How To Handle A Husband Who Has No Respect For You Or Your Feelings

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my husband has no respect for me or my feelings
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“Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you,” says author Roy T. Bennett in his inspirational book The Light in the Heart. And we can’t agree more. If you constantly find yourself complaining, “My husband has no respect for me or my feelings”, we hate to break it to you: it’s one of the major signs of an unhealthy relationship. And maybe you should break your silence and fight back. You see, respect is the backbone of a healthy relationship, without which a marriage can’t survive in the long run.

If you want to make your marriage work, you will have to figure out ways to make your husband realize that you deserve respect in the relationship. In this article, we will look at the signs of a disrespectful husband and find ways to deal with him, with insights from counseling psychologist Nishmin Marshall, former director at SAATH: Suicide Prevention Centre, and a consultant at BM Institute of Mental Health. So, if you’re wondering how to get respect from your husband in a toxic relationship/marriage, read on…

The Importance Of Respect In Relationship

Do you find yourself thinking, “My husband is mean to me and nice to everyone else”? Well, a lot of women perhaps are in the same boat. They feel they aren’t being heard or seen and are terribly disrespected by their partners. This can a person question their place in the relationship. Why is that? To find the answer, we must first understand how important is respect in a relationship. 

“His body language and the way he communicates with you in public and private is a big indicator. In one of my cases, a husband left his wife because her skin color became darker due to a medical condition. In another case, a husband left his wife because she gained weight after pregnancy and he didn’t feel attracted to her anymore,” she says.

signs of a disrespectful husband
signs of a disrespectful husband

What if your husband claims he loves you but you sense disrespect in all his actions? Here’s what a Reddit user shares about his own experience of dealing with both love and respect, “Love is an unconditional thing. Essentially and for most humans it means forgiveness and accepting your partner’s flaws. But unconditional love can really only exist between parent and child…” 

He adds, “Respect is simply showing someone verbally or even visually that you have admiration for them. You understand their boundaries and push past them. No means no. I would say to the detriment of what most want to hear, it’s respect. We humans cannot stand being disrespected. We will get back you via passive aggression and slew other annoyances and this will ultimately end the relationship faster.”

Here are some more reasons why respect is important in a relationship:

  • It boosts the other partner’s self-confidence and makes them excel in their personal and professional lives
  • Only if you respect the your partner will they respect you back
  • Respect also makes a person listen and communicate better with their partner
  • Respecting a partner’s feelings, likes, and dislikes brings in honesty in the relationship, as they’re not scared to share what they truly think

Well, we can clearly see that respect perhaps is equally important as love in any romantic equation, if not more. Some might say there is no love without respect, because if you constantly degrade, ridicule, or talk down to your spouse or partner, how is any amount of ‘love’ going to fix the damage? So, if you ever find yourself complaining, “My husband has no respect for me or my feelings”, it may be the right time to consider taking some action.

How Do You Tell If Your Husband Has No Respect For You? 11 Signs

Before we get to understanding how to get respect from your husband, let’s look at the prominent signs that your husband may be disrespecting you. Are you confused about how to identify the signs of a disrespectful husband? Nishmin says, “The signs of lack of respect in relationship can be identified easily. It’s when your partner does not stand up for you or makes you feel bad in front of others. Physical or emotional abuse, abusive language, lack of concern for your feelings or opinions, infidelity, and constant comparison to others are all signs that your husband has no respect for you.” 

So, you see, the signs are not very subtle. If you are ever caught telling yourself, “My husband has no respect for me or my feelings”, that in itself is a major sign that you need to stand up and counter the disrespect and abuse.

Nishmin adds, “His body language and the way he communicates with you in public and private is a big indicator. In one of the cases I came across, a husband left his wife because her skin color had become darker due to a medical condition. There was no respect in marriage, and the situation was getting worse every single day, till the wife came to me for help. In another case, a husband left his wife because she had gained weight after pregnancy and he didn’t feel attracted to her anymore.” 

