Taken for Granted

Q. I want to know if leaving my husband for a few days will teach him to appreciate me more or will this have an even worse effect on our relationship? I feel he is starting to take me for granted and I have spoken to him about this but he took his mother for granted so why should I be any different, right?The nicer his mother was to him, the worse he treated her. I refuse to do everything for him because I have respect for myself but how can I get him to respect me more?

A. When you say youve talked to your husband about how you feel, was this in the form of discussion or just complaining? I dont know how long youve been married but if hes just starting to take you for granted, it may not be very long so theres still a chance for you to establish a pattern within your relationship that you can both live with.

If he learnt to be emotionally lazy in his dealings with women through his mother, you have to reeducate him but it must be done gently and with love. Walking out at this stage could harm your marriage but as a strategy, it can work because of its shock value. I would try a subtler approach first if I were you. Explain to him how you feel and that you want an equal marriage based on mutual respect; ask him to offer some input on ways that you can achieve this. Make it clear that the marriage belongs to both of you and you want to work as a team.

Its good that you respect yourself and dont do everything for him but if the face of love for your husband is a woman sacrificing herself totally for him and hes not getting that, he could be feeling insecure also. Teach him over time that love isnt self-sacrifice or self-abuse but trust, respect and communication. If you respect yoursef and stick to your guns, he will come to respect you. Theres no other way to gain it. Good luck.

Body Talk Column is hosted by Charmaine Saunders. www.charmainesaunders.comSend your requests to femail@femail.com.au attention Charmaine.