Living with an arrogant husband can be irritating as well as stressful, but learning how to cope with his bad behavior can help. Understanding the root causes for his arrogance can give you a new perspective on why he acts this way and make it easier to tolerate. But you also need to strengthen your self-confidence and recognize your own self-worth. Know what your limits are so you can decide how much you're willing to put up with.
Causes of Arrogance
Your arrogant husband probably seems to have an over-sized ego that takes pleasure in putting others down. But usually this bravado is a defense mechanism developed to cover up his lack of healthy pride and genuine self-worth. Arrogance often evolves from an attempt to compensate for some painful past experiences that lowered self-confidence, suggests clinical psychologist Michelle Roya Rad in the Huffington Post article, "How to Deal With Self-Centered People." You might be able to conjure some compassion for your husband if you remind yourself his arrogance stems from his hurt and shame.
Assert Your Rights
It's going to take a toll on your marriage if your husband frequently forces his opinions on you. Arrogant people are often competitive, manipulative and disrespectful as well, warns clinical psychologist Melanie Greenberg in the article "How to Keep Your Cool with Competitive People" on the Psychology Today website. Your husband's tactics might leave you feeling disrespected and lower your self-esteem if you don't take charge of the situation and change the dynamic between you. Assert your rights in your interactions with your husband, but don't attack him or get into arguments. Don't challenge every arrogant assumption he makes, even if you're certain you're right. Make clear I-statements about what you are feeling and thinking. Establish your boundaries and let him know what you will no longer tolerate. For example, you could inform him that the next time he disrespects you in public you will leave the room, then follow through if necessary.
Don't rule out the option of seeking professional help. If your husband's arrogance stems from deep-seated personality flaws, he's probably having difficulty in his professional life as well as with his friends and other family members. Chances are he'll need professional help to understand what he's doing and why before he's able to change. Marriage counseling can help the two of you develop healthier ways of communicating with each other. If he refuses to seek help consider going alone so you can build your own self-esteem, learn better coping strategies and how to give him an ultimatum that might change his mind.
It's frustrating to live with arrogant behavior every day. Find ways to reduce your levels of stress. Keeping a journal might be a safe outlet for you to vent your frustration without needing to confront your husband in an argument. You might also gain insight into which specific behaviors of your husband are the most distressing for you and deal with those first. Find time to relax and have fun without your husband. For example, take a relaxing bath, go for a long walk, or meet a friend for coffee. Take care of yourself by exercising regularly, eating healthy and getting a sufficient amount of sleep.
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Freddie Silver started writing newsletters for the Toronto District School Board in 1997. Her areas of expertise include staff management and professional development. She holds a master's degree in psychology from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, focusing on emotions and professional relationships.
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