There is no love where there is no respect. In fact, mutual respect should be one of the dealbreakers in every healthy relationship.
Unfortunately, you’re feeling disrespected in a relationship or marriage and you don’t know what to do.
The truth is that everyone has relationship or marriage problems.
However, it’s one thing if you disagree about nearly everything but it is something completely different if your romance lacks a strong foundation.
You can try to ignore it but all the red flags are there: your partner continually shows a lack of respect towards you.
Naturally, you feel humiliated and unworthy.
So, if you’re feeling disrespected in a relationship or marriage and are having a hard time figuring out what to do, here is a 10 step guide on what to do.
Time for a reality check
First and foremost, you have to be completely honest with yourself.
You can’t analyze your partner’s behavior until you get to the bottom of your own actions.
I don’t mean to sound harsh but you have to be aware of one fact: respect has to be earned and it doesn’t come knocking on your door overnight.
I’m not claiming that you should go down on your knees and beg your significant other to respect you. In fact,
I’m talking about something completely different.
Whether you like to admit it or not, the other person won’t magically start respecting you just because you want them to or even if you ask them to.
You have to ask yourself why your partner disrespects you. Is your conscience clear here? Do you show respect to them?
Have you set an example of how you and your loved one should treat each other?
Have you done everything in your power to earn their respect?
Or have you done something to make them treat you that way?
Is this their payback for the way you’ve behaved in the past or for things you have a habit of doing, without realizing?
Have you made some mistakes in the past they clearly can’t forget, no matter how hard they try?
Have you done something they simply can’t forgive you for?
Even though I’m not trying to put the blame on you here, please be aware that every relationship is a two-way street.
So maybe it’s time to ask yourself: “Do I respect my partner enough?” instead of just saying “I feel disrespected in my relationship”.
If you’re not certain about the answers to these questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your partner.
Ask them directly whether they feel respected in your relationship and what you can do to improve your treatment towards them.
Try to determine your partner’s intention
When you’re feeling disrespected in a relationship or marriage, the next thing you need to do is get to the bottom of your partner’s intentions.
Are they doing this on purpose?
Is their intention to destroy your self-esteem and to make you feel insecure? Are they intentionally playing with your mind and heart?
You see, there are people who deliberately try to diminish their partner’s worth.
If your loved one is a manipulator who has trouble with their own confidence, they’ll do everything in their power to crush yours as well.
This is the only way they can feel equal to you. As long as you feel good about yourself, they are threatened by your level of self-esteem.
So, they put a lot of effort into bringing you down to their level.
They do everything they can to convince you that you’re not good enough since it’s the only way they can control you.
These people are abusers.
They won’t actually hit you or do you any other physical harm – instead, they consciously play with you and abuse you mentally and emotionally.
I really do hope that your significant other is not this kind of person. Maybe they’re not behaving like this just to boost their own ego.
Even though I’m not trying to justify their behavior, there is a big possibility that they’re acting this way without even being aware of it.
Different people see respect and lack of respect in different ways.
Therefore, while your boyfriend or girlfriend might consider something to be a harmless joke, you see it as a clear sign of disrespect.
Only you can provide the answer to these doubts.
You’re the one who knows your partner the best, so you’re the only one who can read between the lines and dissect their behavior.
Once again, I’m begging you to be completely honest here.
Don’t go looking for excuses and don’t accuse them of something they didn’t mean to do.
Ask yourself if your relationship is worth the trouble
Another thing you should ask yourself is whether your romance is worth all of this trouble.
Is it worth all your self-doubt and most importantly – does your partner deserve the chance you’re giving them to change their ways?
Although I’m not claiming that you should ever settle for less than you deserve, there is a crucial difference between something you’ll tolerate in a long term relationship and something you’ll put up with in a temporary fling.
Naturally, you can’t allow someone you’re not planning on getting serious with to treat you without respect.
In that case, you should dump them immediately.
The same goes for your emotions. If you’re aware that you don’t love this person deeply, there is no point in giving them second chances and waiting for them to change.
On the other hand, if we’re talking about a long term partner who you have strong feelings for, it’s only natural to give them an opportunity to change this behavior pattern.
Besides, it’s also important to see whether this is the only problem in your relationship.
It’s one thing if your romance is going great in all other aspects and would be perfect if it weren’t for this.
