Feel like your husband is disrespecting you, but you’re not sure how bad it is?
Here are the warning signs of a disrespectful husband you can’t ignore anymore:
- Downplaying your needs and emotions
- Criticizing or belittling you, your ideas or your opinions
- Trying to control your body, your voice or your emotions
- Leaving you to do all the chores and emotional labor
- Lying, cheating and flirting with other women
- Assuming his needs, his schedule and his desires come first
- Deliberately leaving conflicts unresolved
- Making no time for you
If you feel you’re about to lose everything and you want to know how to bring the love and respect back into your marriage, we highly recommend empowering yourself to shift your relationship dynamics with the simple steps in Dr. Lee Baucom’s Save The Marriage Program.
Click the link above now to check it out, or keep reading to see what a disrespectful husband looks like (and how to handle him).
Table of Contents
Signs of a Disrespectful Husband
1. Not letting you have any space
Everyone needs personal space and time for themselves, even within a marriage.
A husband who is constantly trying to invade your personal space or make you feel guilty for pursuing your own interests is ignoring the fact that you are your own person, separate from him.
When you need a break or want alone time, a supportive spouse should exhibit understanding and flexibility.
Watch out, too, for a husband who gets jealous when you see your friends—this can cross the line into controlling behavior.
2. Never taking your needs into account
This goes beyond you not getting your needs met in your relationship—it’s like your husband simply doesn’t care.
You may feel like you’re just expected to suck it up and follow along as your husband sets all the family goals and steers the ship.
He may show little regard for your feelings and never ask you what you need.
He may ignore the things you ask him to do and resist making changes.
If he’s not interested in making you feel comfortable, happy and supported, that’s self-centered behavior and one of the telltale signs of a disrespectful husband.
3. Burdening you with all the work and household responsibilities
Do you shoulder all the work around the house?
Maybe you do all the cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, bill paying and financial management because he works and you stay home with the kids.
But even with this common arrangement, if your spouse treats you like the help and doesn’t lift a finger when you’re clearly inundated, that’s disrespectful.
It’s not about whose job it is—it’s about support and teamwork.
4. Leaving you to handle all the emotional labor
There’s also emotional labor—the invisible work of managing and maintaining relationships, remembering dates, organizing events and handling conflict.
Women are often disproportionately affected by it as they tend to be relied upon to keep things in order and maintain the general flow of life and the household.
Your husband may not realize this is happening, so it’s crucial to talk about it and emphasize the negative impact without assigning blame.
It’s also helpful to suggest practical ways to share tasks and responsibilities more equitably.
5. Ignoring your boundaries
Overstepping boundaries is a clear sign of a disrespectful husband.
This can take various forms, such as not respecting your personal choices or letting his parents give your kids candy for breakfast despite you repeatedly asking them not to.
If you haven’t communicated your boundaries to your husband, he may not be doing this on purpose.
This is why it’s vital for partners to verbalize their boundaries and discuss them, so that each spouse knows what is expected and how the other would like to be treated.
If your husband knows your boundaries and chooses to cross them, then that’s a problem.
6. Invalidating your feelings and experiences
When your husband downplays your emotions, it can be highly damaging to your relationship.
This emotional invalidation can lead to confusion, self-esteem issues and distrust in your own feelings, ultimately making you feel as if your thoughts and emotions are “wrong.”
Your husband might dismiss your experiences particularly during conflicts, telling you “That’s now how things happened,” or saying to “calm down” when you’re very validly upset.
Or he may roll his eyes when you talk about your feelings or check his phone mid-conversation, displaying a lack of interest in what you have to say.
News flash for him: This is incredibly rude, emotionally distancing and disrespectful.
7. Never apologizing
Do you find that you’re the one who’s always apologizing for everything?
The absence of an apology under any circumstances signifies that your spouse is unable (or unwilling) to recognize the impact of their actions on you.
When someone never takes responsibility by apologizing, it’s often a sign that they have a fragile ego.
Lack of respect may not be the only reason someone may struggle to apologize, but the difference is in what they’re apologizing for.
If your husband won’t say sorry any time that he’s done wrong by you or hurt your feelings, that’s a sign of disrespect.
