Targeting (and dealing with) a disrespectful wife can be a real struggle for any man out there.
In most cases, a disrespected spouse feels like they are the one doing something wrong and that is how they end up being in an unhappy marriage for years.
Before diving deeper into matters, here’s a quick test.
If any of the following thoughts resonate with you, then you know you might be dealing with a legit disrespectful wife:
“She gets angry at me for no reason. I’m scared that I’ll say something wrong which will be a trigger for her. With her, I never know what will happen next and that level of uncertainty is so tiring. She’s constantly giving me the silent treatment, etc.”
If you’ve ever felt that way or similar, you’re not alone on this one.
I know this is not really comforting but a lack of respect is one of the most common marital problems.
There are many possible reasons why this happens in a marriage. It can be unintentional, due to some ulterior motives or it might be connected to narcissism or controlling behavior.
This might sound confusing but I can assure you that you shouldn’t worry much about it, my friend. Instead, let’s do some work together!
Here’s an extensive list of signs that you might be living with a disrespectful wife, after which we’ll learn how to deal with it!
Does Your Wife Disrespect You?
She seldom (or never) makes time for you
One of the biggest signs that your wife disrespects you is her rarely or never initiating couple activities or spending time together.
The easiest way to find out whether this is the case with you is by asking yourself the following questions:
Does she always make excuses when you propose an activity or simply hanging out?
Do you feel like other people and things in her life are her top priorities and more important than you?
Do you feel like she’s never there when you ask for her assistance to help you with something important?
It’s really hard to accept the fact that your spouse disrespects you but if your answer to the above questions is yes, then you know your wife doesn’t respect you enough to make time for you.
It means that the other things in her life are more important to her than spending quality time with her partner from time to time, which is the key to every healthy relationship.
Humiliating you is her favorite hobby
“He spent three days fixing the TV and he still hasn’t figured it out. I’m sure every other guy would have fixed it in no time.”
“You look totally immature in that outfit.”
If your wife has made similar statements in front of others or to you, know that this is not only a sign of a disrespectful wife but also a form of emotional abuse and it’s called humiliation.
This is something narcissists excel at because by downplaying others, they are making themselves feel superior over them. Also, it is connected to a lack of self-esteem.
By making fun of you, she is boosting her own confidence, which is one of the tools for establishing dominance as well.
In a healthy relationships, a couple’s favorite thing is making each other feel loved and respected.
If your marriage lacks that, then you know ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ as Shakespeare claims in his play Hamlet.
Just replace ‘the state of Denmark’ with ‘my marriage’ and there you have it.
She’s always nagging and complaining (usually for no apparent reason)
From my own personal experience, I can say for sure that the worst kind of people are those who are always complaining for no reason.
Then again, if you look at it from a different perspective, you will notice that the reason why they are doing so is because something is bothering them (something that they have buried deep inside them).
If your wife is constantly nagging you to work on yourself and become a better person, to change your lifestyle (or style) or do some other things, I can totally imagine how you are feeling every second of your life.
(I know you didn’t expect me to write that, which is good).
Being unable to say openly and honestly what is going on in her mind is a huge problem and the source of her ultimate disrespect toward you as her partner.
However, as always, it’s not something that can’t be fixed (of course, that’s assuming she’s willing to work on herself and your marriage).
She avoids listening to you and talking to you
When you try to talk to her about something important, does she pretend that she’s extra busy with some random thing (when in reality she’s actually playing games on her cell phone)?
Avoiding listening to you is bad in itself but do you know what’s even worse?
Avoiding talking to you. This is one of the most serious marriage problems.
Healthy communication is the core of every healthy and happy relationship.
Of course, there will be times when the two of you will have an argument but if you have established healthy communication patterns, then this won’t be an issue.
Where there is no communication, there is no agreement or respect either.
Her social media abounds with inappropriate things
In times of social media and other modern culprits (yes, that’s what I like to call them), it’s so easy for anyone to end up disrespecting their partner.
For example, one way to disrespect your partner is by posting provocative pictures on your social network profiles (pictures in panties and similar).