As you can see, disrespectful behavior in a marriage can take several forms. We have collated 11 such signs of a disrespectful husband that signal that your marriage may be troubled waters:

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1. He ignores your boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries is key to a successful relationship. It also indicates that partners respect each other’s choices and personal space. One of the signs of disrespect from a man is that he ignores or violates your boundaries. This can manifest in various toxic behaviors, such as:

  • Borrowing money and not returning it
  • Fighting in a disrespectful or abusive manner
  • Invading private space. For instance, walking into your work space at home and putting on loud music
  • Not respecting your sexual limits

Related Reading: Is Your Marriage Making You Depressed? 5 Reasons And 6 Helping Tips

2. He doesn’t celebrate your success

Marriage is an equal partnership, in which both spouses celebrate each other’s achievements and deal with failures together. But if you’ve been wondering why your husband does not validate your feelings and achievements or makes a mockery of your professional or other milestones, you may have a problem. If he makes you feel inferior, disregards you, or projects his own flaws and negativity on you, it is a classic sign of disrespect.

Nishmin explains, “Such a husband may not even consider whether his partner is capable of achieving something, forget about acknowledging her success. A certain superiority complex comes into play, largely due to the patriarchal conditioning that exists in society. A lot of men cannot accept the fact that their wives are earning more or are more capable and successful than them. They might taunt or insult them in public/private and make their lives difficult by creating obstacles in their way.”

Toxic Counseling

3. He makes derogatory remarks

If you wish to know if your husband respects you, observe the way he talks during arguments. Watch out for these signs of lack of respect in relationship:

  • Derogatory remarks, mocking your achievements, intellect, career goals, interests, opinions, or personality
  • Verbal abuse
  • Hurtful jokes
  • Threats
  • Verbal attacks
  • Sarcastic comments
  • Comments disregarding your emotions, such as “Just kidding” after making insulting remarks

4. Your husband doesn’t consult you on critical decisions

Does your husband ignore your opinion when making critical decisions? If yes, then he probably doesn’t care about you at all. A relationship is teamwork. If he is only interested in imposing his decisions on you, we hate to break it to you: he doesn’t respect you.

Nishmin explains, “The patriarchal mindset most of us have grown up with comes into play in such cases. It’s taken for granted that you aren’t informed or knowledgeable enough, which is why your opinion isn’t important. Your husband might think that he’s the man of the house and, therefore, has the right to decide about matters concerning you as and when he pleases.”

5. He disregards your opinions

Does your partner ignore you or not respond to you when you’re talking? Does he interrupt you in the middle of conversations? If the answer is yes, then it’s clear as day that your husband has no regard for your opinions. An ideal husband respects his spouse and makes her feel safe and secure, and in this case, he may just be disrespecting you.

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6. He stonewalls you

Stonewalling is a prominent sign of a husband not respecting wife. Now, stonewalling, or cutting off all communication as a means to manipulate you into doing as he desires, is a significant narcissistic trait too. His actions may leave you wondering why he has shut you out, while you can’t help but think, “My husband has no respect for me or my feelings.”

A Reddit user shares a similar ordeal about her partner: “…gets very angry and stonewalls me after an argument… Sometimes this takes days and weeks. I have tried apologizing, being nice and loving, crying, begging everything. He does not budge, and continues to ignore me.” 

7. He flirts around openly

One clear sign that your husband disrespects you is when he flirts around with other women unabashedly. Of course, assuming you aren’t in an open marriage or aren’t in a consensual polyamorous relationship. One of my friends, Sasha, faced a similar issue with her husband. Suave and attractive that he was, Sasha’s husband, Daniel, didn’t miss an opportunity to flirt with other women at any social event. 

Sasha would often complain, “My husband is mean to me and nice to everyone else.” He was so disrespectful toward Sasha, that he would openly flirt with her friends at their house parties too. This created a major rift in their relationship, and they parted ways soon after. While relating her tale, she often says, “My husband has destroyed me emotionally”, but is also thankful that she could step away from her marriage before it ruined her completely.

8. He avoids helping you out

Do you find yourself struggling through life’s challenges all alone? Do you get zero help from your husband with chores or other domestic responsibilities? Well, if you find him ignoring you when you need his help the most, it’s a clear sign of disrespect. 

