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Signs of Disrespect in a Relationship

My friend Jace was calling me the other night… He didn’t know what to do. He felt like he was being disrespected in a relationship and wasn’t sure how to move forward from it. So we talked… I told him some of my own experiences with being disrespected in a relationship. And then, ultimately, we realized there are some signs of disrespect in a relationship to look for… And here they are.

Relationships are all about mutual respect; things will go south without it. This is why it’s crucial to understand if and when your partner disrespects you.

We’re not talking about the occasional roasts or the usual leg pulling; we’re talking about the borderline disregard for your boundaries, feelings, and opinions.

Whether your partner disrespects you openly or takes a more subtle approach, you MUST stamp out this behavior immediately.

If you’re having trouble figuring out whether your partner respects you as an equal, this article is for you. Today, we’ll discuss the obvious and hidden signs of disrespect in a relationship.

You deserve to feel the love that you want...
Signs of disrespect: You deserve to feel the love that you want…

How To Tell If You Are Being Disrespected

—Signs of disrespect in a relationship

There’s no universal way of knowing whether your partner disrespects you, but if they typically make you uncomfortable most of the time, chances are they don’t hold you in good regard.

Have they ever made you feel small or embarrassed in public without considering your feelings? How about taking you for granted or treating you like an inferior sidekick rather than an equal partner?

There are many ways to disrespect a person, either on purpose or without being aware of it. You won’t know for sure until you read the signs.

See also: Signs a marriage is over

Obvious Signs Your Partner Disrespects You

Some signs are easy to read and don’t require much interpretation. It might not seem like blatant disrespect, but your partner chooses to do these things despite you voicing your displeasure. That alone speaks volumes about how little they value you.

Does your significant other exhibit these signs? If so, it’s high time you have a conversation about it.

They Belittle You

There is no logical explanation for why your partner would belittle you other than that they want to put you down. They want to downplay your achievements even when you’ve secured the victory of your lifetime. That, there, is absolute disrespect.

It doesn’t take much to praise you for your hard work, especially if you’ve supported their pursuits in the past. If your partner can’t fathom you being awesome, chances are they don’t respect you as much as you thought.

See also: Signs your husband hates you

They Don’t Care About Your Opinions

Do they find it unbearable to agree with your opinions? Are they fond of shooting down your ideas all the time? That’s disrespectful!

Rejecting the occasional bad idea is fine; no one’s blaming them for that. But what if they’ve turned it into a regular sport? What if rejecting your opinions is fun for them?

If so, they probably mock your intelligence and beliefs to feel good about themselves. It’s a major red flag.

They Weaponize Your Shortcomings

We all have a set of insecurities we can’t overcome, and the same goes for your partner. If you acknowledge their weaknesses, they should obviously return the favor. Instead, some people tend to weaponize these insecurities and use them to make their partners feel bad.

Maybe you aren’t as smart or competent as them, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of, and they should know that. It’s not okay for someone to mock you using the exact things you’re insecure about. Constantly berating you for your shortcomings and weaknesses indicates that your partner doesn’t value you.

See also: Disrespectful grownup

They Blame YOU For Being Upset For What THEY Did

It’s never their fault, even when they clearly said or did something that upset you. No matter how many times you explain, they always have a justification for their actions.

“You’re overreacting; you’re taking this the wrong way; you’re being crazy,” We’re all too familiar with these words; it’s how they spin everything against you. Don’t fall prey to parasites who gaslight you for a minor win.

Expert advice: According to many studies, feeling disrespected will ultimately ruin any type of relationship you have… Tread carefully.

They Get Angry Very Quickly

They might gaslight you when you get upset, yet, they always make you pay when it’s the other way around.

Snapping at you without warning, even when it’s not your fault, is disrespectful. It doesn’t matter if you made a mistake; you should know better; at least, that’s how they put it. And worse, they’ll resort to yelling if you start making sense and winning the argument. Don’t waste your energy with such people.

See also: Disrespectful husband

They Want To Change YOU To Suit THEIR Needs

It’s okay to point out mistakes when you’ve done something wrong; we should all be open to self-improvement. However, it’s NOT okay when they demand you change your personality according to their preference, especially if it’s a one-way trip.

Put your foot down and let them know they have to change a few things, too, for this transaction to work. If they disagree with your request, they don’t respect you enough to put in the effort.

Signs of disrespect: Love is all you need in healthy relationships... Focus on that.
Signs of disrespect: Love is all you need in healthy relationships… Focus on that.

They Always Need To Have Their Way

Some people are so selfish that they can’t even consider sacrificing their needs to make you happy. Maybe they never watch your favorite show with you, even when you always watch theirs. Or maybe they don’t want to visit that pet cafe you like, despite you always agreeing to go to their favorite restaurant.

It might not be a big deal for you to give some ground, but this could lead to a one-sided relationship if it hasn’t already. Assert yourself in this situation and let them know they can’t always have it their way. A sane person will understand your plea; a disrespectful person will reject it.

They might outright say no and casually brush it off in a non-confrontational way. But it doesn’t change the fact that they don’t respect your choices. Leave it unchecked, and they will eventually disregard everything that makes you, YOU.

They Don’t Support Your Goals

Everyone needs a permanent source of support while pursuing their goals. Your partner is supposed to play that role in your life instead of dismissing your aspirations. If you support their goals, they should extend the same courtesy.