Another way is to have provocative conversations with other people on social media.
Many people think that writing something inappropriate to others doesn’t mean cheating if you haven’t done anything in person.
Let me tell you one thing. It DOES mean cheating because it belongs to the group called ‘mental cheating’.
Thinking about doing something with another person is almost the same thing as doing it physically.
Now that we got all that straight, if you notice that your wife is guilty of doing those (or similar) things, then you know she’s being disrespectful to you. (And that she might be mentally cheating on you.)
She refuses to share the responsibilities of family life
Are you the only one taking care of everything from taking out the trash to washing the dishes or driving the kids to school (if you have any)?
Do you feel like she’s not even trying to share responsibilities with you, as every couple should do?
If your answer is yes, then yes, your wife is being disrespectful to you.
I mean, it’s okay if she’s not feeling well sometimes and she refuses to do some tasks because she’s unable to but if she constantly refuses to do anything, then this is a problem.
Family life is all about teamwork and mutual effort. If everything falls on one partner, a huge disbalance is created between the partners.
It is not normal or desirable that one partner does everything.
Sharing responsibilities, chores and other tasks are signs of maturity and the ultimate respect partners have for each other.
She hides things from you
This one is closely connected to social media as well. There are so many ways in which a partner can hide things from the other one and one of the most famous ways is in a virtual way of course.
Here are some ‘phone signs’ that she might be hiding something from you:
• She’s overprotective of her phone
• She hides when talking on the phone to someone (‘her friends’)
• She carries her phone everywhere with her (including to the bathroom).
Other signs include her not telling you where she is going (and accusing you of being a control freak if you ask her), lying, manipulating and so on.
Here’s how you can know for sure whether something fishy is going on in your marriage:
If you notice that the majority of your time is spent, or better said wasted, on finding clues about something you suspect she’s hiding from you, this is the answer to your question.
She fails to acknowledge your accomplishments
Have you finished college, learned to speak four languages, run a marathon, worked as a volunteer and she has never even bothered acknowledging any of it?
Do you feel like everything she ever does is nag you and make you feel less worthy?
Now, I don’t mean that she should boast around and scream so that everyone can hear about all your life accomplishments but simply acknowledging them from time to time is a sign of ultimate respect toward a partner.
One of the reasons why she might be voluntarily avoiding paying attention to your accomplishments is because she thinks this will make her feel less worthy.
Many people think that by complimenting others, they are undermining themselves.
On the contrary, by saying something nice to someone, you are showing what a mature and great person you are.
Keep this in mind because it can come quite handy in all life situations.
She flirts with others in front of you
Subtly disrespecting your partner is one thing but flirting openly with others in front of your partner is a whole new level of being disrespectful. This goes without saying.
I’m sure you’re already familiar with all those flirty signs from your partner (if you ever witnessed them), so I won’t be listing them.
I’ll only say one thing and that is: If this is not happening for the first time, then you know she’s being totally disrespectful of you and your marriage.
I understand that too much alcohol can make people do stupid things but if something happens on repeat, there is no excuse for that.
All you can do is accept the fact and repeat to yourself ‘My wife is disrespectful’ and then ignore her for the rest of your life.
Joking aside, ignoring such behavior is the worst thing you could do but talking about it openly and honestly is the best remedy for a broken marriage.
Okay and this quote can help as well:
“Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.” (Proverbs 31:11, NLT)
She makes you feel less worthy
Basically, disrespect is one way of making someone feel less worthy. So, how do you know if your spouse doesn’t respect you? It’s very simple indeed.
If they are constantly making you feel less worthy and forcing you to fight for their attention, this is the ultimate sign of disrespect.
By not listening to you, by not initiating communication or couple activities, your wife is making you feel less worthy while expecting a different outcome.
One of the most powerful disrespectful wife quotes by Courtney Joseph summarizes this phenomenon: “Disrespect rarely motivates a man.”
If we put all the signs from this list into this one, everything would be interconnected.
So, if you feel in your gut like you’re not the same man as you used to be before because you’re being humiliated and taken for granted, then you know that disrespect has taken its toll on your marriage.
She no longer helps you or supports you
When one partner doesn’t care about their partner’s feelings, they basically no longer care about whether they can manage on their own or not.
If she is no longer willing to help you with the things she used to help you with before, this is a red flag.
Also, if she’s no longer supportive, this is a sign that she’s only focused on meeting her own needs.
Without mutual support, one partner will always feel neglected, which creates a huge gap in a relationship.
It’s really hard to be with someone who doesn’t see you for who you are and who doesn’t bother supporting your wishes, goals and dreams.
Being together is about always believing in each other even when the rest of the world doesn’t.
Your wife keeps a physical distance from you
Okay, this might sound confusing. No, I don’t mean keeping a physical distance as prevention from coronavirus (even though it is not excluded).
What I mean by keeping a physical distance is not willing to be intimate with you.
If you notice that she refuses to spend time with you cuddling or making love, this is a sign of much bigger underlying issues.
It is not really a matter of disrespect because we’re not living in ancient times when a woman was forced to make love to her husband because it was her obligation and not something she enjoyed.
If your wife is distancing herself from you, there might be another reason for that and that is infidelity or holding grudges and similar.
Whichever way you turn, in the end, everything ends up being connected to disrespect.
She never takes your side in anything
I personally am a huge fan of contradicting but also compromising. This shows that both people have their own opinions on a certain topic, which is healthy and desirable.
However, constantly contradicting and refusing to take your partner’s side in anything is a different thing.
You don’t need to agree on everything but there are times when you can support each other as a way of connecting and creating a stronger bond.
The easiest way to check if this is happening in your marriage is by asking yourself the following: Do I feel like I’m alone in marriage?
Many people confuse feeling lonely with the absence of someone’s presence. It is possible to feel lonely even when you’re with someone.
It’s when their physical presence cannot compensate for what’s lacking in your relationship.
She never introduces you to the people she knows
Let’s say that you two go for a walk and you stumble upon her best friends or a family member.
What does she do? Does she introduce you to them or pretend like you’re no one important (except that you’re HER HUSBAND)?
If she never introduces you to the other people she knows (especially loved ones), this is truly a disrespectful act in every sense of its meaning.
If this happened to you, I want you to know that I’m truly sorry that you had to experience it. I can totally imagine how I would feel if I was in your shoes.
By doing this, she’s literally telling you that you’re not important and therefore, not worthy of meeting her people.
If you always make sure to introduce her to your people, then you should require the same treatment in return.
Otherwise, it’s a silly game where no one wins but everyone gets hurt (assuming you both still have feelings for each other).
She doesn’t respect your friends or family
“You don’t need to love other people but you will respect them.” This is a sentence that has been repeated by my father so many times that I couldn’t forget it even if I wanted to.
It’s one of the most valuable things my parents taught me and for that, I’m really grateful.
If your wife doesn’t live by the same principles, chances are she won’t respect your friends and family.
It’s when she refuses to invite them for dinner even though her parents are regular guests at your house.
Or when she’s not even trying to establish a healthy relationship with your best friends and family members and constantly talking bad about them for no reason.
This is not only a matter of being disrespectful but it’s overly toxic as well for all of you.
She comments negatively on your appearance
“You look fat! When will you start exercising? I don’t like your hair. Do you seriously think you look good in this T-shirt?”
If she ever told you some of the above things or something similar, your wife disrespected you.
It’s important to note that this one is mostly about the way in which she expresses her opinions.
She doesn’t need to like your every outfit or tell you that you’ve never looked hotter if you yourself know that you gained some weight in the meantime but expressing her dissatisfaction in such disrespectful ways is really rude.
There are more polite versions of the above statements that say the same thing but in a respectful way.
For example, she can say: “I’m really concerned about your health. I think you should start exercising.”
The fact that she doesn’t even bother to make it sound respectful is what makes it disrespectful.
She refuses to compromise with you
If you ask me, compromising is the best thing since sliced bread. It gives a couple the opportunity to express themselves and find a solution together that will benefit both of them.
