It is never easy to deal with a disrespectful spouse. They might disrespect you openly or unintentionally. In all cases, it hurts and can cut like a knife. Here are 12 ways to deal with a disrespectful spouse:
1. Talk to your spouse
Communication is very important in any marriage. Express yourself. If they put you down, in front of others then tell them that you don’t appreciate their attitude. Do this in a gentle tone and preferably when they are not angry and all worked up.
Practice self-control and learn not to fight fire with fire. Be the strong one. Show your spouse how their actions and words are affecting you negatively. Let them see through your eyes. Sometimes it’s just the problems and cares of this life that has them down. Then they take out their frustration on the ones closest to them.
2. Set the best example
You should always be the one who expresses your strong morals and values. Do not allow others to influence you in a negative way. No matter who that person is. Even if it is your spouse, always show respect even when it is not returned. Show respect to a disrespectful spouse. Eventually, they will see the folly of their ways and feel ashamed of their actions.
3. Set standards
Don’t lower your standards for anyone. Do not accept everything and every behavior from your spouse. Eventually, it might become the norm and you might not expect anything else. You will lose your dignity and pride under a pile of years of disrespect and verbal abuse. Stand up for the things you know are right. Expect your spouse to treat you the way you want to be treated.
4. Get Counselling
See a marriage counselor about the issues in your marriage. Professional help from trained counselors can unroot the underlying causes and help to find solutions; that might not be obvious to everyone. It is best that both of you go for counseling. If your spouse refuses to attend then you can go alone. You will still get the professional help that you need.
5. Seek help
Talk to a trusted friend, pastor, or family member who has your best interest at heart and can give you much-needed advice. Do not tackle it alone, especially if you already discussed it with your spouse and saw no improvement. Do not suffer in silence, that is not the way to go. Reach out.
6. Concentrate on you
Spend time with yourself. Build up yourself in the faith of God. Talk to God about what you are facing because what is hard for you is easy for God. Tell him. Try your best not to focus all your energy on the problem you are facing. Focus on yourself and the other people around you that also need your attention. This being said, do not act as if the problem doesn’t exist, just try not to let it dominate your life.
7. Avoid a confrontation
If your spouse is disrespecting you verbally, you might be tempted to retaliate. This could lead to an argument. Arguments can lead to physical fights. Turn and walk away, hide from their words as much as possible. Exercise self-control always.
8. Do not retaliate
You should not repay evil for evil. Do not retaliate and match disrespect with disrespect. It is not a match to see who can lower each other’s morals to the ground. It is a time of setting good examples and being the trendsetter. Do not belittle yourself, hold your head high; you are important. Don’t cry and whimper away but be bold and stand strong. Find the best way to deal with a disrespectful spouse.
9. Act mature and confident
If you keep acting inferior to your spouse then the disrespect might not stop. Know your worth and value yourself. Do not act like you cannot make it in this life without them. Know who you are in Christ. You are strong and courageous. Beautiful and smart. Act like it. Don’t feel and act like a nobody. People might see it as a weakness to be exploited. Act mature, show you can handle pressures and issues of life without caving under the strain. Compliment your spouse with your strong personality. Hold your own, don’t be insecure, but always show love to your spouse.
10. Put your feelings on paper
So you have spoken to them about their disrespecting habits but they still don’t seem to get it. Well, maybe you can try dropping a note. Express yourself in writing, maybe they will process it in a better way and see the folly of their ways. Please do not use any harsh or evil words but be gentle.
11. Examine yourself
Are any of their points valid? They might be, but it still doesn’t give your spouse the right to be disrespectful. It might be a case where you are doing something without any regard for your spouse’s feelings. This might be their way of fighting back or trying to get through to you. Find out why they seem to be targeting you. You can check and see if your spouse’s behavior happens in response to certain topics or circumstances. This way you can see what is the cause. Try to tread lightly around the issues that will trigger their negative behavior.
12. Help to support positive behavior
Always be supportive and focus on the positive attitudes of your spouse. Give compliments and encouragement even when it’s hard for you. Be optimistic, your positivity will help to bring out the best in your spouse.
Prayer to deal with a disrespectful spouse
Dear heavenly Father, I come to you in Jesus’ name. Father, please help me to show respect to my spouse and everyone I meet. Father, please let there be no anger, disrespect, or bad feeling between me and my spouse. Lord, please bind us together with cords that cannot be broken. In Jesus’ name, Amen.