How Can You Tell Your Partner Doesn't Respect You? - 10 Signs

Last updated by Rosie Harlow

Whilst being made to feel appreciated and respected should be the norm, in many cases it isn’t, but that doesn’t mean that the lack of respect is easy to pick up on. 😏 That’s right, love bombing and dreams of making things work can often cloud our views and opinions with regard to who we are dating. After all, taking those love goggles off isn’t exactly easy! Although, some signs never lie, discover the 10 signs your partner doesn’t respect you.

How Can You Tell Your Partner Doesn't Respect You? - 10 Signs

What is a lack of respect in a relationship?

To begin, let's go through the definition of respect to understand what we are talking about. According to the dictionary, "respect is a feeling of consideration towards someone, and which leads to treating them with particular regard". All loving relationships where both partners respect each other should know this mutual feeling, but many times, love makes us blind, and we tend to put up with or even accept bad behaviors. Mind you, we can all be disrespectful at times out of clumsiness, other times out of shyness, lack of confidence, or because we are going through a bad patch.

🤯 We yell at each other, the tension rises, and we let our anger get the better of us, but the most important thing is to know when to stop. To understand when tension in a relationship stops and when disrespect begins. Certain behaviors, especially if they are repetitive, must be spotted, because it is impossible to flourish in a love relationship where respect is not present. Or worse, in a toxic relationship: 10 red flags to detect.

What are the signs of disrespect in a relationship? - 10 Signs

1. He doesn't listen to you

In a relationship, communication and moreover, positive communication is a kind of unspoken rule. Between partners, it is expected that the exchange is equal. If your partner is never ready to hear you out and listen to you, if he keeps his eyes glued to his phone waiting impatiently for you to finish talking, etc., then you are facing a problem. This is not only a lack of respect, but also psychological violence.

2. He despises your individuality

You may be in a relationship, but your individuality still exists. If you can't be free to pursue your goals, make your own choices, make your own decisions, or go about your business as you please because your partner won't let you, then he doesn't respect you. In a relationship, you must have the time, space, and freedom to be yourself.

3. He doesn't care about your boundaries

Boundaries are those invisible lines that we draw, and we expect others to know and respect them. Even more so when it comes to our life partner. There are times when I have a strong need to be alone, if my partner did not respect this need for solitude and invaded my personal space, it would be a lack of respect. Personal boundaries are essential to our mental health, balance, and well-being.

4. Lack of attention and support

We don't always realize it, and it may even go unnoticed over time, but lack of attention is a sign that can cause resentment. It shows that your partner is choosing to put himself or herself first. The same goes for support. Your partner should help you, carry you, and celebrate your small and big steps if they make you doubt yourself, or don't take your feelings into account, there's a problem.

5. He often sulks

We've talked about this before, but sulking is passive-aggressive silence. Sulking can happen, but if it is systematic and long, it is more manipulation than an annoyance. After an argument, we may all need some quiet time alone, but it is important to be able to engage in more productive communication afterward to explain your resentment. If your partner isn't able to do this, they probably don't respect you enough.

>>> You may also be interested in this article: 10 Signs you are in an emotionally abusive relationship

6. He criticizes you

Whatever the situation, criticism appears. He constantly points out your faults and your mistakes, and you feel like you are never good enough for him. Criticism from time to time still passes, but if the other person spends his time putting you down, it is impossible to flourish in this type of relationship, which is neither healthy nor respectful.

7. He does not respect those around them

He refuses to spend time with those who are important to you. Or, even worse, he criticizes them, judges them, and openly mocks them. These are behaviors that you cannot tolerate. You can't expect your partner to love the people in your life at all costs, but respecting the people in your life also means valuing your relationship and respecting yourself.

8. He is aggressive

We often tend to value strong characters, but make no mistake about it! If your partner gets carried away quickly, and often, under the guise of being frank, he becomes nasty, he does not respect you. In fact, in a relationship, you should expect consideration from your partner. Arguments and outbursts, sometimes even impetuous, must remain exceptional.

