I am not a relationship expert nor a marriage coach, and no, I have not successfully mastered the art of perfect courtship.
However, I have had my fair share of relationships to warn you of the signs of impending danger. I have perfected the art of reading signs so much, I consider myself a seer.
Marriages are great, but you know what sucks?
Breakups and divorces.
So let me spare you a lot of soul searching and tell you how you can successfully end up single without lifting a finger.
If you’re wondering, “What is considered disrespectful behavior?” then here are 30 signs of disrespect in marriage that you should look out for before they destroy your romantic relationship.
They don’t tell you how they feel
Contrary to what everyone believes, men are not mind-readers, and neither are women. If we wanted someone to read our minds, we would marry mediums.
For there to be effective communication, we need to understand that if we feel something, we need to say it. If we don’t like something, we need to say it.
It is even more important to speak up when we are angry than when we are happy. I don’t know of any marriage that ended because the partners felt too happy.
The silent treatment
Frequently giving you the silent treatment is one of the clearest and most common signs of disrespect in a relationship. It’s also a clear sign that your communication dynamics are falling apart.
This type of behavior often happens when your partner feels so disconnected that they don’t even feel like talking about what upsets them.
This is not only counterproductive but also a sign that they are losing psych and momentum in the fight to make it work.
Just don’t play into the same antiques. Eventually, they will come around, and you’re more likely to have a healthy conversation then.
They never make time for you
If you feel a growing distance between you and your spouse and they no longer show a desire to spend time with you, chances are they have started taking your time, attention, and presence for granted.
Growing apart is somewhat common among long-term couples, of course, if that’s just a phase. Eventually, couples manage to bridge the gap and come together stronger than ever.
Tell your partner how much you miss spending time together, even if it’s just a simple conversation or catching up over dinner, and then organize a night out.
They hide things from you
Keeping your spouse informed about what’s going on in your daily life and vice versa is one of the basic signs of mutual respect. Having said that, people give different levels of importance to things, so what seems like a big deal to you may be quite insignificant for your partner.
When you notice your partner frequently omits all the details, whether on purpose or not, just let them know how you feel about not being “briefed.”
They keep you away from their friends and family members
Have you noticed that your partner never introduces you to their friends and colleagues or acts as if you aren’t there during social gatherings? Some of these events will require focusing on another person, let’s say the general manager or CEO if they are after a promotion but never in their closest social circle.
Watch how they act and bring it to their attention whenever you notice such behavior wasn’t incidental but has become a habit. You deserve to be treated with utmost respect and care, no matter who else is there.
They don’t care about your needs
Serious relationships are simple yet complicated. Looking from the outside, partners don’t always seem evenly engaged. The important is what happens on the inside. Are you contributing equally and not just in the sphere of finances?
If you are always available, caring, loving, and respectful, but your spouse treats you the opposite of that, it’s time to start making some changes.
They never take your side
Life is as unpredictable as it can get, and partners sometimes fail to be there and give each other support. But once it turns from coincidence to indifference, it’s a strong sign of disrespect in marriage.
Strong partnerships are built on trust, love, and respect. When you can’t trust your spouse with your heart and feelings, when you can’t rely on their presence (in any form), or expect them to be in your corner whenever life knocks you out, you can’t really say you are in a healthy marriage or relationship.
They make you feel like you don’t matter
It happens that partners or spouses sometimes make each other as if they don’t matter in the relationship. Suddenly, phrases such as “why are you exaggerating?” or “stop complaining, others have it worse” have become part of your everyday communication.
This is not how a person in love shows respect, appreciation, and affection. When someone strips you of your value and shows no interest in your relationship, it’s best to step back and reclaim your “power.”
They make comments about your appearance
Look, as spouses, you will pass comments to each other based on your physical appearance. And that’s normal and encouraged if it’s said and done with love and respect. Wouldn’t you like to know if you looked ridiculous in that huge hat? So, as long as you keep it healthy and without attacking anyone’s self-esteem or all the name-calling, you will be fine.
However, don’t tolerate if the one you love starts criticizing or making fun of your look every chance they get, telling you that you need to change to look better! You deserve to be loved and accepted for who you are, and if they can’t do it, someone else definitely will!
They are rude to your friends and family
Except for your partner, what do you value most in life? Friends and family, right? And when your spouse disrespects the most important people in your life, how do you expect them to respect anything else?
