Are you feeling disrespected in a relationship? Do you think your effort is not reciprocated? Today you’ll find the answers to your questions and you’ll learn exactly what you need to do about it.
Loving someone very often makes us forget what we deserve because we dedicate all our energy to fulfilling their needs.
But being disrespected, especially when you’re doing everything you can to make someone happy is the worst thing that can be done to you by someone.
From the first moment you start seeing that your partner doesn’t respect you as much as you respect them, there are a few things you need to do in order to make it all better.
Before that, let’s first define what a healthy relationship looks like and check the signs of disrespect in a relationship.
What Does A Disrespectful Relationship Look Like?
As the name implies, a disrespectful relationship is one in which a partner or both partners don’t feel valued. Usually, it is a relationship where one person is taken for granted and treated unfairly.
This person might also experience abuse in such a relationship. Abusive relationships are not only those that include physical abuse but emotional abuse as well.
Silent treatment, gaslighting, and stonewalling are just some of the abusive behavior patterns that happen in toxic relationships. It’s when one partner cares solely for their own needs without trying to establish mutual respect.
What’s most concerning is that many people don’t even realize that they’re in a relationship with a disrespectful person.
Oftentimes, the victims get convinced that the problem lies in them and that they need to work hard to win respect from their partners. Mental health problems influenced by low self-esteem become inevitable in such relationships.
Relationships that lack respect are bound to fail because being rude, uncaring, and disloyal are some of the biggest destroyers of every relationship.
It’s important to mention that disrespect sometimes happens unintentionally due to trauma, self-worth issues, and lack of romantic experience.
As with everything else, this toxic dynamic can be changed if both partners (especially a disrespectful partner) are willing to work on their relationship. Giving someone a second chance won’t work if that person is not willing to work on themselves.
What Are The Signs Of Disrespect In A Relationship?
The silent treatment, lack of support, and gaslighting are some of the most common warning signs of disrespect in a relationship. If you notice the following signs of disrespect in a relationship, don’t ignore them:
Lack of active listening
Every healthy relationship is based on healthy communication. This doesn’t include only talking but active listening as well.
As a matter of fact, listening has become greatly underrated and if this is one of the problems you are facing in your relationship, then you know something’s not right.
There are many forms of listening failures and here are the three most important ones:
- Distracted listener
Do you feel like you’re talking to a wall when talking to your partner? Do you feel like they are ignoring you a great deal of time when you’re talking? Is there a lot of interrupting when you talk to them?
If your answer is yes to at least one of these three questions, these are clear signs of feeling disrespected in a relationship.
The silent treatment
Arguments are a natural part of every single relationship and they are actually healthy. But if one partner gives the other the silent treatment during or after the argument, then we’re talking about a clear sign of disrespect in a relationship.
The silent treatment aka stonewalling is one of the sneaky techniques mostly used by narcissists for the sake of torturing their partner’s mind, controlling their emotions, and passively forcing them to take the blame.
If they give you the silent treatment, they are deliberately ignoring you only to play with your mind and force you to overthink. This is a form of emotional abuse because the other partner is being both manipulated and disrespected.
Setting healthy boundaries in a relationship is a must. I like to see boundaries as invisible lines that both partners should respect enough not to cross without permission.
Disrespectful partners certainly don’t care about that. They push the other partner’s limits by crossing the boundaries and making them feel uncomfortable.
One of the most common examples of boundary-crossing is sharing intimate details about your life with other people, flirting with others, invading your personal space, and so on.
There are many types and sub-types of boundaries and here are the four most important ones:
- Physical boundaries
- Emotional boundaries
- Sexual boundaries
- Spiritual boundaries
If any of these boundaries are crossed not only once but multiple times, then we’re talking about disrespect in a relationship.
Disregard for personal space or choice
Is your partner using social media to control you? Are they limiting your personal space and freedom of choice? Do you feel like you’re not yourself any longer in a relationship?
If yes, chances are you’re being disrespected in a relationship. Remember that you’re an independent human being and others should respect your personal space (and vice versa).
If your partner refuses to do so, then it means that they are not giving you enough space to be who you are.
They are not respecting you enough to allow you to express yourself and make your own choices. Of course, sometimes your choices will turn into mistakes but as an independent human being, you have every right to make mistakes from time to time.
And you have every right not to be judged for it. In some cases, disrespectful partners turn into stalkers and legit abusers. It’s when they demand to be in control of your every move and turn you into the prisoner of your own mind.
Flirting with others
Having a hard time saying no to flirting with random people is a huge sign of low self-respect and lack of respect for the significant other. Flirting with others includes both virtual and real-life flirting.
As a matter of fact, this doesn’t even have to be direct flirting. It could be a comparison of you to others or mentioning that they are attracted to someone else.
Doing this indicates that the disrespectful partner obviously doesn’t care about their partner’s feelings. They don’t choose words in front of their partner which means that they are probably not doing it when they’re alone as well.
Emotional infidelity is oftentimes more destructive than any other type of affair. Flirting with others can leave long-lasting consequences on a disrespected partner.
Repeatedly hurting feelings on purpose
Do you repeatedly get hurt on purpose? Do you feel like your relationship is no longer your safe haven as it used to be before?
Being in a relationship with someone means opening up to each other, establishing trust, and respecting your differences. Getting hurt from time to time is a normal occurrence in every relationship but if it happens repeatedly, consider it a red flag.
Here are a few ways in which a disrespectful partner hurts their partner’s feelings on purpose:
- Verbal abuse (screaming, verbal attacks)
- Throwing accusations
- Bringing up things from the past
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between constructive criticism and deliberately hurting your feelings whenever they have a chance.
Lack of effort and attentiveness
There’s a lot of relationship advice out there but this one is my favorite: If there’s a lack of effort in a relationship, there is no reciprocity.
You might think that it’s not a big deal if your partner refuses to help you carry something heavy, or if they no longer do those little things like kissing you goodbye and similar.
Do you think your partner even notices when you need help with something? If not, they are not giving you enough attention because they are solely focused on themselves which, again, brings us to the toxic zone of disrespect.
Acting selfishly is, indeed, one of the biggest signs of disrespect. If you need to remind them of the fact that you too have feelings, it’s time to have an open and honest conversation with your partner.
Lack of support
Lack of support = lack of respect. If your partner seldom offers you support and they are never here when you need them, then who are they to you? Can you even call them your partner?
Of course, both of you have different dreams, pursuits, and preferences but you should always have one thing in common and that is supporting each other no matter what.
Your partner is supposed to be your best friend as well. You shouldn’t feel guilty for needing their support about something you’re passionate about.
If they don’t care about your life at all and act distant, then they’re not even trying to be your partner. Needless to say that this is another form of disrespect in a relationship.
If you feel happy and proud about something you accomplished, your partner should acknowledge it instead of being indifferent about it. The same thing applies to being there for your when you REALLY need them.
If they constantly make excuses only to avoid listening to you, comforting you, and helping you with things, you should definitely re-evaluate your relationship.
Dishonesty or gaslighting
Without a doubt, dishonesty is one of the most destructive behaviors in a relationship. This doesn’t only include cheating because lying is so much more than that.
Did you know that we can lie without even saying a single word? Simply pretending that you’re happy when you’re not is a type of dishonesty because you should be willing to share things with your partner (be it good or bad).
When two people hide things from one another (be it big or small) they are creating a huge gap between them. Think about this as well: If your partner can’t be honest with you, can you trust them with more important things?
Imagine that your partner tells their best friend something extremely important but doesn’t share it with you. When you find out about it, you can’t help yourself but feel betrayed, right?
A disrespectful partner can also use gaslighting techniques. This is a form of psychological manipulation where one person manipulates the other into doubting their own sanity.
The abuser makes the victim question their judgment, perception, etc. which makes the victims feel anxious and confused.
Inconsiderate personal habits
Feeling irritated by your significant other’s quirks is a natural thing (especially after the honeymoon phase). Perhaps you’re irritated by their way of eating, being impatient, and similar.
Here’s one thing about my partner that can annoy me more than anything else: TOO MUCH talking.
Given that I’m an introvert, too much talk can drain me but I never told my partner to shut up because it would be disrespectful. When I need some time and space for myself, I simply tell him and he understands.
You see, the difference between these “cute quirks” and the toxic ones lies in the way your partner treats you. Some personal habits like smoking in front of you even if you’re asthmatic are simply rude and inconsiderate.
