We say to our partner "I love you", but often we need to look deep inside and understand what we really feel - for example love or addiction. After all, we often confuse our emotions for our partner: fear of loneliness, dependence, tenderness.
One of the key characteristics that differentiates Relationships of Love from Relationships of Addiction or Habit is the presence of respect.
Respect for a couple
Respect in a relationship is reflected in how we treat each other on a daily basis and it always starts with the simplest things.
Respect has nothing to do with control or manipulation, instead it allows us to feel free to be ourselves.
Respect always presupposes trust and freedom in relationships.
In any relationship between people, respect means that we recognize the dignity of the other person. We do that by taking into account the other side's point of view, listen to their comments and needs and try to act in a way that does not cause frustration to the other half.
In a long-term relationship, the nature of respect can change, as spouses often complain about the lack of that respect. This often happens due to habit of being in the relationship, without considering (or remembering) the work it took to reach there. So, restoring the trait of respect is necessary for a healthy long-lasting relationship.
Respect between partners or spouses can be divided in the "Internal" and "External" side:
In the “Internal” side, comfortable conditions need to be created for the partner, like a calm tone of speech and a genuine interest in the other person's life.
As for the "External" side, it means that a person needs to behave properly in public to their partner. Do not insult them in public, do not provoke unpleasant comments about them or their relationship and do not limit their freedom and personal space.
Heal your relationship by building respect
In a healthy relationship, respect includes the following elements:
Talk openly and honestly to each other.
Listen to what the other person says.
Appreciate their feelings and needs.
Compromise when it is needed.
Speak kindly to each other.
Support each other's interests, hobbies and careers.
Evolve through a relationship, evolving the relationship itself.
Honor and respect the limits of the other, no matter what happens, no excuses.
Of course, while it is important to respect our partner in a relationship, it is equally important to show respect for ourselves.
Self-esteem is the key to building self-confidence and maintaining healthy relationships, as it sets boundaries and builds appreciation throughout our lives. And usually, self-respect is confused with selfishness and the difference is that someone who is selfish in a relationship (jealous for no reason, demanding, etc.) deep inside has low self-esteem which can make them act this way.
Last but not least, remember that self-respect means that we also recognise our personal limits and that sometimes we need to put ourselves first, even if that means to leave a relationship that does not feel respectful for our personality and energy.
Like pruning a tree, it may look harsh but sometimes it´s necessary in order to grow healthy and strong towards the direction that you want.