There are certain foundational aspects of a successful, enduring marriage. They include trust, fidelity and honesty. Mutual respect is another crucial need for a healthy marriage.
When there is respect, you are treated by your spouse with courtesy, even if the two of you disagree and argue. You feel emotionally supported to the greatest extent you can be. You are not nitpicked and constantly criticized. You are listened to patiently. You are shown, in words and deeds, how much you mean to your spouse. Your relationship is honored with care and consideration. You never feel taken for granted, either.
When respect in a marriage deteriorates or is absent, the relationship almost inevitably suffers. As one expert put it, “When respect is missing in a relationship, there is no value or importance attached to the other person’s presence.” That’s a pretty dismal way to live with someone, at best.
What are some indications of disrespect?
Look for troubling red flags like these:
- Your spouse continually makes snide comments about your family and friends
- You always feel neglected, devalued and looked down upon
- Your spouse flirts with others even though you say it upsets you
- Your viewpoint is casually disregarded and your feelings don’t seem to matter
- Your emails, phone calls or texts do not count enough for your partner to reply promptly
- Your spouse insults you (with or without others present to hear)
- The two of you make social plans, then your spouse habitually abandons you without reason
Only you can judge how much of this behavior you’ll tolerate, but a lack of respect in your marriage usually signals greater problems. It may be worthwhile to try counseling to see if you can resolve the underlying issues that are causing the behavior.
If it does not improve and the disrespect continues, you might want to leave the marriage and get a divorce. If that happens, make sure you fully understand your legal rights throughout the process.