If your partner doesn’t show understanding and doesn’t show a willingness to change some things that are negatively affecting your health, then they’re being disrespectful.
Refusal to compromise
Always getting what you want in a relationship is simply not possible. Well, it is possible but then we’re talking about nonreciprocal aka toxic relationships.
One of the signs of feeling disrespected in a relationship is a refusal to compromise. It doesn’t matter what it is about, sacrifices and compromises shouldn’t be a matter of choice.
Both partners should be willing to listen to each other’s desires and wishes instead of only focusing on themselves. If your partner is not willing to compromise, this means that they don’t really care about your happiness.
Refusal to compromise = not caring about your happiness = a lack of respect.
It’s important to accept the fact that your decisions and choices aren’t wrong or right. The same thing applies to your partner. Different opinions exist to be respected and not manipulated.
Repeatedly broken promises
Is your partner constantly making promises but seldom or never delivering on them? If yes, then this is another red flag in a relationship.
We all need to understand that sometimes people break their promises when something unexpected happens and that’s okay. It’s not a problem if it happens once or twice but if it happens repeatedly, something needs to be changed.
Partners who truly care about each other will always give their best to deliver on their promises no matter what. That’s the main difference between a disrespectful partner and a respectful one.
You know a partner respects you if they don’t forget any appointments and pay attention to things that are important to you. Also, if they break their promise, they will make sure to apologize and make it up to you.
That’s how you know that they are truly sorry about it and that they will give their best to keep it from happening again.
Refusal to spend time with significant other’s friends and family
When two people are in a relationship, their friends and family also come into the equation. Getting along with significant other’s friends and family members is expected both from you and your partner.
It’s true that you can’t be best friends with every single friend and family member of your loved one but respecting them and being polite is something everyone can do.
If your partner refuses to spend time with your people, it is a sign of disrespect. This is often accompanied by the following:
- Throwing insulting comments
- Showing up late to appointments
- Passive-aggressive behavior
- Acting weird and impolite during meetings
- Forcing you to choose between them and your friends/family
How many of these is your partner doing? If they are guilty of at least one toxic behavior from the bulleted list, then you know they are being ultimately disrespectful.
Pressure to transform yourself completely
Unconditional love never asks you to change or become something you’re not. When someone loves you and respects you, they will love you for who you are and not for who they want you to be.
Truth be told, there is always some space for improvement and we shouldn’t be satisfied with mediocrity but this doesn’t include pressure to transform yourself completely.
If your partner is constantly pointing out both small and big things about you that “need to be changed” and pressures you to do so, then you’re not in a healthy relationship.
Instead, this is one of the signs of feeling disrespected in a relationship. If they are not giving you enough space to be who you are, then you know they’re not respecting your essence and uniqueness.
Trying to change you completely is one of the most selfish things one could do. If they are acting this way, you can be sure that their affection and love are questionable as well.
Disregard for financial security
Devotion doesn’t only include emotional security but also a financial one. Respectful partners are devoted to sharing things with one another.
Let’s say that both partners have a job and they’re both paying the mortgage. When one partner suddenly loses a job, what does the other do? Should they disregard their financial security or demand them to pay even if they don’t have money at the moment?
A relationship is a teamwork. A partner who cares only about their own needs without thinking about both of you is disrespectful and selfish.
Relationships should be 50/50 in everything but when something unexpected happens (like the loss of a job) the other partner should be understanding and ready to help.
At the end of the day, both emotional security and financial security are interconnected aspects and they simply can’t be seen as separate units.
What Do You Do When You Feel Disrespected In A Relationship?
When you feel disrespected in a relationship, the best thing to do is communicate and let your partner know how you feel.
Give them some time and space to think about their actions. If they’re ready to work on their behavior, then you can try to establish a respectful and healthy relationship. Here’s what you can do:
Of course, the first thing you can try to do is have a serious conversation with them about the issue. This will help you establish a respectful relationship.
You have a burden on your heart and you have to get it off your chest and if they love you, they will listen to what you have to say. So, have a sit-down, take a deep breath and talk.
This is the moment when you can come out and say everything that you have seen to be an issue in your relationship.
If you are being disrespected, find a way to be direct, as there is no need for anything but the truth.
Don’t jump to conclusions
If you’re feeling disrespected in a relationship, don’t just jump to conclusions. Maybe they had a rough day. Maybe you said something to offend them.
Maybe someone made them angry at work and they didn’t know how to handle it.
There are so many possible scenarios that could have happened before they came home to you and before you made the assumption that they don’t respect you. Think it all through before you form a conclusion.
Take time for yourself
If there’s one thing I know about relationships, it’s the following: It is really important to take a little time for yourself, especially if you and your partner usually spend too much time together.
Go somewhere alone for a few days to clear your mind and maybe make them see what they have done wrong simply by being away from them for a while.
Also, this alone time gives you all the necessary space to do some self-reflecting and to see what is happening in your relationship from a calm perspective.
Ask yourself if it’s something consistent
How many times in a day do you feel disrespected in a relationship? Did it happen just once or is it more often than that?
Have you felt disrespected on a daily basis since the very beginning of your relationship? Because if yes, this isn’t the relationship for you, my dear.
This one is the hardest thing to do but ignore your partner’s disrespectful behavior for a while and see how they react.
After a while, see if it has gotten worse or maybe it has improved and your relationship is better now.
It could be very much possible that your partner continued to throw around mean comments because you laughed at them, even though you didn’t give them a reason to believe that it was insulting.
Maybe you became so angry at them that they thought it was cute. You won’t know until you try avoiding and ignoring these situations completely.
You and your partner might be throwing little sarcastic comments at each other the entire time and it’s just how you function.
But it’s very important to establish boundaries as to when it’s comedic and sarcastic and when it’s just borderline insulting. Make boundaries on how much you can handle and what is just very disrespectful.
Don’t play along
You can either ignore your partner as said before or you can simply play your own little game and kill them with kindness.
When our partner disrespects us, we tend to play along and try to pay them back but don’t do that.
Just turn the other cheek at times and if they can’t see how wrong their actions are then they are simply not the one for you.
Learn to say “No”
Many times when our partner disrespects us it is because we give them the opportunity.
I know that it might sound crazy but how many times have you done something without truly wanting it?
It’s all about learning to say “No” at times and not go along with everything they want. Sometimes it’s best to go to sleep rather than say “Yes” without meaning it.
Stand up for yourself in the moments when you feel disrespected
After you have had a conversation with your partner about them disrespecting you, every time you see a red flag, stand up for yourself.
Don’t just take the insult or the mistreatment but instead tell them that you have had enough of their abuse. If you are not going to stop it this way, then it’s going to go on forever.
I am so sorry that the last one has to be this harsh but sometimes the only way to make someone stop their mistreatment of you and their insults is to simply leave.
Your heart may be breaking and you will be hurting for a while thinking about what went wrong but just remember that you have to respect yourself first.
You teach people how they should treat you and if you continue hanging around even after they have done some nasty things to you (and never apologized for it), then you are just encouraging them.
Once you realize that there is nothing you can do to make them stop, then it is the right time to break up, pack your things, and hit the road (Jack).
What Is A Relationship Quotes
Instead of writing about what a healthy relationship looks like (or should look like), I’ll let you dive into the sea of these inspiring relationship quotes. If nostalgia hits you hard while reading these quotes, then you know your relationship is no longer in the healthy zone:
- “Every good relationship, especially marriage, is based on respect. If it’s not based on respect, nothing that appears to be good will last very long.” − Amy Grant
- “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” − Morrie Schwartz
- “A healthy relationship is a feast of affection/giving for both people; not one receiving crumbs and trying to convince themselves it’s enough.” − Shannon Thomas
- “The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but to hold hands.” − Alexandra Penney
- “Real love is not based on romance, candlelight dinner. It is based on respect, compromise, care and trust.” − Shahzeb Afzal
- “A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams, or your dignity.” − Dinkar Kalotra
- “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” − Lao Tzu
- “The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.” − Neale Donald Walsch
- “A great relationship is about two things: first, find out the similarities, second respect the differences.” −Unknown
- “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” − Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- “Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you. Is the way to build a relationship.” − Walter Winchell
After reading all these signs of feeling disrespected in a relationship, I totally understand that you’re even more confused than you were before. As always, don’t overthink things.
If your partner is acting disrespectful for a while now, you have probably noticed it but you didn’t want to see it as such. Perhaps you made excuses for their behavior or hoped that something will change, which is also okay.