A coworker, Trish, had a similar issue. Her husband ignored her when she needed his help the most. She often vented to me, “My husband has no respect for me or my feelings. He doesn’t even help me with the basics, like the kids’ homework or his own parents’ medical requirements. It seems I am all alone in the marriage.”

9. He gossips about you

Another sure-shot sign that your husband has zero respect for you is when he shamelessly gossips about you with others, be it family members, friends, or coworkers. Excessive gossiping is a toxic trait anyway and doubly so when engaged in by a spouse. By doing so, he:

  • Exposes private conversations
  • Tells others about your personal shortcomings
  • Reveals sensitive information, such as your financial status or your sexual history

10. He lies to you frequently

Now, we’re not saying a few white lies here and there indicate that your husband disrespects you. For instance, he may lie to you about a dress you wore to an office party and tell you how beautiful you looked, when in fact, it was perhaps somewhat ill-fitting. This is probably a lie that was told to prevent hurting you.

But if your husband lies to you about significant matters, such as financial savings and investments, major expenditures, relocating for work, then it’s be a red flag and an indicator that he doesn’t respect you.

11. He’s rude to your friends, family, and acquaintances

If your husband expects you to cater to his family, friends, and coworkers, but puts zero effort in doing the same to your connections, he clearly isn’t respecting you. So, in this case, you may find him:

  • Not making time to attend social events organized by your family
  • Not attending house parties you organize for your friend 
  • Being impolite to your coworkers at official events
no respect in marriage
no respect in marriage

Related Reading: 20 Things That Make Wives Unhappy In A Marriage

How To Handle A Husband Who Has No Respect For You Or Your Feelings?

Mutual respect is one of the foundations of a healthy relationship or marriage. Now, if that foundation itself starts to shake, the marriage is bound to fall apart. If you think you’re walking on eggshells when you’re around your husband, it’s time to reconsider your marriage or learn to navigate around a disrespectful husband.

After all, you cannot always be the one holding space for his emotions, giving him all he needs, and making all the effort, while he continues to disregard you. So, are you wondering what to do when you feel disrespected in a relationship? Here are 7 tips on how to deal with a disrespectful husband:

1. Respect yourself first

This is the most important step when you’re left complaining, “My husband has no respect for me or my feelings.” Nishmin says, “Always remember that if you want respect, you need to respect yourself first. Only when you respect yourself and your boundaries will your husband get the hint and mend his ways. He will know how to behave with you and which lines he cannot cross.”

Here’s what you can do when he makes disrespectful remarks:

  • Put your foot down and defend yourself
  • Counter disrespectful behavior with assertive statements like “I expect better behavior from you” or “This is no way to talk to someone you love”
  • Set boundaries and tell him what is acceptable and what is not
  • Clearly let him know of the consequences if he disrespects or violates your boundaries

The idea is to stop letting him treat you like a doormat. He needs to realize your worth and stop taking you for granted. Nishmin explains, “Don’t put your husband on a pedestal. Learn to say ‘no’ to things you don’t want to do. It’s difficult to put your foot down and demand the respect you deserve. But it is a step you need to take to maintain your dignity. Remember, a marriage should be a safe space, not a cage where you’re walking on eggshells.” This is what to do when you feel disrespected in a relationship.

2. Understand where your husband’s disrespect is coming from

If you’re often complaining, “My husband has no respect for me or my feelings”, it may be time to direct your attention to why it is so. Nishmin says, “It could be the result of a patriarchal/misogynistic mindset, his past experiences, or his perspective of you based on your relationship dynamics.”

Reasons why a husband disrespects his spouse can also include:

  • Socio-economic inequality between the two
  • His sexist nature
  • Insecurity from past trauma

So, an important piece of advice on how to deal with a disrespectful husband is to delve into the depths of his behavior and find out the root cause that’s causing it.

Disrespect

3. Communicate your feelings to him

Nishmin suggests, “Instead of telling yourself, “My husband is mean to me and nice to everyone else”, communicate with your husband and let him know how you feel every time he humiliates you. Clear communication is key to conflict resolution in a healthy relationship. Neither assume nor give him the chance to assume things. Tell him what you’re going through. At times, your husband might feel the disrespect is just playful banter or his ‘right’ as the man of the house. Once he understands your point of view, he might try to change his ways.”

