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My Husband Does Not Respect Me

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Women Living Well Blog: My Husband Does Not Respect Me

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, March 22, 2010

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!



Blogger Stephanie said...

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!

March 22, 2010 at 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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).

March 22, 2010 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous René said...

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!).

March 22, 2010 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger jmc1002 said...

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!

March 22, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Julie@comehaveapeace said...

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.

March 22, 2010 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Devotional DIVAs said...

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.

March 22, 2010 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

Excellent advice Courtney! Spot on as usual! :)

March 22, 2010 at 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!

March 22, 2010 at 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!

March 22, 2010 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!!! I will definitely implement this in my marriage.


March 23, 2010 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

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.

March 23, 2010 at 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

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!

May 14, 2011 at 7:10 AM  

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