15 Signs of Disrespect in a Relationship You Better Not Ignore

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Last Updated on 5 months by Iva Ursano

So you’re in a relationship. It’s been a few weeks, months, maybe even years. Things seem to be going relatively ok for the most part but some things just don’t sit well with you. Recognizing signs of disrespect in a relationship can sometimes be kinda tricky.

We’ll address a few of those signs here and also talk about how to deal with disrespect in a relationship.

Feeling disrespected in a relationship

How many times has your best friend cried on your shoulder about this problem? Or maybe it’s been you doing the crying about feeling disrespected in a relationship.

You’re not alone.

If you already know and feel that your husband/wife does not respect you then something must change.

One would think that having and maintaining respect in a relationship would be a no brainer. Unfortunately, such is not the case.

We all have to keep in mind that so many of us were raised in toxic environments and what may seem like chaos to you is perfectly normal for them. Many of us, also, have no idea what respect is, or we never received any. Respect is a tough beast for sure.

Dealing with disrespect in a relationship

For those of you who were raised with respect and value this trait, it can be tough af dealing with disrespectful behavior in a relationship, any relationship really, but especially with your spouse/partner.

To be honest and in my opinion, the easiest and best way to deal with disrespect in a relationship is to immediately address the issue and inform your partner that their behaviour is totally unacceptable.

Fighting or lashing back is not going to fix the problem.

They need to understand that what they said or did has hurt you or is a sign of disrespect, let them know how it made you feel and talk to them about it.

If they argue back (every single time this happens) and it never gets resolved then you have a much bigger issue on your hands and will need to figure out for yourself how much more disrespect you are willing to tolerate in this relationship.

I gotta be honest here though. No one is entitled to treat you like crap or disrespect you so if this is a common occurrence you need to sit down with yourself and figure out why you keep letting this happen to you. This is a sign of an unhealthy relationship and you need to either address and fix it, or leave.

Let’s talk about that a little more.

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Signs of an unhealthy relationship

While this article will definitely cover many signs of disrespect in a relationship you need to know that these are also signs of an unhealthy relationship. 

Ironically, just the other day I was telling my friend that I don’t even know what a healthy relationship feels like. I’ve never had one and one of the reasons is that now when I see red flags I address them and run.

But so many of us stay in unhealthy relationships because it’s all we know and we are feeding our longing to be loved and our fear of loneliness.

couple fighting-signs of an unhealthy relationshipPin

What are signs of disrespect in a relationship?

If you see any of these signs of disrespect in your relationship, it’s time to get to work and address these as they come up. Remember no one is allowed or entitled to disrespect you. Ever. Many of these are huge red flags.

I’m no relationship expert but I know I deserve to be treated with respect and if the guy I’m dating shows any signs of disrespect, I’m out. I’ve come too far in my self love and self worth journey to let anyone crush me or stomp on my confidence, ever again.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t respect you, it’s time to do something about it. Period.

15 signs of disrespect in a relationship

Too often we lose ourselves in a relationship and forget our identity and our self worth, not to mention self respect and self esteem. We tend to settle for less because we feel that’s all we deserve or ‘there’s nothing better out there’.

We have to stop thinking like that and reclaim who we are and believe in what we deserve.

1 Being judged

Does your partner constantly judge and belittle you? Do they criticize you often with the intent to hurt you, not help you? Remember there’s a difference between constructive criticism and damaging criticism.

Being judged - Signs of Disrespect in a RelationshipPin

2 Poor communication

Is your partner easy to talk to when problems arise? Or do they shut down, not want to talk and not care about your feelings with regards to whatever issue is at hand? I get communicating our feelings can sometimes be difficult for some, but when it comes to communicating for a conflict resolution? That’s kind of important!

3 Lack of support, emotionally, professionally or otherwise

It’s important to have 100% support from your partner in all things in your life. If they show lack of support or a rather ” I don’t really care” type attitude, then, well, they don’t really care and clearly don’t have your best interests at heart.


4 Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Is everything always about them and what they want/want to do with little to no concern about you, your interests and what you want to do? That screams narcissist to me and selfish. This person clearly only cares about themselves, not you.

5 Untrustworthy

Can your partner be trusted OR maybe they don’t really trust you even though you’ve given them no clear reason not to trust you? Trust is a big effin deal in a relationship and if they can’t be trusted or don’t trust you, the problem is bigger than you want to deal with.


 6 I’ll do what I want

Is there something your partner has done numerous times that you have asked them not to do because you don’t like it? They keep doing it because they don’t care about your feelings. They do it because they only care about themselves.

7 Never pays attention to you

Do you have his/her attention when you want to talk to them or do they seem totally uninterested in what you are saying? Are they too busy scrolling through Facebook or watching TV while you are talking to them? Ya, that’s rude and disrespectful.

8 Refuses to apologize

Does he/she refuse to apologize for things they did that hurt you OR do they say ‘sorry but..’? They clearly have no respect for you or your feelings if apologies don’t come easily or are followed by a ‘but’.

Also keep in mind, if they keep doing the same wrong thing over and over again they don’t really care that they are hurting you.

The best apology is changed behavior. Remember that.

Refuses to apologize - Signs of Disrespect in a RelationshipPin

9 I’ll do what I want

Does your partner often do things without asking you to join them or if it would be ok to do it? Now I get we don’t need permission to do things but some things most certainly shouldn’t do without at least asking if it’s ok.

10 Embarrasses you in public

Does he/she pick on you/put you down/or make fun of you in front of friends or family? Oh I’m sure it’s all in jest right? Wrong. That is totally disrespectful. No one has the right to make a mockery of you in public.

11 Flirts with others in front you

No no no just no. Do they do this often? Totally disregard you and start flirting with other men/women at a party or club or wherever? This is a clear sign of disrespect in a relationship. Not to mention it’s rude!!

12 Interrupts you often

Does your partner often talk over you or interrupt you when you’re trying to get a point across or have a conversation? It’s frustrating as heck right? They do this because your words or feelings don’t matter. They need you to hear them and they want to be heard. What you have to say doesn’t matter at all to them.

13 Always late

To be honest, if you/they are always late there is a bigger problem but it also shows a lack of respect for your time or the importance of the event. Narcissists top this list of “I don’t really care what time I get there, they should just be happy I’m going”. People need to respect other people’s time as well.

woman checking her watch-signs of disrespect in a relationshipPin

14 Always on their cell phone

Ugh!! This is my number one pet peeve. Would you rather scroll Facebook/Twitter/Insta then talk with me? Seriously though! If your partner is always on their phone and totally ignoring you it shows your company means nothing to them.

But this goes for friends too I might add. If you are hanging with a friend and he/she is always on their cell phone it might be time to put an end to that. Tell them how you feel about it (hello, it’s effin rude btw).

15 They choose others over you

They always side with friends and family over you. They will also make plans with them without including you (or asking you) and will choose their activity over one you have chosen. This obviously shows you are second choice, an alternative.

A few more common signs of disrespect

I’ve only listed 15 signs of disrespect in a relationship but honestly, there are probably a million more! A few more common signs of disrespect in a relationship are:

  • lying
  • bullying
  • controlling
  • cheating
  • verbally/emotionally/mentally/physically abusive

Not to forget too that addictive behaviour can also ruin a relationship. Whether it be an addiction to a drug, porn, gambling, alcohol or whatever. Some addictions are extremely crippling not only to the person with the addiction but to the other person in the relationship.

Remember we are not in relationships to suffer, be sad, be treated poorly or anything negative like that. If you think you are in a toxic relationship, do something about it! Either go to counselling or leave!

Yup that may sound harsh but always keep in mind, you are here for joy and happiness. Also keep in mind you can’t fix broken people. Only they can fix themselves, if and when they are ready to.

How to have respect for yourself

This is a tough one. I get it. Many of us have struggled all our lives to try to have respect for ourselves or even love ourselves. We have been in and out of toxic relationships all our lives because that’s what we attract and that’s all we know.