On the other hand, if he’s not going to apologize for driving you around in circles because he won’t admit he’s lost or ask for directions, that probably has more to do with his own insecurities about his masculinity.
One of the clear signs of a disrespectful husband is when he constantly lies to you.
When someone lies, it shows they don’t trust you enough to share the trut, or they want to manipulate the situation to their advantage.
Lying isn’t always malicious, but it’s particularly disrespectful when it’s habitual.
Maybe you find yourself making excuses for your husband’s lying because he’s overall a “nice guy.”
But the fact remains, if he can’t give you the courtesy of the whole truth—even if he always has a legitimate-sounding excuse as to why he had to lie—he’s depriving you of the ability to make sounds judgment and decisions.
So, how can you identify if your husband is lying? Here are some common signs:
- Contradictory statements or answers that don’t add up
- Avoiding eye contact during conversations
- Defensiveness or aggressive reactions when facing the truth
- Unnecessary details in his explanations
9. Flirting with other women
If your husband is a flirt and that bothers you, that’s some pretty thoughtless behavior.
And it certainly doesn’t take your feelings into account.
While flirting might seem harmless, it can be seen as a violation of trust and, sometimes, seeking intimacy outside of the marriage.
Maybe your husband doesn’t flirt directly with other women, but instead praises them and comments on their physical appearance.
If the flirting takes place in front of you, not only does it show disregard for your presence, but it could also be an attempt to make you feel jealous or manipulate you.
A healthy relationship shows mutual respect for each person’s comfort and boundaries, and this tends to be a big violation.
10. Wielding the silent treatment like a weapon
Silent treatment and stonewalling as manipulation tactics have a deeply negative impact on the person on the receiving end.
The silent treatment is considered a passive-aggressive type of emotional abuse, where your partner shows their disapproval by icing you out.
This behavior is not only hurtful, but it can also make you feel isolated.
A respectful partner should express their feelings and concerns openly and allow room for conversation.
Ultimately, what he’s doing deprives you of the opportunity to address the issues and work together to find a solution.
If you’re tired of bad communication and skewed power dynamics eating away at your relationship, take control with the techniques in Save The Marriage by Dr. Lee Baucom.
11. Assuming your world revolves around his schedule
Does your husband expect you to compromise and adjust your plans or commitments to accommodate him, without reciprocating the effort?
For instance, if he insists on having dinner at a specific time, regardless of your plans, and then gets upset if you don’t comply?
This shows a lack of consideration for your time and needs.
It doesn’t matter whether your schedule is more “open” than his is, for example, if you’re a stay-at-home parent and he works.
If he’s assuming he can do as he pleases and plan your days for you, that’s pretty brazen.
12. Refusing to resolve conflicts
If your husband won’t try to find solutions to problems together or resolve conflicts, that’s a sign of a troubled relationship as well as one of disrespect.
When your husband refuses to engage in a meaningful conversation about your concerns or deliberately avoids discussing matters that matter to you, it prevents healthy communication and skews the power dynamics in your relationship in his favor.
He may be doing this so he feels like he holds all the cards and gets to decide when and how marital disputes end.
13. Making zero compromises
Is it his way or the highway all the time?
Compromise is the soul of a relationship.
If one partner won’t compromise, then it’s just one person calling the shots while the other person loses their voice in the relationship.
You have to be able to advocate for yourself and get your needs met somehow.
If your husband refuses to budge based on “principle” or because he always seems to think your suggestions for compromise sound unfair, he might be mistaking standing up for himself for being just plain inconsiderate.
14. Criticizing and comparing you to other people
This is a big no-no.
If your husband always has some rude remark for everything you do or makes you believe other people are smarter, better-looking or more capable than you are, that’s massively disrespectful.
It indicates that he does not appreciate your unique qualities.
Instead, he seems to focus on your perceived flaws and get some kind of satisfaction out of demeaning you.
Spouses should lift each other up, not cut each other down.
15. Never saying “thank you”
When was the last time your husband thanked you?
If you can’t remember, it might be time for him to brush up on his manners.
Spouses often forget to give each other the same courtesies they pay to strangers and other people, like saying “please” and “thank you,” out of habit and routine.
