The other day I had coffee with a friend, who through frustrated tears told me, “I swear to God, my husband doesn’t respect me. I don’t know what to do anymore!”
When we face a lack of respect in a marriage, it’s like an arrow straight to the heart.
You might believe that it’s a rare occurrence and that your husband is that one in a million who doesn’t respect his wife. However, men are sadly not known for their respect for women.
Disrespecting your partner is extremely bad for the relationship as a whole, especially if you’ve been married for quite a while.
He doesn’t care that it’s leaving a mark on your self-esteem. His belittling words make you wonder if he ever loved you in the first place.
When this happened to me, I knew that things weren’t going to go back to normal unless we truly worked on our issues.
Whenever you’re thinking your husband doesn’t respect you, just know that many women face this issue as well.
And if you’re uncertain whether he’s disrespecting you, there are many signs your husband is being disrespectful.
You might let him convince you that he’s just kidding around. But there’s a fine line between jokes and outright disrespect.
You don’t deserve to be treated like that, so let’s figure out what can be done about it.
Signs your husband doesn’t respect you
A successful marriage consists of love and mutual respect. A beautiful marriage is made by two people who have the same goals in mind.
When respect is lost, it means that love is lost as well. We can’t love someone and then go about our day belittling them and gaslighting them.
Those are not things you can build a beautiful marriage on. If anything, they’re reasons for divorce!
Every marriage has its own ups and downs. Your marriage is something sacred between you two.
You can’t expect it to be absolutely perfect. You’re two human beings who are completely different.
Yes, there are things that you share, but your personalities can’t completely match.
Because of those differences, you have to find a way to work together properly.
Your husband needs to be your best friend – the one who’ll hold your hand even through the toughest times, not just give up on you after years of marriage.
When your husband doesn’t respect you, you can’t call your marriage a healthy one.
That’s why we need to figure out if what you’re picking up on are actual signs of disrespect.
If so, then we can get into what to do about your disrespectful husband.
1. He doesn’t make time for you
The first clear sign you’ll see if your husband doesn’t respect you is that he’ll stop making time for you.
Everything will seem more important than you are.
You miss the fun dates, nights spent talking until the morning hours even though you both have work the next morning.
You miss spending time with him. You miss him.
But lately, he’s just been avoiding you.
And even when you do make plans – say, you make a reservation at a restaurant – he ends up canceling on you for some stupid reason.
You want to talk to him, but he couldn’t care less. He’s always too busy for you.
A man who respects you would make time for you.
He’d make as much time for you as you need because he respects you and knows quality time is important in a relationship.
You’re left to cry yourself to sleep every single night thinking that it’s your fault, even though he’s obviously the one who’s making this worse.
2. He’s hiding things from you
They say that hiding things is as bad as if he was lying to you.
You know that dishonesty is obviously a red flag. But what happens when he’s keeping things from you?
For example, he didn’t tell you that he’s giving his female coworker a ride home every single day.
When you found out about this, he said that he was protecting you because he knew how upset you’d get.
A man like that obviously couldn’t care less about you and your feelings.
He kept you in the dark about this, so who’s to say that something more didn’t happen between them?
If it truly was nothing special, if it was really just a favor he did for her, he’d have done it once and told you about it.
He wouldn’t have kept something like this from you unless there was truly something to hide there.
Just for the fact that he thought he had the right to hide this from you is obviously a sign that your husband doesn’t respect you at all.
3. He doesn’t treat you as an equal
Women long before you and I came into this world fought for equality, so who’s he to treat you like you’re less deserving of anything?
You have the full right to do and say anything if you want to.
Your husband doesn’t respect you if you have to lower your voice around him; if you have to stay home simply because he doesn’t think you should go anywhere without him.
Your husband doesn’t respect you if you have to cook for him every single day even though you work just as hard as he does.
He thinks that you don’t have the right to take up space, so he talks over you, makes you think that you should be more modest and stand behind him.
Imagine having to live your entire life with someone who truly believes this.
He says that he has to be the man of the house, so you have to act like a woman. He clearly believes in the gender-stereotypical roles.
Does he really think you’re not equal to him? That’s blatant disrespect.
4. He doesn’t introduce you
You’re about to meet some of his friends, but it seems like you’re left to stand behind him. He doesn’t even make a move to introduce you.
It seems like he doesn’t even remember that you’re there.
