What to Do When Your Husband Doesn’t Value You (+ 20 Signs)

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Feeling undervalued in a marriage can be a tough and painful experience. No one should have to endure feeling ignored or unappreciated by their partner.

In this article, we’ll explain exactly how to handle the situation when your husband doesn’t value you:

  • First, recognize your own value
  • Do not try to force an emotional response from him
  • Set, communicate and reinforce your boundaries
  • Show him how to treat you with love and respect
  • Learn how to say no and walk away from disrespect

Devaluing one’s spouse is a slippery slope.

If you don’t want to lose the love and respect in your marriage, we highly recommend changing the way you relate to each other with relationship coach Dr. Lee Baucom’s 3-step Save The Marriage Program.

Click the link above now, or find out what steps to take when your husband doesn’t value you below.

How Do I Make My Husband Realize My Value?

Stop trying to get an emotional reaction out of him

If your husband does not seem to value you, it can be tempting to provoke an emotional response from him. 

But be warned—this tactic can backfire and create more distance between you. 

He might just get angry or think you’re overreacting—or quite possibly, a lack of response could push you further into emotional chaos.

It’s also helpful to recognize if your husband’s emotional unavailability may stem from factors like work stress, unresolved past issues or even his upbringing. 

While it’s natural to want validation from your partner, seeking it through negative means is counterproductive.

Remember, you cannot control your partner’s actions or emotions. 

Focus on what you can control—your own thoughts, feelings and actions—which we’ll talk about in the following tips.

Read Next: Why Won’t My Husband Fight for Our Marriage?

Stop giving him the silent treatment

When we’re hurt, it’s easy to go for the silent treatment as a weapon of choice.

But it’s not a good move because the messages it sends are mixed and confused.

Is it a punishment? Is it to make your husband leave you alone? Or is it to get him to chase after you and ask you what’s wrong?

Your silence may feel like it’s speaking volumes, but the reality is that it’s not.

It’s not telling your husband much of anything, other than you’re mad and you’re not talking to him right now.

And if he doesn’t value your feelings, then he’s not going to put in the effort to understand what it means or try to resolve it.

Set boundaries

Establishing healthy boundaries is a crucial step in any relationship, especially when you feel underappreciated or undervalued by your spouse. 

Boundaries help protect your emotional and mental well-being while ensuring a respectful and balanced relationship.

Start by identifying your emotional needs and determining where your limits lie. 

Be honest with yourself and communicate these boundaries to your husband clearly.

Types of boundaries you might set include:

  • Your need for personal space if your husband thinks you’re at his disposal at any time
  • Needing a courtesy text from your husband if he’s going to be home late when you’re planning dinner
  • Boundaries regarding criticism and the way your spouse talks to you
  • Flat-out stating your expectations for mutual respect in the relationship

Be assertive.

Consistency is key when setting boundaries, so enforce them and follow through with consequences if they’re crossed. 

That is, shut it down by removing yourself from the situation if your husband repeatedly tramples them.

Rest assured, boundaries will promote a loving, supportive marriage where you feel valued and secure.

Respect yourself

Do you really want your husband to respect, honor and cherish you? 

Then lead by example and treat yourself with the respect you deserve. 

Know your immense value as a wife, a mother if you have children, a human being

They say those who give respect get it, but it’s also true that those who command respect inspire it. 

Start taking measures to build your self-esteem. 

Firstly, engage in self-care by setting aside time for yourself daily. 

It could include hobbies, exercise or relaxation techniques to help maintain your mental and emotional health. 

Speak your mind.

If your husband doesn’t hear you or appreciate your ideas and perspectives, stand up for yourself and express your opinions with confidence.

Respect your own achievements if your husband doesn’t—celebrate your accomplishments and give yourself credit for the hard work you’ve done. 

Whatever you wish your husband would do, do for yourself first.

Remember, lead by example.

Express your feelings openly and honestly

You absolutely must have open and honest communication with your partner when you’re feeling ignored and unloved. 

Start by choosing a suitable time and place to discuss how his behavior affects you. Ensure that you’re both in a relaxed and receptive mood.

When you’re talking about how you feel, it’s wise to use “I” statements instead of focusing on your husband’s actions. 

For example:

“I feel hurt when you don’t consider my opinions” rather than “You never listen to me.” 

“I feel overwhelmed when I am expected to do everything around the house. I’d like some help with daily responsibilities.”

“I’m not comfortable with how much time you spend with your friends instead of our family. I would like for us to spend more quality time together.”

This approach helps avoid putting your husband on the defensive and encourages a more productive conversation.

Being specific is better than generalizing.

And while you’re the one who’s hurting and feeling undervalued right now, if you really want mutual communication, trust and understanding, be open to hearing your husband’s perspective as well.

He may have valid reasons for his behavior, and acknowledging his viewpoint can help you both find common ground for improvement.

Learn to say “No”

With establishing personal boundaries often comes learning to say no.

It’s an incredibly important skill for women especially to learn, given that females are often raised to be nice, polite and accommodating.

But saying “no” doesn’t make you not nice—it makes you in control of your body, mind and spirit.