However, if your toxic relationship is going downhill, and if you know it has no future, regardless of this, what’s the point of fighting for something that is doomed to fail?
It’s crucial to determine whether this is just a phase or if it’s something your partner considers to be normal behavior.
Have they been treating you this way for as long as you can remember or is it something temporary?
Can you expect this behavior to go away or it is simply a part of their personality?
Only once you find the answers to each of these questions will you know if your relationship is worthy of your effort.
Only then will you know whether you should let it go right away or if you should fight for it.
Communicate with your partner
Most dating advice will tell you that healthy communication is the key to every healthy relationship, including romantic ones.
When you hear this sentence, you probably think that it’s just an empty phrase.
However, it is absolutely the truth.
You can’t expect to resolve any of your relationship problems if you don’t find a way to talk to each other like two adults.
Now that you’re done with all the overthinking and decoding of your partner’s behavior, it’s time to confront them about the way they’ve been treating you.
Simply, tell them everything that’s been bothering you face to face. Be as honest as possible and don’t hide your feelings.
Tell them that you’ve been thinking about the two of you and that you’re feeling disrespected in your relationship or marriage.
Don’t forget to mention that this is not something you’ve noticed once or twice and that they’ve been showing signs of disrespect for a while now.
The most important thing here is to talk to them as calmly as possible.
State your opinion but don’t let anger and other negative emotions overwhelm you.
If you do, your partner will feel attacked. He will see this conversation as a fight instead of an honest complaint.
Don’t try to make yourself look like a victim either. Do your best not to cry and turn the entire speech into a pathetic ceremony.
Just speak your mind but don’t forget that this should be a dialogue – not a monologue.
Therefore, give your other half a chance to defend themselves from your accusations.
If they need it, give them some time to think about their actions.
It’s possible that they weren’t even aware of their disrespectful behavior and that you calling them out on their actions will open their eyes for the first time.
Either way, demand an answer. Ask them to be honest as well and to tell you if they feel disrespected as well.
The crucial thing here is to have mutual respect and understanding.
If necessary, ask for clarification regarding some of your partner’s moves or words.
It’s possible that you were insulted because of something they did or said.
Maybe once they explain their intentions you’ll see things differently.
Self-love and self-respect
Let’s get real here: you can’t expect anyone to love you until you have enough self-love.
It’s the same with respect – others will respect you once they see the level of self-respect you have.
People are actually quite simple. Even when it doesn’t appear to be so, in most cases, they’re led by example.
Therefore, you have to show everyone around you, especially your partner, what type of treatment you find acceptable.
You have to show them that you’re aware of your self-worth and that nothing and nobody can diminish it.
You can’t blame your boyfriend or girlfriend for not appreciating your sacrifices if you act like you don’t deserve appreciation.
You can’t blame them for taking you for granted if you notice that they keep on acting that way but you don’t do anything to change it.
Basically, you’re the one giving people the green light to keep on treating you badly if you act like you don’t deserve more and like you have no self-worth.
You’re the one giving your partner permission to keep on disrespecting you every time you settle for their bad behavior.
That’s exactly why you have to become a role model. It’s time you started treating yourself the way you want to be treated.
I’m not advising you to become selfish overnight.
I’m not saying that you should lose all of your scruples just to get your way and to have what you want.
Don’t suddenly turn into an egocentric person who only takes care of their own needs and couldn’t care less about other people’s well being.
Nevertheless, there is nothing selfish in finally putting yourself first.
In fact, that is exactly what you should start doing if you really want to demand true respect.
For starters, show your partner that you cherish your heart and emotions.
Show them that your mental health is at the top of your priority list and that you won’t allow anyone to play with it.
Begin respecting your time, personal space, and needs.
Respect your best friends and family members and never put your partner’s loved ones above yours.
Most importantly: stand up for the things you believe in. Don’t let anyone shake your attitude and change your opinions.
In fact, don’t let your partner change you unless you want help to make certain modifications.
Don’t let them shape you into someone you’re not just to fit their imaginary standards.
Instead, show them that you’re a strong and independent person with loads of self-respect.
Show them that you won’t settle for anything less than you deserve.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a serious relationship or even married – you’re still an individual with your own desires, thoughts, and opinions and you have the right to set boundaries.
