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.
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. 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’d themselves never stand for, it can be considered disrespect in a relationship.
Related Reading: 5 things people respect most in their partner
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 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 becomes 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 or too late can be extremely crushing and hurtful. The fact that your partner is doing it anyway is 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, how you perform at work and 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 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 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 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 in 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 to stand your friends and lets them know that in no uncertain terms. Even though they know fully 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 delver deeper and assess what is impacting your relationship dynamics in a way that you’re losing – or have lost – mutual respect. Seeking professional counselling 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 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.