Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but it sounds like you've got a pretty good analysis of the situation and are motivated to keep moving forward.

Yes, your wife was disrespectful/demanding. Maybe subtly so, but yes, I agree she's demanding, and I think if the situation had been reversed she certainly would have perceived you as disrespectful or demanding. There's a subtle implication there that you "should" have done what she wanted.

One way to head this off at the pass sooner is to get her involved in your decision to skip it: "Honey, there's a tupperware in the sink that needs cleaning. I'm kind of rushing to make dinner and was going to skip cleaning it, but would you like it better if I delay dinner a bit and clean it?" Then you are more likely to get a decision she is enthusiastic about.

You can't ignore her disrespect indefinitely, but at this point she is not motivated to change it, and she is likely to be more motivated later on, after she is in love. I think Dr. Harley would suggest keeping the problem on the front burner (i.e., mentioning it once a week), but only if you can do it in a way that she finds respectful. It is possible that at the moment any mentioning of it is going to be perceived as disrespectful.

Whatever you do, I would NOT mention it in the heat of the moment! That's always going to be dangerous. If she were doing the MB program with you, you could put these things on worksheets and exchange them once a week.

What you might do once a week, rather than bringing up the specific incidents, is write her a note saying that sometimes you feel disrespected by the way she talks, and that you want to hear if she has any complaints, but that you would her to be willing to make sure the way she talks to you feels respectful to you. A suggestion/request, not a demand. Then if she has any questions or doesn't understand what she's doing that feels disrespectful, you can offer examples.

Right now I wouldn't expect a positive reaction to this; I would be prepared for a negative reaction. But it will get the problem in her mind so that down the road, when you have made more love bank deposits and she feels more motivated to change for you, she understands what you need from her.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.