If your husband makes decisions without consulting you, it’s possible that he regards himself as the head of the household and can therefore make decisions without consulting you, especially if he is bringing more money into the household than you are. However, he may also have grown up in a home where women were subservient and expects the same from you, especially if you haven’t expressed a desire to be consulted before he makes decisions.
As a wife, you have a valuable contribution to make in all situations concerning your husband, your household, and your marriage. When your husband makes decisions without consulting you, it is only natural to feel hurt, unappreciated, and undervalued.
Establishing potential reasons why your husband makes decisions without consulting you will be valuable in helping you understand his behavior. Once you understand the potential reasons why your husband makes decisions without consulting you, you will be able to navigate ways to ensure he consults you before making decisions.
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Potential Reasons Why Your Husband Makes Decisions Without Consulting You
Here are potential reasons why your husband makes decisions without consulting you and ways to ensure he starts consulting you before he makes decisions.
1. He feels entitled to make decisions without you
If your husband is regarded as the head of your household, it is possible that he may feel entitled to make decisions without you.
It is possible that your husband makes decisions without consulting you because he does not see you as his equal. It is very difficult for you to make meaningful contributions to the decisions your husband makes if he does not consider you to be his equal.
If he does not see you as his equal, even if he did consult you on decisions, it would not be of much value to him because he values his own opinion above yours.
Naturally, you know that you are a wise, intelligent, thoughtful person who has much to bring to the table. As his wife, you are his partner, and it is important that you remind him of this. It is advisable that you expressly discuss your feelings with him so he can have the opportunity to explain his behavior and remedy it going forward.
However, if you are not open to expressly indicating how you feel, there is a more subtle approach you can take.
Consider areas in your relationship where he may feel that you are unable to make meaningful contributions or underestimates you. Make a concerted effort to show up for him in these areas, supporting him in his endeavors and gently indicating that you are knowledgeable in these areas too.
Once he starts to notice that you are knowledgeable in the things that he is interested in, he is likely to respect you more and consult you more on these areas. Soon consulting you in these areas will lead to him consulting you in almost all decisions because he will see you as someone who can offer a valuable opinion to any decision he needs to make.
2. He believes that his monetary power enables him to make decisions without you
Everyone knows that money brings power. If your husband is the one bringing in the money or earns a higher salary than you, he may be feeling that he has control because he is the one providing for you.
If you think his financial power may be the cause for him making decisions without consulting you, it is advisable that you highlight to him the various ways that you contribute to the household.
Remind him of the valuable contributions you make to your family unit. If you didn’t cook, he would have to pay someone to cook for him or buy takeout. If you didn’t clean, he would have to pay someone to clean the house. If you didn’t do the laundry, he would have to pay to have the laundry sent to the laundromat.
Even if you are not bringing money in the same way that he does, you are contributing to the household in a manner that has monetary value. All the things that you do inside the household enable him to work and bring in an income for your household.
3. You have set the standard for allowing him to make most decisions
If you have not expressed a clear desire to be part of the decision-making process, it is possible that your husband has presumed you are leaving decision-making to him.
If this is the case, you should express a clear desire to be consulted in decisions and offer your opinion in situations where he has not thought to consult you. Once you set the standard of contributing to situations, he will hopefully recognize that you have a valuable contribution to make and start consulting you before he makes decisions.
4. He comes from a family where women are subservient
The standard set by your husbands’ parents likely influenced the way he treats you. If your husband comes from a family where women are subservient, and men have all the power, this is likely his expectation for your marriage too.
It is advisable that you explore how he grew up to understand the gender roles he is used to seeing in a family dynamic. Once you have an idea of how the wives in his family behave, you will have a better understanding of the standard he is comparing with you.
Of course, the standard set by his family is not a fair standard that should be imposed on you. Therefore, it would be wise to have an open discussion with your husband to ask him what he expects of you as a wife so that you can manage his expectations.
Once you know what he is expecting of you, you will have the opportunity to express your desires and inform him about how you feel when he makes decisions without consulting you.
It can be extremely frustrating when your husband makes decisions without consulting you. He may be making these decisions without consulting you because he feels he is the head of the household, so the decision-making power rests with him. It would be valuable for you to express your concerns to him directly so that he can consult you when making decisions.
After earning his Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, Stuart gained experience working with families in community mental health settings and in the child protection sector. Since becoming a father himself, Stuart now works in private practice offering psychotherapy services. FatherResource is an opportunity for Stuart to share what he learns on his journey as a father with a larger audience.