Expert advice: Being disrespected is a sign of emotional abuse. Remember that…

They Badmouth You All The Time

You probably hold your partner to a good standard, but do they think the same about you? A partner who doesn’t respect you will always badmouth you to their buddies, even when you’re standing right there.

Venting to someone after a fight is understandable; you probably do it too. But you know there’s a big problem if they only mention you in a bad light. If that’s the case, they definitely don’t respect you enough.

They Never Stand Up For You

Sometimes, we have to fight for the ones we love and stand up for them when they need support. But what if they never do the same for you? Now that smells like disrespect.

You might be arguing with someone and hoping your partner has your back. But unfortunately, they often never do and blame you instead for not letting it go. It proves they don’t think you’re worth defending, and that’s a major problem in our books.

It’s easy to take the cowardly path and abandon you when you need them the most. If they truly cared for you, they’d at least show that they’re on your side instead of expecting you to be the bigger person and drop the argument.

They Always Interrupt You When You Speak

Communication is supposed to go both ways, especially in a relationship. If they habitually cut in halfway through your speech, they likely don’t value what you have to say.

You haven’t even gotten to your point yet, and they’re already dismissing your entire argument by talking over you. You’re never able to get in your word, yet they don’t care how frustrated it makes you feel. They only care about vocalizing their own views; your thoughts can take a backseat!

Although not as serious as the other signs, this clearly indicates how little they consider you. Don’t waste time trying to make them understand; chances are they already do but don’t care. The best thing you can do is leave this toxic relationship.

Hidden Signs Of Disrespect

—Signs of disrespect in a relationship

Most people are easy to read, especially if they’re direct with what they stand for. However, others take a more nuanced approach when they wrong you. Micro-aggressions are a subtle way of giving someone the finger without them realizing it. Be ready to recognize such behavior.

They Never Keep Their Promises

Tired of being disappointed because they never keep their word? Maybe they forgot about your anniversary or forgot you were supposed to have a date night; We feel you!

They’ll have a million excuses to explain why they couldn’t deliver what they promised. They were too busy; they couldn’t get off work, or they simply forgot. The whole thing was never important in the first place, and you’re being unreasonable for making a big deal out of it.

We don’t care about their reasoning; they should keep their word if they love you or make a noticeable effort to improve. Shrugging it off and making it seem irrelevant clearly shows they don’t respect you.

They Zone Out When You Talk

A healthy relationship needs a good listener to make it work. But what does it say about your partner if they don’t remember a single word that comes out of your mouth?

You’ve only started talking about your day, and you already notice them sighing and being aloof while staring at their phone. Doing it once or twice is understandable, but it’s a big problem when it becomes a daily habit. It feels like you don’t even matter.

Not listening to you when you talk is one thing, but it’s a whole new can of worms if they get offended when you return the favor. It’s a telltale sign they’re only using you to validate themself. Discuss this problem with your partner, and cut the cord if they don’t see what you mean.

They Are Careless With Your Safety

You’ve made it clear you’re afraid of heights, yet they insist on bungee jumping. They know you’re scared of bike rides, but they still drive rashly, performing risky stunts as you cling onto them from behind.

They might not be doing this intentionally; maybe they’re just more used to the daredevil lifestyle. But does that mean it’s fair for you? Absolutely not!

Talk to them about these habits and tell them how uncomfortable they make you feel. They might say they’re doing it to help you get over your fears, but the point is, did you ask them to? If not, then they should understand why you want to put a stop to it.

It might not seem disrespectful from their perspective, especially if they think the occasional jolt is good for your confidence. And they might even be right on this matter.

However, they should know these experiences should be consensual, especially if they terrify you. Contrary to popular belief, throwing someone in the pool is NOT the best way to teach them how to swim.

They Don’t Respect Your Privacy

Does your partner constantly snoop around your phone? Do they insist on knowing every detail about your day, including who you met, what you did, and where you went? All this while refusing to extend the same privilege to you? That’s toxic.

No matter what anyone says, you have the right to your privacy. What you do in your own time is up to you, and you have no obligation to report all your activities to your partner.

It’s one thing if both of you are open about your lives, but it’s totally different when you’re the only one coming under scrutiny.

They Leave When They Get Upset

Does your partner have a habit of walking off during arguments? Are they unable to take even the slightest hint of defeat? That sounds like disrespect.

They might manipulate you into letting go of your argument by threatening to leave unless you stop. They constantly throw the term ‘break-up’ when things don’t go their way. And if you continue making your case, they simply walk away while you’re still talking, infuriating you.

You don’t need a partner like this; hit them with their own threat when they get out of control. If they don’t do anything to de-escalate the situation, chances are they don’t respect you or the relationship.

Conclusion—Signs of Disrespect in a Relationship

—Signs of disrespect in a relationship

If you’re in a toxic relationship with no signs of improvement, we advise you to reconsider your partner and possibly walk away from them. Toxic people often don’t want to change, and nothing you do will make them feel otherwise.

That said, depending on how mature your partner is, there might still be a chance to fix things. We request you to pay attention to the patterns and make the best decision for yourself. Good luck!

Fact checked:
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.

About the author

Ryan Sanderson (LCSW) Ryan is a game and relationship enthusiast who enjoys all things quizzes, games, fun, love, relationships, and family. He's a licensed social worker and helps families, couples, and children in need. He's spoken about love and relationships on Salon.com, Forbes, and Mirror, to name a few.

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