Some Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

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This is an email from a precious friend of mine.  If your husband is saying things like this – it means he is probably feeling deeply wounded in your marriage.  Please keep in mind that husbands need respect like wives need love.  (Ephesians 5:22-33 and Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs).

 If a husband does not feel respected, he cannot feel loved

These are a few things that my husband has said to me over the years that should have given me a big clue but I somehow dismissed the significance.
  • “I do not need you to tell me what to do.”
  • “I am a grown man”.
  • “I hear this every month when you get ready to start your period.”
  • “You worry over EVERYTHING, Honey.”
  • “You never believe me when I tell you things”.
  • “Have a little faith in me.”
  • “Do you not even believe in me that much?”
  • “I can’t please you.  If I don’t do what you want, you are unhappy.  If I do what you want, you say I am only doing it because you told me to.”
  • “I can’t win here.”
  • “I am in a no win situation.”
  • “It is the same  thing, over and over with you.”
  • “What hurts me the most is that you don’t trust me with the kids.”  (I know he would NEVER let anything happen to our children.  I just wish he was more cautious with them.  STILL and issue I am going to have to confront it at some point but I need to deal with simply letting go first).
  • “No man wants to be without respect.”
  • “Trust me.”
  • “You always believe the worst about me.”
  • “No man wants to be talked to like that.” (in reference to a couple we know)
  • “She talks to him like a dog.”  (in reference to a couple we know)
  • “I told you I would take care of it.”
  • “You don’t believe me when I DO compliment you.”
Just thinking about those tells me that he was not content in the way things were and I sure wasn’t either because it was not working.… and for the record, I do not think he acted completely without sin- I do not believe it is ALL my fault and I know you would agree that with that- that we both have committed wrongs
(From Peacefulwife – ABSOLUTELY!  Husbands and wives both usually sin plenty against each other.  There is almost never one person who is 100% innocent.)
And I STILL don’t know how this is going to work out.  I don’t know what the coming months will bring.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE
Some other signs a husband is feeling disrespected (some of these things can be signs of other significant issues, but many times the core issue is a man feels disrespected):
  • clenching his jaw
  • a hurt look in his face
  • his countenance falls
  • he shuts down verbally
  • he leaves the room suddenly for “no reason”
  • he gets angry “out of nowhere” and you can’t understand why
  • he unplugs from you and the children
  • he becomes very emotionally distant
  • he begins spending a lot more time watching tv, working on projects, working overtime
  • he says, “I feel disrespected.”  (please believe him!  This is as significant to him as it would be for you if you said, “I feel unloved.”)
  • He starts talking about “some tangent” when you are trying to make him do something he doesn’t want to do.
  • He pulls away and doesn’t share his heart anymore with you
  • he pulls away sexually and doesn’t respond to your advances anymore (there are a LOT of potential causes for this.  Disrespect is certainly not the only one.  Here’s a post about the wife initiating intimacy. )

Some more things husbands tend to say when they feel very disrespected by their wives (NOTE – I’m not saying husbands SHOULD say all of these things.  But these are the kinds of things they are likely to say out of frustration and pain when they feel disrespected.)

  • “It’s impossible to please you.”
  • “You think you are always right.”
  • “My opinion doesn’t even matter around here.”
  • “Your family (or best friend or church) is more important than I am to you.”
  • “You care more about ______ than you do about me!”
  • “You’re smothering me.”
  • “You treat me like a child.”
  • “I’m not stupid.”  “I’m not an idiot.”
  • “Just let me figure it out.”
  • “I’m not a child!”
  • “Why do you even ask me what I think?  You never listen to me.”
  • “I’m not a priority to you anymore.”
  • “The kids are your biggest concern.  I don’t even matter.”
  • “Who cares what I think, you’re just going to do what you want to do anyway.”
  • “I wish we had never gotten married.”
  • “I’m just not cut out for marriage.” (Some of these statements can mean other things, too)
  • “I’m just a meal ticket to  you.”
  • “You can’t just demand  time/affection/attention/sex from me.”
  • “I’d rather be at work than here.”
  • “I can’t take all of your drama anymore.”
  • “No man could love you like you want to be loved.  Not even Jesus!”
  • “Why can’t you just be happy?”
  • “You worry way too much.  Stop worrying.”
  • “Why are you so negative?”
  • “Why do you complain all the time?”
  • “Oh, here we go again!”
  • “Why do you have to be like this?”
  • “Why should I be more involved with you and the kids?  You’re just going to undermine everything I say.”
  • “How can I be a leader if you won’t follow?”
  • “You say you want me to lead, but you won’t let me lead.”
  • “You want to control me.”
  • “It has to be your way or no way.”
  • “You think you are so high and mighty.”
  • “Go ahead, have it your way!”
  • “Don’t come to me when everything falls apart.”

