Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking on respect. One of the reasons I brought DD to Steve was that I didn't like how disrespectful I was to him at times and I wanted to change that. While I've got better about it since then, it's still an area I sometimes struggle with.
In an effort to get a clearer picture of what disrespect is, I picked the brains of some of the guys in chat yesterday. I asked them what they considered to be disrespect. They were kind enough to give me some examples.
- saying you will follow their advice, then doing what you want to do instead
- using words like "fine" and "whatever" when they're explaining why a behavior is unacceptable
- contradicting them in front of others on small issues
- mocking or sarcasm in front of others
- walking off without replying
- slamming doors or banging stuff around
I also did some searching online to see if I could find more examples. I found a really great blog post that had a huge list that the writer had compiled from various places. I'm not going to link it here because it's not a DD blog so they might not like a link from one, but if you search "what is disrespectful to husbands?" it should be one of the first results. Rather than duplicate the entire list, I'll just share a few here.
- telling him what to do
- yelling or cursing at him
- undermining his authority as a parent by refusing to enforce something he's said or by stepping in when he's reprimanding one of the kids
- second-guessing or questioning all his decisions
- withholding sex because you're angry or using it to manipulate him
- not showing appreciation for the things he does
- mothering him
Now clearly every guy is going to have their own idea of what disrespect is. If you hang around us for a while, chances are you'd hear me call Steve a goober, most likely in response to him saying or doing something silly. Now some guys would take that as being disrespectful, especially if it was said in front of others. However, Steve knows it's just my way of saying "You're being goofy, but I love you." He takes it as a term of affection rather than disrespect.
I'd like to say I've never did any of the things that I found in my research, but it would be a lie. I'm human and I make mistakes, especially before DD when respect wasn't high on my list of priorities. I still make some of these mistakes even now.
My research has given me plenty of food for thought and I'll definitely be talking to Steve in the near future to get a better understanding of what he sees as disrespect. In the meantime, I'm going to try to focus on doing away with those behaviors that I already know are disrespectful.