Before we got married, I was never worried about being able to show enough respect for Michael. Its true that he isn't the hardest worker I've ever met, but I knew that he wanted to support our future family and he was just so amazing at making me laugh and love myself. However, seven months after the wedding I discovered that my patience for him had dwindled and my hopes for a happily ever after felt shattered. Yet, I didn't really think that there was a problem with my behavior. I felt sometimes that i had accidentally married the wrong person who wouldn't change into the right one even after what was, on my part, rigorous husband-training. My mom called me after Sunday dinner at my grandparents with some concerns. She had seen the way I treated Michael at the table, slapping him in the face with criticism and coldness. My mom felt like she hadn't taught me how to be respectful towards my future spouse. What she said really made me change the way I act toward Michael and even when he's not around. What I learned is that men in general need to be respected in the same way that women need to feel loved. It is a very strong, basic emotional need. Men who don't get the respect they feel they deserve they can sometimes become emotionally compromised. I've noticed this a lot in Michael. I would criticize him, hoping that when he learned what he was doing wrong he would change his behavior. Instead, his self esteem crumbled and the desire to try again vanished, leading to more criticism from me for not trying.
I'm not perfect at this, I just barely learned that I need to do it, but instead of tearing Michael apart I strive to build him up with positive remarks so he feels capable and happy about himself. Marriage is not an easy thing, but I know it is worth it. I think of how far I have progressed with Michael as my companion and I am so grateful that I don't have to go through all of it on my own. I wouldn't have turned out to be such a happy flower if I didn't have him to nurture and care for me emotionally. For that and all of the other many things he does for me, I am grateful.