Whether you’re in a short-term or long-term relationship (or married), feeling disrespected can quickly erode feelings of love and compassion in a relationship.
Often, these disrespectful behaviors come in the form of passive-aggressive acts.
And often, they leave you feeling very conflicted…
On the one hand, what your partner says and does upsets you deeply. On the other, you’re wondering if you’re making it a bigger problem than it needs to be.
As a result, you are constantly fighting yourself. While you want to speak up for yourself and put your foot down, you don’t want to start a needless argument.
TNavigating disrespect in a relationship can be tricky, but I’m here to guide you through it. Today, I’ll cover 13 common signs of disrespect in a relationship and effective strategies for remedying the issue.
Take them together, and you’ll have a solid framework for strengthening your relationship going forward. Ready to dive in?
1. She Doesn’t Value Your Time
Does your partner often leave you hanging? Do you meet for dinner after work, only to have her show up half an hour or more after your agreed-upon time?
Sure, she got stuck late at the office, and traffic may have been chaotic, but we all deal with these things. That’s no excuse to leave you hanging.
It’s a blatant sign of disrespect if your partner disregards your time. It’s her way of telling you that her wants and needs are more important than yours.
If this behavior only happens occasionally, it isn’t a cause for concern. But if she repeatedly shows you your time isn’t valuable to her, it should be a cause for concern.
2. She Plans Things For You, Without You
Have you ever sat down to watch the game or start a new DIY project, only to be told by your wife or girlfriend that you had plans that day? Plans that you have no recollection of and were completely oblivious to?
If your calendar is constantly filled with things you can’t remember committing to, it’s a sign of disrespect.
Now, if you agree to these things and simply forget about them, that’s another problem entirely. That’s a sign that you’re just not listening — and that’s on you.
But something is wrong if you’re told about a dinner date with old coworkers the night before it happens.
Similarly, you may be told about these things three months in advance. You agree to go because three months sounds like a long time from now. Then, naturally, you forget about it.
Then, the day of the event shows up, and you get chastised for not remembering. This is manipulative behavior, and it is entirely unreasonable.
You should be making plans collectively as a couple. And if the event isn’t happening until months in the future, you should be given advanced notice.
3. She’s Always Trying To Fix You
It can quickly become frustrating if your wife or girlfriend always has something to say about how you look, act, or dress.
Does your partner often criticize your outfits, saying you don’t look right for the occasion? Does she make subtle comments about your appearance? That you should comb your hair or trim your beard.
Before entering a social setting, does she coach you about how to act and what to say? Does she treat you more like her child instead of her partner?
People should be respected for who they are, not for who we want them to be. If your partner is always trying to change you into something you’re not, it will only worsen as time passes.
Many men try to conform to these expectations in the name of compromise. The problem is they’re misreading what compromise in a relationship really means.
Compromise is alternating between the movies each of you would like to see. Compromise is trading off doing the dishes. Compromise is about the back-and-fourth, give-and-take scenarios in a relationship.
Compromise does not mean you should have to feel like there is something inherently wrong with you. If this is happening to you, it needs to stop immediately.
Think of it this way: If the shoe was on the other foot, would it be acceptable to say such things to your partner?
4. She Talks Over You, Interrupts You, Or Embarrasses You
This can happen in two ways: One-on-one conversations or group settings.
If it’s just the two of you chatting, and she glosses over you and dominates the conversation, it’s a blatant sign of disrespect. It’s never right to interrupt someone when they’re speaking.
Even worse is when she speaks over you or interrupts you in social situations. If you’re discussing a topic with a group of friends, and she feels the need to clarify something by interrupting what you’re saying, that’s disrespectful behavior.
You may also find your partner correcting you in front of other people, leading to feelings of embarrassment.
This is nothing more than a way to assert dominance over you. She is telling you that you are beneath her and that her voice is more important than yours.
