16 Signs Of Disrespect In A Relationship And How To Deal With It
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16 Signs Of Disrespect In A Relationship And How To Deal With It

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Disrespect kills a relationship. It is the act of disregarding another person’s feelings, rights, or authority. Examples of disrespect include talking down to someone, talking over someone, or treating someone as inferior. Read on to discover the signs of disrespect in a relationship.

Respect is an essential part of every relationship, yet it can be difficult to identify when respect is absent. No relationship should require you to accept disrespect.

If your partner regularly disregards your boundaries, belittles your thoughts and feelings, or behaves in a way that puts down your self-esteem, it’s a solid indicator that you’re in an unhealthy relationship. But understanding disrespect in relationships isn’t easy.

Unfortunately, many couples miss the subtle signs of disrespect that can slowly erode the trust and communication that make a relationship healthy. From the silent treatment to the cold shoulder.

To help you identify what constitutes a lack of respect in a relationship, this article will cover what disrespect looks like in practice, why it’s so dangerous, and how to take action if you recognize any of the signs in your own relationship.

Through a combination of research and my personal experience, you’ll learn how to identify disrespect, how to confront it, and most importantly, how to protect yourself and your feelings.

So if you’re in a relationship and are unsure if your partner’s behavior constitutes disrespect, read on — it’s time to take back the control.

What is disrespect in a relationship?

Disrespect in a relationship is any form of communication, attitude, or behavior that belittles, devalues, undermines, or disregards the thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs of the partner. It includes, but is not limited to: talking down to one another, making negative comments about each other, name-calling, and expressing contempt.

What happens when respect is not present in a relationship?

When respect is not present in a relationship, it can lead to feelings of resentment and mistrust. There may be a lack of communication and understanding between the two parties involved, leading to arguments, conflicts, and an overall sense of disharmony.

Respect is an essential ingredient in any healthy relationship – without it, the relationship is likely to suffer and eventually break down.

Importance of respect in a relationship

Respect is a very important part of any healthy relationship. It creates a foundation of trust, security, and mutual understanding to ensure a lasting and meaningful connection.

Respect is also necessary for each person to feel comfortable in expressing themselves, to be open and honest about their needs and feelings, and to know that their feelings are valued and respected.

16 Signs of disrespect in a relationship

Not sure what constitutes disrespectful behavior? Here are the most common forms of disrespect in a relationship, and how to deal with disrespect if you are not feeling respected enough in your relationship.

1. Not listening when the other person speaks

One of the signs of disrespect in a relationship is the refusal to pay attention to what your partner is saying. For example, pressing the phone or singing just to avoid listening while he or she is talking to you. This attitude is a sign of a lack of respect that most couples don’t know about.

This type of attitude can be just as damaging as being outright abrasive or rude. By showing a lack of interest in what your partner has to say you convey the idea that their thoughts and feelings don’t matter, which can have a negative effect on the relationship.

Related: Signs you are the problem in your relationship

2. Withholding affection or positive reinforcement

When your partner withholds their affection due to some unresolved issues between you and them, it’s a sign they’re being disrespectful to you.

Showing respect to your partner entails considering their feelings before taking certain actions or decisions that will affect them in a negative way.

3. Making fun of or belittling the other person

Your partner does not respect you if he or she makes fun of you or belittles you. For example, they mock you or make some statements to decrease your self-worth or self-esteem.

Related: Habits that make a good relationship

4. Speaking in a condescending or insulting tone

The manner in which your partner talks to you will determine if they have respect for you or not. If they always talk to you in a high tone, it is not a sign of respect. But if they’re considerate in the type of tone they use, especially when they are angry, it shows they respect you.

5. Not making time for each other

Being respectful to your partner is about acknowledging their worth, and only those who have respect for you will make out time for you.

So, if your partner often cancels plans without considering how you will feel, it’s a sign of disrespect.

6. Ending a phone call when the conversation has not ended

This happens often in most relationships. Unfortunately, most people are not aware that this is a sign of a lack of respect for or from your partner.