It’s not always such a huge signal of deliberate disrespect, but taken in context with other negative behaviors and a generally dismissive attitude, it can show a lack of appreciation.
16. Making time for his friends, but not you
Do you look forward to the weekends, thinking you’re going to spend quality time together, only to find out every time that he’s playing poker with the boys or going on a solo trip without you?
It can really hurt when your husband prioritizes his friends over you.
There’s nothing wrong with having a separate social life in a marriage—it’s actually quite healthy to maintain.
But it’s not very thoughtful of your husband if he pays relatively little attention to you and denies you one-on-one time in favor of his buddies.
Recommended Reading: What to Do When Your Husband Puts His Friends First
17. Not staying in touch when you ask
Ignoring your phone calls or your requests to call you when he’s out is inconsiderate.
We’re not talking about him forgetting to call you, but rather purposely not staying in touch with you when you explicitly ask him to.
Do keep in mind that it’s important to strike a balance between staying in touch and respecting each other’s boundaries and personal space.
However, if his lack of communication is worrying you and making you feel neglected, consider discussing the best methods for staying in touch.
Maybe agreeing to some ground rules like texting when he’s going to be out late, or setting daily check-in times, can help you maintain a strong and respectful bond.
18. Being rude to you
It goes without saying, your spouse shouldn’t be rude to you.
Whether he puts you down, masks aggression with sarcasm or uses a contemptuous tone of voice, these are all unacceptable behaviors.
More subtle signs of rudeness can be interrupting you constantly or using language you don’t like and have asked him to stop using.
Whatever the case may be, if you feel like you’d consider what he’s doing rude behavior from most other people, ask yourself why you tolerate it from your husband.
19. Not listening to you
Listening is a cornerstone of communication, and yet many couples struggle with feeling unheard by their spouses.
Your husband may not mean to make you feel this way, but it can nevertheless be disrespectful if he’s not taking the time to pay full attention to you and hear you out.
If he’s listening, he’s not:
- Interrupting you
- Waiting for his turn to speak
- Showing he’s not interested with his body language
Talking to him should also not be like talking to a brick wall.
That is, he should be responsive, ask follow-up questions and show care and concern for your experiences and feelings.
20. He makes decisions without your input
If your husband makes all the decisions without bothering to seek your opinion and you’re not comfortable with that, then something needs to change.
He may believe that he’s doing what’s best for you and your family, but that’s exactly the point—he’s making inaccurate assumptions because he isn’t talking to you.
You will need to tell him how this impacts you and make it clear that you want to be consulted before he pulls the trigger on anything regarding finances, scheduling, etc.
You deserve to feel like an equal partner in the relationship.
21. He doesn’t let you speak for yourself
Does your husband talk over you, speak for you when others ask you questions or tell you how you should feel rather than asking?
If so, he’s not respecting you as an individual.
When one partner speaks for the other, it can become a pattern in the relationship that’s difficult to break years on down the road.
Sometimes it can be accidental, but a considerate spouse will be willing to work on it once he realizes he’s doing it.
22. He throws things in your face just to win an argument
Some people will do anything to win an argument.
When your husband stoops to incredible lows to undermine you or cut you down to size to gain leverage in a disagreement, that’s not a sign of a caring, thoughtful partner.
He may bring up mistakes you’ve made in the past to taunt you or use things you’ve admitted to him during moments of vulnerability against you.
If he’s doing this, it’s time to draw the line, because that’s a sign things are getting way out of hand.
23. He acts annoyed by you
Do you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells so as to not upset your husband?
Everyone can get moody sometimes, but this kind of moodiness is never-ending and seems directed at you.
In actuality, this is a form of control and manipulation.
If your husband is using displays of irritation to make you feel like you owe him something or get you to kowtow to him, that’s a red flag.
It could also mean that he doesn’t feel like he’s in a happy relationship anymore.
Nevertheless, a respectful husband is able to ask for what he needs and find ways to express his emotions that don’t involve putting you in a weird or uncomfortable position.
24. He talks down to you
A marriage between equals does not involve one person talking to the other in a condescending way, questioning their intelligence or talking to them like a child.
Perhaps your husband doesn’t bother explaining things to you because he thinks you’re not capable of grasping them.
