Respect is one of the key foundations of a marriage. The lack of it will eventually lead to the death of the relationship. If you’re in a “My husband has no respect for me or my feelings” kind of situation, know that it’s one of the major signs of an unhealthy marriage. Love, date nights, humor, and sex are all great but, if you don’t get the respect you deserve from your husband, your marriage might just end eventually.
Having said that, there are ways to salvage the situation from spiraling out of control. 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. To help you understand the signs of a disrespectful husband and find ways to deal with him, we spoke to counseling psychologist Nishmin Marshall, former director at SAATH: Suicide Prevention Centre, and a consultant at BM Institute of Mental Health.
How Do You Tell If Your Husband Has No Respect For You?
And what are the signs your husband doesn’t value you? According to Nishmin, “Disrespect in a relationship is when your partner does not stand up for you or makes you feel small in front of others. Physical or emotional abuse, using abusive language, not caring about your feelings or opinions, infidelity, comparing you to others, not acknowledging you and your accomplishments – such behavior patterns indicate that your husband has no respect for you.”
“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.
You may wonder “My husband is mean to me and nice to everyone else. Is that a sign of disrespect?” or “Why does my husband not validate my feelings?” Well, disrespectful behavior in a marriage can take several forms. Here are 5 signs your husband doesn’t value you:
1. Your husband ignores your boundaries
Setting different types of boundaries is key to a healthy and successful relationship. It also indicates that partners respect each other’s choices and personal space. One of the signs your husband doesn’t value you is that he ignores or violates your boundaries. They could be anything – borrowing money and not returning it, fighting in a disrespectful or abusive manner, invading private space, distasteful jokes, or not respecting your physical or sexual limits.
If your husband keeps on insulting your feelings by trespassing your boundaries despite you communicating clearly about them, it’s a sign of disrespect. If he sees crossing boundaries as “not a big deal”, then know that you’re right about “my husband has no respect for me or my feelings”.
Related Reading: Is Your Marriage Making You Depressed? 5 Reasons And 6 Helping Tips
2. He makes you feel inferior, doesn’t celebrate your success
Marriage is an equal partnership in which both spouses celebrate each other’s success 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 intelligence and flaws, then you have a problem. Making his spouse feel inferior, disregarding them, or projecting his own flaws and negativity on them is a classic sign of disrespect.
If he doesn’t make you feel valued, confident, or good about yourself, or if you constantly feel that you don’t measure up to him, you might be in a disrespectful and abusive relationship.
Nishmin explains, “Such a husband does not even consider whether his partner is capable of achieving something, forget acknowledging their success. A certain superiority complex comes into play, largely due to the patriarchal conditioning that most of us are given since childhood. A lot of men cannot accept the fact that their wives are earning more or are more capable and successful than them. They will taunt or insult them in public/private and try to make their lives difficult by creating obstacles in their way. ”
3. He makes derogatory remarks, calls you names
If you want to know if your husband respects you, observe the way he talks during times of conflict. Does he use derogatory remarks, abusive language, hurtful humor, threats, or verbal attacks? Also if he’s mean, sarcastic, or rude in the form of “light-hearted” or “just kidding” kind of jokes, it indicates your husband’s complete disregard for you and your feelings. During arguments or while being ‘funny’, if your husband mocks your achievements, intellect, career goals, interests, opinions, or personality in private or public, he is disrespecting you.
4. Your husband doesn’t consult you on critical decisions
Does your husband ignore your opinion when making critical decisions? If yes, then your “My husband has no respect for me or my feelings” assumption is probably right. A relationship is teamwork. If he is only interested in sharing the results of his decisions and not taking your inputs before making those decisions, he doesn’t respect you.
Nishmin explains, “The patriarchal mindset most of us have grown up with comes into play when the husband makes crucial decisions without consulting you. They assume 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 doesn’t care about your time or feelings
Never being on time for, say, date nights or important occasions, is a subtle form of disrespect. “When the husband treats his partner not as a better half but someone who is there to take care of his needs, he is disrespecting them. He glorifies himself and takes their relationship for granted without caring for his spouse’s feelings. He expects them to adjust according to his schedule and doesn’t think it’s important to seek their opinion on important matters,” Nishmin elaborates.
Does your partner ignore you or not respond when you’re talking? Does he interrupt you in the middle of conversations? Does he make commitments without consulting you about your time and availability? Does he impose his opinions on you? If the answer is yes, then such a behavior pattern shows that your husband has no regard for your values, time, feelings, or goals.
An ideal husband respects his spouse and makes them feel safe and secure. We hope the above signs help you decide whether your husband respects you or not.
What To Do When Your Husband Shows You No Respect?
