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.
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.
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!
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”
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.