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Copyright © 2002 by Joe Freeman. All rights reserved.
Are You Too Familiar?
Mark Twain once said that ‘familiarity breeds contempt – and children’. I am not saying that getting to know someone intimately will lead to contempt for that person, but getting intimately familiar with someone can lead to a decline in the way we act toward each other and treat each other.
Think back to the last argument you had with your spouse or loved one. Did you raise your voice, use any obscenities, verbally (or physically) attack or belittle your loved one? Did you say or do anything that required an apology? Now take that conversation back to your first or second date with this person. Would there have been a second or third date? Probably not!
Think back to how you treated this person early in your relationship. Did you use obscenities then? Did you have bad table manners? Were you on time? Or, did you seek to demonstrate the qualities this person admired? Now the big question – “do you still treat that person the same way today”?
As we become more familiar with our loved ones, we become comfortable with them, we begin to let our guard down thinking that it is ok to say and do anything in front of our spouse.

Yes – we must feel safe enough to trust our partner with our thoughts, but I am talking about our simple everyday actions.

This familiarity can erode the entire relationship. We can lose the graces of respect that we initially developed early in the relationship. Return to those early days and treat each other as though you just met. The honeymoon ends because of choice, not time.

If you want to be respected,
you must respect yourself.
– Spanish Proverb

The way to procure insults is to submit to them: a man meets with no more respect than he exacts.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,
 but of respect and joy in each other's life.
- Joe Freeman
The Web Sage