Respect is a pillar of a good and solid marriage. Sometimes we are disrespectful to our spouse without even recognizing it. Disrespect can be intentional or unintentional. Spouses should always show mutual respect and love to each other. Here are 12 ways that you might disrespect your spouse without even realizing it:
1. Talking down to them
Adult problems should not be discussed in front of the kids? We should not tell them anything mean and evil about our spouse. This might cause them to be disrespectful too. Adult matters should not be aired on the dining room table, where everyone can hear. It is best to go into our room and close the door; when we want to talk about issues that are not for kid’s ears. Try not to talk down to your spouse, alone, in public, or anytime at all. Respect builds self-esteem, disrespect can destroy any marriage.
If you get angry and want your spouse and the whole world to know it. Take a deep breath and count to ten. Stay calm and leave it until you feel better before addressing the matter. You will see things clearer and make a better decision when you are calm.
2. Interrupting when they are speaking
We should not always be the ones in control. Talking, talking, and not allowing our spouse to get a word in. Too often, one spouse is the domineering one and wants to control everything. Acting like the stern schoolmaster and their spouse might feel like the student. Don’t mistreat your spouse because they are quiet and shy and you are more outspoken. Show respect always, respect and love are closely related. Disrespect leads to a feeling of worthlessness and a feeling of emptiness. Love your spouse, try to cover their nakedness as much as possible. Be supportive, so they lost their job and actively searching. Do your best to encourage them to find a new field or new interest. Rather than saying “You‘re lazy and don’t want to work.” Help to build up their self-esteem and self-confidence. Allow your spouse to speak, and say what is on his/her mind. If you see a fault in your spouse that is really annoying to you. Then talk to them about it without being judgemental. Show them how their habit is affecting you negatively.
3. Guilt Trip
Say what you mean and mean it. Do not give a false impression to manipulate your spouse’s response. It is never wise to act as if you are in a depressing mood just to get sympathy from your spouse. Do not be angry with your spouse for no apparent reason but to gain attention. Disrespect hurts the heart. These are all wrong and will cause your spouse unnecessary emotional pain. Be genuine about your feelings and expect the understanding and love that is due from your spouse.
Do not smother your spouse with any unfair demands. Do your best not to be a spy and a stalker. Watching their every move, trying to catch them in an awkward position. Don’t go searching for things that you cannot see, you might be surprised what you will find. Your intention might be good but it’s the outcome that will be bad. It’s good to spend quality time together but not every minute of every day.
Don’t follow them if they say they are going to visit their friend or mom. Trust them, lack of trust will lead to jealousy and contention. This will break up even the strongest marriages. Give your spouse their space, to be by themselves. Don’t hang around them like glue to shoes. It is wrong to hack their Facebook account. Don’t search their phone or their wallet. It’s wrong.
5. Unfair Restriction
The last thing a spouse needs is for you to treat them like you are their mother or father. Reprimanding, telling them when and where to go and who to see. Be careful not to restrict your spouse’s movement with unfair practices. In the long run, they will resent you and might want nothing to do with you. Your spouse needs an equal and not a parent. Be considerate of their feelings and help them to grow. Don’t be constantly pushing your beliefs and driving the nails of “Be more like me” into their head. Be the loving partner that your spouse needs.
6. Blame Game
It is not a good idea to blame your spouse for everything. Blaming them for your faults, or even blaming them for everything that has gone wrong in your life. Too often we make our spouse feel inadequate making much about small things that should not take priority in our lives. Do not keep bringing up the past. Only think about good things.“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things,”(Philippians 4:8)
You need to see the positive. Build up your spouse and find good things about them to appreciate, rather than playing the blame game. Make your spouse feel special.
7. Unfair comparison
We should not compare our spouse to other people in our lives, in a negative way. Some spouses talk about their family members as if they are more important than their spouses. Some compare their spouse to their co-workers or friends, hinting that they wish their spouse could be more like that person. Allow your spouse to be themselves and only give words of compassion and encouragement.
“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman,”(Proverbs 21:19). The same applies to men. Try not to find problems when there is none. Do not look for ways to fight then makeup. A peaceful marriage is a blessing from God. Do not provoke your husband/wife to wrath. Pray for peace, try to avoid arguments whenever you can. People tend to avoid those who make them uneasy and uncomfortable. Do not be a nagging spouse. Let no idle words escape your lips. Speak only words of life over your spouse and family.
Some spouses are not satisfied with what they have. Always looking somewhere else. This can lead to infidelity and great problems. Remember David and Bethsheba. We should learn to be content with what we have. Covetousness will cause spouses to feel like they need to push themselves beyond their limit to satisfy the needs of the other.“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s,”(Exodus 20:17.) Do not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
10. Angry and unapproachable
Always try and not let the sun go down and you are still angry. Be angry and sin not. Some spouse is just always angry about everything. If this is the case then it is hard to get a good response without feeling defeated. We should try to be approachable with a pleasant personality. People should not be afraid to come to us about anything. This includes our spouse and children.“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath,”(Ephesians 4:26). Disrespect should not be tolerated.
“Honesty is the best policy.” This is always true. Too many spouses build a part of or all of their marriage on a lie. Anything built on a lie will soon fall. It is good to speak the truth about everything always. It is devastating to find out that your spouse has been lying to you. This tears down any marriage and is very disrespectful. One small lie can lead to a bigger one and before you know it, it becomes compulsive. Do not disrespect your spouse.
Marriage is a partnership. It becomes a burden when one or both spouse does not see it that way. Hiding things and keeping secrets can ruin a marriage. It is good to share everything openly. “For better or worst, “should be taken into account and practice with reverence. Nothing should be off the table. Everything should be discussed openly, with sincerity and honesty. Spouses should always remember that what is hidden in the dark will eventually come to light.
Prayer against disrespect in a marriage
Father God, I come to you in the mighty name of Jesus. I thank you that you care for me and want only the best for me. Lord help me to be a good spouse and to always show respect to my spouse and others. Father bind us together with cords that cannot be broken. Let there be mutual respect and honesty between us always. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.