Rudeness is always unpleasant and frustrating, and these feelings can be compounded when the rudeness originates from your own spouse. While it may be tempting to lash out at your husband or offer equally rude responses, these options are not likely to yield productive results. While you may even consider ignoring your husband's rudeness, by strategically responding to his actions, and exploring their causes, you can encourage polite, respectful treatment.
Confront Your Husband
To intervene in your husband's rude actions, approach him with your concerns. Select a time when you are both available and free from distractions. Give him specific examples of the troublesome behaviors, and how they make you feel. For instance, you might say, "I felt embarrassed and insignificant when you kept interrupting me in front of everyone at the dinner party last night." Also, tell him that his rudeness is unacceptable, and inform him of future consequences of similar actions, such as "I don't appreciate you treating me that way, and I won't accompany you out anymore if it happens again."
Disengage With Him
If your husband continues to be rude to you after you've confronted him, be prepared to follow through with any promised consequences. This may mean refusing to attend functions with him, for example. While you cannot control his behavior, you can deal with his rudeness at home by simply not responding to it. If he says, "You did a terrible job of cleaning the garage. Make sure you get it done right next time," you may opt not to acknowledge the remark. Similarly, if he demands, "Get me a drink, and hurry!" you may establish a boundary by refusing to engage in his rudeness and letting him quench his own thirst.
Explore the Cause
As you navigate the dilemma of coping with your husband's rudeness, consider its roots. He may not be aware that his actions are inconsiderate, for example, or he may be especially stressed about work or finances. It may even be a habit, states Sophie Lizard in her article titled "10 Smart Ways to Deal With Rude People." While the motivations for his behavior do not justify his treatment of you, they may better help you respond to it. If he doesn't realize his insensitivity, you are more likely to initiate change if you discuss it with him. If he is overwhelmed by his responsibilities, perhaps you can offer to help ease the burden by managing the budget or helping him organize his files for work.
As you deal with your husband's rudeness, maintain a trustworthy and comforting system of support. Confide in friends and family members, process your feelings with them, and consider their suggestions and advice. If your spouse's behavior persists, and he blatantly disrespects your attempts to manage the issue, professional assistance may be warranted. Both individual and marriage counseling may be necessary to learn how to navigate the problem -- even if that potentially means the relationship is headed for divorce. Ultimately, it is essential that you demand respect and act accordingly if you are mistreated.
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Jill Avery-Stoss is a graduate of Penn State University and a writer and editor based in northeast Pennsylvania. Having spent more than a decade working with victims of sexual and domestic violence, she specializes in writing about women's issues, with emphasis on families and relationships.