The Value of Time and Self-Respect: Lessons Learned from My Divorce

The Value of Time and Self-Respect: Lessons Learned from My Divorce

The rollercoaster of pain, hurt, and suffering often becomes our unexpected catalyst for growth.

Hey there, gentlemen! I recently divorced after a decade-long marriage. I’m here to share a valuable lesson I learned too late. 

The beauty of this advice is that it applies to you regardless of whether you’re interested in a girl, dating exclusively, or currently married. 

Today, this blog post is intended to remind you how valuable your time and self-respect are. 

Let’s jump into my personal experience — happy reading!

Photo by Israelzin Oliveira at pexels.com

Disclaimer: My marriage commenced at 19, and I was a young man with little life experience or wisdom. Regrettably, my decision was solely driven by physical attraction. It’s a harsh truth. 

Cold hard fact #1: 

No one will respect or love you more than yourself. 

You see, I spent most of my time and energy attempting to make my ex-wife “happy” during my marriage. Her demands and frustrations subtly grew each year, outpacing any time and energy I had to offer. In that process, I sacrificed much of “Brandon” forfeiting for “easy” one-sided solutions vs. standing firm on my actual needs. 

https://medium.com/small-steps/why-you-cant-make-them-happy-1c47dd474a0d

Reminder: your partner’s happiness is not your responsibility. Each person needs to come into a relationship “whole.” Will people have bad days? Yes, but if every day is a bad day, then something has got to change. 

In the aftermath of my divorce, I spent several months reflecting on where I went wrong in my marriage. 

For me, it boiled down to self-respect. What is self-respect? It’s the state of valuing oneself, setting boundaries, and treating oneself how you desire to be treated. It means recognizing and honoring one’s beliefs, needs, and values

It wasn’t until I was 30 and divorced that I even learned what a “boundary” was. Between self-reflection and my therapist, I finally learned the basics. The simplest way I can put it is that anything that makes you uncomfortable — is probably something that is poking at your beliefs, needs, or values. 

Communicating boundaries isn’t always easy, mainly when it means disappointing others or opposing the grain. However, it has become crucial for my growth and happiness.

By prioritizing self-respect, I could be more authentic in all areas of my life. I no longer sacrificed my values or integrity to fit in or meet external expectations. Instead, I aligned with my core beliefs and honored my true self.

Cold hard fact #2: 

Do NOT ever reward bad female behavior. 

Refer to cold hard fact #1 if you are curious about why #2 exists. 

Well, Brandon, what constitutes negative female behavior? 1) Dishonesty, 2) Manipulation, 3) Entitlement, 4) Disrespect, 5) Inconsiderate behavior, 6) Physical or verbal aggression, 7) Drama/Gossip, 8) the list goes on…

Gents, your time and energy are worth more than you will ever know. Call it out quickly and observe how she responds. Hopefully, you both will move toward a path of forgiveness and a deeper understanding. 

But if not — use your energy to build a business or even design something that can save lives.

Pro-tip: Listen to your gut. As I said earlier, my time and energy gradually went toward meaningless conversations that should have been addressed earlier with boundaries. However, if you are not careful, it will sneak up on you, so you must constantly evaluate where your time and attention are going.

The #1 method I used to assess my time was constantly looking at my “accountability wall.” You can read more about that in the blog post below. 


But in short — I tracked my time and goals. Buy a journal, sticky notes, something. Keeping track is key….the more you accomplish, the better indicator that your energy is being utilized properly. 

On the other hand, if all you do is have the same conversation over and over again…well…you get my point.

That’s why I have become more intentional about my activities, the people I surround myself with, and the tasks I pursue. I do not entertain or apply any energy toward anything that does not align with my life vision. It felt cold-blooded at first but the real ones will stay near you. 

This shift in mindset has been an absolute game-changer, allowing me to accomplish much more.


Okay — let’s put self-respect and valuing your time together in a scenario.

You and your girlfriend, Sherri, have been dating for a year, and you recently discovered she has been directly messaging another man for several weeks. 

You don’t feel good about it, so you confront her. You tell her you don’t want her to message other men because it erodes your togetherness. To your surprise, she thinks you are insecure and refuses to address the issue. You start questioning your sanity and try to talk yourself out of it. STOP. 

This is where self-respect comes into play. Do you reward someone who discards your feelings? Hell no.  

This was a fundamental scenario, and unfortunately, relationships are more complex. I know most people will examine the scenario and see it differently which is okay because everyone has a different beliefs/values system.  

The bottom line is that you need to communicate your boundaries. If she doesn’t respond in a manner that aligns with your beliefs/needs — this can indicate incompatibility, and it’s a surefire reason not to reward her with your attention. 

Conclusion

So, to all the men out there, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on how you’re prioritizing your time and energy. 

Are you living in alignment with your values and goals? 
Are you honoring your true self and showing yourself the respect you deserve? 

It’s never too late to make a change and start investing in what truly brings you joy and fulfillment. Remember, you can shape your own life and create an authentic reality. 

So, evaluate your time and energy, break free from societal expectations, and prioritize your self-respect. It may not always be easy, but it will be infinitely rewarding.

Here’s to living a purpose, passion, and authenticity-filled life!

Brandon

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