“My husband has no respect for me or my feelings. What should I do?” First things first, know that you are in an unhealthy and unhappy marriage. While it does not mean the end of your partnership, it also does not mean that you have to continue to tolerate disrespect for the sake of it. There are things you can do to turn the wind in your favor if you have not been getting the respect you deserve from your husband:
- Learn to respect yourself first
- Try to get to the root cause of the problem by talking to him
- Tell him how the constant humiliation makes you feel
- Avoid the blame game as it makes the other person defensive and unwilling to change
- Correct your own disrespectful behavior first, if needed
- Seek couple’s therapy
- Leave him if the relationship has turned abusive
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 upon which a marriage is built. If that foundation starts to shake, the marriage will fall apart. If you always have to think about your husband’s reaction before making any decision or expressing your feeling, then there’s a problem. If you always have to question your way of being or feel guilty for feeling the way you feel, know that these are the signs your husband doesn’t value you.
This is exactly why you need to know how to handle a husband who has no respect for you or your feelings. 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. Here are 6 ways to deal with a disrespectful husband:
1. Respect yourself first
This is most important step according to Nishmin. She 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. He will know which lines he cannot cross. It keeps him in check. He then knows that he needs to value and respect you.”
Here’s what you can do when he makes disrespectful statements:
- Put your foot down and defend yourself
- Insist that he treat you with respect with 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
- Also, 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 from your husband. But it is a step you need to take. He might shout and yell, but you will have to remain strong and defend yourself. Tell him that you don’t want to break the marriage, but this is as far as you can go. Let him know that you will no longer tolerate any form of disrespect from him.”
2. Understand where your husband’s disrespect is coming from
“My husband has no respect for me or my feelings. Why?” According to Nishmin, “The mindset usually at play is the conditioning most men are given at an early age. When a sister and brother return home, the former is told to serve water and food or wrap up household chores while the latter is pampered and told to take rest. Men are given so much importance right from childhood that they begin to expect the same from their spouse unknowingly because, for them, this is normal and the correct way to do things. They feel they are supreme and that their rules must be followed by their spouse whether she likes it or not.”
More often than not, the lack of respect for one’s spouse has deeper roots. There can be several reasons that a husband disrespects his spouse:
- Due to social conditioning
- There’s socio-economic inequality between the two
- He’s sexist
- He deems the spouse as less worthy or not as capable as him
- He’s insecure
This doesn’t justify his actions or behavior, but definitely gives an insight into the problem so that you can figure out how to deal with it.
3. Communicate your feelings to him
“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 relationship. Don’t assume or give him the chance to assume things. Tell him what you’re going through. At times, the husband might not even be aware that he is in the wrong. He might feel like it’s 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.”
You will have to be honest about how insulted you feel every time your husband is rude to you. But be careful to not make accusatory statements like “You always do this”, “You always humiliate me”, etc. Don’t engage in blame. Instead, begin statements with “I”. 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”. This will allow your husband to think from your point of view.
4. Take stock of your own behavior
Before confronting your husband about his disrespectful behavior or trying to figure out ways to make him realize his mistake, take a step back and analyze your own. Do you humiliate him in any manner? Do you 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.
5. Seek professional help to deal with a disrespectful husband
If the situation seems out of control or things have gone 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.
Nishmin explains, “Couple’s therapy can help sort out the issues. A marriage counselor will use various techniques and exercises, look at things from an unbiased perspective, and help you navigate the problem.” If you’re stuck in a similar situation and looking for help, please feel free to reach out to Bonobology’s panel of experienced and licensed therapists. They are only a click away.
6. Walk away if it is too much to deal with
If you can, walk away from your disrespectful husband. Humiliating a spouse is a form of abuse. If you feel it is too much to deal with or your husband’s disrespectful behavior toward you is getting out of hand, leave. You should never have to tolerate abuse to make a marriage work.
You did all you could to save the marriage, but your husband showed no signs of improvement. In such a case, walk out with your head held high. Contrary to what he makes you feel, it’s not your fault that he doesn’t realize his mistake.
Nishmin says, “There’s a limit to the disrespect you can tolerate. There’s a limit to the number of times you are required to prove your worth to your husband. If he is not ready to see the real you and continues to ridicule and insult you, then is it really worth it? Is the abuse worth tolerating? Is it really worth trying to save a marriage in which there is no respect?”
- Respect is one of the key foundations of a strong and successful marriage. The lack of it will cause the relationship to fall apart
- Ignoring boundaries, making you feel inferior, mocking your intelligence and success, name-calling or abusing you are signs your husband doesn’t value you
- Not consulting you while making important decisions, ignoring your advice, and showing complete disregard for your feelings are a few other signs to watch out for
- Learn to respect yourself if you want to deal with a disrespectful husband. Set boundaries and stick to them
- Have an honest conversation and take stock of your own behavior. Seek therapy. But if it has turned abusive or is too much to deal with, walk out
Nishmin concludes, “It hurts when your husband does not respect you or your feelings. It 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.”
The idea behind a partnership is to love each other, acknowledge each other’s feelings, and accept them for who they are. If you don’t respect your partner’s sense of individuality, the partnership will crumble. Always remember that mutual respect in a marriage is critical to making it work. We hope the above tips help you re-establish respect in your marriage.