Happy marriages entail a mutual level of respect and care for one another.
So, when your husband doesn’t value you, it can feel like you’re constantly trying to guess his needs or make him happy.
Unfortunately, this difficult dynamic can also make for one-sided marriages.
Nobody wants to second-guess their value in a relationship. But if your husband doesn’t care about your well-being, that may be your everyday norm.
The relationship can quickly become toxic- and you might feel dissatisfied and depressed.
But how do you know you’re in this kind of marriage? Here are the top signs your husband doesn’t value you.
19 Signs Your Husband Doesn’t Value You
Sometimes, it isn’t always obvious to tell if your husband isn’t valuing you. You might even wonder if you’re overreacting or looking into things that aren’t there.
This may be even more pronounced if you naturally struggle with low self-esteem or if two are going through a rough patch.
That said, in a healthy and happy marriage, you shouldn’t need to question your spouse’s motives.
You shouldn’t have to wonder if your husband cares about you- he will naturally make an effort to invest in the relationship and respect your needs.
But if several of the following signs apply, it’s time to pay attention. If you have an unappreciative husband, you might continue experiencing marriage problems.
Let’s get into what you need to know.
He Always Points Out Your Mistakes
It’s one thing to call your partner out when they wrong you occasionally.
In a healthy marriage, partners are able to speak honestly to one another, even when things feel challenging.
But if your husband constantly makes you feel like you’re inferior (or a total failure), that’s a red flag. It means he doesn’t really respect you.
If he always finds something wrong, it also means that he probably perceives himself as superior to you.
In the long run, this tends to result in a dynamic where you feel like you must always be “perfect” to gain his approval.
There’s No Physical Intimacy (Or It’s Only About Sex)
Every couple has their own unique way of being intimate with one another.
How often do you two hold hands, cuddle, or even just kiss each other when you leave for work?
Does he regularly make bids for affection? Does he seem to enjoy being physically close to you?
If he doesn’t seem to value physical intimacy, there’s a good chance he doesn’t value emotional intimacy either.
He might even withhold intimacy as a way to make you feel anxious or unattractive.
Likewise, sex is one way to express love, but if that’s the only way he wants to connect with you, that may be a cause for concern.
He may only be interested in his pleasure, rather than bonding with you.
Most happy couples value making love as part of their sex life. If things feel purely mechanical, he may not be trying to connect with you.
He Pays A Lot of Attention to Other Women
Marriage is all about respect, and respect usually entails trusting that your partner doesn’t have wandering eyes (or hands).
Therefore, if your husband always seems interested in other women, that’s a red flag.
He’s either trying to make you jealous or doesn’t care about your thoughts. Neither of these situations are ideal in a healthy marriage!
He Seems to Enjoy When Women Flirt With Him
As mentioned, it’s definitely a red flag if he pays extra attention to other women. But disrespectful husbands also love when people flirt with them.
It boosts their egos and makes them feel extra valuable and important.
These husbands may also get a thrill from seeing you get jealous.
They want you to believe they are high-value, and they want you to assume that they’re the best you’ll ever get.
He Treats Other People Better Than How He Treats You
Does he forget your birthday but always send his mother or sister a card?
Does he yell at you at home only to put on a charismatic, sweet face for everyone else?
In other words, is his behavior dramatically different from yours than it is for others?
In a healthy marriage, you should be his top priority.
He should be treating you with kindness, patience, and respect- those are some of the core tenets associated with such a serious commitment.
But if you feel like you get the worst behavior of all, he is taking you and your relationship for granted.
He Never Compliments You
Does he notice when you get your hair cut or wear a new dress? Does he make an effort to praise you just because?
Research shows that compliments help people feel loved and connected in relationships. The right compliment can also do wonders for your self-esteem.
When you care about someone, you want them to know just how special and important they are to you. In this framework, compliments tend to come effortlessly.
If he never compliments you, it probably means he doesn’t think very highly of you. Or, he just might not be paying much attention to you- and that certainly isn’t a good sign, either!
He Forgets Important Dates
Nobody is perfect, but if he constantly forgets anniversaries, birthdays, or other special dates, he doesn’t prioritize them.
