13 Signs Of Disrespect From A Man — He Doesn’t Deserve You

Why you shouldn't tolerate disrespect in a relationship

New-Age Couples | |
Updated On: July 17, 2024
Signs He Disrespects You
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When you’re fresh in love, there is a tendency to ignore the red flags that may be pretty apparent. Your partner may speak to you in a way that makes you feel small. But, you may end up telling yourself that it’s a one-off instance. Maybe he was under stress and that’s why he snapped at you. However, when such one-off instances become too frequent, it may be time to acknowledge that you’re dealing with signs of disrespect from a man. 

It is vital to recognize these signs of disrespect in a relationship because sweeping them under the rug can take a toll not just on the health of your relationship but also on your mental health. When a man disrespects you, it chips away at your self-esteem. Low self-esteem can diminish your quality of life and change your relationship with yourself. The trouble is that it is not always easy to recognize the signs of disrespect from a man for what they are. That’s exactly why we’re here to help you identify the red flags as well as learn how best to deal with a relationship without respect. 

What Is Respect And Why Is It Important In A Relationship?

Love is simply not enough to maintain a peaceful and happy relationship. A foundation of mutual respect is equally, or perhaps, more important. Before we address the question of what is a disrespectful relationship, let’s look at what respect entails. Respect in a relationship does not mean you two wouldn’t have any differences. Respect involves listening to the other person and their point of view even if you do not agree with them. And this is why respect is important in a relationship:

  • When there’s respect, the differences of opinions between couples do not disrupt the healthy flow of conversation in the relationship
  • When couples respect each other, they resolve conflicts based on a mutual decision, which leads to happy, successful marriages and relationships
  • On the other hand, when your partner disrespects you, he may repeatedly dismiss your opinions, put you down in conversations, and talk to you in a way that fills you up with self-doubt, leading to long-term damage
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Why Do Men Disrespect Women?

First, let us not assume that all men disrespect women. Nonetheless, many men treat their partners in a manner that leaves them feeling disrespected in a relationship. Many women fail to recognize the most obvious signs of disrespect from a man due to the patriarchal nature of society. So, let’s take a look at what prompts a man to be disrespectful toward a woman:

  • Self-esteem issues: Men who have low self-esteem but think they are superior to others end up disrespecting women, especially their partners in romantic relationships
  • Past experiences: Some may have suffered at the hands of a toxic mother or an ex-girlfriend 
  • Lack of awareness: Some men might have never been in a relationship and do not genuinely know how to deal with women. So, a lack of awareness about how to treat a partner can lead to disrespectful behavior 
  • Abusive tendencies: Abusive men are incapable of respecting their partners. Since they view the relationship as a contest for one-upmanship, putting their partners down becomes their go-to mechanism to retain an upper hand in the equation 
  • Manipulation and control: Closely tied to a tendency to abuse, romantic manipulation and an all-consuming need for control can also push a man to be deliberately dismissive and disrespectful of his partner 

Related Reading: What Is Forgiveness In Relationships And Why Is It Important

13 Signs of Disrespect From A Man You Shouldn’t Put Up With

If your boyfriend/husband shows you respect, you will feel valued and cherished in a relationship. However, if your partner disrespects you, it may drive you to question your self-worth. Molly, a sales executive and a mother of two, found a lot of signs of disrespect in a relationship when she evaluated her marriage. Her husband would dismiss her point of view on just about everything, especially on matters related to parenting. 

Related Reading: 15 Core Values In A Relationship For A Happy And Lasting Bond

Seeking advice on how best to deal with this situation, she wrote to us, saying, “My partner speaks to me disrespectfully and is dismissive of me in front of our children. This has started affecting my relationship with my kids as well. Now they too are rude to me and don’t seem to listen to anything I tell them. I feel isolated within my own family, I don’t know what to do.”

As is evident from Molly’s experience, it can be suffocating to be with someone who disrespects you constantly and is controlling in nature. A relationship marked with disrespect may soon turn abusive. The first step to reclaim the respect is to identify the 13 most telling signs he doesn’t disrespect you: 

1. He makes you doubt your potential 

So, have you started doubting your potential of late? And this is perhaps because your boyfriend or husband has instilled that doubt in you by:

  • Making you feel incompetent
  • Disregarding your thoughts and opinions constantly 

This may have led to you questioning your sensibilities, dreams, your future, and your life choices all day long. This could be because he is a man with low self-esteem and feels the need to put you down to feel better about himself. If you have been wondering, “What is a disrespectful relationship?”, this dynamic is a pretty accurate summation of it.  

2. He seems distracted when you talk to him

Signs of disrespect in a relationship manifest in ways that are easy to overlook. For instance, a lack of attention. Even this basic and realistic expectation of having a partner’s undivided attention for some time during the day is not met in some relationships. Here is what it may look like:

  • He may seem distracted when you talk to him, even if it is extremely important to you 
  • He may look through his phone while talking to you
  • He may have that far-away look in his eyes that tells you that he is preoccupied with something else 
Why do men disrespect women
If he doesn’t keep his promises, he could be disrespecting you

Getting your boyfriend or husband to listen to you can seem like a mammoth task because you have to nag him for his attention. And then he may blame you for nagging him! This is one of the most telling signs of disrespectful relationships.

3. He does not keep his promises

One big trait of disrespectful relationships is when the man does not make any effort to keep his promises and disappoints you repeatedly. Here are some such signs of disrespect in a relationship: 

  • He keeps forgetting things that are important to you, and even when you bring them up, he doesn’t seem to care 
  • He might promise to call you and then conveniently forget about it
  •  He may even text you canceling dates

If your partner is not willing to put even minimal effort into the relationship, there is something deeply problematic about the way he views you.

Related Reading: 9 Examples Of Mutual Respect In A Relationship

4. He devalues your professional or life goals

Disrespectful relationships border on rudeness. No matter how unusual your dreams and goals may be, your partner is supposed to encourage you. A serious sign of disrespect is when you are looked down upon or made to feel less because of your professional choices or life goals. Or when your career is made to look useless.

A Reddit user, who is facing something similar in her marriage, says, “My job is fairly flexible because I can work at night but sometimes I do have to get on a call during the day or something. There is also an opportunity for occasional extra work if my boss needs help with anything. My husband is pretty adamant about me keeping this job for extra income. My issue is, he never sets aside time for me to work. I have to work when the kids are sleeping which would either be very early or late and occasionally if they nap at the same time.”

Toxic Relationship counseling

5. You hardly have any personal time or space 

Surprising you once in a while by visiting your workplace or when you are out with friends is a different matter. But if your partner has made it a habit to step into your personal time, space, and life, you’re probably dating someone who’s stalking you. And this is almost always because he feels insecure. This shows your man does not respect you enough to trust you and give you space and independence. Lack of respect from a partner often paves the way for suspicion, boundary issues, and codependency in relationships

Related Reading: My Boyfriend Takes Everything I Say Negatively, What Do I Do?

6. He resorts to verbal abuse often

One of the primary signs of disrespect among couples is verbal abuse. A Reddit user, who has been dealing with verbal abuse and texts from her ex, says, “I am in a much better place now and I’m seeing someone who treats me amazing. He cried when I showed him these text messages. He’s teaching me what love is supposed to be like. I don’t know how I lived like this for so long. It’s surreal looking back on this.

“I’m still dealing with the trauma of it all, but I’ve been in therapy now for a year too and it’s helped me tremendously.” In fact, verbal abuse doesn’t just damage relationships, it ends up damaging people and their self-worth for years to come. It might drain you of the last ounce of joy, self-confidence, and peace of mind. In extreme cases, it may also lead to physical abuse.

When you tolerate disrespectful people, you disrespect yourself.

– Wayne Gerard Trotman

7. He does not apologize

A relationship is a delicate balance. When one partner hurts the other, it is a foregone conclusion that apologies will be offered. However, one of the signs of disrespect from a man is that he is incapable of apologizing to you for his mistakes. Not only does he not admit his mistakes, but he probably explains to you how his mistake too is your fault. Here is an instance that will help you understand the signs of a lack of respect in a relationship better. My friend, Annie, once told me how her husband blamed her for his bad temper even as he hit her. 

Related Reading: Accountability In Relationships – Meaning, Importance, And Ways To Practice

8. He is super secretive

Transparency and honesty are the key ingredients in the recipe for a healthy and loving relationship. But if you find your partner keeping secrets from you and perhaps even lying to you, it’s a sure-shot sign of disrespect and you must delve deeper into what is really behind it. A partner who hides things may try to justify his behavior by saying that he did not want you to fret or worry or did not think you needed to know about something. But no good can ever come out of lies in a relationship.

Infographic on Signs of Disrespect from a Man
13 Signs of Disrespect from a Man

9. You are forced to transform yourself

While in a romantic relationship, we make a lot of adjustments to make things work. And that is absolutely normal. Making small changes in your life to ensure compatibility with your man is a good thing. On the other hand, transforming yourself completely and forgetting who you are as a person just to please your partner is a red flag of disrespect in a relationship. By asking you to change even the most fundamental things about yourself, your partner is essentially telling you, you’re not good enough the way you are. If that doesn’t scream disrespect, what does?

Related Reading: How Do I Stop Begging For Attention In A Relationship?

10. He puts you down in front of friends and family 

Your man should praise you for your achievements and efforts and lift you up in front of others. He may have grievances and those can be addressed privately. But if he shares your weaknesses or vulnerabilities with friends and family, with the sole aim of humiliating you or treating you badly, he clearly doesn’t respect you.

My friend, Cathy, recently told me that her boyfriend felt she was always either too loud or just did not speak up. He also picked on her for being too fat and too hippie-like or sulky. And the worst part of it was that he would often mention this in front of their common friends or at social gatherings, embarrassing her to the hilt. I told her she deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. And that’s what I’d say to you too. 

Is my boyfriend controlling? Quiz

11. You notice a lack of commitment 

A lack of commitment is one of the clear signs of disrespect from a man. Here are ways he can show commitment issues:

  • He might stonewall you when there is an issue
  • He might not be keen on fixing the issue 
  • He may wait for your anger to subside so that he does not have to make any changes to his behavior
  • Your relationship can feel like a pile-up of broken promises

These signs a man disrespects a woman simply mean the relationship is not his priority. If the onus of making the relationship work smoothly is totally on you, it’s time to introspect whether your partner is worth the angst and unfulfillment you have been dealing with.

Related Reading: Responsibility In Relationships – Different Forms And How To Foster Them

12. He often gives you the silent treatment

Silence often appears when there’s no respect in a relationship. Giving you the silent treatment means not respecting you enough to share the cause of his resentment with you. By exhibiting this disrespectful behavior, he may try to manipulate and control you. The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse, and a partner who chooses to abuse you emotionally is certainly not operating from a place of respect. As we have mentioned earlier, when a man is disrespectful to a woman, it’s almost always about control.


13. He flirts with others in front of you

What can be the worst sign of disrespect from a man? Among other things, flirting with women in front of you is one of the major and clear signs of disrespect. When he flirts with other women in your presence, or even jokingly mentions being attracted to someone else, you must know that your feelings probably do not matter to him. 

A coworker of mine, Andrea, faced a similar issue and told her husband repeatedly how hurt she was. But he went ahead with his behavior nonetheless. It was only when she threatened to leave him and take their kid away that he sat down and took some notice.

Related Reading: Top 9 Reasons Why Relationships Fail

If He Disrespects You, How To Deal With It

The importance of respect in a relationship is often minimized and overlooked, and as a result, the signs a man disrespects a woman go unnoticed. But, without respect, romantic relationships cannot survive in the long run.

