you get. I could get so caught up in my pursuit of love, that I was blind to truth. He did use me. He was a drunk. He is not trustworthy.

On the website, girlspace.kotex.com there is a blog for girls. I loved these simple questions to determine if there is healthy respect in your relationships:

•Is there mutual respect?
•Can you communicate freely?
•Is there trust?
•Are you able to disagree without unpleasant or lasting consequences?

It ends saying, “If you don’t feel there’s respect, communication, trust, and safety in your relationship, run—don’t walk—away from it. You deserve better. You deserve only the healthiest of relationships.” And I agree!

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