ANOTHER HUGE SIGN A HUSBAND FEELS DISRESPECTED

If you are rejecting him sexually – that is HUGE disrespect to a husband – no matter how he responds.  It hurts for a wife to be turned down sexually by her husband, too.  That is an extremely deep pain that can severely wound a husband and a marriage.

WHAT CAN A WIFE DO?
Well, I believe that arguing with a man when he feels disrespected is only going to escalate and inflame the situation.
You would not appreciate it if you tried to explain to your husband that you feel unloved – and he argued with you that you shouldn’t feel that way or he explained the reasons he thinks you shouldn’t feel unloved – or WORSE – if he said, “You don’t deserve to be loved.”
Husbands are very much the same.  

Arguing with them that they shouldn’t feel disrespected, or that they don’t deserve respect is going to make things much worse. 

When you see your husband shut down or become angry suddenly and you don’t know why, try asking, “Did I do/say something disrespectful just now?”  And if you did say, “I am SO sorry.  Please forgive me.  I don’t ever want you to feel disrespected by me.”  Do not justify or explain yourself.  Just apologize if you were in the wrong.

AN ASSIGNMENT

I’d like you to watch your man’s facial expressions this week when you talk to him.  If you see his face suddenly fall – if you see he suddenly seems to be in emotional pain – STOP what you are saying and recognize, is it possible he feels disrespected by you?

I’d like you to watch the interactions of couples around you.  Watch the guy.  Notice his body language and his facial expressions – especially when his lady is criticizing him, making fun of him, tearing him down, telling him what to do, complaining, arguing or being negative toward him.  See the pain on his face.

Once you begin to recognize disrespect and how men react – you will quickly realize that it is EVERYWHERE.  There is a FAMINE of respect for men in our culture.

It’s time for us to change that, my precious sisters in Christ!

RELATED:

What Is Respect in Marriage?

What Speaks Disrespect to Husbands?

What is Biblical Submission?

Biblical Submission Does Not = The Husband Is Always Right

My Husband Doesn’t Deserve My Respect  Youtube Video

My Level of Respect for My Husband Has Nothing to Do with Him (Youtube Video)

Why Is Nonverbal Disrespect Such a Big Problem for Our Men?  Youtube Video

How to See God Do BIG Things in Your Marriage  Youtube Video

 

My Youtube channel is “April Cassidy”

 

PS:

If your husband is involved in severe sin – infidelity, drug addiction/alcohol addiction, has an uncontrolled mental health disorder or is being violent toward you – that is NOT OK!  Please seek godly, experienced help ASAP!  Those things go way beyond the scope of my ability to address on this blog.

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40 Comments on “Some Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected”

  1. Martha
    September 10, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    It breaks my heart to see the way many Christian wives treat their husbands. I see the disrespect so clearly now and it is abundant. This Sunday, I was speaking to a couple at church and the wife adamantly disagreed with what her husband had just enthusiastically told me. I saw the disrespect he felt on his face. It wounded me to see his pain. What upsets me just as much is knowing that this wife used to be me. But by God’s infinite Grace, my eyes have been opened to the Truth.

    • peacefulwife
      September 10, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      Martha,

      Unfortunately – disrespect for our husbands is so normal, even in the church – many women don’t notice it at all. It is as if we are blind to it. And then, once God opens our eyes – it is truly appalling to see how rampant disrespect is. :(

      Yes – you can see the pain on a husband’s face. How could we not see that before? It just blows my mind.