5. You’re Always A Second Priority To Her Friends Or Family
Many men feel like they’re “just along for the ride” in their relationship. Their wives or girlfriends go and do as they please, and the men are expected to just tag along for the ride.
If your interests are ever at odds with her friends or family, and your partner sides with those friends or family over you, this is highly disrespectful behavior.
A healthy relationship is one where both partners put each other’s needs above all other people’s. No, you can’t always stick to this ALL the time, but it should feel natural to stand by your partner.
And if your partner seems unwilling or unable to do this for you, something is off balance in your relationship.
Maybe you wanted to go out for a night alone, but she wanted to hang out with her girlfriends. Then, you were given an ultimatum: Tag along for the ride or stay home.
Begrudgingly, you go because you want to spend time with her, but when you get there, she completely neglects you. She goes off rambling with her friends and leaves you sitting there, out of the loop.
Make no mistake: This isn’t about wanting you there; it’s about control. She is asserting her dominance over you.
6. Oppositely, She Refuses To Spend Time With Your Friends Or Family
Something is off if you’re always hanging out with her social circle, but she never has time for yours.
If you ask her to accompany you but are told, “Sorry, I really don’t like [insert friend or family member’s name],” it IS NOT a valid excuse.
Unless, of course, you actually despise your friends and family, think they are horrible human beings, and feel genuinely blessed whenever she graces you with her social circle…
Not the case? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
She probably has plenty of friends and family members you’re not too fond of, but you tolerate them because you love her.
Why can’t she do the same for you? She can; she just doesn’t want to.
7. She Badmouths You, Your Friends Or Your Family
If you catch her speaking ill about you or someone close to you, that’s a pretty obvious sign of disrespect.
Usually, people do this in secret and only fess up to it when they get caught.
Perhaps you overheard her having a conversation with her friend, mother, or coworker. If she was talking about you, that’s bad enough, but if she was talking about a friend or family member, that can be equally hurtful.
Now, if she’s been open about her distaste for a certain someone and is just regurgitating the same things she’s already said to you in the past, that’s one thing.
But talking behind people’s backs is never a good sign. Again, look a bit deeper and consider the larger patterns at play.
Whoever you caught her talking about, there’s no way that’s the only person she’s gossiping about. There are tons more you don’t even know about.
You can always tell a lot about your partner’s character by how she treats others. This is why I always advocate for my clients to embody the spirit of a gentleman in all walks of life.
8. She Never Goes Out Of Her Way To Help
Does it feel like your acts of service are a one-way street? Like you go above and beyond to help your wife or girlfriend, but she can’t be bothered to lift a finger for you?
This is a sign that the power dynamic in your relationship is off balance, and it’s a clear sign of disrespect.
You’re supposed to be her partner, not her servant. If she’s not helping you with things, she doesn’t value what you do for her.
She may see you as expendable — like it’s your duty to perform these acts of service.
It is not your duty. Something is wrong if you’re doing things for your partner out of a sense of responsibility or guilt.
In a healthy relationship, partners should naturally want to help each other because it makes them feel good, not because they feel obligated.
9. You Get Lied To A Lot (Even If It’s Just Small Things)
People often assume that “little white lies” are harmless. They’re not. They’re usually the precursor to a more significant problem.
If your partner is lying to you about nonsense that doesn’t even matter, how do you know she’s telling the truth about anything?
An average person with a conscience should have real difficulty lying to someone they love. It should seldom happen — if ever — and the person lying should feel terrible about it.
Is this not the case in your relationship? If so, ask yourself why.
It’s probably because your partner either doesn’t care enough to respect your feelings or is a pathological liar.
Just remember, if she’s capable of lying to you about these insignificant things, there’s no telling what else she is capable of lying about.
10. She Flirts With Other Guys In Front Of You
“Some people are naturally flirtatious.” “Flirting is harmless unless you act on it.” “Don’t be upset — I would never do anything…”
Lies, lies, and more lies. There is no excuse for someone who likes to flirt with other people, whether they do this in front of you or not.