Our reader Amy, a military veteran, found herself in a similar situation when she returned home to her long-term partner after her final deployment in Afghanistan. Still trying to rediscover her place in the world and find an alternate career option, Amy needed her partner Mark’s support more than ever. Instead, she found that he’d miss no opportunity to mock and humiliate her, privately as well as in public. When Amy brought up her concerns, Mark dismissed them as her “being too sensitive”.

Silent treatment indicates he disrespects youIf you’re feeling disrespected in a relationship, don’t sweep it under the carpet 

As with Amy, many women find themselves struggling to figure out how to deal with disrespect in their relationship. Sure, “cut him off if he disrespects you” seems like a great piece of advice, but it’s not always a viable option for many. So, how to deal with disrespect? Here are a few insights:

1. Don’t ignore the disrespect

Now that you recognize the signs of disrespect from a man, don’t let your partner’s disrespect toward you slide. Yes, sweeping things under the carpet can seem like a better option than having that uncomfortable conversation and probably a full-blown relationship argument. But you must call him out for any unacceptable behavior or signs of lack of respect in a relationship if you expect to see a change. If you’re clueless about what to do when a man disrespects you, the very first step to addressing this issue is to not let instances of mockery or ridicule go unchallenged. 

Related Reading: 21 Elements Of Developing Respect In A Relationship

2. Communicate your concerns clearly

“He disrespected me and I said nothing.” How many times have you lamented this? If you’ve been feeling disrespected by your husband/boyfriend for a while now, change that. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit with your partner and explain to him why you feel disrespected in the relationship
  • Outline the behavior patterns you’d like him to change so that you can foster harmony in the relationship
  • Cite specific instances and examples to put your point across so that he cannot dismiss your concerns

3. Don’t let him gaslight you

“You’re being too sensitive.” “It was just a joke.” These are classic examples of gaslighting (which are actually examples of disrespect in a relationship) you may be accustomed to hearing when your husband/boyfriend disrespects you and then brushes it off as if it were nothing. The next time your partner tries to do that don’t let him get away with it. Instead, tell him in a clear yet non-offensive tone, “I don’t think you can tell me how I do or do not feel.”

Related Reading: The 7 Types Of Boundaries You Need To Make Your Relationship Stronger

4. Set clear boundaries

Wondering what to do when you feel disrespected in a relationship? Well, in most disrespectful relationships, couples fail to define clear boundaries. So, you can handle this issue by setting healthy relationship boundaries. Here’s how to do that:

  • Take some time to ascertain what behavior is acceptable to you and what’s not
  • Communicate it to your partner clearly and unambiguously
  • Now that you’ve defined healthy boundaries in the relationship, it’s equally important to uphold and enforce them

If your partner crosses a line you don’t want him to, remove yourself from the situation and refuse to engage with him. For instance, if you’ve told him that you do not appreciate him resorting to name-calling during heated arguments and your partner does it anyway, say something like, “I’m not comfortable with the direction this conversation is going in. I need to take some time off,” and walk away.

Never make excuses for someone who disrespects you. Who they are or what they do isn’t a pass to treat you like trash!

Trent Shelton

5. Think about second chances

In an ideal world, we would all be in relationships that heal us and help us become the best versions of ourselves. Our partners would be our biggest support systems. However, life is neither ideal nor always pretty. So, take some time before making decisions about whether you want to cut him off if he disrespects you or give him a second chance.

However, remember second chances are not get-out-of-jail-free cards. And you cannot keep giving him a ‘second chance’ too many times. If despite your willingness to look past the disrespect you’ve been met with and work on the relationship, you see no change in your partner’s attitude, it may be time to weigh your options and consider moving on. After all, you should not be in a relationship where you don’t feel safe, emotionally or physically. In fact, if your bond doesn’t show any signs of a secure relationship, you better move on.

