Signs of lack of respect in a relationship can be a worrying indicator for the future of any romantic partnership. That’s because a relationship cannot survive on love alone. A passionate, whirlwind romance can bring two people together. But it takes trust and mutual respect to build lasting relationships.
In the absence of it, even the strongest connection can come undone sooner or later. So does that mean when respect is lost in a relationship there is no hope for the future? Well, not necessarily. If you and your partner can recognize this worrying tendency for what it is and take measures to rein it in, it is possible to turn things around.
For that, you need to recognize that you’re dealing with disrespect in a relationship. Let’s take a look at how disrespect in a relationship becomes apparent, why respect in a relationship is important, and how to catch the signs of lack of respect in a relationship.
What Constitutes Disrespect In A Relationship?
Respect is defined as a “feeling of deep admiration for someone”. So, naturally, disrespect in a relationship would be the exact opposite of it. But when it comes to human relationships, pinpointing what is admiration and what is not isn’t easy.
Does admiration, and by extension, respect in a relationship mean subjugation? Or one partner being subservient to the other? By that measure, does standing up for yourself amount to disrespect in a relationship?
No, no, and no. Disrespect in a relationship can be accurately described as operating from a place of total disregard for a partner’s feelings, emotions, needs, and aspirations, and not attaching any importance to what your partner seeks or expects from you.
Dealing with disrespect in a relationship doesn’t just mean putting up with a partner who abuses you verbally or doesn’t fulfill your emotional needs. An exasperated rolling of the eyes, making insensitive jokes or remarks, using cutting sarcasm to pull a partner down, taunts, lack of support, patronizing behavior can all amount to signs of lack of respect in a relationship.
In short, if one partner treats the other in a way that they themselves would never stand for, it can be considered disrespect in a relationship.
The Importance Of Respect In A Relationship
Before we can get into the signs of lack of respect in a relationship, we must first understand why it’s so imperative to have respect in a relationship. What are the reasons to respect someone? Can a relationship survive without respect? Plus, how does one even show respect?
Just as a rolling of the eyes is enough to show disdain, the smallest act of kindness can at times be enough to respect and love in a relationship. Without overstating its value, we can confidently say respect in your relationship might just be the differentiating factor between a dynamic that encourages growth and one that ends up suffocating you.
Let’s take a look at why respecting your partner is important, and what it’ll help you achieve.
Related Reading: 5 things people respect most in their partner
1. Respect in a relationship begets trust
If there’s a lack of respect, there’s a good chance the relationship suffers from trust issues as well. Respecting your partner, their opinions, and decisions will never leave you doubting their commitment to you and your relationship. Plus, when you respect your partner’s abilities, you will trust them enough to be able to come out on top of pressing situations.
Respect and love in a relationship go hand in hand, as does trust. Perhaps these are the most important cornerstones of a relationship, and one cannot exist without the other.
2. You accept your partner in their entirety
As is the case with couples who are infatuated and not in love, you may notice them enduring the less pleasant aspects of their partner’s personality, in an attempt to stay infatuated with the ones they like. When people are in love and truly respect each other, they accept each other in their entirety, since the respect they have for each other outweighs the negatives of their personalities.
No, respect will not negate the unfavorable aspects of your partner and make you love everything about them. Everyone has a few things they could work on, but when your partner respects you as a person, those unfavorable aspects won’t affect the way they think about you.
When there’s respect and love in a relationship, partners won’t cherry-pick the qualities they like in someone, rather, they’ll accept them in their entirety, just as lovers should.
3. Respect will dissuade you from sabotaging the relationship
When there is little to no regard for a person’s needs and wants in a relationship, damaging scenarios like infidelity or emotional abuse are more likely to take place. On the flip side, when there’s ample respect in a relationship, you’re less likely to experience situations that put the foundation of your relationship in doubt.
In a dynamic where emotional/physical abuse is prevalent, there’s undoubtedly a lack of respect in each of those relationships. Respecting your partner isn’t just about doing the right thing by each other, but also cultivating the relationship better than any anniversary gift could.
4. Respect stays constant where your love may change
A marriage that stands the test of time likely isn’t going to feature the exact same people it did when the marriage was first established. Meaning, over time, you two will change and so will your love. Think about it, how can the type of love you experience be the same when you two have changed so drastically?
No longer are you two the starry-eyed lovers who are head over heels for each other, dreaming about each other when you’re apart. Now, you dream of getting your own bed when you’re together. What keeps couples together during the changes is respect and lots of it. If you’re looking for reasons to respect someone, perhaps the biggest one is that “I want to grow old with you” won’t really be a possibility without respect.
5. Respect teaches you patience
During a heated argument, an intrusive thought of the most hurtful thing you can possibly say might pop up into your mind. What keeps you from giving voice to those damaging thoughts is respect. A raised voice, an inconsiderate abuse thrown your partner’s way, a deeply hurtful remark, each of these are enough to cause serious rifts between you two.
When there’s inherent love and respect in a relationship, you’ll learn to be patient, not lose your cool and accept the flaws your partner brings with them, and vice-versa.
Can a relationship survive without respect? Only when everyone involved is striving to re-attain the lost respect. The importance of respect in a relationship cannot be overstated, and it’s clear to see how a relationship without respect is one without happiness. Now that you know its worth, let’s get into the various signs of lack of respect in a relationship, lest yours go down a turbulent path.
21 Signs Of Lack Of Respect In A Relationship
When couples talk about their relationship problems, a lack of respect features as a common lament. Though it is not considered as detrimental to a relationship as infidelity, cheating or abuse, dealing with disrespect in a relationship can chip away at your bond slowly but surely.
Have you ever felt slighted or insulted by your partner’s actions? Have their words left you feeling crushed and hurt? These feelings are certainly a manifestation of disrespect. However, identifying such behavior for what it is can be hard.
That’s why we bring you these 21 clear signs of lack of respect in a relationship so that you can identify the red flags and take corrective measures before it is too late:
1. Your partner doesn’t make time for you
As romantic partners get caught up in the rigamarole of mundane routines, a few spells where you both feel distant and out of touch are normal. However, if your partner just doesn’t make the effort to make time for you, it’s can be because they don’t respect and value you enough.
Is your partner always busy on the phone? Or too busy doing their own thing to connect with you? These tendencies can be among the common signs of disrespect from a man. In a healthy relationship, partners do their best to not let gadgets pull them apart.
2. No regard for personal space
On the other end of the spectrum of disrespect is a tendency to overwhelm one’s partner so much that their personal space and freedom become non-existent. Picking up a fight or getting into an argument if a partner wants to spend an evening with friends or is too busy to make it home for dinner are among the signs of a disrespectful wife.
Related Reading: A successful marriage needs not fleeting love, but lasting respect
3. Not consulting each other
What are some of the signs of no respect in a marriage? If this question has been on your mind, pay attention. If, as life partners, you and your spouse don’t feel the need to consult each other before making decisions big or small, it’s a manifestation of the fact that you don’t value each other’s opinions very much.
Besides, finding out about what your SO has been up to from a third person can be extremely crushing and hurtful. It is quite an indication that they don’t respect you or your feelings.
4. You feel unheard
It’s one thing if your mindless banter doesn’t register with your partner. But if you’re telling them something of significance and they’re only half-present in the conversation, it is one of the most glaring signs of lack of respect in a relationship.
Being a good listener is an important element of being a better partner for a better relationship. If your partner cannot give you their undivided attention in moments you most need it, it speaks volumes about the value you hold in their eyes.
5. Poor communication
When respect is lost in a relationship, communication problems automatically begin to take hold. In such a scenario, when one person says something, the other doesn’t listen. Or any and every difference of opinion leads to raging arguments where the sole objective is one-upmanship and pulling each other down.
Apart from being one of the tell-tale signs of lack of respect in a relationship, it is also a telling example of how disrespect can become a harbinger of myriad other relationship problems.
6. Your partner is critical of you
‘My spouse has no respect for me or my feelings.’ You can find yourself stuck with this unshakable feeling if your partner is overly critical of everything you do. From the way you dress to how you speak and conduct yourself, from how you perform at work to the way you manage your home, nothing you do is ever good enough for them.
If it feels like finding faults with you is your spouse’s favorite past time, there is no doubt that they disrespect you.
7. Your relationship is riddled with lies
Honesty is the hallmark of a healthy relationship. By extension, lies and dishonesty are indicators that your couple dynamics are problematic and flawed. If you have caught your partner out on a lie more often than not or are guilty of not being truthful to them, count it as one of the signs of no respect in a marriage or relationship.
Whether these are ‘harmless’ white lies or something more serious, the fact that either of you feels that your partner doesn’t deserve the truth reflects a fundamental lack of mutual respect.
8. You’re not their priority
Prioritizing your partner is not just a sign of love but also of the respect you have for them. By putting them first, you are letting the other person know that you value them. If your partner doesn’t treat you as THE priority in their life, it means that the virtue of respect is missing from your relationship.
9. They don’t value your time
Let’s say you and your partner agree to meet for a dinner date at 7 but they don’t show up for another hour. Or you ask them to accompany you to an event that’s important to you and they end up delaying your arrival there. Or you’re getting late for work but they hog the shower before you and take their own sweet time to finish up.
These may seem like small things and your partner may not be consciously doing it to disrespect you but these are signs of lack of respect in a relationship. On a subconscious level, they don’t respect you enough to attach value to things that are important to you.
10. You’re subjected to the silent treatment
All couples fight, argue, disagree. But it is how two partners resolve a conflict that conveys how robust their relationship is. If resorting to the silent treatment is your partner’s way of reacting to differences, it’s a hallmark of dealing with disrespect in a relationship.
They are using this twisted manipulation tactic to control your mind. Perhaps even, conveying to you that the onus of resolving a fight is on you because they have an upper hand in the relationship.
Related Reading: Is indifference or disrespect equivalent to cheating on spouse?
11. There are trust issues in the relationship
Trust and respect in a relationship often go hand-in-hand. When you trust someone, you naturally respect them. When you respect someone, you cannot possibly not place your trust in them. However, if you or your spouse struggle to trust each other, it’s one of the most common signs of no respect in a marriage.
This lack of trust may be stemming from certain past actions that left either of you feeling betrayed. But the fact that you cannot take your partner’s word at face value or feel the need to cross-check their actions, indicates that you don’t respect their sense of integrity and honesty.
12. Giving attention to other people
Say you and your partner are at a party, and instead of being by your side, you find them flirting with your friends or fawning over their coworkers. Such a public display of valuing someone else over one’s romantic partner can be among the crushing signs of lack of respect in a relationship.
13. Making derogatory remarks
Partners in a healthy relationship lift each other up. When respect is lost in a relationship, this sense of being a team also goes with it. Instead of being your biggest supporter and cheerleader, your partner may start acting like your biggest self-appointed critic. And the criticism they have to offer is far from healthy.
They make derogatory remarks about your looks, your passions and interests, your values and beliefs, your likes and dislikes, and so on.
14. Your accomplishments go unnoticed
You may have won the ‘Employee of the Year’ award at work. Got a hard-earned promotion. Finally, overcome fear and done something you’ve always dreaded. But none of it is good enough for your partner. Since they don’t respect you, they don’t find your accomplishments admirable.
If you’ve accomplished something on the professional front, they may discredit it by saying you definitely know how to please the right people. If you’ve done something you’re proud of on the personal front, they’d dismiss it as ‘not a big deal’.
15. They air dirty laundry in public
A partner who doesn’t respect you will not hesitate in sharing intimate details about your life with others. From bedroom secrets to relationship problems, they take a no-holds-barred approach to spilling your secrets in the public domain and criticizing you in front of others.
Even if that leaves you feeling ‘my spouse has no respect for me or my feelings’, they couldn’t care less.
16. You feel dispensible
Have you found yourself wondering if your spouse would be even a little bit distraught if you left them? Is the answer to that question a loud and clear no? If your partner makes you feel like you’re not important or that their life would go on the same way with or without you, you’re dealing with disrespect in a relationship.
17. No room for compromise
Another one of the glaring signs of lack of respect in a relationship is a ‘my way or the highway’ approach. Every relationship demands some amount of adjustments and compromise from both partners. But if your partner lives by the “I’ll do what I want” paradigm, without sparing a thought to how it affects you, you are neither cherished nor respected in your relationship.
18. They are never on your side
Having your partner stand by you is a baseline expectation in a relationship. Whether it is a silly tiff with your mom or serious career trouble, you want your partner to be on your team when others are pitted against you.
But a partner who disrespects you won’t find it in their heart to do so. From their perspective, the fault inevitably lies with you.
19. Snide remarks about appearances
One of the common signs of no respect in a marriage is a tendency to pass snide remarks about one’s spouse’s physical appearance. It could be an insensitive joke about your weight or a taunt about your looks. Such snide remarks are not only disrespectful but also deeply hurtful and convey that your spouse no longer finds you attractive.
Related Reading: 13 Signs He Disrespects You And Does Not Deserve You
20. Being rude to your people
Romantic partnerships are often a package deal. When you choose to love someone, you by default choose their inner circle of people – family and friends. When respect is lost in a relationship, partners may no longer feel the need to keep up with these courtesies.
That’s why they won’t hold back from being rude or disrespectful to the people who matter to the other person. Perhaps your partner resents your family and doesn’t make any attempt to hide it. Or they can’t bear your friends and actually lets them know that in no uncertain terms, even though they know full well how much such actions will embarrass and hurt you.
21. They embarrass you in public
Among the most obvious signs of lack of respect in a relationship is a partner’s tendency to embarrass you in public. Whether you’re with your friends or theirs, they will feel no hesitation in voicing their opinion of you. More often than not, this opinion is derogatory, disrespectful, hurtful, and embarrassing.
Disrespect in a relationship is often a symptom of underlying problems. To resolve it, you need to delve deeper and assess what is impacting your relationship dynamics in a way that you’re losing – or have lost – mutual respect. Seeking professional counseling can be immensely helpful in identifying and working through such issues. If that’s something you’d like to consider, the right help is only a click away.
When there is no respect in a relationship, resentment and contempt begin to creep in. Eventually, partners may find it hard to stand each other. In such a situation, when hit by a rough patch, staying together can become a challenge.
Yes, disrespect in a relationship is a definite red flag. It is a result of underlying relationship issues that have not been addressed or resolved correctly and promptly.
No, ending a disrespectful relationship doesn’t have to be the first course of action. If you and your partner value what you share, you must try to resolve the underlying cause of disrespect and foster mutual respect once again. But if all your efforts to do so fail to yield results, moving on is advisable.