Flirting is rarely harmless. Much like lying, it’s usually a sign of an underlying pattern. Think of it as a warning sign.
If she’s so comfortable doing this in front of you, imagine what she does when you’re not around.
And don’t kid yourself; she knows she’s upsetting you. It’s just that her impulses take precedence over your feelings.
Why not test it out? Flirt with another woman in front of her and see how she takes it.
Behavior like this is never okay.
11. She Craps On Your Dreams
Have you ever confided your hopes and dreams in your partner, only to have her tell you that you’ll never accomplish them?
That you’re not good enough? Not bright enough? Not good-looking enough?
First off, never take these things personally. Understand that, ten times out of ten, people say these things because they’re battling their insecurities.
Second, understand that this is not acceptable behavior from your partner. Your partner should support you through thick and thin, regardless of how irrational or homeless your dreams may be.
That’s the whole point of a relationship — to have someone who supports you unconditionally.
If you provide a safe space for her to express her thoughts, but she can’t do the same, your relationship is unbalanced.
12. She Passes Judgement On Your Spending Habits (But Not Her Own)
Most of us have questionable spending habits. You know what I’m talking about: The things you don’t really need to buy but feel compelled to do so anyway.
A new computer. A new drill. A luxury watch. Sneakers. Whatever.
You are perfectly fine without these things, but go out and purchase them anyway.
Well, if your significant other passes judgment on you for your spending habits without doing the same for her own, it’s a sign of disrespect.
Mostly, men and women like to splurge on different things. But we all splurge. And very rarely is one person’s splurge more noble than the others.
If you just walked in the front door with your shiny new whatever, your wife or girlfriend has no right to break your chops about it.
(Unless you purchased the item with her money or a shared bank account, but that’s another topic for discussion).
Your money, your stuff, your business. Period.
13. She Expects You To Fix All Her Problems
Does this sound familiar? When your partner is upset, it always seems to be your fault. And it doesn’t matter if you actually had nothing to do with the situation.
If she goes to pour a cup of coffee and spills it, it’s because you overfilled the pot. If she can’t find her keys, it’s because you put them in the wrong spot. If she’s running late, it’s because you didn’t wake her up early enough.
You are the cause — and the solution — for all her problems. If you have a problem with something, it is your responsibility, and your responsibility alone, to fix it.
Even worse, if you voice upset over something, even if that something has nothing to do with her, she somehow finds a way to get mad at you for it.
Do these double standards leave you baffled? If so, you’re not alone.
Behavior like this is another way of telling you that you aren’t worth her time. Her problems are your problems, and your problems are your problems.
Why? Because she believes she is more important than you, that’s why. And if you try and do anything to speak up for yourself, she quickly ends the discussion by getting upset that you’re upset.
How To Fix Disrespect In A Relationship
1. Figure Out Your Boundaries — And Stick To Them
The problem so many men have is that they don’t set boundaries. And they don’t set boundaries because they don’t even know what theirs are.
We all have things that rub us the wrong way. The same things that upset me might seem laughable to you — and vice-versa. The first thing you need to do is get clear on your boundaries.
Some guys think boundaries are about imposing limits on their significant other, but it’s really the opposite. It’s about understanding and asserting your own needs and limits.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with being assertive. And being assertive isn’t the same as being domineering.
Once you get clear on your boundaries and the things you are not willing to negotiate, you need to stick to them. And this will require you to be assertive.
This may be difficult at first because you’ll be going against things you happily went along with for weeks, months, or even years. You’ll get pushback, and you need to be prepared for it.
But you must stand strong. Understand that the “nice guy” behavior got you into this predicament in the first place, and to get out of it, you will have to do things a little differently.
A man with boundaries has self-esteem and respect. He tells the world what he will and will not accept.
2. Point It Out When She Does It
It may be hard to believe, but many people are blissfully unaware that they’re even being disrespectful.
All of our world views are determined by how we were raised. If your partner was raised in a family where disrespectful behavior was normal, she may not even realize she’s doing anything wrong.