But when you learn to have some respect for yourself and start loving yourself, the people in your life will change as you change and grow.

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  1. It’s hard to accept but you have highlighted so many negative aspects in my partners behaviour towards me that he refuses to change that I am spurred to action! Thank you

  2. It’s hard to let go of the person whom you love with everything
    Sometimes I feel am the biggest fool ever for letting myself love someone more than am suppose to…..
    I have a heart problem , so it’s hard for me to remove on no matter much I feel disrespected
    What can you do to forget about your first lover and a person who you have done everything together

  3. Mind-blowing! My spouse recently told me (and has apparently told others) that I’m abusive, and I was all contrite and apologetic and promised to work on myself some more. But checking out this page and your 15 red flags, I see that maybe 2 – 3 apply to me, but holy shit, like 10 apply to him! I didn’t even think about how some of these more passive traits (lying, ignoring, stonewalling, gaslighting, refusing to communicate, showing no interest in your dreams and plans) are all abusive as well. I used to have a temper. I worked on it. He’s not shown growth because he needs to see himself as the victim. I’ve given up so much to live where he wants to live, get a job to support him so he can be an artist, buy him a car, get him dogs, the list goes on. Anything to make him happy. This weekend, while I got the heartbreaking news that my mum is dying in Canada, he takes off to visit a friend, comes back, takes our kids out for ice-cream and says, “I’m leaving your mom and moving down to SLO. Hope it’s okay if I have to give away the dogs.” My little one came to me in tears with this “secret.” Well, maybe I’m the one who needs to start making plans. Thanks, Iva! Now that I’ve unloaded all this, I’m gonna buy you a Kofi. Thanks for listening. (Sorry if this gets posted twice and feel free to delete duplicate. I’m tech-challenged).

    1. Ick he sounds horrible :/ sorry. Go do you babe, go live your life for you so YOU can be happy finally!!!!!!

  4. I’m guilty of everything in this article, ignorance indeed is very fetal.I lost the man I love just because I didn’t understand what respect was plus I didn’t know how to be respectful.Indeed I grew up in a toxic environment which contributes to my ignorance.Sometimes I really wish I can change a lot but I’m a work in progress,reading this article I realized I was reading his mind set when he made the decision to say NO.He was even too respectful when he told me he wasn’t good for me because the truth is I was and I am the toxic one.It hurts but I must embrace my lost and pain 💔💔💔

    1. Wow kudos to you for recognizing that. You can only go up from here xoxo

    2. You should be proud of yourself for acknowledging your flaws. This is key to growth and change!

  5. someone treated him like shit now im seeing the same treatment to me like controlling, commucation shut down slient treatment when he know im up set

  6. Thank you for the reminder…..I struggled through a narcisisstic relationship for 11 years (not even knowing such people existed at the time.) It took having that man’s child (alone, he was incarcerated…..again, not only when I was urgently rushed to the hospital in a hypertensive crisis and liver failure d/t my pre-eclampsia being exacerbated by, guess what? stress. It wasn’t until I heard my son’s first cry that I “woke up” as if the past 11 years had been a bad dream, it was SO CLEAR to me what unconditional love was and that w/e my son’s father felt about me….I didn’t care. I just knew I had to get US away from him. I left and never looked back. He has made the past 6 and a half years since our son was born a torturous time, as well as he can. I no longer allow HIM to control me, but he is (of course) now trying to use our precious child to hurt me b/c he knows he no longer has that power. You are a strong woman, our strength is forged on the battlefield and adversity sure does SUCK SOMETIMES, but the resulting strength has elevated me to a new dimension of self-worth while my difficulties in life have allowed me to remain humble. I am truly blessed and know it. Thanks again for sharing your strength, wisdom and inspirational messages with women everywhere. Prayers for Peace!

    1. Oh I am so sorry you are going through all this. It’s so sad when people continue to torment their ex’s. I could never understand that. Here’s to hoping one day you will find some peace xoxox

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