Relationship

7 signs of disrespectful behavior in a relationship

Having respect for your partner is one of the key ingredients in a healthy and happy relationship. But what exactly is respect? And what are some signs that your partner doesn't respect you as they should? In this blog post, we'll go over some of the glaring signs that your partner may not be respecting you as they should.

Dating Expert Janet Smith October 3, 2022 • 8 minutes read
On this page

As you probably know, respect is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. It’s what allows us to feel valued and safe in our interactions with others. Unfortunately, disrespect can be all too common in relationships - both romantic and platonic.

Disrespectful behavior can manifest itself in many ways, from emotional manipulation to outright verbal abuse. Keep reading if you’re wondering whether your partner shows disrespectful behaviors towards you. We’ll start by defining respect and then go over some common signs that your partner isn’t respecting you.

Looking for some relationship advice? Click here to read our guide!

Defining respect in romantic relationships

In a relationship, respect is about valuing your partner’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It also means speaking to them in a way that is considerate and respectful - even when you disagree.

When you have respect for your partner, you see them as an equal rather than someone who is beneath you. You also make an effort to understand their point of view, even if you don’t necessarily agree with it.

Lastly, respect in a relationship means being honest with your partner and treating them with loyalty and trustworthiness.

All these features of respect are part of a healthy and loving relationship. Treat your partner with respect and you can create a strong foundation for a lasting relationship. Mutual respect is one of the key ingredients to any successful relationship!

7 Signs that your partner doesn’t respect you

A lack of respect shows itself in many different ways. If you’re wondering whether your partner respects you, look out for the following signs:

1. They dismiss or invalidate your thoughts and feelings.

This can manifest itself as gaslighting, which is when someone tries to make you question your reality by telling you that your perceptions are wrong. For example, your partner might say that you’re overreacting to a situation, or that you’re wrong about what happened. This can be really confusing and upsetting, as it’s effectively telling you that your reality isn’t true.

2. They frequently make fun of you or put you down.

Making jokes at your expense or insulting you is a way of diminishing your worth in their eyes. It’s also a way of controlling you - if you’re too worried about what they’ll say next, you won’t feel comfortable speaking up or standing up for yourself.

If you’re noticing this behavior, it’s important to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. If they’re truly respectful, they’ll be willing to listen and change their behavior.

3. They don’t seem to care about your comfort or well-being.

Does your partner regularly do things that make you feel uncomfortable or put your well-being at risk? If they don’t seem to care about your comfort or well-being, it’s a sign of disrespect that you should not ignore. This could include things like constantly interrupting you, refusing to listen to what you have to say, ignoring boundaries you’ve set, or even physically harming you.

If your partner is doing any of these things, it’s important to speak up and let them know that this type of behavior is not acceptable. You deserve to be respected in your relationship, and your partner should make an effort to ensure that you feel safe and respected at all times.

4. They ignore your needs in favor of their own.

In healthy relationships, both partners should feel like their needs are being equally considered and met. If your partner regularly ignores your needs in favor of their own, it’s a sign that they don’t respect you or your relationship. This could manifest in things like always planning activities that only they enjoy, never listening to what you want or need, or always putting their own needs first.

If you feel like your partner doesn’t respect your needs, it’s important to communicate this to them. Let them know that you need them to start considering your feelings and needs just as much as their own. If they can’t or won’t do this, it may be time to consider ending the relationship.

5. They’re often dismissive or critical.

If your partner is often dismissive or critical of you and your opinions, it’s a sign that they don’t respect you. This could manifest as them rolling their eyes when you speak, constantly interrupting you, or making fun of what you say. If your partner is doing this, it’s important to let them know that it’s hurtful and disrespectful.

It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to tolerate this kind of behavior from your partner. It’s an unhealthy relationship dynamic that is likely to cause more harm than good in the long run. If your partner can’t or won’t change their behavior, it may be time to consider ending the relationship.

