13 signs of a disrespectful wife (and what you can do about it)

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Marriage can be a wonderful union between two people.

But it takes a lot of work.

As someone who’s been married for almost a decade now, I can assuredly say that through every up and down, it takes work, and it takes respect. (And before you ask — yes, it’s worth it.)

Without respect, there can’t be equitable love.

In fact, love is no reason to tolerate disrespect at all.

If you’re having problems in your marriage, there’s a strong possibility that it stems from disrespect. Respect is commonly one of the first things to go away in marriage.

I know that it can be hard to see the truth of the matter through the strong feelings you have for your wife. You love her very much, and you might still feel like nothing can change that.

But you’re feeling unhappy, have low self-esteem, or you feel like no matter what you do, it’s not good enough.

It’s okay to be having those feelings. There’s a possibility that the respect in your marriage has suffered.

In this article, I want to talk about 13 signs of a disrespectful wife. If you see your wife regularly doing these things, it’s because she just doesn’t respect you anymore.

I’ll also talk about how to react when she is being disrespectful, how to deal with the situation, and how to regain your own independence.

So, let’s get started.

Signs of a disrespectful wife

1) She publicly derides you

If your wife says things to undermine you in front of your friends, family, or even strangers, it demonstrates a huge lack of respect.

To belittle you in front of others is about the farthest thing from respect, actually.

She should try not to undermine your reputation in front of others. As her husband, you are someone that she should feel proud to talk about around other people.

A little complaining now and then in a spirit of light-heartedness doesn’t necessarily count.

But if your wife is making fun of you, telling everyone how bad you are at something, embarrassing you, or anything else similar, she’s being really disrespectful to you.

2) She nitpicks every little thing you do

An endless stream of criticism from your wife is not a good sign that she respects you.

She dissects your every move, intention, and mistake, pulling you apart at the seams and pointing out every little thing that annoys her or thinks you do wrong. Nothing you do is the right way to do things.

Every little mistake you make is psychoanalyzed and magnified times a hundred. Nitpicking is a damaging habit.

It’s a terrible feeling to know that your every move is going to receive some kind of negative response from your significant other. That’s no way to treat your spouse — husband or wife.

There’s only so much nitpicking one person can put up with. You’re in the right for feeling like you can’t take it anymore. If she keeps it up, it could lead to the end of your relationship.

Here are 32 big signs your wife doesn’t love you anymore.

3) She complains about your personality

When your wife calls you callous, selfish, bigoted, nosy, lazy, or comments negatively on your personality, she’s proving she doesn’t respect you.

Your personality is something she’s constantly trying to get you to “work on.” She’s not talking about your habits, either. She’s talking about you. Your interests, the way you look at things, your sense of humor. Everything that makes you you.

If she doesn’t have the ability to respect your personality and finds it to be unappealing to her, she’s lost her respect for you.

You are your own person and individual with a very valid and unique makeup. As your wife, she should respect you for that and admire you for that. In the same way that you do to her.

4) She lies to you

It may be hard to know when your wife is lying to you. It might take a little bit of diligence to figure out the source of your doubts and if they’re true.

How often does she accuse you of lying? It might point to a guilty conscience.

If she’s recently become distant and vague, she might be creating a smokescreen to disguise her lies.

How defensive does she get when you ask her reasonable questions pertaining to what you think she might be lying about?

Trust is so vital in a marriage. In any relationship, really. More than this, trust and respect go hand in hand.

They are so intertwined that you almost can’t have one without the other.

So if your wife is lying to you, she’s proving that she doesn’t have any respect for you or for your relationship.

If you’re wondering why she isn’t respecting you anymore, here are some interesting possibilities.

5) She flirts with people in front of you

Honestly, if she’s flirting with anyone else whether or not you’re around, it could be a sign that she’s lacking respect for you.

But if she makes the point to flirt with other people while you’re right there, it’s a blatant demonstration of her disrespect.

How does that make you feel to see your wife flirting in front of you?

It probably makes you feel worthless, foolish and disrespected. There’s no denying that she’s being intentional about it.

And if for some reason she isn’t doing it on purpose, she’s being extraordinarily careless, callous, and thoughtless. All of which are signs of disrespect.

Here are some signs it might be time to end things.

6) She’s physically distant

Physical distance in a relationship — it can mean any number of things; there are a lot of reasons why couples become physically distant.

I know in my marriage there have been times my wife and I have been more physically distant than other times. There were a lot of reasons, from stress to preoccupation to just being forgetful.

Distance in a marriage can lead to its demise. The ability to reconnect on all levels, or even some, can help save it.

Is your wife being physically distant from you? If so, it could be a big sign that she doesn’t respect you anymore. She might not think that you’re worthy of her touch. Or her disrespect for you leads her to resent the very idea of being physically intimate with you.

In any case, it’s not a good scenario, it’s not fair for you and it shows that she’s being a disrespectful wife.

7) She doesn’t make any effort

Like I mentioned at the beginning, marriage takes a lot of work, communication, and coordinated effort from both spouses.

If your wife isn’t trying to make an effort, it’s going to leave you feeling tired, exhausted, and always at your wits’ end.

It might be exactly how you’re feeling right now.

No relationship can be healthy if it’s only one-sided. I’ve been in relationships in the past where I was the only one making an effort. It was a lonely, tiring journey. One that was filled with frustration, doubt, and worry.

I tend to blame myself for things, too, so I figured it was just something I was doing.

However, take an honest look at the effort your wife is putting into the relationship, and into things like shared responsibilities, chores, and the like.

If it’s apparent that she is not pulling her weight and hardly making an effort, she is actively disrespecting you.

8) She’s emotionally unavailable

In a marriage, one of the most vital areas in which a couple should connect is emotionally. An emotional connection will keep the two of you close together, on the same page, fulfilled, and loved. With an emotional connection, respect is easy.

A strong emotional connection will lead to strong connections in every other facet of the relationship.

So if your wife is withholding her emotions from you, it’s a sign she’s being disrespectful.

When you ask her how she’s feeling, how does she respond? Does she give you insincere answers? Does she refuse to elaborate on her emotions, how things are making her feel? She might not be interested in telling you anything that’s going on in her head.

That’s not respectful to you, especially if you’re vulnerable with your emotions and share them with her.

That’s just going to lead to you being emotionally drained, exhausted, and feeling alone.

Here are some signs you’re emotionally drained, and some great remedies to help.

9) She still holds old mistakes against you

Forgiveness is a principal way to show love. Forgiveness is vital in keeping a relationship healthy. Forgiveness is a paramount way to show respect for the one you love.

You see them for who they are, flaws and all, and that doesn’t change your view of them. Even when they make mistakes, you hold them in the highest esteem, always rooting for them.

To do anything otherwise in a marriage is tantamount to disrespect. Couples shouldn’t hold grudges.

So when your wife shows you that she never let go of old grievances, she’s showing her true colors: someone disrespectful.

It never feels good to have your past mistakes waved in front of you. You want to let them go, move on, learn from them, and become a better person. That’s impossible when your spouse is doing everything she can to keep that past version of yourself alive.

Your mistakes should be learned from, acknowledged, and amended, but not held over your head.

When your wife is still holding bad blood from months or years ago over your head, she’s being extraordinarily disrespectful for the person you’ve become.

10) She insists you’re always wrong

She can do no wrong. She never slips up and never to blame for anything that goes wrong. She’s never at fault when you have an argument, it’s only ever you.

You are the only person in the relationship who can do anything wrong. Does that sound familiar?

It probably does, and it’s probably demoralizing to have to deal with. I know that I tend to blame myself more than I should anyway, so to have my spouse constantly telling me that I’m the one to blame would really take its toll on me.

If you see your wife treating you like this, remember that you aren’t always wrong and that she has a certain amount of personal responsibility that she isn’t shouldering. She’s being unfair.

Even more than that, she’s being disrespectful.

Here’s a bunch of warning signs to spot manipulative people.

11) She’s disrespectful to your family

One of the bigger hurdles that married couples face together is bringing together two different families into one.

Learning to get along with your spouse’s parents, siblings, and extended family often takes work, flexibility, compromise, and understanding. Not always do personalities mesh well between both families.

That’s okay, tension with the in-laws is common, in fact, 60% of women report having a strained relationship with their mother-in-law.

That being said, each spouse should try their best to get along and not make things worse. They should create a united front to tackle any challenges.

And you probably already understand that and have been doing your best to get along with them.

But if your wife isn’t doing the same, or in fact, she’s doing the opposite, it’s a big sign she has no respect for you.

She might disrespect them directly, confronting them and putting them down. Or she might constantly complain to you about how terrible of a family you have, how she can’t even believe that you were raised by such terrible people.

If she doesn’t respect your family, she doesn’t respect you.

12) She takes you for granted

If you find yourself trying to remedy your ailing marriage by doing more things in the hope that she’ll feel more valuable, that is admirable and noble.

But it might not be effective.

If she’s disrespectful to you, she won’t notice or she won’t care that you’re doing those things.

When she has a lack of respect for you, you and your actions aren’t valuable.

In a marriage, though, both spouses should always be grateful for each other, thankful for the effort they put into being together, and humbled that they are able to share an existence.

That kind of outlook leads to happiness, satisfaction, and solidarity.

But your wife doesn’t feel that way. She takes you for granted, she takes the work that you put into living together and being together as unimportant.

When your wife disrespects you, she doesn’t see the value of you or anything you do for her or otherwise.

If you’re struggling with your self-worth, here are some great things you can do about it.

13) She refuses to compromise

Compromise is something sooner or later every married couple will have to do.

It’s just part of having to get along with other humans. So in that sense, compromise comes into play in every relationship we have.

Equitable compromise will benefit marriage and help it to thrive. There are many reasons why compromise is great for marriage.

But compromise inherently means that both parties agree to a satisfying middle ground.

If your wife doesn’t compromise fairly, bullies you into choosing to do things her way, or just refuses to compromise entirely, she is being disrespectful.

You have just as much of a voice in the relationship as she does, and your opinions and desires are just as valid as hers.

To deny yourself those things is unfair and your marriage won’t be able to last.

She refuses to compromise with you and it proves that she’s a disrespectful wife.

Alright, so we’ve gone through 13 signs that your wife is disrespecting you. How many of them ring true to her behavior?

Remember that even just a handful of these behaviors reveals a severe lack of respect for you. Nobody is perfect, but it’s the trying that counts and the effort and the ability to follow through.

It can be hard living with someone who refuses to respect you. So how can react when she does?

How to react

It might be all too easy to react in a way that’s also disrespectful. Just remember: doing things in this way will only make your relationship worse.

It’s going to break down twice as fast if both of you refuse to show any semblance of respect.

However, that doesn’t mean you should extend yourself and live in an unhealthy relationship without doing anything about it.

Set boundaries for yourself as a means of protection so you don’t get too emotionally drained or damaged by her disrespect.

And when she lashes out and does something disrespectful, be patient and don’t escalate the situation if possible. Ask for clarification, try to diffuse the situation with kindness and choose your words wisely.

You shouldn’t just leave things at that, though.

How to deal with the situation

Try not to take things too personally. I know in a marriage it kind of has to be personal. But you don’t know exactly what’s going on in her head, how she’s really feeling, or what she’s dealing with.

It could be something big, so overreacting and taking it as a completely personal affront will usually end in the situation only getting worse.

It’s clear her disrespect is a pattern. You have to confront her about it at some point. To leave things as they are is unacceptable and unhealthy for you.

So gather your thoughts, have in mind some specific reasons why you feel so disrespected and undervalued. Pick an acceptable time to have a conversation with her about it. Be clear, concise, and above all fair. Don’t make it all about you, but be very clear about how her actions make you feel.

After the conversation, give her space and time to think about it and decide if she wants to change her habits.

If that conversation doesn’t go well, or even if it does, it’s a good idea to consider couple’s therapy. Talking to somebody about it will help you understand the situation better and you can get really great advice on how to proceed and how to stay healthy.

Here are some really great couple counseling exercises you could consider trying out.

Regaining independence

The most important thing to do when you realize that your spouse is treating you with great disrespect is to regain your independence.

It might be really hard to hear but you have to be ready for a scenario where you have to end things with your wife.

You deserve to be respected, esteemed, and loved by your spouse, no matter what.

To stay with your disrespectful wife would mean that you are siding with her.

If you stay with her, you’re essentially saying that she’s right: you absolutely do not deserve to be respected. Which isn’t true. You’d be disrespecting yourself as much as she is.

So make sure you have that self-respect and recognize when it’s time to end things. If it has to come to that.

Life is too short to allow toxic, damaging relationships to control our lives. If all else fails, remember that you are a valuable person who deserves respect. And don’t be afraid, you’ll find love and respect again in no time.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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