Begin by assessing the areas of your relationship where you may be overextending yourself.

This can include agreeing to tasks, roles or responsibilities that make you uncomfortable or unhappy. 

It doesn’t have to turn into an argument or even an emotional moment—just practice calmly asserting your desires and what you won’t do.

It’s OK if you don’t want to drop off the dry cleaning, do the grocery shopping, file your joint taxes and have dinner ready at 6 p.m. sharp.

As you practice saying no, your self-confidence will grow.

And, you may notice a change in how your husband sees you as a whole person and not just an extension of your household and relationship.

Stop trying to be the perfect wife

Strangely, constantly striving to be the perfect wife may lead to a lack of recognition from your husband. 

So go ahead and take the pressure off yourself.

You are a person, not an automaton.

And perhaps unexpectedly, revealing your true self, including all your flaws, passions and vulnerability, can improve your marriage.

Your husband doesn’t need a perfect wife.

He needs a partner who will call him out on his BS while also loving him unconditionally.

You may worry that you need to be more easygoing, or that you’re nagging him if you complain.

And so you hold onto all of the hurts and offenses while your husband doesn’t even notice, until they boil over.

It’s much easier, and better for you both, if you have realistic expectations for yourself and your relationship, and stop fearing conflict.

Conflict doesn’t hurt your marriage—complacency and an inability to resolve it do.

So:

  • Don’t rely on your husband for approval: You are good enough. You are amazing. And while you want your husband to recognize that too, you don’t need to bend over backwards to please him. Especially when it hurts you.
  • Delegate tasks: Share household responsibilities with your husband and other family members. It will help create a sense of teamwork and appreciation.
  • Let the house get messy: It’s not a reflection on you if things are out of place. Believing that to be the case will not do much other than make you a neurotic mess.
  • Practice self-compassion: Understand that everyone makes mistakes and that it’s acceptable to not have everything under control all the time.

Walk away from disrespect

Know what’s really powerful in stopping your husband from disrespecting you?

Walking away.

Simply refusing to take poor treatment by removing yourself from your husband’s presence delivers the message that you are not his doormat.

There is a way to do it with grace and respect, which is to calmly say that you will not allow him to treat you the way he’s currently treating you—

And then leave.

For example:

“If you’re going to yell, I will leave the room.”

“If you can’t respect my wish for some space right now, I’m going to have to remove myself.”

Creating distance during disrespectful moments demonstrates that you won’t tolerate being treated poorly with your actions, not just your words.

And those will have a lasting effect.

Don’t hesitate to take action when faced with disrespect, and, if necessary, consider additional resources if things don’t get better.

If you need help right away, we highly recommend Dr. Lee Baucom’s simple but effective approach to shifting your relationship dynamics in Save The Marriage.

Improving Self Value

Recognize your worth

Understanding your value as an individual is essential for self-appreciation. 

Take some time to reflect upon your strengths, accomplishments and unique qualities.

Recognize that you deserve to be valued and respected by those around you, including your husband. 

Creating a list of your positive traits can serve as a helpful reminder.

Pursue personal growth

Focusing on personal growth provides a sense of empowerment and self-worth. 

Set goals for self-improvement in various areas that you’d feel good about, whether it’s your physical health, career or hobbies. 

By working toward these goals, you’ll build confidence and develop a sense of mastery that emanates inner strength and self-respect.

You might:

  • Join a yoga or martial arts class
  • Enroll in a professional development course
  • Learn a new skill
  • Take up a musical instrument

Cultivate a support network

Surround yourself with friends and family who uplift and support you. 

These connections will help reinforce your sense of value and provide an external perspective when you engage in harmful negative self-talk. 

Additionally, consider joining support groups or online forums to share experiences and gain encouragement from others facing similar situations.

Foster independence

Building independence helps to improve self-value while reducing reliance on others. 

Take charge of your day-to-day responsibilities and nurture your financial, emotional and social independence. 

By becoming more self-sufficient, you’ll gain a greater sense of control and assertiveness, which may positively impact your relationship as well.

Recognizing the Signs Your Husband Doesn’t Value You

Let’s identify key signs that may indicate your husband doesn’t value you. 

Knowing these signs can help you better understand your relationship and take the necessary steps to address problems.

Lack of attention

When your husband consistently fails to give you the attention you deserve, it could be a sign that he doesn’t value you. 

This includes not showing interest in your daily life or being preoccupied with other things while you are together.

Criticism and belittling

Constant criticism or belittling behavior from your husband is another strong indicator that he doesn’t value you. 

This can include put-downs, mocking your interests or accomplishments or making you feel inferior.

Ignoring boundaries

If your husband repeatedly disregards your boundaries or fails to respect your feelings, he may not have the respect for you that you deserve. 

Examples include invading your personal space, dismissing your feelings and not including you in any decision-making process that affects you.

He chooses not to spend quality time with you

When your husband would rather do anything than spend time with you, that’s a problem.

Maybe he prioritizes his friends over you—it’s a valid concern, so don’t ignore it.