Now, what happens if one partner is unwilling to compromise?
Disrespect happens and not only that; being unwilling to compromise is a sign of the ultimate selfishness because you only worry about your wishes and your needs instead of paying attention to your partner’s needs as well.
If your wife wants everything to be as she imagined and she doesn’t care about your opinions on certain matters, then you know she’s being disrespectful.
If you think that the only solution is to do everything as she pleases, think again. This will not get you anywhere.
Instead, she will demand more and more from you and if you don’t act as she pleases, she will blame you for being a lame husband even though the reality is somewhat different.
Your wife is unwilling to share things with you
Sharing every single thought with your partner is not really healthy but sharing some things from your personal life is desirable.
If your wife is constantly keeping everything to herself, it means she’s deliberately giving you a passive role in your relationship.
Both partners should always be active participants (to a certain degree) in each other’s lives.
That means sharing some things from your work (especially if you’re feeling off for some reason), talking about your hobbies, friends, etc.
Sharing things also includes sharing physical things like food, your car (in case you don’t have two), sharing responsibilities, contributing to different expenses and so on.
You know what they say: Sharing is caring. Therefore, not sharing means not caring which equals DISRESPECT.
She often gives you the silent treatment
The silent treatment is one of the most cancerous things in the world.
I like to call it a passive-aggressive treatment where one person refuses to act respectfully and communicate with a partner.
Instead, that person chooses to erase your entire existence and as a result, let the anger and toxic feelings accumulate.
If your wife is that person, then you know what I’m talking about.
If she ignores you for days after a fight or an argument (or for no reason), she’s putting you in a position where you will gradually lose your mind if she doesn’t say something.
There is not a single thing in a world that cannot be discussed with words.
The silent treatment is not even a method but a selfish tool for victimizing and controlling other people. And that, my friend, is disrespectful.
She ignores your boundaries
Even though every couple should strive to create a stronger bond in their relationship, it is also important to establish and respect boundaries.
If you’ve said to her that something is bothering you and she is still doing it on purpose, she’s ignoring your boundaries.
If you need to spend some time alone but she keeps nagging you that you’re taking her for granted because of that, she’s ignoring your boundaries.
Knowing and respecting your partner’s needs is the only way to make things work.
If she’s being ignorant of all of that, it means she doesn’t really care about either you or your relationship.
If you respect her boundaries and never make her feel uncomfortable, you have every right to demand the same treatment in return.
She doesn’t think she’s lucky to have you
One of the easiest ways to know whether your spouse has taken you for granted is by their perception of you as their partner in a relationship.
If your wife doesn’t think she’s lucky to have you in her life, this is an act of subtle undermining and making you feel less worthy.
Perhaps she’s suffering from the grass is greener syndrome where she’s convinced there is someone better out there for her.
By thinking this, she’s letting you know that you’re not good enough.
I’ll tell you only one thing. A perfect marriage doesn’t exist.
Every marriage has its ups and downs and every day is a challenge where partners work hard to keep the spark alive and overcome different problems.
If she’s ever told you or someone else that she’s not lucky to have you, you know that disrespect has taken its toll and she has forgotten what companionship of marriage really is about.
She never puts her phone down
If you really want to piss me off, just stare at your phone for half an hour while I’m talking to you.
If you feel the same way and your wife never puts her phone down (not even when you’re trying to talk to her), she’s being disrespectful to you.
I mean, you cannot show respect to your partner if you’re going to spend half of your day staring at your cell phone.
Respect consists of locking eyes, listening carefully to each other and putting other trivial things aside during a conversation.
I understand that couples can become too casual over time and they no longer pay attention to those seemingly little things but those are the things that mean the most in a relationship and life in general.
A kind and open smile while looking the other person in the eye is a true token of love and appreciation that doesn’t cost you a dime.
She constantly talks about you behind your back
One of the biggest signs of disrespect is gossiping.
It’s one thing to vent to a close friend from time to time about your relationship but constantly talking about your partner behind your back is a different thing.
If your wife has no self-control over what she does behind your back, this is a huge red flag. By doing this, she’s making you her enemy instead of an ally.
