Hi Achokis. My wife and I are in our mid-40s and we have been married for 17 years. We have two children.
All through our marriage, my wife has been loyal and compliant, until two years ago when I started noticing a change. She no longer listens to me and answers back rudely when I question her.
She is so disrespectful and this has pushed me out there to other friends. I am considering a relationship with a close friend. What should I do?
Hi Shadrack. Thank you for reaching out. You are surely in a dilemma of who to choose: Your wife, whom you feel does not respect you and this other woman, who is a close friend.
From what you mentioned, it looks like your wife changed two years ago. The question is, what happened? What has brought that change?
There are seasons in life and people change in those seasons for various reasons. Could it be that your wife is just evolving and trying to find who she really is?
At this age of her life, she’s rediscovering herself. This comes with a lot of assertiveness and some independent streak that might be confused for disrespect or rudeness.
She might not even be aware of the changes taking place in her and so, don’t judge her harshly. It may just be you who needs to evolve with her.
You cannot continue expecting her to behave the way she did before. You need to adjust to the new her and navigate this stage of life with her.
Of course, if there are things that have made you feel disrespected, they need to be addressed. The rudeness and disrespect should not be an excuse. Even if it’s a matter of her evolving, she needs to be considerate of you.
She needs to become aware of the changes taking place in her, so as to manage it well.
Help her understand
Lack of that self-awareness may make her swing to the other extreme, where she starts bossing you around leaving you feeling disrespected.
You can suggest that you see a therapist together. That might help her become aware of what she’s going through, how that’s affecting you and what she needs to do. It will also help you understand her better, know what to do and know how you can support her and adapt to her.
You need to let her know what it is she’s doing or saying that makes you feel disrespected or that she’s rude. If she refuses to sit down and listen to you, then that’s something else.
That’s when you say she is being rude and disrespectful. In that case, you will need to still suggest seeking help from a professional so that she can see things from a different perspective.
The writers are marriage and relationship coaches