Related Reading: Power Dynamics In A Relationship – Signs, Types, And How To Find A Balance

6. Seek therapy

“He disrespected me and now wants to make amends. What should I do?” Well, if your partner has realized the error of his ways, there may just be hope for your relationship. His behavior may have been induced by certain external factors and he is truly remorseful of his actions. In that case, you can put this behind you as a rough patch and start afresh.

However, you cannot deny the issues in a relationship without respect or overlook the fact that the lack of respect may have already caused serious damage to your bond. When there’s no respect in a relationship, going into couple’s therapy can help you put this behind you and heal as a couple. If you’re looking for professional help, Bonobology’s counseling services are here for you.

7. Move on

If you’ve tried everything in your power but still find yourself wondering what to do when you feel disrespected in a relationship, it may be time to call it quits and move on. You’ve given this relationship your all and then some, but your disrespectful partner has refused to meet you halfway. Staying on despite that means telling him that it is okay for him to continue treating you the way he does.

Except it’s not okay. You deserve better. And you deserve to be with someone who sees how wonderful you are and can love and respect you for that. Don’t let the comfort of the familiar keep you trapped in a toxic relationship. Leave when you see there’s no respect in a relationship. Spend time with friends and family, or indulge in self-care. Feel good about yourself, open up to your loved ones, and be positive. Do whatever helps you move on.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What makes a man disrespect you?

The reasons why your husband disrespects you can range from low self-esteem and a patriarchal mindset to abusive behavior and need for control. Whatever the reason, remember that the lack of respect in a relationship is never okay.

2. How do you get a man to treat you with respect?

To get a man to treat you with respect, you need to stand up for yourself. First and foremost, don’t let him get away with disrespecting you. Call out his behavior then and there. Communicate how his disrespectful attitude is affecting you, set boundaries, and seek professional help to work through your issues. Lastly, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to walk away if a man continues to disrespect you.

3. Your husband/boyfriend disrespects you, should you leave him?

Leaving needn’t be the first option on the table if you’re dealing with disrespect, especially if it’s a long-term relationship and there is a lot at stake. You can try to work your way through this issue with honest and open communication, some boundary-setting, and therapy. However, if he refuses to mend his ways despite it all, you should leave him.

Key Pointers

  • Respect is important in a relationship because it maintains a healthy flow of conversation and resolves conflicts easily
  • What is a disrespectful relationship? Some of the signs of disrespect from a man are when he seems distracted while talking to you, he gives you the silent treatment, and he resorts to verbal abuse
  • How to deal with examples of disrespect in a relationship? Well, here are some ways of dealing with signs of lack of respect in a relationship: don’t let him gaslight you, don’t ignore the disrespect, seek therapy, etc.

Final Thoughts

No matter how deeply you love him, no matter how long you’ve been together, no matter how much is at stake, never ignore the warning signs of disrespect from a man. You don’t necessarily have to deal with the situation by snapping the chord but do make sure you stand up for yourself. And if you feel it’s necessary, don’t hesitate to cut him off if he doesn’t respect you. Especially if he continues to disrespect you despite being called out and told that it’s not acceptable.

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Readers Comments On “13 Signs Of Disrespect From A Man — He Doesn’t Deserve You”

  1. #2 Is a slippery slope, complain but do not nag.
    Nagging is using insulting words and patronizing your man in an attempt to change him, men (myself included) will dig in our heels and withdraw emotionally. Now a complaint is simply letting him know that what he has done to upset you, its said with patience and respect. If he ignores that he’s 100% being disrespectful to you. Respect runs both ways after all and most of us guys feel disrespected after being nagged (even when we deserve it).

    So to put it in lamens terms, we have sensitive egos and can only handle constructive criticism. So be clear and be polite and he may actually listen… unless he’s a disrespectful twat

    1. Forgot i also meant to pose a question, just curious if there was any advice available for when it is the woman and not the man being disrespectful?

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