In a sense, that means he doesn’t prioritize you or value celebrating your time together. That’s a cause for concern.
Furthermore, a husband who doesn’t value you will also forget important dates even after you remind him.
For example, let’s say you two are set to attend a wedding this weekend. He may conveniently forget until that morning.
Then, he may even act irritated and insist that you never told him.
This dynamic puts you in a perpetual position of feeling like you owe him an apology rather than vice versa.
It’s a form of gaslighting that can make you feel incredibly undervalued.
He Always Seems Annoyed
Life can be stressful, and we all get annoyed from time to time. But home should be a safe place, and you should be a safe person for him to feel comfortable around.
So, if he always seems annoyed in your presence, it probably means he’s annoyed with you or the marriage altogether.
Keep in mind his bitter attitude isn’t your fault.
If he isn’t willing to tell you how he feels (or if he only wants to blame you), it means that he doesn’t value you.
He wants to make you seem like you’re a bad person.
He Stops Asking Questions About Your Day (Or Life)
Think about how most relationships progress during the initial stages of dating.
You two can’t stop talking to each other- there’s this insatiable need to know every detail about one another’s lives.
Of course, with time, that novelty fades. But in a healthy marriage, you care enough to stay present in each other’s lives.
You pay attention to details and ask thoughtful questions to understand your partner better.
So, what happens if your husband just stops asking those types of questions altogether? It means he doesn’t care about you if it’s a consistent pattern.
He’s either focused on himself- or he’s focused on someone else.
He Doesn’t Talk About Your Future Together
When someone is really committed to you, they enjoy planning out their future with you.
They talk openly about upcoming vacations, plans, or wistful dreams. And in these visions, you’re always included.
So, pay attention if he doesn’t (or stops) talking about what lies ahead for the two of you.
It may mean that he’s only thinking about himself- or that he is planning a future without you in it!
He Often Takes And Rarely Gives
Does your husband act stingy or annoyed when he needs to do something for you? Is he useless with giving you gifts or helping you with a specific favor?
If your husband doesn’t value you, he won’t have much of an incentive to care about your needs. Instead, he’ll only focus on what he wants.
Therefore, he’ll usually have no problem constantly asking you for help or attention. At times, it may feel like you’re doing everything for him- and that’s because you probably are!
Of course, when he does give you something, he’ll likely make a big deal out of it. He’ll act like he’s the greatest husband in the world, and he may even brag about his generosity to others.
He Doesn’t Do What You Ask Him to Do
Some guys present as agreeable, but they’re actually defiant or lazy when it comes to getting things done.
Do you always feel like your husband is all talk without actually following through? A selfish or absent husband may tell you what you want to hear.
But, when it comes to taking action, he either disappears or disappoints.
As a result, you’re stuck picking up the slack and feeling like you can’t rely on him. This pattern undoubtedly triggers resentment.
It also makes you feel like you’re the mother in the relationship, which isn’t attractive to anyone!
You Never Come First
Does it feel like everyone else’s opinions or needs come before your own? Is your husband more willing to help a total stranger before he supports you?
Is he eager to spend time with his friends or family- only to act like it’s a chore to spend time with you?
While it’s normal for healthy couples to value having their own lives, partners should agree on one core value: the other person comes before everyone else.
When that doesn’t happen, you might begin feeling underappreciated, confused, or even unimportant.
Over time, those feelings can erode the satisfaction you feel in your relationship.
He Doesn’t Miss You
What happens when you two spend time apart? Does he let you know how much he misses you? Or, does he just seem relieved about getting away?
Clingy behavior can be a serious sign of insecurity or controlling behavior. But that can also be problematic if he’s never clingy or emotional when you’re gone.
It may mean he doesn’t really feel connected to you. Or, he’s so used to having you around that he doesn’t appreciate who you are or what you offer to him.
He Is Progressively Becoming More Selfish
Maybe he valued you at the beginning of your relationship. But, over time, his compassion has faded.
He’s no longer as patient or interested. He snaps more easily. You can feel the shift, even if you can’t explain why.
If this is the case, it may signify your marriage is in trouble. Your husband might be falling out of love, or he might be involved with someone else.
Either way, increasingly selfish behavior usually indicates that he isn’t valuing you as he once did.
He Badmouths You In Front of Others
Any type of badmouthing should be inexcusable. But if he does it in front of others?
That especially means that he doesn’t care about your well-being. What’s worse is that he may be actively trying to humiliate you in front of others.
Men who do this tend to be abusive, narcissistic, or downright selfish. Either way, it’s a serious red flag in any relationship.
He Doesn’t Include You In Plans
An uncaring husband won’t make much of an effort when it comes to spending time with you.
He will, however, take to great lengths to hang out with anyone else. He will also have plenty of time for chores, hobbies, or other passions that ignite his interest.
Unfortunately, this dynamic can make any spouse feel insecure or jealous.
He might even make you feel like you’re asking for too much- when all you really want is a night together.
He Stonewalls You
Stonewalling refers to completely shutting down during moments of tension.
A stonewaller may stop talking (or only use minimal words) or leave the room during a fight. This leaves the other person feeling helpless and anxious.
If your husband is a stonewaller, you already know how frustrating the behavior is. It probably makes you feel even angrier during conflicts.
Likewise, it may trigger you to walk on eggshells around him- and that isn’t helpful, either.
You Just Can’t Make Him Happy
No matter how hard you try, your efforts just aren’t good enough.
He’s always nitpicking, asking for more, putting you down, or rejecting you. The harder you try, the more withdrawn or cruel he becomes.
It’s discouraging, but it’s also a symptom of a much greater problem.
If you can never make someone happy, it means they aren’t really interested in being happy with you.
How Do I Make My Husband Realize My Worth? (And Should You?)
My husband doesn’t value me! Is this something I can change? Can we get back on track and improve our marriage? I want him to start treating me better because this is hurting me. What do you do when your husband doesn’t appreciate you?
If you’ve recognized the problem, congratulations! You have identified a challenging pattern in your life and are now taking the initiative to do your part to improve things.
Here are some tips to keep in mind.
If you want to feel valued in your marriage, the first part of change starts with yourself. How well do you take care of your needs?
How kindly do you speak to yourself? Do you perceive yourself as a high-value person?
Valuing yourself starts with self-compassion. According to psychologist and researcher, Kristin Neff, PhD, self-compassion entails protecting, providing, and motivating yourself.
When faced with stress, it means trying to meet your needs as best as possible.
The more you can give yourself this gift, the more positioned you are to value others who think highly of you.
Stop Giving So Much
Your husband is a capable adult, and it isn’t your job to solely serve him. How often do you give into his demands to avoid an argument?
Or, when do you try to please him to keep him happy and off your back?
Try to let go of the expectation that you need to do everything in your marriage. You don’t. In a healthy relationship, there’s a mutual take-and-give.
If you’re only giving and he’s only taking, you’re setting yourself up for prolonged frustration.
Make Yourself Busy and More Unavailable
This goes in line with letting go of all the giving behavior. It’s important that you build your own identity and life outside of your marriage.
Doing so serves two purposes. First, it establishes you as your own person with your own unique needs and desires.
Second, it can show your husband that you aren’t always around to meet his needs.
Paradoxically, your absence (and your slight withdrawal) may make him desire you more.
Say No More Often
It’s okay to say no to things that no longer serve you. Maybe you don’t want to do all the chores around the house anymore.
Perhaps you’re tired of giving into your husband’s requests for sex when you aren’t really in the mood.
How he responds will provide you with revealing information about his real thoughts about you.
Does he respect you when you say no? Or does he keep pushing, guilt-tripping, or otherwise attempt to make you feel bad?
If it’s the latter, you have clear evidence that he doesn’t value you or your needs.
Get Your Support
Regardless of how your husband treats you, you deserve to feel respected. Unfortunately, an unhappy marriage can leave you feeling lonely and confused.
That’s why seeking outside support is essential. Reach out to friends, family, or other loved ones during this time.
Make sure that these people aren’t closely connected to your husband- you don’t want to question whether they’re repeating what you say to him.
If you don’t feel like you have a supportive group, therapy can help. Therapists offer confidential, secure spaces to process your feelings.
Your therapist can also provide you with valuable coping skills to manage stressful situations.
What do you do when your husband doesn’t value you?
It’s frustrating to feel like you’re doing all the work in a marriage.
It’s also painful to question whether your spouse- the person you’re closest to even cares about you.
But if your husband doesn’t value you, it’s time to reevaluate your marriage status seriously.
If you don’t, you risk things progressively worsening. Here are some important steps to consider.
Assess The Situation
Ask yourself- is this behavior chronic and consistent, or is it more recent? If it’s the former, it probably means it’s more rooted in his personality.
In other words, he isn’t likely to improve. He’s been treating you this way for a long time, and changing it will likely require extreme measures.
But if his behavior is more recent, it may be more situational. Has he been under more stress lately?
Are you two going through some new changes? Have you been more distant, snappy, or dissatisfied with him?
Asking yourself these questions- and being honest with your responses- may help you decode the situation better.
Only you can decide if it’s worth fighting for a better marriage.
Tell Him What’s Bothering You
It may be possible that your husband isn’t really aware of how his behavior affects you.
This is most likely true if the behavior is recent or stress-induced. He might take your patience for granted.
Regardless of the situation, it’s essential to be upfront. Describe the exact issue, and tell him how it makes you feel.
For example, you might say, I felt really hurt when you forgot my birthday. I just wanted some acknowledgment. Instead, I felt like I didn’t matter, which was painful.
As tempting as it may be, don’t try to match your husband’s childish behavior.
For example, don’t try to make it a competition if he gives you the silent treatment. If he trash talks you, don’t start criticizing him.
Retaliation only perpetuates harmful communication cycles. If you are committed to making the marriage work, you need to be willing to model healthy behavior.
In many ways, this means acting like the bigger person. Speak and act to him the way you want to be treated in return- even if it feels unfair.
Decide Your Boundaries
Have you set boundaries about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior?
If not, you might be enabling problematic patterns or maintaining a codependent cycle with one another.
Boundaries refer to the limits you set with yourself or with another person. They can be physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual.
Setting boundaries requires clear communication. Don’t assume that your husband can read your mind, and don’t act wishy-washy in describing what you want.
Ideally, boundaries should be flexible (which means that you can adapt and change them as needed).
But some of them will also need to be rigid and nonnegotiable.
Some potentially nonnegotiable boundaries might include:
- No name-calling
- No criticizing you in front of others
- No shouting or raising his voice at you
- No making idle threats
- No passive-aggressive comments
- No physical abuse
Setting boundaries is only part of the equation for a loving relationship.
You must be willing to implement consequences if your husband crosses your limits. He won’t get the message that you’re serious if you don’t.
So, before you share specific boundaries with him, consider what you will do if he doesn’t listen.
Discuss Couples Therapy
Failing marriages are often a result of stagnation coupled with resentment.
If your husband doesn’t support you, it may be time to seek professional guidance. Couples therapy can help you both communicate better and assert your needs more effectively.
Remember that a husband who doesn’t value you might resist couples therapy.
He may make excuses or dismiss the idea of sharing his feelings with a professional. Or, he might agree to attend- only to spend most of the session blaming you.
If that’s the case, it’s even more important to reconsider your goals in the relationship.
Marriage takes work- if he isn’t willing to put in the effort, it may be unrealistic to expect that things will get better.
It may seem like a scary choice, but sometimes the best solution is to leave the marriage altogether.
If you’ve been questioning separation or divorce for some time, consider why you keep questioning yourself.
It’s important to feel valued in your home. But, if you’re always walking on eggshells, doubting yourself, feeling undermined or ridiculed, those problems may not resolve independently.
In fact, they may worsen over time.
Consider this: would you rather have a perpetually unhappy marriage or divorce?
Instead of feeling constantly disrespected, are you willing or give yourself a chance for a new beginning?