Believe it or not, you can tell a lot about how you feel about yourself by looking at the people that you spend the most time with. For many of you, this is likely to be your spouse or significant other.
When you feel good about yourself, your spouse or significant other generally tends to reinforce that feeling by his or her actions and behavior. Even though there might be times when you disagree with one another and perhaps say things that you later regret, you might generally feel supported emotionally in your relationship, as if you are both on the same “team” doing life together.
If, on the other hand, your spouse or significant other disrespects you and treats you poorly in general, chances are that you don’t feel very good about yourself. I call this the “mirror effect.” In general, the people that we choose to spend the most time with generally “mirror” how we feel about ourselves. The irony is that the more time we spend with this person, the more it reinforces any negative beliefs that we might have about ourselves, whether consciously or unconsciously.
I have discovered that in order for others to respect you, you first have to respect yourself. Therefore, when you treat yourself with dignity and respect, others will likely treat you the same way.
In your relationship, I encourage you to make it a habit to treat yourself with respect in each and every moment so that your relationship can then “mirror” your positive attitude.