7 Ways You Disrespect Your Husband


My husband and I have been married for just over seven and a half years and along the way we’ve made mistakes – more than a few – and we’ve also talked about what makes a good marriage with other like-minded married couples.


Here are a few common ways we can, inadvertently sometimes, disrespect our husbands:

1. Talk about his weaknesses to others – Ok, maybe your husband is untidy, doesn’t help around the house or drives like a maniac, but complaining about this to other people outside of your marriage is detrimental. You are disrespecting your husband by your speech and your attitude.

What you can do instead: Talk to your husband about the traits that are currently annoying you. Instead of saying: “You never pick up after yourself. How can I teach the kids to pack up their stuff if you leave yours lying around everywhere?” try saying: “I’d really appreciate it if you could help me teach the children to pick up after themselves. Setting an example for them will be much more effective than purely telling them to do it.” Or even something as simple as, “I’d really appreciate it if you could help load the dishwasher after dinner.”

2. Make important decisions without discussing it with him – Maybe you need a new washing machine, a new house to rent or want to sell your house. Or maybe you want to change the school that your children attend. The worst thing you can do is to make a decision like this without even consulting your husband. By taking away his right to be involved in the decision making process you are, in effect, emasculating him. You have usurped his role as the head of the household and decided that you don’t need his input.

What to do instead: By all means do your research and look into all of the options. Then you and hubby can sit down together and talk through each option, and decide on one together. If you can’t decide on one together, practice the virtue of humility and give him the final say, after you have presented your preferred option eloquently and without anger. A good husband will listen attentively and make the best decision for the whole family and he will value your input.

3. Spend money carelessly – This is especially worse when he is the primary breadwinner. When you spend money without regulation and with abandon you are essentially saying to your husband that although he earned the money you have the right to spend it recklessly. The truth is, you don’t and your responsibility as a homemaker is to spend that money wisely.

What you can do instead: Budgeting and self-control are the cornerstones of good financial management. Even though you might have money sitting in the bank you don’t have to spend it. Live frugally and economically, resisting impulse purchases, and you’ll have more money to donate to charities, spend on family holidays, and save up for a rainy day when your heater breaks or you need new tyres for the car.

4. Nag him about jobs you want him to do – If you keep nagging, he’s not going to do it, we all know that. He’ll just get more frustrated and you’ll get more frustrated to the point that you’ll be keeping the street awake with your overblown argument about a leaking shower tap.

What to do instead: Compile a list of jobs together that need to be done around the house and pop it on the fridge. There will be some that you can manage, or help him with, so each weekend encourage each other to tackle a job together. Supporting and helping, rather than nagging, will get the jobs done sooner!

5. Withhold physical affection – Nothing burdens a marriage quicker than withdrawing physical affection. As women, we are usually the ones who control the temperature of the affection in our household. If your husband likes to be welcomed home with a quick peck and you suddenly stop offering it, he’s going to feel disappointed and wonder why you’ve stopped. This extends further, of course, and leads to a point where he starts wondering if you still love him.

What to do instead: Often the reason we might feel like withholding affection is an emotional one. Kiss him anyway. Loving other people means putting their needs first. If he needs a kiss when he gets home, kiss him, even if you don’t feel like it! But also take the time to work out where your affection block is coming from; are you overtired or overstressed? Talk to your husband about it and together you can regain your level of optimum intimacy in your marriage.

6. Let resentment fester – Yes, sometimes it seems like husbands get it easy while we’re at home frazzled and feeling as though we’re taken for granted. Small hurts can snowball and cause utter devastation in their wake. And hubby is left wondering what he did wrong!

What you can do instead: Forgive, forgive, forgive! A priest I know suggests offering up all the burdens you’re carrying in your marriage to Jesus’ strong shoulders and praying this simple prayer: “I forgive [name], Lord. God bless them.” 10 times every time a particular hurt comes to mind.

Life on this earth is too short not to and besides, you’re jeopardising the next life!

7. Treat your husband as though he’s batting above his average – This one is, in my opinion, one of the worst habits you can get into; the sin of pride. This is where one spouse considers that their spouse is, in some way, inferior to them. It might start in their courtship or dating, he may even think that he is so lucky that she has given him the time of day. Perhaps we’ve all felt like this at some point, so blessed to have found someone special. The problem, however, is when this idea does not fade and the couple is left feeling as though there is one spouse superior to the other.

Sadly, we’ve all seen marriages like this. One spouse tries desperately to please the other, while the other spouse barely registers the gestures with anything more than disinterest or, at worst, anger. When we, as wives, feel that we are superior to our husbands we treat them as though they only exist to help, or hinder us. We routinely do all of the things on this list because we feel unaccountable for our actions. We make decisions based on our own selfish ideas and pursuits and do not consider the consequences of our actions.

What you can do instead: Go to Confession and ask pardon for the sin of pride. You need to practice humility and recognise that your husband is your equal. A marriage is not a partnership of anything else except a 50/50 split. If this has become an ingrained habit you might have trouble adjusting your actions but you need to do it. Your husband loves you and thinks the world of you, but how do you show him that you love him? Include him in your decision making and listen to (really listen) his opinions. He is the head of the household, let him fulfil this role. If you work together as a team you can achieve balance in your marriage.

At the end of the day it’s important to remember that your husband is your partner, you are equal and complementary. Respect your husband so that you don’t give him the opportunity to disrespect you as well.


Filed Under: Family LifeFeaturedMarriage

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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  1. KAREN L says:

    Great article, and good reflections. Some of them I couldn’t possibly imagine doing, like changing kids schools without talking it through, others more close to home, like commenting to other friends about things that are annoying – sometimes in “solidarity” as they complain about their husbands
    However there’s a contradiction . You say at the end that marriage is a 50 /50 split, yet earlier said that the husband is head of the household. Can’t really have it both ways! Personally 50/50 is how I like it to be…..
    Hope all going well for you

    • Emily Shaw says:

      Thanks Karen! Hopefully I can clarify. Marriage is a 50/50 split but each of us brings a different contribution. Hubby is definitely the head, wife the heart and together they make the whole 100! All is going well thanks, long time no see! Hope things are going well on your end too. God bless

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