If your partner subconsciously does these 14 things, they probably don’t respect you 

I’ve always believed that love and respect go hand in hand. Surely if someone says they love you, they should respect you, right? Well, not always. 

As I have seen in my own experiences, relationships can easily be filled with romance, fun and intimacy but still fall short when it comes to mutual respect.

Simply put, respect in a relationship is knowing that your partner has feelings and emotions which should not be overlooked.

Now I’ll admit: A younger me never thought very deeply about how important respect is. But the older and wiser me knows that a relationship without it is going nowhere.

So how do you know if your partner doesn’t respect you?

The answer may lie in his subconscious behavior – the things he does automatically without thinking.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to spot some of the telltale signs of disrespect. Let’s dive in:

1) They don’t care about how they talk to you

Have you ever cringed at the way your partner has said something to you? I know I have.

On most occasions, I’d brush this feeling off or convince myself that I was being too sensitive. But one of the biggest signs of disrespect can be in the way your partner speaks to you.

Disrespectful communication may look like:

  • Using harsh tones or harmful language
  • Making you feel criticized and belittled
  • Being sarcastic at inappropriate times

2) They speak negatively about you 

Now it’s one thing when your partner speaks poorly to you, but finding out that he speaks negatively about you to others, can feel like betrayal.

It’s natural to vent about your relationship to friends, but sharing negative opinions or intimate details about your partner is a sign of disrespect.

3) They don’t listen to you

I knew my relationship with my ex was doomed when it felt like I just couldn’t talk to him.

Every time I had something important to say, he would hurry me along, often offering me solutions that I didn’t ask for just to shut me up.

A partner who isn’t interested in what you have to say may avoid listening by:

  • Constantly interrupting you
  • Distracting themselves with their phone
  • Flat out ignoring you

4) They don’t change their bad behavior

When I finally broke up with my ex, I was exhausted from having the same arguments repeatedly.

Every time I caught him lying or flirting with other women, we would argue, he would apologize, I would forgive him and then a few weeks later he would do it again.

I was becoming increasingly insecure, angry, and emotionally drained.

5) They don’t consider your feelings

In hindsight, I realized that he didn’t care how his actions were affecting my well-being. This reminds me of a quote that was shared by a user on social media.

Part of it reads: “The purest form of love is consideration. When someone thinks about how things would make you feel.”

If your partner needs to be reminded to consider your feelings when doing things, he probably doesn’t respect you

6) They embarrass you

Trust me, if your partner doesn’t care about your feelings, it’s only a matter of time before he embarrasses you.

By the time my ex-boyfriend and I broke up it had been months since we’d been out with our mutual friends.

While he may have not been aware of how disrespectful his behavior was towards me, our friends could see it clearly and I felt embarrassed.

Before I knew it, I did everything possible to avoid being out with him.

7) They diminish your accomplishments 

pic1673 If your partner subconsciously does these 14 things, they probably don’t respect you 

One of the best things about being in a loving relationship is having someone to celebrate with.

Whether it’s big or small accomplishments or small ones, a partner who truly respects you will value what you do. Especially if he knows how important it is to you.

Brushing your achievements off or making them seem trivial or unimportant is a sign of disrespect. 

8) They take you for granted 

To a partner who loves and respects you, showing small gestures of kindness will be a habit because they truly value the role you play in their lives.

If you hardly hear your partner using social graces like “please,” and “thank you”, it could be a sign that he doesn’t appreciate your efforts.

9) They ignore your boundaries

Boundaries help us determine what is acceptable in a relationship and what is not. Once your boundaries have been communicated, they must be followed.

For example: If you’ve told your boyfriend that you do not like lending him money, then you’ve set up a clear boundary.

If he continues to ask you for money, then he is disregarding your boundary and that is a red flag.

10) They don’t care about your personal space

Talking about boundaries….

Personal space is one of the most important boundaries in a relationship.

When I was sharing an apartment with my best friend, it wasn’t unusual for me to come home and find her then-boyfriend standing outside the front door begging me to let him in.

No matter how much we both told him to give her space, he would show up every day until she eventually gave in.

A partner who ignores your need for distance is disrespectful, even if he’s carrying a big bunch of roses.

11) They’re overly critical of you

It’s natural to want to see your partner improve. But there’s a fine line between constructive criticism and disrespect.

It could be something as simple as: “Are you going to eat all of that?” or laughing when you share your plans to lose weight.

Pay attention to how your partner’s advice and comments make you feel.

A disrespectful partner may leave you feeling undervalued with the pressure to be someone you’re not.

12) They make big decisions without you 

When my then-boyfriend and I moved in together, I was overjoyed.

But my excitement quickly turned to frustration when I got home one day to find a puppy in our backyard.

At the time I didn’t know how to articulate my unease. The puppy was adorable, and I love dogs. What’s there to complain about?

Years later I realized that a joint responsibility should never be a surprise. Making this decision without me was a sign of disrespect. 

13) They question your decisions

But some decisions are yours to make. Especially personal ones like what to wear, what to eat and what to study.

A partner who respects you, trusts your ability to make informed decisions.

But a partner who doesn’t, will question your choices and make you feel like you should defend or justify your decisions.  

 14) They’re controlling

Here’s the thing, a partner who wants to maintain decision-making power in a relationship is controlling.

This can be hard to see if your partner isn’t directly telling you what you can and cannot do. Subtle methods of control can be:

  • Giving you the silent treatment or withholding affection when you’ve done something that displeases them.
  • Guilt-tripping
  • Being possessive
  • Gaslighting  

A controlling partner disregards your independence as an adult – a major sign of disrespect.

In conclusion:

Respect is a crucial element of a good relationship. My previous relationships didn’t work because we didn’t make respect a priority.

By the time I met the man who would later become my husband, I knew that romance, fun, and intimacy were not enough. Respect was at the very top of my priority list.

So, if you suspect that there is a lack of respect in your relationship, take a deeper look at the things your partner does automatically without any thought. There, you may find the true answer.

Picture of Nandipha Whitney Ncube

Nandipha Whitney Ncube

Nandipha is a South African writer based in Dubai. She spent a decade working as a journalist. Longing for stronger relationships and deeper connections, she has dedicated herself to a journey of self-discovery, seeking experiences that bring her closer to living an authentic life. She enjoys writing about what she’s learned. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, spending time with her family, or exploring the dynamic city of Dubai.

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