Of course, passing an ill comment or making a remark at a family reunion might be just a slip-up. Maybe, the lack of confidence kicked in and made them say things they later regretted, or they just can’t stand your people. Find out which one it is and act accordingly.
Showing up at inconvenient times
Surprises are cute, and everyone likes them. Won’t you be happy to see your spouse holding a box of chocolates just to show you how much they love you?
Romantic gestures reinforce the relationship. But what if your spouse starts popping up at your workplace or business meetings without previous announcements? Would you take it as a sign of obsession and extremely disrespectful behavior? Whatever the reason, it’s time to set boundaries.
They pressure you to have sex
Whether married, in a relationship, or single, being put under sexual pressure is a major red flag. As an individual, you are the only one who should have power over your body, desires, and sexual interactions.
If your husband/wife is not in the mood or going through some problems, now it’s not the time to crank up your desires. Instead, it’s time to have serious discussions regarding love, relationship, expectations, and more.
They don’t help around the house
Sorry men, this one is for you (mostly)! If both spouses are working people/parents, it’s only fair if they split the house chores and take care of the family aside from bringing food to the table.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to grab the vacuum cleaner the moment you get back home. Instead, you can ask how you can help or what you can do to take something off your partner’s plate.
Helping around the house is a way to show respect for your loved ones, their time, and effort.
Demanding too much
Do you have a clingy partner who always needs something? There is always one more favor to do and one more emotional need to meet. They keep asking you for things you “need” to do for them just because you are married. If you feel that this is disrespectful behavior, you’re right!
Simply ask them to take their demands and expectations down a notch. You are not their maid, not their mom.
Does your partner often act as if they know what’s best for you? Do they try to impose their opinions and tell you how to spend your free time and live your life? If so, unfortunately, you are in a relationship with a bossy and controlling person.
Such people are also prone to micro-aggression, making decisions in your name, looking down on you, passing unsolicited advice, etc.
No care for your personal space or privacy
In a long-term relationship, personal boundaries are easy to blur. Partners dare to go through each other’s phones without asking permission or spend hours stalking their social media to find out who they are talking to and why.
Besides being completely unhealthy, such behavior speaks of deep mistrust in the relationship and represents a major invasion of privacy and personal space.
It usually happens when one of the partners makes a lot more money than the other who has a part-time job or is a stay-at-home parent.
While both partners and what they do are equally important for the well-being of the family and household, sometimes, usually during fights or power-struggle moments, one partner might make the other feel less worthy, productive, or important in the relationship.
If you face something like this or feel your partner is putting you down because you don’t earn enough money, take a better look at your relationship and where it’s going.
Not listening to what you have to say
There is nothing as frustrating in a relationship as not having your needs considered or met. The worst is when this happens even after you have carefully communicated them.
It could be anything from your insecurities to your expectations for a happy marriage. It may even be something as simple as requesting them to help out around the house.
You can tell that your spouse is ignoring you if it feels like everything you say to them goes in one ear and out the other. It doesn’t matter how serious or seemingly trivial it is.
Refusal to compromise
World wars begin when countries decide they are too entitled to bow down to others. This mentality is also one of the clearest examples of disrespect in marriage and the genesis of most problems in a relationship.
Research on the importance of compromise shows that there has to be a minimum of 30% compromise for couples to be happy.
That means that for every 24 hours, you will agree to do a few things you don’t particularly like for your partner’s sake and solely for the sake of your relationship.
They’re always right
Every time you argue, they are always right. Every disagreement you have, it is you who was in the wrong.
If you notice this toxic pattern, your marriage may be in more trouble than you thought. A rigid, one-sided mindset is one of the biggest deal breakers in long-term relationships.
With time, always having your opinions disregarded or bearing the blame for falling outs will take its toll, and it will not be good for you.
Let’s set the record straight here. Not all criticism is horrible. Sometimes we need it to help us grow in the relationship. However, there is a fine line between constructive criticism from a place of love and derogatory comments meant to hurt you.
These usually come in different forms. It could be that they keep comparing you to other people in a negative light. Maybe they keep attacking your insecurities. Whatever the case, it shows a lack of respect in marriage and is a sign of disregard for you.
Nothing ruins a relationship or a healthy marriage more than a partner who acts and behaves like they are still single. I genuinely believe that there is no feeling worse than being with someone and still feeling alone.