One of my neighbors lived with a disrespectful wife for years.
I remember that she would go to the store and say bad things about her husband, to the cashier and anyone else who was in the store at the time.
Needless to say, we all knew that she was overreacting and talking behind her husband’s back had literally become her hobby.
If gossiping is your wife’s hobby as well and it makes you feel totally disrespected, you should definitely talk to her about it.
5 Ways To Deal With A Disrespectful Wife
Now that we’re done with all the signs that your wife disrespects you, it’s time to switch to another important question and that is: How to deal with a disrespectful wife?
Well, here’s how:
Don’t take it personally
First of all, I have the urge to accentuate one thing: A wife who is disrespectful to her husband is not a witch.
I understand that the first thing that comes to your mind is thinking that she’s doing it on purpose to hurt you and make you feel bad about yourself.
Sometimes this is true but in the majority of times, it is not.
One of the main reasons why a wife would choose to be disrespectful is because she’s having some issues with herself.
I’m not saying this in order to defend such behavior, but I’m just pointing out that you shouldn’t take it personally.
There are many factors that can influence her to suddenly change her behavior and act disrespectfully.
The only way to find out the real reason behind it is by doing the following:
Yes. Initiate a conversation when the time is right. Look each other in the eye and be open and honest about how you are feeling.
Remember that all effective communication consists of the following aspects:
Listening – Talking – Finding a Solution – Compromising.
Working on establishing mutual respect should be the primary goal for both of you. It is not something one person can only decide to do.
Disrespectful people are often unaware of their doings and that is why it’s important to point them out to them.
What’s more important is the way in which you’ll do it.
Avoid blaming your wife for it and making her feel bad about it, just explain how her behavior is making you feel.
Don’t overreact and do it in a polite and calm manner.
Give her some space and time
After you’ve talked about it, remember to give her some space and time to think about your conversation and what she’s going to do next.
Keep in mind that change doesn’t happen overnight.
If she’s been acting disrespectful for some time now, she will need more time to absorb all that and decide to alter her behavior toward you.
The main reason why you need to give her some space and time is because SHE is the one who needs to DECIDE to change.
Why? Because change comes from within.
You could nag her and force her for months to treat you the way you deserve but if she wasn’t the one who decided that she should do it, all your efforts will be in vain.
Your task is to let her know that something’s wrong in your marriage and you’re not feeling happy.
Her task is to acknowledge it and decide to start working on it.
Talk to your friends/family members/a relationship counselor
Another good idea is to seek another opinion. You can seek advice from your friends (especially if they’ve been through the same) or your family members.
You can also seek professional help from a relationship counselor or a therapist.
Couple’s therapy is one of the most effective ways for overcoming marriage problems.
Also, if you find some extra time for reading, there’s a book called Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.
The book is based on Ephesians 5:33, which states, “Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
In case nothing works out, be ready to move on
If, for some reason, none of the above works out, always be ready to let go.
I don’t think there’s any need to explain why you should be ready for such a move but I’ll still do so.
Deciding to stay in a marriage that is built on disrespect is like staying in a room full of lava and expecting that it will not burn you.
If both partners are not willing to work on the marriage, there’s nothing you can do about it.
If you decided to stay in such a marriage, you would sacrifice your own happiness and well-being and we all know that life is too short for that.
Life is too short to be with someone who is not on the same page as you and who is not even trying to improve things.
You deserve someone who will reciprocate your feelings and selfless effort.
Mutual respect is the main ingredient of every happy marriage!
You could go out of your way for them, dance to your partner’s tune and do whatnot and you will still be stuck in a dead-end street if the respect is not mutual.
Where there is no respect, there is no true love and vice versa.
Everything stems from the decision to respect each other’s differences, opinions, existence and flaws.
Respecting means compromising and doing what’s best, not for you or your partner but for your relationship.
It is about teamwork and it always has been.
Sometimes, it is hard to let the other person go, especially if you still love them but sometimes letting go of a disrespectful wife is inevitable because: “Love is not a reason to tolerate disrespect.” – Unknown