Just because you’ve become a part of a couple, it doesn’t mean that you’ve magically ceased to exist as an individual.
At the heart of respect are the boundaries and personal space you need to have in every relationship.
Don’t let anyone try to convince you that anything is allowed just because you’re in a romantic relationship now.
This is especially important when you’re dealing with disrespectful people.
With them, it’s crucial that you set clear boundaries about what is acceptable and what is not.
You need to make sure your partner knows what kind of behavior you will tolerate. More importantly: let them know that their actions will have consequences.
You see, not all people feel comfortable in every situation.
That’s why it’s important to straightforwardly tell them what is okay and what is not for you.
For example, you can tell them that you feel uncomfortable when they laugh at you in front of others. And don’t stop there.
You have to also add that you’ll walk away from the table or get even with them the next time they try doing something so disrespectful.
However, the most important thing is that you don’t make empty threats: you have to really make your partner suffer the consequences of their actions as it’s the only way for them to see that you’re deadly serious.
Stop giving them the opportunity to disrespect you
When someone you are not in constant contact with disrespects you, the first piece of advice you’ll get is to cut all ties with them.
People will probably tell you to go no contact and to kick them out of your life.
However, doing that with your partner would mean breaking the relationship up.
If we’re honest, that is something you want to avoid doing – otherwise, you wouldn’t be here, looking for things to do when you’re feeling disrespected in a relationship or marriage.
Even in this case, though, you have to find a way to stop giving your girlfriend or boyfriend the opportunity to keep on showing you disrespect.
First and foremost, change your ways toward them.
Show them that you can’t and won’t treat them the same way when they are nice to you as when they’re putting you down.
This person needs to see the consequences of their actions. They need to see that your relationship will suffer due to their behavior.
I’m not saying that you should cut ties all together or just disappear from their life without any explanation until you’ve tried everything else.
However, you should definitely start giving them the silent treatment.
For example, when your partner texts you something you don’t find respectful, don’t respond to that text message.
When they say something over the phone that you find insulting, tell them that you’ve got to go and hang up.
When it comes to disrespecting you in person, show them that their actions or words have impacted your mood negatively.
You can’t keep on cuddling or kissing them after they’ve done something to put you down because that would send the wrong message.
In many cases, one of the partners turns on their disrespectful personality once they are with other people.
They have the unexplainable urge to humiliate their other half in front of others, as an attempt to appear humorous and fun to be around.
If this is something you can relate to, be clear about it with your partner or spouse.
Tell them that you will no longer be attending social gatherings with them and that from now on, you two will only see each other in private.
This way, you reduce their chances of disrespecting you to the bare minimum.
At the same time, you teach them a lesson and show them that their behavior is anything but acceptable.
Don’t play their game
When you look at things from an objective perspective, you always assume that no matter what happens, you’ll be the bigger person.
You believe that you’ll never sink their level and become a disrespectful person yourself.
However, once you find yourself in this situation, your point of view suddenly changes. The humiliation and shame overwhelm you.
Consequently, all you want is for your abuser (because this really is a form of emotional abuse) to feel the same way.
You want them to feel like they’re not enough and you want them to question their worth.
Your only desire is for them to lay awake at night, not being able to sleep and wondering if they did something wrong.
You want them to blush in front of people every time you make a comment and to consider themselves worthless.
Naturally, after everything they’ve put you through, you want revenge.
You want to get even and you assume that the only way for you to regain your confidence is to pay them back for all the pain they caused you.
Don’t worry: you’re not a bad person for feeling this way. It’s a natural impulse and you’re just a human being made out of flesh and blood.
Nevertheless, this is something you should avoid doing at all costs.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying this because I want to spare your abuser from the treatment they deserve.
I’m advising you against this approach because it will lead you nowhere.
In fact, you will just end up trapped in an endless cycle of mutual lack of respect and your toxic relationship will never recover.
You might expect your partner to change their behavior as soon as they see that you’re giving them the taste of their own medicine.
However, something worse will sadly start to happen.
There are two possible scenarios here. In the first case, they might see this as a green light to continue their behavior.
Naturally, they’ll think that you don’t mind the way they treat you and that you find this kind of relationship dynamic acceptable.
At the end of the day, you won’t have accomplished anything.
Another possibility is that they’ll realize that you’re just paying them back. In that case, they’ll probably feel endangered.
