I have been in a 24 year marriage. I have had times wherein I was constantly pursued and times wherein I constantly pursued my ex. The first one is preferable. People so easily say they have fallen out of love with their partner, for me that wasn't an option. I chose to love my ex and I did all in my power to show him that I did. Somehow I forgot that we must love others as we are loved. It became my goal to love on my partner and it went pretty well for most of the time. However, when I for instance spoke to our daughter without consulting him, he punished me by texting other women and ignoring me. The worst part was that I allowed it for far too long. Eventually my health suffered because I was valuing him more than myself. We separated because my doctor advised me to look to my health. Ever so often I catch myself wanting to make others happy but forgetting about making myself happy.
I found the cure to stop putting others first is to know that I am loved by God just as I am and for who I am. I know how it feels like when God relentlessly pursues me, even when at times, I feel like I have messed up so bad and that my mistakes are irrefutable. Then, still He comes and offers me forgiveness and love. I know how it feels like to be loved unconditionally. I know how it feels like when His love energizes me. And I know how it feels like when I look for love and acceptance from others. It doesn't feel good at all, unless they willingly offer it.
I have learned to ask myself first, how will the outcome effect me before I put others first. Most of the time now, but not always, I act considerate towards myself, instead of unwisely putting others first. When I neglect myself, I soon feel unhappy, because I matter to God and therefore I should matter to myself and others as well.
It is important that we are balanced, no one should matter more or less than I do. Most of the time I feel like hugging myself, being thankful to God that He created me as unique as I am. It took a lot of heartache to come to this place of worth and acceptance. Experience taught me about His love for me, just as I am and when others don't accept me like that, I move away as even Christ had pre-requisites for being His follower. He said we must forget about our selfishness, take up our cross, and follow Him or His example. His example means that we at times shake the dust off and move to areas where we are valued, loved and accepted.