      How I pray that God will raise up many of His women to set godly examples for others and to teach His wisdom to other wives in every church around the world. Certainly, when wives come to us for advice, we can point them to the wisdom of God in His Word. And we can respectfully, lovingly talk about what disrespect and respect look like to men and how disrespect makes a man feel very unloved. Most women have NO IDEA what they are doing. It is not at all intentional. Most women don’t know why their husbands have shut down or get so angry.

      It’s not always appropriate for us to say something to other wives. If I see a couple out in public – it is obviously not appropriate for me to barge into the conversation. I have to stop myself! But – there are times when God may nudge us to say something. Especially if it is a friend of ours and we are involved in the conversation. I pray we will be sensitive to His voice!

  2. Joy
    September 10, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    This is excellent, April. Thank you.
    Joy

    • peacefulwife
      September 10, 2013 at 7:47 am #

      You are very welcome, Joy. :)

      I sure could have used this list 19 years ago!

  3. Elaine Mingus (@SuperRadWriter)
    September 10, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    I just posted this very thing on my blog (we must be on the same wave length…you know…if I believed in “wave lengths”…*snicker). It’s sooooo easy (even after reading The Helpmeet book) to fall into this trap…eek! So glad I can come alongside you and help women respect their husbands! I remember a story in “For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men” by Shaunti Feldhaun where she asks a group of men “would you rather have love or respect” and the men (almost) unanimously raised their hands for “Respect!” Amazing. – Check out my blog How a Bird Taught Me to SHUT-UP.

    • peacefulwife
      September 10, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      Elaine,
      I can’t wait to read your post!!! :)

      I am delighted to be colaborers together for Christ!

      Yes, that story blew my mind when I first read it. I love Shaunti Feldhahn’s work! What an inspiration!!! :)

  4. Joe
    September 10, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    Another great post! Many times I feel and react the ways that are listed above and do not know where it is coming from. It makes so much sense that my wife’s disrespect touches a nerve and crushes my spirit.

    One of the frustrating things for men is that at church and in counseling situations, we are almost always looked at as the bad guy in marital problems. A major family ministry just released a new curriculum challenging men to step up in the home. While I agree that we do need to step up more, there was no companion study for wives to learn to step back and follow their husbands leadership in the home. When I addressed that with the ministry, I was met with a blank stare. I appreciate this site because this is one of the few voices addressing “respectful followership.”

    • peacefulwife
      September 10, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      Joe,

      Maybe God will use me and other women to fill in that MUCH needed gap. I pray He will!!!

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Robyn
      September 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

      @Joe. I completely agree with you. I believe they’ve got it backwards. It’s women who need to be taught not the men. (and i’ll probably take heat for THAT statement :) )

      In the Love and Respect seminars, Emerson talks about how every guy carries the 6-pack abs inside of him. Men will naturally lead … when they are empowered to do so.

      I believe it is a wife that carries within them (naturally) this power to enable leadership.

      • peacefulwife
        September 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

        Robyn,

        Thanks for your comment!

        I’m trying to remember where it was that I read this… but there was a study done somewhere – and it talked about how just the wife increasing her respect for her husband solved a huge number of broken marriages.

        I am sure that everyone has room for improvement. We are all capable of wounding each other and sinning.

        But there is so much power when we as women focus on obeying God and seeking Him first. :)

      • Robyn
        September 10, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

        April, if you happen to remember I would love to have it sited, Thx, R.

      • Robyn
        September 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

        TY April, looks like an interesting read!

      • Joe
        September 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

        Thanks for your comments. Us men do need to be given practical ways to show love to our wives. Thankfully, there are a growing number of resources to help us. The missing component is similar resources for women to learn how to respect and follow their husbands. The reason I appreciate this site is that April gives very practical steps for women to follow and tells them what to expect along the way. A big part of leadership is managing expectations and normalizing the process.

        However, when my wife has a constant attitude of contempt and disrespect toward me, it is extremely difficult to stay connected to her emotionally and to show her love. When the one person I have given access to my heart treats me like I am an idiot, it sucks the life from my soul, it destroys my confidence and my motivation to excel. When she is behind me and believes in me, I feel like I can move mountains and am motivated to do so.

  5. aprilpj
    September 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    This was great and, an extremely good reminder to remember how important it is to stay focsed on showing respect to our husbands. I would say I feel guilty but, I wil not because, I will use this to help steer me in the right direction.😊I have a lot of work to do.

