5 Steps to RESPECT


I think everyone remembers Aretha Franklin’s rendition of RESPECT.

I’m sure there are times when you could sing right along with her.

The lyric says ‘find out what it means to me’. What a concept.

Isn’t that what you really want to have happen…

To have someone take the time to know what or rather how to show respect to you.

Here are a few things to help you make that happen.

Be yourself

A theme you’ll find on this site is about this very issue.

I can’t overemphasize how you need to be true to who you are, especially when you’re involved with an alcoholic.

It’s amazing how you alcoholic has the ability to draw you right into his dysfunction.

My personal belief is there’s so much denial and shame in your alcoholic’s out-of-control behavior it’s painful to face it.

The result is diminished self respect. This ultimately is projected onto you.

When you are true to yourself it becomes a little easier to recognize how it’s HIS issue not yours.

You need to begin to respect yourself whether or not your alcoholic shows any respect.

In fact, you may find that you come to realize your alcoholic’s illness may make him unable to show you the respect you need.

Live your values
Efforts to relate to your alcoholic might have led you to move away from core values you hold.

To sum it up, I’d do anything to get his respect.

When you allow yourself to move away from your values there’s a little of you that’s been lost or compromised.

I don’t suggest your values can’t change over time but when you make changes to win over someone’s approval or respect you are the one who ends up feeling bad about it.

Values are like foundations. When your foundation is shaken the rest becomes unstable.

Repair must start with the foundation not the rest of the structure.

What would happen if you took some time to review some of your values that have changed because of the relationship with your alcoholic.

What would it take to get back to where you want to be?

The outcome, when you think this through should be increased self respect.

Decide from where to get respect
If you constantly go to a well and there’s no water, what you do if you’re thirsty?

You certainly don’t go to the same well again and again with an expectation there will be water.

You don’t have to leave your alcoholic to have other people show you respect.

The point is simple, if your alcoholic is incapable of giving you the respect you deserve then maybe it’s time to find a family member or a good support group where you’ll get respect.

Be consistent
A big key to increase the amount of respect you get from others is to be trustworthy.

Trust is developed by consistent behavior over time.

As you live out your values and stick with it you’ll find people naturally show more respect.

Choose your battles
There are times when it’s far more productive to walk away rather than fight.

You don’t have to compromise your values whatever someone else decides to do. So your alcoholic can’t be responsible for your decisions about living out your values.

The bottom line…

Know how to respect yourself first then find family and friends who share your values and allow them to show you respect.

When your alcoholic gets into recovery it may just be possible at that time he’ll learn to RESPECT you…And what it means to YOU.

We’d love to hear ways you’ve been able to find a little respect. Please share in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 8 Other People Thought...

  1. Lisa

    My alcoholic has been sober 7months now. He has stopped attending AA meetings and does not have a sponsor. I have 2 boys at home. Our home is small and each have 1 chore. They do their chores. If one happens to “forget” their chore my husband gets mad and shuts me out. My husband does not do 1 thing at home to help out because he says that I don’t have the boys do other chores and that I am a bad parent. I am tired of being his maid and his cook when he does not help out. I’ve tried talking to him about how I feel but it all comes down to him blaming me, that he’s changed and he’s not going to show me love until the boys do more chores. They are not his boys. I feel like I am being taken advantage of, disrespected and I’m tired of it. We walk on eggshells at home because we dont want to “upset” my husband. I’m ready to throw in the towel.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      The fact your husband has stopped his support group meetings and doesn’t have a sponsor tells me he’s close to a relapse. I agree you and the boys need not to feel like you walk on eggshells. It’s important for you not to take on your alcoholics responsibilities…OR his excuses. What would happen if you just QUIT being his maid? Maybe if he had the full responsibility you carry there might be a bit more respect.

    • Viki

      Lisa, I believe it’s important to remember that your alcoholic knows how to control you . . . by withholding love. Don’t let it get your goat. Just remember that you are lovable and deserve to be loved. Write down all the things about yourself that are lovable, and remember them. Then when he withholds his love, you will know it’s not because of any deficiency in you, but because of a deficiency in him. Also, if he says you’re a bad mother, know that all children forget to do chores. That doesn’t make their parent ‘bad’. Try not to react to his nonsense, because that will remove his incentive to treat you that way. I know I’ve asked you to be a saint :)! But, it’s the only way to take away his motivation to treat you disrespectfully.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Thank you viki for showing Lisa respect. This is exactly what I mean about finding respect where there are people willing to show it. Who knows, in time your alcoholic may just come around. Until then, there are others just like Viki ready to put in a good word for you and to you.

    • That is not good the way your husband is treating you an your boys . If they are not his boys he has to remember that they came with the package when he married you . You as their mother should be looking after them to the best of your knowledge . Your children are not work slaves but must be love by mom or either parent .

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        I agree with you Gloria. The blame thing is typical among alcoholics. It’s more about pushing people away so they can drink than anything else. It’s an ugly behavior, unfair and inappropriate. Unless Lisa’s husband has some times of sobriety it’s not likely to change much.

        Lisa needs to run interference with the boys. They need to know it’s NOT their fault.

        The irony is even if the boys did ALL of the work Lisa’s husband would find something because…HE Wants/Needs to DRINK.

        Thanks for your comment and support of Lisa.

  2. Viki

    Lisa, I also have concerns about your sons. I’m sure they are aware of what’s going on between you and your husband, and they may blame themselves for the fighting. They may also believe that because they forget chores, it means that they are bad. They also deserve to be respected. I don’t know how old they are, but they need to know that your husband suffers from the illness of alcoholism, and that’s what makes him act the way he acts. It isn’t because of them.

    • Wendell

      I agree. The boys need to know the truth. You can’t shelter them from your husband but you can help them not take on responsibility for your husbands issues.

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