Respect between couples: What is it worth?

Although I don't believe in the pretentiousness of stiff manners like having to sit straight at the table with your elbows off so that people will think you're well brought up, I do believe in fostering good habits, even when I was a kid.

Because both my parents were working, my sis and I rarely got to see them, so things like spending time together at the table for meals was an important ritual for me. I remember being the one who used to wake up early many mornings when I was a teenager, rousing the house while I tried to get breakfast together, or be the one setting the table so that my family members would get the hint and NOT eat at the TV. My father supported the idea too, and always insisted we ate together as a family so that we could talk about our day.

Yesterday, Lokes and I had a disgreement, one of many in our years together, usually about things such as this, which would usually be considered trivial, but when it happens enough, I start to wonder if he respects any of my ideals at all. As unimportant as they may seem, when someone spends the time to clean up the house nicely, cook a nice dinner (his mom, in this case), it's the least one can do, to sit down and enjoy it with the same amount of respect as one has given into making the meal, never mind the bonding part.

It is these times that I feel most alone, knowing that while this is all part and parcel of marriage, the wearing down of one's patience and respect of the little quirks and habits of one's spouse, I also wonder desperately if there is some way to fix it, make it slow down or better still, eliminate it once and for all. Am I asking too much, just to sit down for dinner? If it is so insignificant, why did we clash over it?

And it's not just this either. It's to do with how we agreed to raise our kids sometimes. More than once, he's allowed Rae to have ice cream right before meal time, even when he knows how hard it is to get her to eat. Ice cream was supposed to be the incentive to finish a meal, next to the gold star she gets. He seems to forget ever so often what these 'rules' are for, and how difficult it is for me to 'undo' the damage when his kid starts asking for ice cream at all times of the day, screaming "My daddy lets me have ice cream!".

Respect. It's what we need to afford each other after the fires of passion and the romance of marriage have been reduced to cosy embers so that they can still last a lifetime.

And that's all I need from you.

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3 Comments »

  1. Amy said

    Funny. I know a lot of men who do the same. My guy will finish whatever he is doing (which takes a long time, even after I told him we were gonna have dinner half an hour before) before even wanting to sit down. By the time he does, the food is cold, and I’m already done with dinner. I make it a point to not starve waiting for him (why be angry when I can go ahead? Most probably the hunger is making ME angry). He said he likes food a little lukewarm, or else it burns his tongue. Oh well. As long as I’m full, and he cleans up afterwards, I’ll keep it under control.
    And another thing, maybe his mom who spoiled him. I’m going to make sure my kids don’t turn out that way.

  2. Shamira said

    Oh, how I feel for you! I have been trying for years to cultivate the habbit of having a meal together as a family but my hubby just cant seemt to get it.
    I can never win a battle with him as far as his TV is concerned. He still has his meals at the TV but I still insist to sit by the dining table with my daughter to have a meal always.

    Why? Why ? Why do men not understand the importance of discipline especially when there are children involved.

  3. Eric said

    Why men do not understand the importance of discipline?

    I can answer that. as being a married man.

    because being a working man, we follow the priniciples at work, we follow the principles to deal with our customers, there are 24 hours a day, and at least for 10 hours we all have to follow disciplines…

    so dear, give me a break when I am home, I just want to finish my football game on TV, I just want to finish the last task for my on-line game……..before I go and eat the dinner.

    Jenn, I think it happens not only to you and most of the house wives. it is natural, we (men) understand after you stay at home for the whole day, you really look up the dinner as a “reunion” with your husband. but believe me, just take it easy. Loke just do not want more disciplines at home after a whole day work.

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