It might seem impossible but the Martian and I have figured out that things work best if we esteem each other first while at the same time esteeming ourselves first (self care). Here’s an example how that works for us:
Our weekday mornings are quite full. We get up between 4 and 5. The Martian sometimes gets up earlier to do school work because he can focus better after a night’s sleep rather than after a full day of work (esteeming himself, self care). The Martian does what he needs to get himself ready for work. I do what I need to do to get him ready for work. I make his lunch and make his breakfast and also put away dishes and make coffee for both of us. I do what I do because I want to support him (esteem him) to be able to function at his highest and he is 73 so care for his diet and health (and mine too) are of utmost importance to us. Fortunately we are both early birds and don’t mind our schedule. We don’t mind going to sleep early to be able to do this early morning routine because we both like morning a lot.
So what happens when I go away for a day or two which I occasionally do? I will be doing that for some number of days when my next grandchild is born. For my inner joy (esteeming myself, self care) I want to be there for the birth and for a few days to get to know the baby and to help my daughter-in-law and son on their new adventure.
What will the Martian do on those days that I am in San Francisco and where he has supported me to do what I want to do (him esteeming me)? He will make do. He’ll probably eat breakfast out and buy salads from Trader Joe’s for lunch.
We do as much for each other as we can without stopping our own sacred self care. It can work. We’ve been doing it for 25 years.