You make an awkward move to introduce yourself that makes everyone feel bad about the way he’s treating you. You can see the pity in their eyes.
What should’ve happened is that he first introduced you before he even started talking to his friends about anything else.
He should’ve been the one to make sure everyone knows who you are.
You may think that it’s a minor setback, but these little things are what define his respect toward you.
You can’t tell me that you truly believe that he didn’t mean this to happen.
He’s the one who doesn’t respect you, so don’t disrespect yourself just as much.
You have a right to be upset over this because your husband truly doesn’t respect you.
5. He’s rude to your friends and family
You told him how important these people are to you. You want him to meet them and establish a relationship with them.
He doesn’t seem to mind at all, or at least that’s what you thought.
Because the very moment you make an entrance, he doesn’t stop being rude to them.
He’s constantly sarcastic and joking about things that shouldn’t be joked about.
He’s making everyone feel extremely uncomfortable.
Even though he knows what these people mean to you, he doesn’t care enough to be respectful.
It’s not too much to ask that your husband respects those who are dear to you.
By disrespecting them, he’s not respecting you either. A happy marriage is a relationship that’s built on love and respect.
He obviously doesn’t care about you. Because if he did, he’d know how big of a deal this is to you.
He’d know that these people play a huge part in your life and that one word from them would ruin his chances for a future with you.
This also counts as disrespect if he’s nice to their face yet goes on to say horrible things about them once you get home.
6. He makes derogatory comments
He says that he’s just joking, but it really isn’t funny anymore.
Those derogatory comments are making it very hard for you to believe that your husband respects you.
He’s name-calling you and you see the warning signs that this is turning into verbal abuse.
When you’re around other people, he makes a point of saying something just to make you cry later on.
Even the people who are with you at that moment feel bad for you.
You don’t want their pity, but you know that he’s doing it on purpose to make you feel bad.
You’re not the type of wife who goes the extra mile to offend him. You don’t want him to feel as bad as he makes you feel.
A man who says things that make you feel awful about yourself isn’t a man who values you.
Your husband doesn’t respect you if he makes a point to offend you every single time you feel remotely good about yourself.
He’s the reason for most of your insecurities because he doesn’t hold back.
You ask him how you look in your new dress and then he takes all of your insecurities and shoots them at you like bullets.
Do you really believe your husband respects you when he talks like this?
7. He doesn’t acknowledge your accomplishments
When you’re married to a narcissist, you won’t escape this.
He can’t acknowledge your accomplishments because they make him feel more insecure than he already is.
Your success makes him feel like less of a man – like you’re better than him. And he can’t have that.
Your husband doesn’t respect you when you’re left feeling bad about getting a promotion or a new, higher-paying job.
For instance, imagine you landed your dream job as a brand ambassador.
He doesn’t seem to care – the only thing he does is make you feel even worse, saying you don’t deserve it.
Or that the brand must have lowered their standards to hire you.
You don’t have to be a relationship expert to know that this isn’t how your partner should behave.
Respect means being happy for your partner and respecting the choices they make.
It’s when you’re able to stand by your partner’s side, supporting and rooting for them.
It’s definitely not making them feel awful about their success and accomplishments.
A man doesn’t have to physically be with someone else for you to consider it cheating.
Inappropriate behavior on social media is when he follows women who are obviously posting their bodies freely everywhere.
He likes their pictures and replies to their messages.
A man who’s married doesn’t do this if he respects his wife.
Your husband might have used the excuse that it’s just social media and that it doesn’t mean anything, but he obviously doesn’t respect you.
In romantic relationships, people make little rules here and there to make sure that you’ll both stay happy.
One of those rules is often about the use of social media.
When he follows and likes photos of other women, it only means that he’s disrespecting the relationship he already has.
He’s not thinking about how those actions make his partner feel.
Another example of this is when he doesn’t post any pictures of you or the two of you together. That leads other women to believe that he’s single.
9. He invalidates your feelings
“What you did really hurt. I’d appreciate it if you stopped doing that.”
“Oh, c’mon! You’re always overreacting. Why can’t you stop being overly dramatic for once?”
Have you ever been in a situation where your husband said something like this to you when you just tried to have a normal conversation with him?
That, my dear, is called gaslighting.
He makes you feel like you’re feelings aren’t valid and you’re crazy for experiencing them.
He wants to misuse you any way he wants without you reacting.