6. They make negative remarks about your appearance.

If your partner is constantly making negative remarks about your appearance or weight, it’s a sign that they don’t respect you. This could manifest as them calling you ugly, telling you that you need to lose weight, or commenting on every physical flaw you have. This type of behavior is not only hurtful, but it’s also a form of control. By making you feel bad about your appearance, your partner is trying to make you feel like you’re not good enough.

If your partner is making negative remarks about your appearance, it’s important to speak up and let them know that this behavior is not acceptable.

7. They show abusive behavior.

One of the clearest signs that your partner doesn’t respect you is if they show any type of abusive behavior. This could include things like verbal abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, or physical abuse. These aggressive behaviors can seriously harm you emotionally and physically and should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Domestic violence is a serious issue. If you’re currently in an abusive relationship, it’s important to reach out for help. Talk with your closest friends or family members, or consider talking to a professional counselor to get advice and support.

What to do if your partner doesn’t respect you

A lack of respect in relationships can cause a lot of issues. If your partner doesn’t respect you, it can lead to things like emotional pain, feeling devalued, and a loss of self-esteem. If you’re in a relationship where you don’t feel respected, there are some steps you can take to try and improve the situation.

1. Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling.

The first step is to communicate with your partner about how their behavior is affecting you. If they’re unaware of how their actions are making you feel, they may not realize that there’s a problem. Be honest and direct with them, and explain how their behavior is hurtful or disrespectful. It’s important to give specific examples so they can understand how their actions are affecting you.

If your partner is receptive to your concerns, they may be willing to make some changes. If they’re not receptive, or if they continue with the same behavior even after you’ve talked to them about it, it may be an indication that the relationship isn’t healthy for you.

2. Set boundaries.

If your partner can’t or won’t respect your feelings and needs, it’s important to set boundaries. This means telling your partner what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable. If they cross a boundary, let them know that their behavior is not okay. Boundaries can help to keep you safe and protect your emotional well-being.

3. Seek help from a professional.

If you’ve tried communicating with your partner and setting boundaries, but nothing has changed, it may be time to seek help from a professional. A counselor or therapist can provide you with support and guidance on how to deal with the situation. They can also offer helpful resources and advice on how to leave an abusive relationship.

No one deserves to be treated with disrespect in a relationship. If you’re not feeling respected, it’s important to take action and seek help. You deserve to be happy and loved in a relationship, and you shouldn’t have to tolerate abuse or disrespectful behavior.

4. Leave the relationship.

If you’ve tried everything and nothing has changed, it may be best to leave the relationship. This is a difficult decision to make, but it may be the best thing for your safety and well-being.

You deserve to be in a respectful relationship, and if you’re not getting that from your current partner, it’s time to move on. Seek out help from friends or family members or a professional counselor to get through this tough time.


Every human being deserves to be treated with a level of respect. If you feel like your partner is not respecting you, you need to take action. Talk to your partner directly, set boundaries, and seek help from a professional if needed. If nothing changes after taking these steps, it may be best to leave the relationship. Your safety and happiness should always come first.


Secrets to a healthy relationship: Books every couple should read

It's no secret that a healthy relationship is key in a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship. This list of books about healthy relationships will help you learn how to communicate better, resolve conflict, and deepen your connection. From classic self-help books to more modern reads, these titles will give you the tools you need to build a strong and healthy relationship.

  1. Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships
  2. Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of Every Healthy Relationship
  3. Love More, Fight Less: Communication Skills Every Couple Needs: A Relationship Workbook for Couples
  4. Infidelity Recovery Workbook for Couples: Tools and Exercises to Rebuild Your Relationship
  5. Healthy Me, Healthy Us: Your Relationships Are Only as Strong as You Are
Share this article: Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter
Share this article:
Dating Expert

Janet Smith

Janet Smith is a freelance writer who writes about psychology, relationships, and dating. She has always been interested in understanding the human brain and how it affects our …

Read full bio

More articles you might like

People who are reading “7 signs of disrespectful behavior in a relationship”, also reading these articles:

Browse all articles