Crucially, though, they won’t change their ways. Instead, they’ll just attack you harder and you’ll end up even more hurt.
Learn to stand up for yourself
The problem with today’s society is that in many cases, the victim is blamed.
For example, when someone disrespects you or doesn’t treat you right, not many will call out the abuser on their actions.
Instead, most people will ask you why you allowed this type of behavior to become a pattern.
So, nobody directly says that you’re guilty but it is certainly implied.
You’ve been too weak, which made you a suitable victim for this person.
Later on, once you realized what was going on, you were the one who didn’t fight back.
You’re the one who kept giving them the authorization and the green light to keep on behaving like this.
In all of this, it seems that people forget about the narcissist who didn’t give you the respect you deserved.
In fact, all eyes point at you, as if you aren’t, in fact, a victim.
Well, I am not here to accuse you of someone else’s wrongdoings.
Nevertheless, I will tell you that you have to learn how to stand up for yourself.
First and foremost, you need to learn how to say “no”.
When you’re bothered by something your partner does, simply tell them to stop. Don’t yell and be polite but firm.
You’re allowed to have your own desires and preferences that differ from your partner’s.
Stand up for yourself and for your beliefs and I assure you that they’ll respect you more as soon as you do.
Stop being a people pleaser and learn how to appreciate yourself if you want others to follow.
It’s not enough that you had an honest conversation with your partner about everything that’s bothering you.
You have to stand up for yourself every time they try to repeat their actions.
Be clear and show them that you’ve had enough of their mistreatment.
Most importantly: be firm about the fact that you won’t tolerate it any longer.
However, having complete control over yourself is crucial if you want to be taken seriously.
Instead of yelling and shouting, be as calm as possible but make sure your tone of voice shows that you’re not kidding.
I know that this is probably the last option you had in mind but if nothing else works out, you have no other option but to leave your partner and walk away for good.
You might love them with all of your heart, you may have even planned a future together, but sometimes love isn’t enough.
In fact, you should ask yourself whether this person ever loved you for real if they never respected you.
If they refuse to show you respect, it’s time to take your life in your own hands and start giving yourself the respect you never received from them.
However, if you choose to do this, please make your decision final.
Don’t do it to scare them into changing their behavior or as a part of your revenge.
If you leave them only to return after they beg you to, you’ll just lose their respect even more.
4 Signs Of Disrespect In A Relationship
What are the actual signs of disrespect between two people?
What does it mean to be respected in your relationship and what should your partner do in order to show respect to you?
Excluded from your partner’s life
The first sign of disrespect in a relationship is the fact that you’re excluded from your boyfriend or girlfriend’s life.
It doesn’t matter how long you have been together, you still feel like a stranger.
No, you’re not a jealous type. You don’t expect them to erase their entire life just because you’ve become a part of it.
However, it’s unusual that you still haven’t met his friends and family after all this time together. You don’t feel like their partner or teammate.
Instead, they treat you as something temporary and as if there is absolutely no reason for them to include you in their life.
Whenever they go out with friends, you’re not invited to hang out with them.
You’re not even their plus one at weddings and similar ceremonies.
You don’t spend time together during the holidays and their social media shows no signs of your relationship.
Even when they include you in their life, you feel like you’re not welcome.
It’s clear that they’ve done so just to ease their conscience and to please you – not because they truly wanted to.
However, that is not all. It seems that they make all of their life decisions without consulting you.
They never act as a part of a couple but rather as an individual, without any obligations towards you.
It’s more than obvious that they refuse to give you the place you deserve in their life.
In fact, most of the time, they behave like they’re ashamed of you and as if they’re hiding you from the rest of the world.
At first, you thought of it as cute.
You thought that your partner wanted you just for themselves and they didn’t want to share you – even with their closest ones.
Nevertheless, after a while, you took off your rose-tinted glasses and saw the awful truth: this person never respected you enough.
In fact, they probably didn’t even love you as much as they pretended they did.
Not being enough
The next red flag that you are being disrespected is the way your partner puts you down.
According to them, you’re never enough: not good enough, not beautiful or handsome enough, not smart enough…
Whatever you do, they think you could do it better.
They use every opportunity to diminish your worth and to make you feel bad about yourself.
Well, let me tell you something: if someone loves you, they will do everything in their power to boost your self-esteem.