If your husband behaves like that, he certainly doesn’t respect you.
Your feelings are valid. Especially if you’re experiencing these things because of him.
He’s the reason for your negative experiences that make you feel like this. He doesn’t have the right to invalidate your emotions.
A man who respects you knows that.
10. He’s controlling
Your husband thinks you’re unable to make a rational decision for yourself.
That you’re incapable of thinking for yourself because you’re a woman and you should listen to what he has to say.
That you don’t have the right to an opinion.
Your decisions are totally rational and absolutely valid if you really want to do something.
Just because he doesn’t think that a woman should dress the way you want to, that doesn’t mean he’s automatically right.
You have the full privilege to think and decide for yourself.
If your husband is controlling, he really doesn’t respect you enough.
What’s worse is that sometimes control can turn into physical abuse if he doesn’t get what he wants.
He says that he’s doing it all for your own well-being, but you need to make your own decisions in this world.
11. He ignores your boundaries
Boundaries are extremely important in every relationship out there.
They make sure that we’re aware of our own responsibilities as well as those of others.
When he ignores your boundaries, your husband is sending you a clear message that he doesn’t respect you.
You told him not to touch you around your neck because you don’t like the feeling, but he clearly doesn’t listen.
You asked him not to use bad language in public, but he isn’t listening and swears like a sailor in front of your family to make you feel uncomfortable.
Your boundaries aren’t something laughable. They’re important to you because they make you feel safe and respected.
Every single time he chooses to ignore them, it’s a straight attack on you.
12. He let’s his close ones disrespect you
Your husband doesn’t respect you when he lets his entire family disrespect you and make you feel worthless right there in front of him.
While he does nothing.
A man who respects you would stand up for you even in front of his parents.
He’d know that he should be the one to protect you because you don’t want to fight with his family.
You don’t want his family to think badly of you, so you decide to stay quiet and wait for him to jump in and save you.
But he doesn’t do that. Your husband truly doesn’t respect you if he lets others behave like that toward you.
What should I do when my husband doesn’t respect me?
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself if you want to give him another chance.
If he’s truly done all of these nasty things to you, you need to realize that he probably doesn’t deserve a second chance. You’ve already given him enough chances.
However, if you truly believe that he deserves one more, then that’s your decision.
If you really trust him enough and want to work on your relationship, then there are things you could do together to get back on track.
1. Realize your own mistakes
Let’s stop pointing fingers at each other and focus on the fact that you might have been the bad guy here all along.
You could have offended him on many occasions without even realizing it.
You were in bad relationships before you met him, so it’s pretty easy to carry those toxic traits into your current one.
Has there ever been a moment when he said that you’re disrespecting him?
Look at that moment rationally. Do you see that you truly were the one at fault?
What’s so bad about apologizing and owning up to your own mistakes?
Respect should be mutual, you can’t just expect him to respect you without giving the same in return.
2. Make him apologize
Whether it genuinely wasn’t your fault or you apologized for your behavior, you have the right to ask for an apology in return.
You’ll know if he’s being sincere by the way he acts when he apologizes. You’ll know if he’s truly sorry.
This conversation can also spark new ideas about how you can work on your relationship and the mutual respect you’re lacking.
Is there truly a way you can be happy again after this?
Well, if your husband doesn’t respect you, then this apology will be forced and you shouldn’t stay.
But if he sincerely apologizes and promises to work things through with you, then stay and give it another try.
3. Demand change
An apology means nothing without the necessary change.
When you apologize to someone and then continue disrespecting them, your apology means absolutely nothing.
So you have the right to demand change from him.
You can tell him everything that he does that makes you feel disrespected and then ask him to change.
You might even want to throw in a few suggestions on how he can do it.
You’ll help him every step of the way if it means your relationship will thrive after this.
You have the right to demand change from him if he wants to stay in your life.
4. If he doesn’t want to listen, leave
Radical as it might sound, you need to leave.
Right now, that’s the last thing you want to do because you want to stay close to him.
You want to work this through, not throw all of these years of marriage into the trash.
However, sometimes you have to let go. You have to move on because he obviously doesn’t care enough about you.
Your husband doesn’t respect you. You can’t change that by force!
If he doesn’t want to change and he doesn’t even want to talk things through with you, you’re better off alone.
Go get those divorce papers and find yourself someone who’ll respect you and love you the way you deserve to.