Recommended Reading: What to Do When Your Husband Puts His Friends First

He talks, but he doesn’t listen

If your husband feels like he can waltz in and talk at you nonstop about his bad day but won’t give you the same opportunity, that’s not a display of mutual respect.

It’s a sign he is using you as an emotional dumping ground.

He doesn’t seek your opinions

When is the last time your husband asked you to weigh in on something important?

In a healthy relationship, couples will seek each other’s opinions and get their feedback because what they think matters.

He makes no effort to make changes when you ask

If you keep asking but your husband shows no interest in making any modifications in his behavior, that’s a sign he’s taking you for granted.

He’s dishonest and hides things from you

Lying and keeping secrets from your partner typically means that you don’t believe they deserve to know.

Sometimes a person may lie because they’re scared of their partner finding out or being disappointed.

But other times, it’s a sign their partner’s integrity isn’t important enough to tell them the truth.

He says hurtful things casually

Does your husband make rude comments about your appearance or your ideas without a second thought?

Especially if it’s a recent thing, it could be because he no longer cares about how he’s coming across and treating you.

He talks about other women (marriage doesn’t stop his obvious temptation)

A major red flag is when your husband straight out compliments, fantasizes about and flirts with other women in front of you.

This is disrespectful behavior that shows where you are on the totem pole.

He says he’s not attracted to you anymore

Maybe your husband doesn’t make you believe he’s interested in someone else, but if he’s saying he doesn’t find you attractive anymore, it could be connected to how he feels emotionally.

If his heart isn’t in your relationship anymore, he may unintentionally lose attraction too.

He stays at work late for no real reason

An absent husband using the excuse of needing to work late can be an indication that he’s just avoiding you and doesn’t want to spend time with you.

He doesn’t stick up for you

If others walk all over you and your husband seems totally unmoved, it could possibly be because he doesn’t see your value—and so doesn’t see the issue.

He doesn’t care about your problems

Spouses are supposed to be there to unburden our problems to and find support and sympathy.

If your husband just doesn’t care, beware.

Your needs are the last thing on his list of priorities

If his list of priorities looks something like this:

  • Him
  • The dog
  • His buddies
  • His coworkers
  • His family
  • Everyone else
  • You

…Something needs to change.

He doesn’t share in your joy or sadness

You wouldn’t be out of line to expect your husband to be moved by your emotions.

Whether you’ve had a bad experience and want him to be sad too, or you’re excited about a promotion and he doesn’t seem to care, it may be a clue about how attached he feels to you.

Nothing you do impresses him

You do it all, and yet it doesn’t seem to matter.

You cook, you clean, you bring home the bacon, you are well-respected in your field and you could do it all standing on your head—

And your husband wouldn’t bat an eye.

Everything you do irritates him

Maybe everything you do from how you raise your children to asking him to pass you the salt shaker annoys him.

Sometimes, a husband who is always moody is a husband who lacks respect for you.

There’s zero affection

You deserve an affectionate, romantic partner.

But how often does your husband hug you, say words of praise to you and hold you?

If there’s no affection between you, that’s another sign.

Cheating

Cheating is one of the obvious signs of your husband not valuing you.

If he feels like he can brazenly step out with another woman, there’s no doubt.

Final Thoughts

In a healthy, loving relationship, partners should deeply value and respect one another.

However, if you’re not getting respect, only you can take action.

When your spouse is allowed to devalue you, it becomes the standard and they have no reason to change it.

By valuing yourself first, setting clear and firm boundaries and learning how to walk away, you can change how your husband interacts with you.

Women who are in control of their own lives and know their own value command respect from their partners.

But if your husband doesn’t value you despite your efforts, it may be prudent to get some outside help from a therapist or from a trusted resource.

FAQ

What to do when your husband makes you feel worthless?

Feeling worthless is a heavy emotional burden that can seriously affect your mental health.

And it’s not OK.

So, it’s essential to address the issue with your partner. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Reflect on how you feel and find specific examples that made you feel this way.
  • Engage in open and honest communication with your husband to share your feelings and concerns.
  • If nothing changes, evaluate whether staying in the relationship is worth the emotional pain.

If your husband’s treatment is abusive, that is not something you should tolerate at all and you can find immediate and confidential help at the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

What are signs of a toxic marriage?

A toxic marriage might look like this:

  • Constant criticism from your spouse
  • Feeling unsupported
  • Emotional and physical abuse
  • Lack of trust and honesty
  • Manipulation and control
  • Feeling emotionally drained
  • Loss of personal identity
  • Regular unhealthy conflict

How do you know when your husband doesn’t care anymore?

Recognizing when an uncaring husband is no longer invested in your needs and the relationship can be challenging since it might manifest in subtle ways.

Keep an eye out for these warning signs in failing marriages:

  • He no longer engages in meaningful conversations with you.
  • He seems emotionally detached and uninterested in your life.
  • There is a noticeable decrease in physical and emotional intimacy.
  • He’s consistently prioritizing other aspects of life over you and your relationship.
  • He’s unwilling to work on the relationship or address problems when they arise.

An unhappy relationship leads to an unhappy divorce.

If you need help fixing your marriage for good and making it one of mutual respect, appreciation and love, check out Save The Marriage.

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.