Without respect, a relationship is doomed. Unfortunately, unless your partner comes right out and confesses, "I have no respect for you," figuring out if you guys are on the same page isn't always black and white. Your partner might say all the "right" things (and even do the right things most of the time), but sometimes actions don't match words – like these seven creepy signs your partner doesn't respect you enough. If you've noticed one of these things, it's time to have a serious discussion. If you've noticed several of these things, it's probably time to say goodbye.
When it comes relationships, there's a golden rule I like to live by. If you want to be respected by your partner, you need to respect yourself, and also give respect to your partner in return. Just as these seven things can serve as a checklist of things to look for in your partner, they can also serve as reminders for you to check your own behavior.
If there is a repeated pattern of disrespect in your relationship, it's bound to implode. Don't overlook or make excuses for these major warning signs.
1. They Ignore Or Question Your Personal Boundaries.
You're entitled to outline your own personal boundaries and have them respected by your significant other. If you've had an open and honest discussion with your partner about what you will and won't tolerate and they cross those boundaries, that is a major problem. It's also problematic if your partner repeatedly questions the boundaries you've clearly set. If you find yourself having to restate things repeatedly, your partner either isn't listening or isn't respecting your original answer.
"If your partner is repeatedly crossing your boundaries, they aren’t willing to discuss boundaries with you, or you notice that your partner is guilt-tripping you for even having boundaries, your relationship is likely very unhealthy and could become abusive if your partner’s behaviors continue and escalate," writes LoveIsRespect.org.
2. They Show Up At Your Place Unannounced.
Showing up at your apartment to surprise you with take-out and flowers after a rough day at work is one thing. Repeatedly showing up at your home or popping into places where they know you'll be completely unannounced is another.
When I was dating my now-husband and we lived separately, I carefully managed my time. I loved the days and nights spent with him, but also loved our days apart that I could use to get writing done, do a face mask, catch up with girlfriends, or simply recharge my batteries alone. If someone repeatedly intrudes on your alone time, or work time or friend time or whatever time, it's safe to say they don't respect your time at all.
Professor's House offers advice for dealing with uninvited company, whether that's your significant other, a friend, or a relative. "If every single time that nosy neighbor or annoying mother in law comes to the door, you welcome them with open arms and accommodate them completely; you are setting the state for more of the same," the site explains. "But in order to set the precedent that a simple phone call is required before ringing your door bell, you have to set boundaries and limits."
3. They Make Belittling Jokes.
Personally, I think that playful teasing and self-deprecating humor is a fabulous part of any relationship. It would be difficult to date someone who couldn't occasionally laugh at themselves. However, there's a massive difference between innocent teasing and cruel jokes that cut you down.
If your partner makes a joke that makes you feel embarrassed, worthless, ashamed, self-conscious, or unimportant, speak up. Perhaps they didn't realize it would be taken a certain way, or simply need to know where your boundaries are. A respectful partner will apologize and avoid similar jokes in the future. It's crucial that they understand your feelings are valid. "And, if the belittler accuses you of being too sensitive, causing you to question your own account of what happened, this is not just belittling, but another form of emotional abuse called gaslighting," elaborates the organization One Love.
4. They Flirt With Other People.
There is no situation in which this is appropriate. If your partner flirts with someone else while you are in a committed relationship, they are giving you a clear message that they don't respect you or the relationship they're in.
However, each person inevitably defines "flirting" a bit differently. It's important to discuss with your partner what is and isn't acceptable behavior in the relationship. As relationship counselor Denise Knowles explained to The Independent, "But when you’re flirting and they are not sure of the boundaries or if your partner is unhappy with how you are behaving with other men and women and you continue to behave in that way, it can be very very harmful."
For some couples, a general rule of thumb is that neither party should do anything they wouldn't be OK with their significant other seeing. If you express concern or unhappiness with your partner's flirtatious behavior and they continue to behave in that manner, it's no good.
5. They're Disrespectful To Your Family.
In a perfect world, our significant others would always adore our families and vice versa. Of course, that's simply not always the case. However, regardless of how they feel deep down about your relatives, they should always treat them with respect. If they're rude and disrespectful to your family, you've got problems.
Mariella Frostrup, the sage voice behind The Guardian column "Dear Mariella," gave important advice to a woman dealing with a boyfriend at odds with her parents. "I don’t expect your boyfriend to like your parents, though I am fascinated as to why he’s not even pretending," Mariella wrote. "Learning to cope with the idiosyncrasies of others is part of growing up and essential in any long-term partnership, whether it’s your spouse, your in-laws or your offspring who are causing you concern."
If your partner loves you and wants your relationship to have a future, it's vital that they respect the important figures in your life. If they aren't willing to suck it up and do that, it's a sad testimony of the respect they have for you.
6. They Share Personal Details With Their Friends.
A healthy relationship is a sacred thing, and the intimate things that occur within that relationship should be kept between the two people involved. If your partner is openly revealing details about your sex life or personal conversations, they're disrespecting both you and the relationship you share.
There are certain topics that simply shouldn't leave your relationship, according to Reader's Digest. These topics include things like the details of your fights, sex life, and finances, among others. By staying mum about the most personal aspects of your relationship, you protect it from the outside world and honor the trust your partner has placed in you. If your significant other is OK with blabbing about every little detail, they're giving you reason to question their intentions and respect.
7. They Attempt To Control You.
If your partner tries to control you, they are not interested in creating a relationship based on mutual respect. They're more interested in being in charge of you than being on the same team, and that's a huge sign that they don't respect you as they should.
There are a few different ways a partner can attempt to exert control over you. Behaviors like isolating you from loved ones, threatening you, keeping score, guilting you into things, accusing you of things, and demanding you spend all your time with them are all red flags to watch for, according to Psychology Today.
As an outsider, it can be obvious when a relationship is one-sided or unhealthy. When you're actually in the relationship, seeing that can be much harder. Though it's difficult, a relationship that isn't based on mutual respect is not a relationship you should continue. If you see these red flags, love yourself enough to say goodbye.
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