No matter how angry you are with your partner, never end the call or conversation when you are not done talking to each other. Doing that shows you have no regard for them.

7. Refusing to negotiate or compromise

Another way to identify a lack of respect in a relationship is when your partner refuses to compromise or agree to certain things. If your partner is being recalcitrant, it’s a signal they’re being disrespectful to you.

8. Not taking the other person’s opinion seriously

You are being disrespected if your partner often takes action without consulting you or asking for your opinion. A healthy relationship is where the two parties value each other’s opinions and work together as one to achieve a common goal.

9. Silent treatment

Another sign of lack of respect in a relationship is when your partner always gives you silent treatment. This attitude is a form of psychological manipulation that involves a refusal to communicate with someone, sometimes as a form of punishment or manipulation.

It can be used to communicate a lack of respect or disapproval and can leave the person on the receiving end feeling confused, hurt, or rejected. It can also cause anxiety or a feeling of being ignored.

So, if your partner does this, it’s a sign your partner is being disrespectful to you.

Related: Silent killers of a relationship you should be aware of

10. Not expressing gratitude or appreciation

Expressing gratitude is a sign you have regard for the other person. If your partner often takes everything you do for them for granted, it’s a sign they don’t respect you.

By expressing gratitude, two parties can build mutual respect for each other. This respect then forms the foundation for a strong, lasting relationship.

It’s vital that both partners take the initiative to thank each other, as it serves as an acknowledgment and appreciation of the other person. When true appreciation is expressed and felt, both parties benefit from a stronger bond.

11. Ignoring each other’s physical needs

Another way to know if your partner respects you or not is by the way they react to your physical and emotional needs.

For example, If your partner often doesn’t think about how their actions might make you feel, it’s a sign that they don’t respect you.

12. Blatantly telling lies

Lying to someone is a sign you don’t have regard for them. If your partner lies to you even when they know you know the truth, it’s a sign they don’t respect you.

Related: What to do when your partner lies to you

13. Walking away when one person is speaking

This kind of attitude often occurs in most relationships and it’s a sign of disrespect in relationships. If your partner doesn’t listen to you and leaves when you’re trying to tell them something, it’s a sign that they don’t respect you.

14. Refusing to apologize or forgive

When someone feels too big to apologize when they are wrong, it is not only a disrespectful attitude but a sign of pride in a relationship.

Acknowledging your mistakes and doing the right thing to calm the other person down shows you have regard for their feelings and you respect them as your spouse.

15. Disregarding each other’s boundaries

In a relationship where respect is the foundation thereof, the couples consider each other’s privacy and take cognizance of each other’s boundaries.

Acting ultra vires, especially to the boundaries already created by your partner is a sign you don’t have regard for them.

So, before you do anything, check if your actions are displaying a sign of a lack of respect and disregard for their privacy.

Related: How to set healthy boundaries in a relationship

16. Name-calling

If your partner has the habit of calling you names each time they are upset, it’s not only a sign that they are abusive but also a sign of disrespect in your relationship.

How to deal with disrespect in a relationship

01. Acknowledge the Disrespect – If your partner is disrespecting you, it’s important to acknowledge it and let them know you’re aware of it. Talk to your partner about how their words or actions are making you feel and clearly express how you want to be treated instead.

2. Set Boundaries – It’s important to set boundaries when it comes to how you want to be treated in a relationship. Let your partner know what behaviors are acceptable and what are not. Set realistic expectations for the relationship and be clear about how you want to be treated.


The signs of disrespect in a relationship are often clear but can be ignored in the pursuit of love or habit. No person deserves to be disrespected, no matter the status of their relationship.

Respect is the foundation of a healthy and successful relationship, and it should be present in all interactions whether it’s a simple conversation or discussing a hard truth.

If you are experiencing signs of disrespect, take the opportunity to stand up for yourself and protect your relationship.

As the famous saying goes, “love is not enough,” true partnership and mutual respect must be present to nurture a successful relationship.

To sum it up, “I’ve learned that respect, even more than love, is the foundation of any happy relationship.” – Maya Angelou

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