Disrespectful Husband: 28 Signs & Ways to Teach Him to Treat You Better

If you wondering if you have a disrespectful husband, here are the signs and what you should do about it. Stand up for yourself so you can be happier.

disrespectful husband

Everyone thinks that marriage will be like it is in Disney movies. A princess finds her prince charming, he rescues her from her miserable life, and they happily ride off into the sunset together. But these movies never tell you what happens when the sun rises the next day. Real life is not a fairytale; you could end up with a disrespectful husband.

No one prepares us for the reality of marriage. Marriage isn’t easy – many people know this from experience. It takes two people who are equally committed to making each other happy.

If you’re trying hard to fix it, but you constantly find these subtle signs of a disrespectful husband in your marriage, it’s an uphill task that’s not easy to face.

So, if you are feeling trapped in your marriage and wondering if your husband’s behavior is acceptable, well, let’s take a look at the signs of a disrespectful husband that you shouldn’t overlook.

The subtle signs of a disrespectful husband

When people are in a relationship, they often don’t see clearly what is really happening. This happens to all of us. That’s why we get defensive when our family or friends point out that our partner is not exactly the nicest person.

We instinctually feel the need to defend them. But what we should be doing instead is taking their observations to heart, because they see what we don’t.

So if you are wondering if your husband has some deal-breaking flaws, here are the signs of a disrespectful husband that will help you figure out what you need to know, so you can take action to make your life better. [Read: Selfish people – 15 ways to spot them and stop them from hurting you]

1. He doesn’t ask you about your needs

We all have needs. But some people are people-pleasers, so they prioritize the needs of others over their own. And others are selfish, so they don’t care about other people’s needs except their own. So, if your husband doesn’t ask you what you need, then that is a huge problem.

2. He doesn’t listen to you

Women need to talk to people. They want to come home and tell their husbands about their day or something else interesting and exciting that happened to them. Or they just want to vent.

So if your husband is only interested in watching the game on TV every day and doesn’t listen to you, then he probably doesn’t care.

3. He doesn’t even talk to you

Do you find that your husband just goes into his man cave every day when he gets home from work? Can you remember the last time you had an actual conversation?

If you can’t, well, that’s one of the signs of a disrespectful husband … even though it might not seem like it is. [Read: Dos and don’ts to get your husband’s attention when he ignores you]

4. He demands sex even when you’re not in the mood

Okay, this is borderline rape, and marital rape is a real and serious crime. If you are having non-consensual sex with your husband, this is one of the largest and most serious signs of a disrespectful husband.

5. He orders you around and treats you like a child

Does he tell you what he wants for dinner and that you need to clean the house? Does he bark orders around like you are a child or his slave? If so, then don’t tolerate that. You two are meant to be equals; he is not your superior. [Read: 22 warning signs you have a narcissistic husband]

6. He expects you to cook and clean with no help from him

Marriage should be a partnership. The wife should not be the maid, the cook, and the nanny. You can hire people for that. A husband and a wife should equally share household responsibilities. So if your husband isn’t doing that, then he is being disrespectful to you. [Read: Types of toxic relationships to watch out for]

7. He never compliments you

We all love to get compliments. Okay, some people are uncomfortable with them because they have low self-esteem. But saying nice things to people about themselves is just polite and loving. So if you never hear anything nice from him, that is another form of disrespect from your husband.

8. He’s not affectionate

And no, this is not about sex. Yes, many men want sex all the time *and some never do*, but sex does not necessarily equal affection. He should hold your hand, cuddle with you on the couch, and hug you on a daily basis. If not, that’s disrespectful. [Read: 16 non-sexual touches to feel connected and loved]

9. He criticizes you

No one should EVER criticize you. Let’s repeat this… no one should ever criticize you! That’s not to say that they shouldn’t politely and calmly point out that they would like you to make changes, but they need to do so in a polite manner. If he’s not doing that, then it’s one of the top signs of a disrespectful husband.

10. He lays any kind of hand on you

This one should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, it’s not for many women. Your husband should NEVER hit you or physically hurt you in any manner whatsoever.

So, you need to hightail it out of there ASAP if he is physically abusive to you. There is help and resources for you if you need to escape an abusive environment.

11. He isolates you

Does he keep you at home and away from your friends and family? He might even say “it’s for your own good” or “I want you to myself.” That’s one of the huge signs of a disrespectful husband; it’s also a form of non-physical abuse. He is brainwashing you and trying to control your life.

12. He blames you for everything and never takes any personal responsibility

It takes two to tango. No person in a marriage is completely 100% without blame. So, if he’s always blaming you for everything and anything, then he is being very disrespectful. It means he is emotionally immature and cannot have a healthy relationship. [Read: 25 signs of disrespect in a marriage that should never be tolerated]

13. He says you’d be nothing without him

This is a form of verbal abuse. Many men use this as a form of control to make their wives think that they can’t survive without them and that they are no good. They do this because they have low self-esteem and are trying to drag you down to their level. Don’t let him do it.

Why your husband disrespects you

Now that you know the signs of a disrespectful husband, you are probably wondering why he does this. There are a lot of different reasons, but here are some of the most common ones.