While doing this, keep in mind a few things:

  • Be honest about how insulted you feel every time your husband is disrespectful to you
  • Be careful not to make accusatory statements like “You always do this” or “You always humiliate me.”
  • Don’t engage in a blame-game. Instead, use “I” statements, for example, “This is how I feel when my opinion is ignored” or “I feel disrespected when I hear this kind of language used for me during fights.” 
  • Don’t abuse him back

4. Take stock of your own behavior

Before confronting your husband about his disrespectful behavior or complaining, “My husband has destroyed me emotionally”, take a step back and pay attention to your own. Did he lose respect for you because you did something terrible to him or hurt him or judge him in any manner? Ask yourself these questions and start working on your own flaws:

  • Do you humiliate him in any manner or mock him in public? 
  • Do you show disregard for his advice or opinions?
  • Do you abuse or call him names?

If the answer to all or any of those questions is a ‘yes’, then you need to work on your own behavior first.

Related Reading: Does Your Wife Hate You? 8 Possible Reasons And 9 Tips To Deal With It

5. Don’t internalize the disrespect

One way to deal with a situation where your husband is disrespectful is not to internalize the disrespect. Nishmin says, “It hurts when your husband does not respect you or your feelings. It also hurts when he doesn’t acknowledge your capabilities and achievements. But you need to realize that you have a life of your own. Learn to not get affected by what your husband says and thinks. Make yourself a priority. Don’t give so much of yourself to your husband that you forget who you are and how you should be treated.” 

Try to remind yourself of your worth. Instead of complaining, “My husband has destroyed me emotionally”, spend time doing things that you enjoy and rebuild your self-esteem. Here are a few tips on how to deal with a disrespectful husband by diverting your attention and taking care of yourself:

  • Maintain a journal to rewind and jot down your thoughts every day
  • Reach out to your loved ones, such as your friends and family, and share your ordeal with them
  • Take up a hobby, such as painting or gardening, that will help rejuvenate you
  • Invest in self-care activities, such as grooming or splurging on clothes, or spending time in nature, and focus on your own well-being

6. Seek professional help to deal with a disrespectful husband

If your husband is disrespectful to an extent where the situation is getting out of control or things are going from bad to worse, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Talking to a therapist or a marriage counselor might help both of you see things from a fresh perspective, which will help you understand each other better. This is crucial if you’re trying to figure out how to deal with a disrespectful husband in a healthy manner.

Nishmin explains, “Couples therapy can help address the issue of no respect in marriage. A marriage counselor will use various techniques and exercises, look at things from an unbiased perspective, and help you navigate the problem of a husband not respecting wife.” If you’re stuck in a similar situation where you’re constantly complaining, “My husband has destroyed me emotionally”, and are looking for help, please feel free to reach out to Bonobology’s licensed therapists who are only a click away.

7. Walk away if it is too much to deal with

With the husband not respecting wife, the situation can be too much to handle in a marriage. Don’t hesitate to walk away from your disrespectful husband. Humiliating a spouse is a form of abuse. You should never have to tolerate abuse to make a marriage work.

Nishmin says, “There’s a limit to the disrespect you can tolerate. If your husband is disrespectful to an extent where he is not ready to see the real you and continues to ridicule and insult you, then is it really worth trying to save a marriage ?”

Key Pointers

  • Respect is one of the key foundations of a strong and successful marriage or any romantic relationship for that matter. Any lack of respect will cause the relationship to fall apart
  • Ignoring boundaries, making you feel inferior, mocking your intelligence and success, name-calling or abusing you are a few warning signs of disrespect from a man
  • To deal with a disrespectful husband, set boundaries, have an honest conversation, and take stock of your own behavior. Seek therapy, if possible, but walk out if you think it’s an abusive relationship with no end to your suffering

The idea behind a partnership is not just to love someone but also to acknowledge their feelings and accept them for who they are. If your partner doesn’t respect your sense of individuality, the partnership will crumble. Always remember that mutual respect in a marriage is critical to making it work. So, the moment you see signs of lack of respect in a relationship, don’t sit and brood. Either take action or step away. We hope the above tips help you re-establish respect in your marriage. 

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