Point out when she does something hurtful and be consistent about it. You’ll never get anywhere if you only mention it once and then bite your lip about it.
Generally, people don’t intentionally engage in hurtful behavior. As hard as it may be to believe, most people think they’re doing the right thing.
And even if they’re doing something morally wrong, they often see this behavior as somehow being justified.
The point is, even if your partner is causing you a great deal of emotional pain, remember that she probably doesn’t even realize she’s doing it.
Explain how she’s making you feel. Be polite but stern about it. Elucidate the damage these behaviors are doing to you and your relationship.
3. Try Flipping The Script
Unfortunately, not everyone responds to words alone, and sometimes, you need to use actions to get your point across.
While you may not want to stoop to your partner’s level and engage in the same hurtful behavior, it can effectively get your point across.
To be clear, you should not go off the deep end and start fighting fire with fire; that will destroy your relationship.
But, in certain circumstances and controlled bursts, showing your partner how hurtful her behavior can be is okay.
If she’s unwilling to hang out with your friends but you always accommodate her, give her a taste of her own medicine.
If she frequently interrupts you while speaking and changes the subject, consider doing the same to her.
Again, this isn’t about being petty. This strategy can actually help you figure out where she’s coming from. If she doesn’t get upset, she’s utterly oblivious to what she’s doing.
Ultimately, you want to use this to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other.
4. Seek Outside Help
Very often, character flaws like these are present in all aspects of a person’s life, not just their relationship.
If you’re comfortable, broach the subject with friends or family members and see if they see a similar pattern of behavior. And if they do, see if they are willing to discuss the subject with you and her.
The tricky part is that you don’t want your partner to feel like she’s being ganged up on or attacked. You want to clarify that you are saying these things to help her and heal your relationship.
Many couples fall into a rut where they automatically dismiss everything their partner says. This often stems from deep-rooted resentment, but it makes effective communication impossible.
No matter what you say or do, she isn’t going to listen because it’s coming from you. In the absence of being able to speak to her yourself, you may need to ask someone else for help.
5. Consider An Ultimatum
If all else fails and you still can’t get through to her, it may be time to make it clear that you are no longer willing to tolerate such behavior.
Give her an ultimatum. Either things change, or you’re gone.
Just be sure that you are ready to follow through on this. Remember, you’re not here to make threats but to fix a situation causing significant emotional stress.
And if the only way to fix things is to walk away, you must be prepared to do that.
Moving on can be very difficult, but consider your alternative. What are you going to do? Stay in this relationship for the rest of your life and make yourself miserable?
Will you form a family with a woman who can’t even respect you? Will you raise children in this environment?
Do you have any other options when you think of it in that respect? For the sake of everyone involved, you may have no other choice but to end your relationship and move on.
If you’ve been in a string of bad relationships throughout your life, it’s crucial to recognize the common denominator: you.
So many men fail to realize that their behavior dictates how others treat them. This is true in personal relationships, professional relationships, and romantic relationships.
If this sounds like you, it may be a sign of an underlying problem you must address.
Relationship woes are normal, but if every romantic relationship ends in failure, leaving you feeling dejected and hopeless, don’t be too quick to chalk it up to bad luck.
Something you’re doing is directly contributing to the problem.
If you want to get out of this cycle of failure, embrace your full potential, and bring a loving and respectful woman into your life, professional coaching may be the answer.
Instead of learning from your mistakes the hard way, why not enlist the help of men who have already been there and lived through it themselves?
My team of coaches has the experience you need to change your life for good.
There are no whiners or complainers around here — only serious men who are serious about helping you become the best version of yourself.
If you’re willing to commit to our program, we can show you how to unlock your full potential and live a life you once only dreamed of.
Success. Wealth. Romance. It all can be yours with the proper guidance and the proper mindset.
Do you have what it takes? To find out, get started by watching my new client orientation video. I’ll see you on the other side!