    • peacefulwife
      September 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      Arilpj,

      Love your attitude!

      To me, it was awful to find out how disrespectful I had been, how much I had inadvertently hurt my husband. But then it was empowering because FINALLY I could learn what he actually needed and learn to be the wife God wanted me to be. It all began to make so much more sense!

      I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!

      • aprilpj
        September 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

        Thanks!
        And, I only have this attitude because we had been on the brink of divorce & destruction. I wanted so badly to blame him because what he did was so blatant and awful, only to discover I had done some awful things myself. Like being completely disrespectful to him. I was “nice” about it which just meant I justified it and, was passive aggressive. I learned the HARD WAY! I am SO THANKFUL we worked it through. We are STILL working it through but, 16 years into this I can say I love him and, DO respect him just working (A LOT) on showing him so.😃 Your site reminds me to do so daily!

        • peacefulwife
          September 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

          Aprilpj

          It is very easy to blame our husbands and not even notice anything we have done to hurt them. I’m so excited that God is working in your heart! This is awesome. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!

    • prayinglikehannah
      September 11, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      Aprilpj:
      I am delighted to hear that your marriage was rescued from the path you decsribed as “the brink of divorce & destruction.” WONDERFUL!
      Though I know it was painful — it is so good to see how that has shaped your approach today (positive attitude!). If you are ok with saying so, how excatly did your marriage swerve off the path of destruction?

      • aprilpj
        September 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

        Well, this could be a book! LOL!
        In a nutshell my marriage went through HELL and back. We went through porn addiction, sex addiction and infidelity. It was UGLY, HURTFUL and, the HARDEST thing I have EVER gone through.
        What I didn’t realize was how much of a role I played in the destruction of it all. I thought I was a “good” wife and, was doing everything right. I cooked, cleaned, took care of the kids, etc. and, for him to have the AUDACITY to do this to me… you get the picture?
        WELL, I didn’t deserve any of the crap that happened BUT, I wasn’t so innocent. I had been disrespectful, denied him sex and was passive aggressive. His needs took second place, or third, or fourth although I thought I was putting them first.
        Having been raised by a single mother made me quite independent and, strong I didn’t rely on my husband…which meant I didn’t trust his words, his decisions, and his care for me and our family. he felt rejected and very disrespected.
        NOW, that does NOT excuse what he did, justify his actions or anything. It has taken therapy, work, GOD and a WHOLE lot of trust and self reflection and work on BOTH of our parts. Loving our family and each other had to override the destruction we allowed to happen. It took me a LONG time to forgive and, to let go of the hurt and pain. I held it over his head for a good length of time.
        Through this all I learned about forgiveness, unconditional love of myself and of my husband. I love him dearly and, love him more now than ever. I strive to be whole within myself and, that makes me a better woman, friend, wife & mother. All I can say is this is only God because, on my own I wouldn’t be here – married 16 years, a stay home mother for 12 years, with 3 wonderful boys and a husband who works hard to keep our family strong and unified.
        So, suffice it to say I can see first hand how being disrespectful to your husband can fuel some nasty things. Trust me, my husband said quite a few of those quotes written in this post and, NOW, I recognize.

        • peacefulwife
          September 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

          Aprilpj,

          WOW! Ok, I may have to ask you if I can use your story in a post. WOW!!!

          I love how you describe what happened. I love how you realize you didn’t deserve what happened. But I also love that you took responsibility – that was God opening your eyes. SO BEAUTIFUL! And I love what God has done and is doing!

          What a huge blessing you are to me!!!!

          THANK YOU for sharing!