They won’t feed your insecurities and play with your ego on purpose.
However, this is exactly what your other half keeps on doing. They constantly compare you with everyone else, including their exes.
However, they don’t do this because they want to inspire you to become better or as a part of constructive criticism.
On the contrary: they do it to show you that literally everyone is better than you and that you’re good for nothing.
Well, this is one of the clearest signs of disrespect.
When this person doesn’t respect your achievements, they don’t respect the time, the effort, and the energy you invested in them.
Consequently, they don’t respect you. So, what exactly are they still doing next to you if they think so little of you?
Why are they still with someone who is not attractive, not smart, and not a good person?
The even more important question is: what are you still doing with them? Why are you settling for someone who has this kind of opinion of you?
Let me tell you a little secret: your partner is actually perfectly aware of your worth. They know how valuable and precious you are.
They know that you’re a catch. They know that in normal circumstances, you’d be way out of their league.
In fact, they’re the ones who think poorly of themselves. They’re well aware of their own flaws.
So, the only way in which this narcissist can be on the same level as with you is to drag you down.
They don’t have the capacity to rise up to your heights so they need to lower your self-esteem.
Trust me: this is the only way for them not to feel so insecure next to you. The only way for them to boost their broken ego.
Just because your partner is in a relationship with you, it doesn’t mean they suddenly lost their eyesight.
It’s perfectly normal that they’ll still notice a beautiful woman or a handsome man passing by.
However, it’s a sign of respect not to comment on other people when you’re taken, especially not in the presence of your other half.
Unfortunately, your partner’s disrespectful behavior doesn’t stop there. In fact, they even flirt with other people, despite you being next to them.
You can’t say that they’re unfaithful because you’ve never caught them red handed and you don’t have any proof that they’ve had an actual affair.
However, their behavior is, to say at least, inappropriate. They act like they’re single and ready to mingle.
This person is always out clubbing without you.
If you’re married or engaged, most of the time they do not wear their ring, giving the impression that they’re available.
It’s the same with their social media accounts.
It’s not just that their profiles don’t have a trace of you – they also like or comment on other people’s photos.
It’s more than clear that they’re using their social media to flirt and to look for a way to do something behind your back.
You might say that social media is irrelevant and that what counts is their behavior when the two of you are alone and together.
However, this is nothing but a clear sign of disrespect.
After all, you’re not the only one seeing it.
If this third person knows about your existence, they may even laugh at you for allowing something like this to happen.
Besides, all of your family members and mutual friends can see this as well.
They can see that your partner treats you as completely irrelevant and humiliates you publicly, which makes the situation even worse.
Insults and name-calling
Every relationship has its own dynamic.
Therefore, if both you and your loved one like joking, it may not be unusual for you to spend a lot of time teasing each other.
However, there is a thin line between teasing and making fun of each other.
That is exactly what your partner does: they mask their insults with humor.
They especially do it while you’re with other people.
Instead of trying to make you look as good as possible, they use every chance to humiliate you.
In many cases, you feel ashamed of their behavior.
You end up blushing and it is especially uncomfortable when other people start laughing at their jokes as well.
This is the person who knows all of your vulnerabilities and insecurities. Well, these are exactly the things they use against you.
The worst part is that your partner hasn’t changed their behavior even though you’ve pointed out that you’re bothered by it multiple times.
Instead, they often accuse you of being too sensitive or too weak.
Trust me: it’s not that they fail to notice that they’re acting rude and inconsiderate.
The truth is that they just don’t care. They don’t give a damn about how their words and actions make you feel.
Once they realized they could get away with making fun of you, they started insulting you for real.
They started calling you names in the heat of an argument and then used the excuse “I didn’t mean it like that”.
Even when they try to give you constructive criticism, the conversation ends with their put-downs and insults.
Don’t get me wrong: all couples fight.
However, just because you and your other half disagree from time to time, it doesn’t give them the right to insult you.
They might think badly of your attitude toward life.
However, just because your opinions differ, it doesn’t mean they’re allowed to disrespect you.
No matter what happens, you’re not their doormat. Name-calling and insulting someone is never an option.
No matter how much you love your partner, their disrespectful behavior is something you should never tolerate.
If you feel disrespected in a relationship or marriage, please do something as soon as possible and start putting yourself first.