My Husband Does Not Respect Me

It’s time for another Mailbag Marriage Question:

A reader writes:

“I found your blog months ago through a link from Rachel Ray. I have since made it one of my favorites. Just this morning, I watched your video post about “Respectfully Changing Your Husband’s Opinion”. I really got a lot from it, and it was a nice reminder for me to be more respectful and less “chatty” and “pointy” with my opinions.

Here is where I struggle; not getting the respect in return. I try to keep my mouth shut and not vocalize when he continually does things that, in my mind, are disrespectful, but it’s getting harder…”(then the writer gave a recent scenario of a way that her husband disrespected her and I fully agreed – it was disrespectful.)

Here’s my answer**

Because our husbands are human that means they are sinners. And because they are sinners that means inevitably they will hurt us. Happy marriages are made up of two people who are willing to forgive over and over and over and over again.
It appears that the writer of this letter has a husband who is a “repeat offender”. He continually does disrespectful things. Are you married to a man like this? If I could talk to the husband and say “please be more considerate” I would. But this blog is written to wives, so I want to tell wives how to handle this problem.

First, I would tell my husband how it made me feel. For example I would say, “When you say _______ that hurts my feelings because it makes me feel ________.” Or “when you don’t bother to call, it makes me feel _______”. Do give voice to your feelings, our husband’s cannot read our minds.

If voicing your feelings is met with resistance, I would say, “I’m not saying that’s how you meant it to feel, but I am saying that is how it feels to me.” Do not assume the worst intentions in your husband. Just simply tell him how you feel. After that, let it drop. If you back a man into a corner by talking about it over and over and over, it will be harder for him to come to you and apologize. Give him room to let it sink in and pray that God convicts him of his harsh behavior.
Now your job is to not stew. If you replay the scenario over and over in your mind and keep track of all the times your husband has wronged you, you will become a bitter old woman.
Hebrews 12:15 warns: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
Like a weed that must be pulled by the root – you must uproot these bitter thoughts that silently play like a recording in your head. Put a plan in place. Filter your thoughts according to Philippians 4:8 which reads: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.”

When I have a critical, negative, bitter thought I ask myself – “is this a noble thought? Is this pure? Is this lovely? Admirable? Praiseworthy?” If it is not – I must do what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” I must make my mind obedient to Christ.
Do not let those thoughts swirl in your head because eventually everyone in the family can see it in your demeanor, your lack of joy, and even in your words – though you may think you are hiding it. Replace those thoughts with thankful thoughts full of grace. Forgive your husband and pray – ask the Lord to give you eyes to see your husband as he sees him.

This is not something that will happen overnight – it’s a life long journey of guarding your mind and your marriage. The enemy would LOVE to get a foothold using bitterness – so beware – and put Philippians 4:8 as a filter over your mind.
And remember you respect your husband because of who God is and his commands. You respect your husband because of who you are and your character. You respect your husband because you have been given grace and you freely give it. You respect your husband because of your vow at the marriage altar. And you respect your husband because you do indeed love him and desire to please him.

Walk with the King!

Comments

  1. Stephanie says

    Great thoughts Courtney! I would also add that you should also pray that God helps you with your feelings and also that He would change the heart of your husband and if be His will, to convict him on his actions. The power of praying for your husband cannot be underestimated! I cannot tell you how many times I have prayed for my husband and God moves his heart in a way my nagging, crying and complaining could never do!

  2. The Real Me Underneath It All says

    I started doing this in December and I found my marriage improved 100%. And he was so relieved to not have to deal with the silent treatment or the issue being strung out all day. I find comfort in knowing that I have told him how I feel and that he knows. I had to learn to get on with things. I am not going to leave my husband ever. There is no point in dragging it out for hours. It just makes for a bad day for everyone. It serves no purpose. So now I go on w/a happy heart and continue to be the Prov.31 wife God wants me to be. : ) Great advice Courtney! (BTW My husband has a track record for being disrespectful quite often but I am praying for a change of heart).

  3. René says

    Wow! God has a way of allowing the messages I need to see just pop up in front of me. Yesterdays message at church was as if he was speaking directly to me and now this morning. Like the others, I also have a husband that has his disrespectful moments and it hurts. Sometimes it hurts so much that it makes me question how someone could claim to love someone and then hurt them so badly. I have been praying not only for my husband, but for myself as well. I have loved doing this Proverbs 31 study and loved focusing on being a Proverbs 31 wife. It has helped me so much. (Thanks Courtney!).

  4. jmc1002 says

    Thank you Courtney and Thank you reader for sharing. My husband is 19 and a half yrs older than me. I married for the first time at age 37 (now 41). Marriage is a tough adjustment when you're older, and not to mention I had no idea how to use faith nor did I have have any faith. However, I always felt and knew I was Christian and Jesus was the Son of God. But I never really understood why or how to use faith and give my struggles and troubles to "the cross". And God does have his plans… My Italian (old fashion), New York, hard-headed husband, that drives me crazy, brought me to learn my faith through the Catholic Church. Regardless, I'm thankful for all Christian faith-feedback that helps feed the soul with encouragement through God's Word. However hard-headed my husband is, he's not as hard-hearted, so for that I am grateful! Thanks to Courtney and all of those who share their comments. Our thoughts become our words and words become action! AMEN! I needed to read this message today. God Bless you!

  5. Julie@comehaveapeace says

    Thank you for linking up to Marriage Mondays today. This post speaks to a similar topic on MM today … hurt feelings. Since we will continue to be human and life's seasons will change, we can be assured that we will have more opportunities to practice giving grace and forgiving.

  6. Devotional DIVAs says

    wonderful question and powerful answer. It is often very difficult when a spouse try to be all they can and FEEL let down when their efforts are received positively. That is the confidence we have in Christ… that He is pleased with our efforts and loves & accepts us actively regardless of our spouse's respone.

  7. Anonymous says

    Great post. Sometimes I find that if I am not getting respect, that I may not be completely giving it -perhaps even in a "subtle way" (that's just ME being brutally honest about MYSELF!). That being said, I will trust the Lord to help me apply the godly advice you gave today. Blessings!

  8. Anonymous says

    Great post. Interestingly I find sometimes when I'm not getting respect, I'm not always giving it completely (that's just me being brutally honest about MYSELF!). That being said, your advice is a great godly answer and I appreciate it and will trust the Lord to help my apply it. Blessings!

  9. Kristine says

    Excellent words of wisdom. I would also add that when I was faced with a similar situation I added two things to my prayers…that God would change my heart/mind and increase my love for my husband. He has done all this and more but these changes take time. Thank you for a very insightful blog.

  10. Mary says

    Thank you and God for this blog! Since I became a full time housewife, I’ve been feeling more and more disrespected and unheard by my husband. I blamed him and hated him for the way I was feeling and had a kickass self-pity party every night! I even dreamed of meeting a thoughtful and sensitive guy, a type that you only see in a romance novel (of course) as my way of revenge. Tonight wasn’t any different. I was regurgitating one sentence my husband said tonight, and turning it into something absolutely different when I came across your blog. After reading it, I felt the hands of enemy being lifted away from me. I need to give my husband to my Lord and let Him take care of my husband. One human can merely change other human being. I can hang onto that one sentence and be so bitter and unpleasant or give it to the Lord and be my happy self. Also, my husband is not disrespectful, he just doesn’t know how to sugar coat it, and I did fall in love with him for it.
    I would love to share it on my Facebook pg, but I’m afraid people might speculation how I ended up here. Hahaha
    God bless you!

  11. says

    yah ryt..sometimes my husband ddnt really liten to me,he follow wat hewants or what he like to do,he never consult me for approval..sometimes i felt like giving up,i hope i can stand applyng those techniques because im tired..but i know god will always be there

  12. Ijay says

    I guess God answers google sometimes. I have been having a lot of resentment anger bitterness towards my husband and we’ve only been married a couple months. I felt really discouraged and starting to question whether my decision to marry him was a mistake. I know I will never leave him and this blog reminded me why. He is human and he is bound to hurt me. I will follow these steps. You have inspired me Courtney. Thanks..

  13. Edith durm says

    I am married to a wonderful man that I love very much but he has betrayed my trust many times, I have told him in the past how this makes me feel and how I would appreciate my personal information not be shared with his friends but he continues to do it. Please tell me if I’m wrong but I believe there are things that should be private in the marriage and only concern our marriage but he has no filter in his mouth and tells his friends everything that happens in our home including personal things that should remain private to our household. Every time I find out of something else he has said that I think should be private I have the talk with him and he promises not to do it again but then I turn around and he’s doing it again!!! I feel disrespected, betrayed, hurt, heartbroken. Last nite i refused to share new information regarding my new job because i dont want this to be shared with his group of friends and i told him i did not trust him anymore, he became very upset and is now acting like i did something wrong. I am seriously considering leaving my husband as I feel I cannot live with someone I can’t trust. Please give me advise, I don’t want to breakup my family but I don’t know what to do.

    • Carrie says

      I used to share too much information with people and my husband did not like it. Eventually, God showed me how irritating it is to have too many people with too many opinions, knowing too much about what is going on with us. I suggest you pray that God shows him the importance of godly counsel, so that maybe he can find just one trustworthy, godly friend with sound wisdom, in whom he can confide, instead of a group of his “buddies.”
      Hope my reply is not to late! Blessings to you & your family! I will pray for you both as soon as I post this.

  14. Jean says

    I have been praying about God sending me some understanding about marriage and relationships. I feel that women are disrespected too, but all that I was finding in the way of marriage articles, were those from some one way thinking, women and mencounselors who kept writing that women are to blame for men and husband’s sins. These counselors would get angry and delete your comment if you asked them why they scold women. I had begun to be filled with hate and anger. I knew it was not good for my relationship with God, or for my stress levels, so I kept looking for some sites that are filled with love and compassion for both genders.

    It is so refreshing to come to a blog where I find for kind, real people,speaking from the heart and not being scolded or blamed or given a list of 50 things that we must do for our husbands. I had gotten so angry and frustrated, now I feel a little relieved.

    Thank you,
    womenlingwell

    Thank you,
    Courtney

  15. Becky says

    Wow…thank you so much….really what my heart and mind needed to hear tonight.

    I also don’t feel so alone. It’s comforting to know there are other women out there fighting with the same thing. My secular friends don’t understand and just tell me to leave my husband….you know the whole “I would never put up with that”. It makes me feel like I’m weak because I don’t just up and leave.

    Any way…thanks for posting

    • Jess says

      I feel the same way about my secular friends! I get told I’m being walked all over and that he’s turned me into a weak willed person. Which I know I am not! Prayers for you, friend!

  16. Jess says

    I found your blog by doing a quick google search while struggling with myself over how to handle a situation that had become explosive. I had been praying all night and as soon as I woke up. Praying and crying and trying to get some perspective and once I read your post, I realized that it may not be about “winning” this fight but about how I present myself to my husband and to God when we do fight. I had been cooking up plans to ignore him the rest of the day and maybe spend the night with a friend without telling him. But, then I decided to march upstairs and tell my husband that I love him, that I respect him as my husband and his position in our family, however very tired I am of feeling mistreated and then kissed him and told him I loved him again. I also brought him some water and offered him breakfast. Even though I wanted to scream at him last night, I got a handle on my emotions this morning. Once I said my peace to him, I felt a huge weight lift and I started crying again. Ha!
    I had never read your blog before today, but I feel I will be a regular reader now! :) xoxo

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