So I am REALLY hoping that no one was eager to read this post to learn how to actually disrespect their spouse. LOL My purpose in this post is to expose some ways that we may never have considered before as actions that are perceived as disrespectful. Now let’s be real honest here… we are fallen human beings… aka NOT perfect… and we will surely disrespect our spouse at some point in our life. However, if we can increase our awareness and heighten our detection in regard to this area, the benefits are worth it!
Clearly, I will not hit on EVERY way to disrespect your spouse… but I hope to include some ways you have not thought of before. It would be a great idea to have a discussion with your spouse after reading this post to see if you are failing in this area. If you do and mention your conversation with me in a FREE 20 minute consultation (sign up here), I will give you 50% off your first counseling session with me!
- Ignore their requests.
This may seem obvious upon reading it… but I can guarantee you there are many requests your spouse makes and you disregard… without even realizing it! It may be that the reason you disregard the request is a completely valid one: you are too busy or it’s not really that important. But by putting off requests, it shows a lack of concern for your spouse’s desires. It communicates that your thought, ideas, and agendas are more important than your spouse’s. If a request does not present a moral issue, accommodating this request communicates respect; ESPECIALLY if it was inconvenient for you to do. Inconvenience is not an excuse to ignore, it is an opportunity to show love. Now, if what your spouse is asking you to do against your moral convictions, you surely need not comply, but a serious conversation should be had so your spouse understands your convictions and reasons for non-compliance.
- Participating in activities your spouse does not approve of.
This could be a myriad of things. Going out for drinks after work, using certain apps on your phone, playing certain video games, watching certain movies or shows, talking with people you have a “history” with, texting or being on your phone during a date, eating food that is bad for you… the list could go on and on. Yes, you are a grown person. Yes, you can make your own decisions. Yes, you have freedom. Yes, by claiming all these things you are being selfish. Your excuses and justifications don’t hold ground here. If you participate in something that makes your spouse uneasy, you are disrespecting them and you can expect negative results in your relationship. What is more important? Your marriage or that thing?
- Talking negatively about them on social media or to your friends.
I see this ALL THE TIME. Just because your spouse does not have social media does not make it okay for you to slander them. Just because your spouse will never know you said something to your BFF does not make it okay for you to slander them. How embarrassing to be shamed and then have no way to tell his/her side of the sotry or to stand up for his/her self. So many of us justify this behavior by saying that we just need to “rant,” but we are really continuing to build resentment and fixate on the negatives of our spouse when we are “ranting.” This will just embitter us and cause us to regard our spouse less and less… aka disrespecting.
- Making plans without them.
When you enter into a relationship, you are no longer just yourself. You become a pair… there is now a “we-ness.” Your decisions directly effect your spouse. And your calendar is a big source of potential disrespect. Do you schedule things without thinking about if your spouse will enjoy that or what type of week at work your spouse had? Do you cram your schedule full when you know that your spouse is an introvert and needs time to revamp? Do you prioritize your side of the family more? Do you have more guy/girl nights? Are you requiring a babysitter more than your budget can afford? These are all potential ways your are disrespecting your spouse when it comes to your schedule. Decisions should be made together as much as possible. Your schedule may not end up looking much different, but at least you valued your spouse’s input and allowed them to mentally prepare or justify what is ahead.
- Talking negatively about them to your kids.
Your children are precious. And you may hate the way your spouse treats them at times. But I assure you that speaking negatively about your spouse to your kids is woefully disrespectful. How is your spouse supposed to be taken seriously by your children if you do not support him/her? How do you expect your children to have love for both of you? This causes division and forces kids to choose sides. Your spouse may do wrong things, but it is not your place to speak badly about your spouse. You can allow your spouse to answer to their own behavior or word choices to your children. If your children come to you, assure them of your spouse’s love for them and facilitate a time for them to talk to get things cleared up. If this cannot happen, let the child know you will advocate for them. You don’t have to excuse or condone behavior, but you also don’t have to shame your spouse for their choices either.
So what area or areas do you struggle in? Have I missed a way that you feel disrespected (be careful NOT to slander if you comment!!)? I would love to hear your thoughts and help you and your spouse work through these issues together. Comment below or sign up for your free consultation!