Minimizing your feelings and trivializing your knowledge and experiences are other manifestations of talking down to you.
Whether he’s got a superiority complex or he thinks his perspective is the only valid one, it’s closed-minded and invalidating.
25. He dismisses your ideas and opinions
If your husband can’t ever give you credit for your ideas or he never wants your opinions, it could be because he doesn’t really value them.
For example, you might share a solution to a problem, but your partner shuts it down or find faults in it without even taking the time to consider it.
If your ideas hold no weight with him, it’s time to consider whether you’re being honored and appreciated the way you should.
26. He doesn’t support you
Do you ever feel like your husband just isn’t really there for you?
Like you can’t tell him about your hopes and aspirations because he would just try to talk you out of them without giving you a chance?
If you feel your husband doesn’t have any faith in you or his support comes with conditions, he lacks respect for your capabilities as well as your choices.
He may also belittle your achievements—but in a healthy relationship, couples stand up for each other and show pride in each other’s accomplishments, whether big or small.
You deserve someone who celebrates your successes and lets you lean on them during setbacks.
How to Deal With a Disrespectful Husband
- Set boundaries: Sit down with your husband and have an honest conversation about your needs and your deal breakers. Make it clear what behaviors you won’t tolerate, and be specific. Verbalizing your boundaries can be what your husband needs to recognize what he’s doing wrong, or at least know that you’re drawing lines.
- Clarify the consequences for disrespecting you: Do nothing when your husband disrespects your boundaries, and it will continue. If you’ve said that you’ll leave when he does something, then leave. Reinforcing your boundaries with swift consequences shows that your husband can’t do whatever he wants with impunity.
- Don’t feed into it: If your husband is rude to you, don’t deliver a rude comment back. If he’s disrespecting your time and space by verbally dumping on you, cut him off as courteously as possible and let him know you’re sorry but you don’t have time right now. Small efforts to break cycles can have big impacts for your mental health.
- Get help: Resources like a family therapist or at-home relationship programs like Save The Marriage are there for you to take advantage of when the task of repairing your communication and relationship is overwhelming.
- Walk away: Know when to walk away. You may need to temporarily leave the home you share, or it may be more permanent if your husband cannot respect you, or if there is physical or verbal abuse involved. In the case of abuse, you can get help with the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.
How do you know your husband doesn’t value you?
There are several warning signs that your husband may not value you. These may include:
- A lack of honesty
- Paying no attention to you
- Disregarding your feelings
- Showing little appreciation for your efforts
- If your partner is consistently late
- If they don’t acknowledge when you go out of your way for them
What is considered disrespectful behavior in a marriage?
Disrespectful behavior in a marriage can take many forms.
Some examples include:
- Flirting with other people online or in person
- Talking badly about your spouse to others
- Not being honest with your partner
- Invalidating or dismissing your partner’s emotions
- Ignoring or disregarding your partner’s needs and opinions
- Treating your spouse or life partner poorly in front of others
- Being overly critical or demeaning
What is a toxic husband?
If you’re in a toxic relationship, you’ll know because your husband’s behaviors are harmful and damaging to your self-esteem, self respect, emotional and/or physical body.
Abuse is a huge red flag of a toxic husband, whether he’s emotionally or physically abusive.
Other characteristics of a toxic husband include constant criticism, manipulation, control and a general lack of empathy and understanding for your feelings.
When should you leave a disrespectful husband?
Deciding when to leave a disrespectful husband can be challenging, but here are some tips for making the call:
- Your husband’s negative behavior continues or worsens despite attempts to address it
- There has been a complete breakdown of trust and communication in the relationship
- Your personal well-being and happiness are severely impacted by staying
If you want to try to turn your marriage around and make it a healthy, happy and successful relationship, your best shot is to lead by example and change the way you talk to, treat and relate to him.
If you disrupt unhealthy patterns of communication by responding in a healthy way, you’ll starve the negative communication pattern and your husband will have no choice but to respond to you in a different way.
Our top recommendation to learn how to do this is Save The Marriage by Dr. Lee Baucom.
Marlene Davis is an experienced blogger with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Her dream is to help improve people's lives and relationships through sharing of practical knowledge and evidence-based practices.