9. He does not keep his promises

For me, there is nothing worse than a promise that is not kept. Giving your word in a vacuum is like a lie, in any case, it is a sign that trust is broken and that for your partner, your relationship is not paramount.

10. He only thinks about intimacy

Sexuality is one of the foundations of a couple. It's an important part of any relationship, but it shouldn't be the only activity that binds you to your partner. If it's the only thing he or she is interested in, and he or she is selfish and unresponsive to your wants and desires, it's not acceptable. Consent is essential, and a refusal on your part should not make him angry or make him feel guilty.

>>> Discover the signs you are dating a narcissist

Raising the alarm: When disrespect becomes violence

The forms of disrespect mentioned above are detrimental to a couple's well-being, and undoubtedly to their mental health as well, but I want to remind you that non-consensual sex is marital rape. Beware also of insults, harassment, and of course physical violence. This is the ultimate in disrespect, but we are also talking about illegal acts of conjugal violence that must be reported (as much as possible).

How can you ensure respect in a relationship?

I tend to think that a lack of respect is bad for a relationship since it should inevitably lead to a breakup, but I also know that things are not always that simple. So first, there is one thing to understand and that’s respect that is due to you, you must earn it and go get it. In other words, if you don't respect your spouse, it's hard to expect respect from him. In this case, it may be beneficial to question yourself. Ask yourself about your expectations in terms of relationships: are you in love? Are you afraid to love?

Then, in order to gain respect for yourself, you must go and get that respect. In a toxic relationship or with a narcissistic pervert, this is very difficult to do, and unfortunately, a breakup will often be the most life-saving solution. If you are suffering from a lack of self-confidence or if your spouse has not learned to better respect his partners, you are going to have to re-establish the dialogue. To begin:

  • Clearly state your values and boundaries;
  • Be honest about what hurts you about your partner;
  • Keep your word, don't go back on it. Make sure you don't allow the disrespect to happen again.

If despite all your efforts, respect does not find its place in your relationship, it is still advisable to move on.

>>> Read; 20 Narcissistic quotes

Can someone love you but not respect you?

It's possible to have feelings of love for someone while disrespecting them, although this may seem contradictory. Love is a complex emotion that can be tinged with various nuances, including emotional dependence, possessiveness, or unhealthy attachment. Lack of respect can stem from communication problems, blurred personal boundaries, or even toxic behavior. It's essential to understand that healthy love involves mutual respect, understanding, consideration of needs, and emotional support. If a relationship is characterized by a constant lack of respect, it's important to examine this dynamic and seek to understand it, so you can eventually work on a healthier, more balanced relationship, or consider distancing yourself if necessary for your well-being.

What causes loss of respect in a relationship?

A lack of respect in a relationship can be caused by a variety of factors, often linked to problems of communication, relationship dynamics, or incompatible values. Unresolved conflicts, differences of opinion, unexpressed expectations, or destructive behavior can all contribute to a lack of respect. Lack of clear boundaries and disrespect for personal boundaries are also common triggers. Gender stereotypes, power imbalances, or abusive behavior can play a major role in disrespect. Being aware of these factors and engaging in open, honest, and respectful communication is essential to resolving problems and cultivating a relationship based on mutual respect. In some cases, however, if the lack of respect is systematic and destructive, it may be necessary to reassess the viability of the relationship.

Editor’s opinion: When love blinds us…

We know, love makes you blind, and sometimes we just don't want to see, we prefer to look away... 🙄 It's impossible to thrive in a relationship if the other person disrespects us, it can cause quite a bit of psychological damage. If some of your friends or relatives try to warn you, to alert you about your spouse's behaviors, you feel that something is wrong in your story, or you feel bad, make an appointment with one of our psychologists to understand what is going on and find keys together to get better.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!


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Article presented by Rosie Harlow

Writing has always been a form of therapy for me. For as long as I can remember, I have always used paper as a punching bag. Get to know me, I am Rosie Harlow.

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Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist


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  4. Beautiful DayU2
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
  6. White FlagDido
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
  15. With Or Without YouU2
  16. HelloAdele
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
  19. WingsBirdy
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar

How to detect a narcissist?

How to detect a narcissist?

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde