When you feel that your spouse has no respect for you, it can make you have feelings that seem to conflict with each other. On one hand you think that this person that you love and cherish values you but on the other hand, you feel that they don’t appreciate you when they don’t show you respect.
Having disrespect in any relationship can make you feel unimportant and can even make you feel anger towards that person. Dealing with this on your own can make you have bad feelings towards your spouse. The best way to deal with this is to talk things over before it’s too late.
Talking about how someone makes you feel can be hard, especially if you feel that you have been disrespected over and over again. But this is something that you have to do, and you need to learn to stand up to your spouse so that you can save your marriage.
Before the Talk Begins
Here are some things that you can do before the talk begins so that you can have a clear mind and a clear heart:
- Know before the conversation starts what your spouse did that made you feel disrespected. If the conversation starts in a positive way, chances are it will end in a positive way as well.
- Be able to tell of how the disrespect that your spouse showed you hurt you. How did it make you feel? Did they make you feel unvalued, unimportant, betrayed, or what?
- Give your spouse a heads up that you want to have a conversation. Say something like, “I need to talk to you about something important to me. When can we have this conversation?”
- Make sure that when you are planning to have the talk that you are talking calmly and kindly and that you are not showing anger or disgust towards your spouse.
When the Talk Happens
Here are some things to do when it is time to have the talk with your spouse:
- Ask your spouse to listen and to hear you. Let them know that this isn’t a talk to put them down or to tell them how bad that they are but that you want them to understand how you feel.
- Don’t say things like, “You should have done this,” or “You never treat me,” but instead talk about how it made you feel. Tell them what they said and how it made you feel when they said it.
- Have an open mind and an open heart and let them have a chances to speak.
- Even if you are being open, don’t let them control you or put down your emotions. You are allowed to have emotions and you should be allowed to talk about them.
- Look at things from the way that your spouse feels. Maybe there was a misunderstanding. If so, even though your feelings are real, if you hear it from their point of view then maybe you can understand.
- If your spouse was disrespectful for you, give him the benefit of the doubt to understand and to apologize.
Setting Ground Rules for the Talk
It is always important to set some ground rules for the talk. Here are some rules to set:
- If the emotions get too strong, either person can ask for there to be a time out and then the talk can continue the next day.
- There should be no attacking each other.
- Remember that you are married, and you love each other.
- There is no goal of being the best but to solve the problem.
- You should never be against each other but should be a team.
- No belittling each other.
- Don’t get defensive.
- You don’t have to prove yourself.
- Express your feelings and your thoughts in a calm manner. Let them get the chance to see where your feelings are coming from.
Then, if you still leave the conversation feeling that it wasn’t resolved and you feel that you were still disrespected, then chances are there might need to be some outside counseling. If you feel that you are being emotionally abused, then you need to get help.
But, if you feel that the disrespect is small and you want to respect each other more, keep having the conversations until you are able to get to a healthy agreement in your marriage. You can do this!