If you choose to commit to a partner, you must act like someone in a relationship. Realize that your choices and everyday decisions are not only about you.
The most basic and typical example is making holiday plans that do not factor in your partner. Guess what? I wanted to go on vacation as well!
Lying and hiding things
Remember that magical time in your marriage when you kept nothing from each other?
The moment you leave that safe and beautiful utopia, it is usually downhill from there.
Unless it is a surprise birthday party or classified government information, your partner should not be lying or keeping secrets, as this is just a recipe for disaster in the relationship.
The greatest problem in the world is people who choose to say one thing and actively do the other. Mixed signals suck. Are you hungry, or are you not? Do you love me, or are your mind and actions separate entities?
The biggest decision couples can ever make is to live the talk actively and consistently, checking to see that they are matching up to their expectations.
If you choose to be faithful to your husband or wife, then come hell or high water, be faithful. If you promise to be better, then walk your talk.
Rebel to boundaries
The notion that once you become a couple, there are no more boundaries is why most relationships fail.
Boundaries are especially important in a strong marriage as they provide peace and create mutual respect. A recipe for ruining your relationship would be to have no limits. To make everything permissible.
Do you know what blurred lines create?
They create a relationship that feels claustrophobic.
Not acknowledging your accomplishments
Not many scenarios out there compare to the pain felt when your spouse fails to recognize your accomplishments and appreciate your efforts. It seems that you can do no good, whether at home, in your social life, or career.
They either ignore or criticize the little you didn’t manage to get right. If this happens, you may need to have a conversation about respect and how much support you need from them. You deserve someone who wants to encourage you to be a better person and make you feel valued!
Phonaphilia is a term made by joining the phone and love to mean loving your phone too much.
Have you ever been the third wheel on a date?
Well, that’s how it feels when you spend all your time on the phone when hanging out with your partner. This toxic behavior, also known as phubbing, is a common sign of disrespect.
The overly sensitive babe
Nobody needs a partner that is always angry and triggered by even the slightest things. Protecting your relationship means letting some offenses slide.
Take note that I did not allow space for disrespectful behavior.
The best advice I ever read in a self-help book said: “Learn to pick your battles wisely – lose the battle, and win the war.”
I did not fully understand what the phrase meant until I found the toilet dirty after a weekend sleepover with my partner. Being obsessively compulsive, I yelled and said things I should not have said. To cut a long story short, I am now single with a clean toilet seat. I won the battle and ultimately lost the war.
Making you feel less than
We all crave the feeling of being important to someone. Being wanted. Being a priority. If you are not getting this in your marriage, it is a sign that things are probably not going too well.
Feeling like your partner is doing you a favor by being with you will tear apart your self-worth. You need to address it before it takes root as long-term insecurity.
Your partner may also be showing blatant disrespect through their social media behavior.
It can happen if they use the platforms to flirt with other people (is flirting considered cheating, though?). It doesn’t matter how harmless they claim it is.
They could also value time online more than time with you. Everything from dates to time together gets taken over by clicking, swiping, liking, and commenting.
How to deal with a disrespectful partner
- Have an open and honest conversation. Tell them that you’re feeling disrespected and how their behavior affects your mental and emotional state.
- Give them the benefit of the doubt. We all say things we don’t mean, and you should give each other the chance to explain and clarify the situation.
- Treat them as you want to be treated. Give them a compliment or two, praise them when they do a good job. A kind word goes a long way.
- Confide in a close friend or family member you can trust and ask them to give you an “outsider’s perspective.” Just be careful what you share and with whom because breaking trust is also a sign of disrespect.
- Self-respect and self-love before everything else. Set clear and firm boundaries even with your long-time partner. Stand up for yourself when your partner is overstepping the line and tell them why you feel hurt.
- Last but not least, draw the line when there is no going back! If you tried everything possible to resolve your issues and fix your relationship, if you pointed out their mistakes and how they are hurting you, if you used all your kindness to give your partner the attention they needed and still no change, maybe it’s time to turn a new leaf.
Starting anew sounds hard, scary, and unpredictable, but it’s still better than having to suppress all your feelings and take constant disrespect.
You are probably feeling ready to tackle the relationship world – and you are. Remember, however, that relationships are a daily choice. They are like your 9-5, except the clock never runs out. When properly nurtured, marriages can be the greatest experience on earth!
If you end up divorcing, though, don’t be desperate, it is always possible to find love after a divorce!