    • prayinglikehannah
      September 12, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      Aprilpj:
      Your story is uplifting to me. I am so happy to hear how God restored your marriage. I TOTALLY understand what you mean when you say it could be a whole book. I could write several volumes myself. My own marriage is in a very wintery blizzardy marital season at this time — not good! I am trusting God for his hand to move in my marriage. Thanks so much for sharing. One day, I would like to know at what point you moved from the “How dare he does this to me?” phase, to the “What role can I play to heal our marriage?” phase. But I won’t be greedy :):) – You have given me a lot to chew on right now. I wish your marriage continued strength —- use what the devil intended for harm, for good. I am so happy for you. You are where I hope to be one day :)

      • aprilpj
        September 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

        THANK YOU BOTH!
        April, I would be willing to allow you to post because I recognize that it can help others.

        prayinglikehannah – I would be more than willing to share with you too. Know that it WAS HARD and, I tripped up MANY TIMES but, one day it settled in and clicked and, that was very healing for me and my family. It was trial and error and patience because there were MANY things that went on for many years. But, God got to the root and pulled it up. He can do all things.

  6. Seekingtruth
    September 11, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    Thank you SO much for this. This post is pure gold. I’m praying for you, you are such a blessing in this world and you have made a big difference in my life and the way I perceive my relationships. May God bless you and keep you on his path of righteousness. Thank you again.

    • peacefulwife
      September 11, 2013 at 6:31 am #

      Seekingtruth,

      I think this post is extremely important, too! Something every wife should have the chance to see.

      Thanks for your comment and encouragement. :) I also very much appreciate the prayer. I’m so thankful that God is working in your life.

  7. The Heartbeat of the Home
    September 16, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Reblogged this on The Heartbeat of the Home and commented:
    I found this post very accurate. This blogger and I have the same passion and a lot of the same situations. I have gleaned many great things from her. I encourage you to read this post if you ever thought you never showed your husband disrespect. It caused me to look at my heart again and make some changes.

  8. zooey
    July 29, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    I’m guilty of this and the reason why my husband wants a divorce. I think all this started one day, years ago, when i found out he was watching porn. Ialso found picture texts of women in a sexual nature. I had confronted him several times about it and he would give me a half apology. Then i suggested counseling but ultimately he said that he liked women and sex and felt porn was not a problem and he needed no counseling. That broke my heart because i felt that my feelings weren’t important enough for him to want get help. He continued to watch porn and i slowly started not having sex with him. I felt demoralised as a woman. And now he wants a divorce never he said he can never make me happy, and that i disrespect him. We have two little boys. And I’m heartbroken because he wants a quick divorce. We are separated. He doesn’t even want to talk about it. How do you deal with something like that? He basically blames for the demise of our marriage.

    • peacefulwife
      July 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      Zooey,
      How my heart breaks for you!!!

      So, he was having affairs with other women? Is that why he said he likes women and sex? Obviously he is addicted to porn, from what you are describing. But he may also have a sex addiction, as well. :(

      http://Www.xxxchurch.org has resources for spouses as well as individuals who are ensnared in these sinful addictions.

      God does not ask you to respect sin or be happy and content with your husband’s sin. It is not ok for him to sin, any more than it is for you to sin. One spouse’s sin can make it so much more tempting for the other one to sin.

      If he is involved in sexting other women or having sex with other women, and he is not willing to give that up, I would personally have to say something like, “I want to make this marriage work. But you cannot have me and other women.” A man in unrepentant infidelity is not a man you can really trust. I pray God might open his eyes and heal him. But it is probably not wise or healthy for you to be with him if he is involved with other women.

      If the issue is porn, that is a very difficult addiction to break. It will require the power of a God. If that was the only issue, there are resources, again on http://www.xxxchurch.org and also at http://www.brentriggs.com for porn addicts and their spouses that may be helpful. But your husband would also probably need a male accountability partner and would need to be willing to use some accountability software as well.

      You can certainly work on becoming the wife and woman God calls you to be no matter what your husband does. But there are times when a wife may need to be separated from her husband if he is unrepentant about infidelity. A husband would need to repent and show that he was willing to be transparent, open, honest and accountable before I believe a wife would want to take him back. I pray you might seek godly, biblical, wise counsel, possibly a godly mentoring wife or Christian counselor who may help you work through this difficult process. Most of all I pray you will draw closer to Christ than ever. Can He heal this mess? Yes. But it may take quite a long time. I pray for God to open your husband’s eyes, to draw each of you to Himself and to bring healing and reconciliation and His greatest glory in your lives.

      If he leaves and divorces you because he won’t give up other women and sex and porn, you are not responsible for that. That is his choice. I Corinthians 7.

      Much love to you!!
      April

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