1. He saw his father disrespecting his mother

As children, our parents are our role models and so we tend to repeat their behaviors, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.

So, if your husband saw his father treat his mother with disrespect, then he’ll associate that as “normal” in a marriage. That doesn’t excuse his behavior, but it’s what he grew up with. [Read: 17 signs of disrespect in a relationship that reveal lack of love]

2. He has low self-esteem

When someone doesn’t feel good about themselves, they want other people to feel bad too. So, in his mind, if he belittles and criticizes you, he will feel better about himself. It doesn’t make logical sense, but that’s what’s happening in his subconscious mind.

3. He’s a narcissist

Narcissists have no ability to care about other people’s emotions or needs. They feel like the whole world revolves around them and no one else matters. So, your husband could be a narcissist. And one of the very common traits of a narcissist is that they treat everyone with disrespect.

4. He is selfish

While not everyone is a narcissist, there are a lot of men who are just plain selfish. Yes, narcissists are selfish too, but narcissists take selfishness to a whole other level.

If your husband is selfish, he just wants everything the way he wants it. Your needs and desires don’t really occur to him because he’s focused on what he wants. [Read: Narcissistic men – 27 traits and signs of a guy who knows to use, not love]

5. He has no empathy

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes and see a situation from their perspective.

If your husband is disrespectful to you, then he doesn’t have the ability to see how his bad behavior affects you in a negative way. This is not to say that it’s a legitimate excuse for his disrespect, but he has no ability to feel empathy.

6. He has low emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is when someone has the ability to monitor and regulate their own emotions. They can also read other people and adjust their behavior accordingly. So, if he can’t control his emotions, then he probably has low emotional and social intelligence.

7. He is mentally unstable

If your husband is continually disrespectful to you, he might have a problem with his mental health. Perhaps he is depressed or has a more serious condition, like bipolar disorder.

Either way, he might need some professional help if he can’t seem to get his anger under control by himself. [Read: 24 sad signs of an unhealthy relationship that ruin love forever]

8. He resents you

Maybe you grew up with a loving, wealthy family and he didn’t. Or perhaps you have a rewarding career, and he doesn’t. For whatever reason, he might be jealous or resentful of you for some reason. Because of this, he thinks that being disrespectful to you will “cut you down” to his level.

How to deal with a rude and disrespectful husband and set boundaries

It isn’t enough to know the signs of a disrespectful husband and why he is the way he is. You also need to know how to set boundaries.

Disrespectful behavior is unacceptable, and so here are some ways you can draw the line.

1. Speak your mind

You can’t expect him to change if you just sit there and take his disrespect. You have to tell him how his behavior is not okay with you and that he needs to change it.

Tell him that you will not put up with this anymore. In other words, you need to put your foot down and tell him “no!” [Read: How to say no – 15 ways to reason politely, stop pleasing, and feel kick ass]

2. Don’t get emotional

When you are setting boundaries with your husband, you need to stay calm and rational. It will be very easy to get emotional when you are discussing the hurtful disrespect you’ve been facing. However, in order for him to take you seriously, you need to be level-headed and “business-like.”

3. Record his behavior

Many people don’t “see” themselves the way they really are. In other words, in their mind, they are one way, but in reality, they are completely different.

So, if you can record his words with audio and/or video without him knowing, then you can play it back to him later. When he objectively sees his disrespectful behavior, then he might be willing to change.

4. Lead by example

You should also look at yourself. Do you treat your husband with any level of disrespect? If you do, then you should correct that.

You can’t expect him to be loving and respectful if you’re not. So, you need to set a good example for him with your proper behavior. [Read: Healthy relationship boundaries – how to talk about them and set them]

5. Stop his behaviors

You can’t just let him continually speak to you or do things that are disrespectful to you. It is important that you stop him in his tracks. Tell him to stop saying or doing what he is in the moment. If you don’t stop him, he will continue to do what he’s always done.

6. Work on your self-esteem

You might not want to hear this, but one of the reasons you have a disrespectful husband is because you allow it. And there is a reason for that. You might need to work on loving yourself more.

A person who loves themselves won’t tolerate disrespectful behavior from other people because they know they don’t deserve it. [Read: How to build self-esteem and love life with 10 simple changes]

7. Get counseling

If you have tried all of this and he still hasn’t changed his behaviors, then you might need to get help from a professional.

A trained therapist can help the two of you work through your problems. You both might even need individual counseling in order for him to change his negative behavior and for you to be strong enough to stop it.

Why it’s important to take a stand with a disrespectful husband

Having a disrespectful husband is something that is not healthy. You have probably put up with this for a long time, but now it’s time to stand your ground and say “no more!”

If you don’t, you will lose your own self-respect. And if he refuses to change, then you should seriously think about whether or not you want to stay in this marriage.

[Read: 19 unfortunate signs your husband doesn’t love you anymore]

Marriage should be a safe haven – a relationship that comforts you from the cruel outside world. So, if you can relate to any of these signs of a disrespectful husband, you should get help and consider your options to make your life happier.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...