Dear young ones, I just heard a speaker say that the thing men find most attractive in a woman is that she keeps to her standards.  Here is a great lesson to all you younger wives.  I don't know it if goes both ways.  Standards was not one of the things on my list when I fell in love with my husband at a very young age.  I was naive.  I valued sense of humor, physique and words of affection.  Silly me. Standards!  I took so much for granted, like standards. I thought all people tried their hardest to make a marriage work and be a good spouse. I didn't know that it is important for a woman to keep her (and her husband's in some cases) standards for him in the family. I do recall that in my young days when I had higher standards, I felt more valued, more on track with myself, more self confident.  After I married, I thought I must be servile and cooperative and partnering and yes, I thought it was a GOOD thing to be enabling ...  propping up my husband's ego and HIS confidence so that he could go out in the world and earn a living for our family.  Now, I have learned that I should have locked H out of the house all those times he came home from work at 2am.  I should have walked out of the house with our son and stayed out for as long as it took for him to apologize for the thoughtless, derogative things he said to me.  If he didn't apologize, I should have gone home to my parents house or even more embarrassing to our friends's houses along with the story of what he did to his wife and son.  I should have told friends and family about his abhorrent behavior when I was young so that I could have gotten their support.  As it was, I was embarrassed of him (and therefore also of me) and I kept it all to my self and cried privately because I thought that a spouse should not dishonor her husband and that I must sacrifice some of my self for the good of the marriage and family.  I should have left.  I should have left.  I should have left.....  and had him begging me, and promising change and I should have held out for respect or let ourselves be split up at the time.  I cannot financially get out now, but I can find my own self respect.  I can't change him, but I can be separate from him.  Now at this age, it must appear to family and friends (and H) like I am an uncooperative old spouse because i have changed and I no longer "give in, give to, give away" as I used to do. Istayed with H so long, accepting him as he is and he is jovial, expecting entitlement of an honorable man...but he was not honorable! But family and friends don't know that.  I even kept that from the children. H had been a traveling salesman for years, then was gone most of every day with a small business he started - it was never a success. They don't know how often he stayed out late or that Dad did not work full time or work to pay bills for years.   It is hard to change the dynamic after so many years.  I don't want to be intimate with him. I don't want to kiss him.  I don't even want to look at him.  I don't like myself when I look back at how I lived MY life.  I had been living OUR life and not getting cooperation from HIM.  For a partnership to work, you have to be able to trust each other and depend on each other.  You have to also be true to YOUR SELF and your standards.  I thought that was being selfish and snobbish - to assume MY higher standards.  I didn't realize that being sacrificial in a relationship was making me weak and lacking integrity.  Every time H crossed the line, I should have left.  I used to tell him to GET OUT! but he never did.  He just ignored those words.  I should have left. I should have left. I should have left.