Respect is the deep admiration for your partner and how you show appreciation for that person’s feelings, desires, abilities, achievements and position. The daily pressures of home life and work can lead to anger, frustration and irritability, which, when continuously taken out on a spouse, can lead to the erosion of respect. If your wife is losing respect for you, this will affect her regard for your opinion, value and position within the marriage. Unfortunately, if not addressed, her loss of respect can become mutual and lead to long-term damage to your marriage, according to “Re-establishing Respect: The Key to Successful Relationship Repair” from the Centers for Family Change.
Respect is evident when your opinions and insights are valued. A respectful wife values your opinion. While you may be accustomed to her seeking your advice for major and even minor issues, you may begin to realize that your wife is doing things without consulting you more and more frequently, and she is getting you involved in fewer decisions. She may make major decisions such as redecorating or making big purchases from the joint account or credit card without consulting you first.
Change in Communication
If conversation has become much less in your relationship then this may be a result of a lack of respect. Effective communication begins with respect, according to Amy Bellows, Ph.D., in her article "Good Communication in Marriage Starts With Respect". Breakfast and dinner times may have become filled with tense or awkward silences. When your wife does speak to you, her tone may be condescending, rude or completely void of affection. She may insult you more frequently, using bad language or resorting to name calling. She may have even begun to put you down in front of friends, relatives and your children.
Lack of Concern
Besides the lack of concern for your opinion, your wife may gradually become less interested in your affairs. She may no longer ask how your day was, inquire about that difficult situation at work or join in as you daydream about plans for the family vacation next year.
More Conflict, Less Compromise
Arguments and friction may become more frequent between you and your wife. She may appear to disagree and disapprove of many of the things you say and do. She may not even be willing to listen to your side of the discussion. You feel as if she is tuning you out. She may also be less willing to compromise or find solutions to problems.
Your wife may be more subtle in her responses. This could mean that she ignores you, pretending not to have heard what you said. She may go as far as to avoid being around physically. She may not answer her phone when you call, make excuses to avoid eating with you, avoid intimacy or decline going out on date nights.
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Latoya Newman is a novelist who wrote and published her first novel in 2012. She has a background in education, research and counseling. She taught at the elementary level for eight years, and has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada.