Midlife Dimensions

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Q. How can I regain respect from my children if my husband has never shown any respect for me in front of them?

Q. (continued) In our marriage, my husband constantly undermined my parental authority, and now that he’s living with the other woman, he continues to buy their affection. I just don’t know how to compete with that?

A. Respect comes from God, not others. The best way to gain the respect you are looking for is to seek it from Him. In addition, the most influential part of your life with your kids is your personal growth. None of us are perfect as parents but we can all grow. When you grow so that a year from now you are better than you are today, your kids will take notice. The key is to give them a different parenting example than your husband. If your kids see you reacting to him too much, they will conclude that you get attention by being like him. IF, on the other hand, you can be an example of getting better, no matter what life has brought you, they will notice that and eventually choose you as their role model.