Just like trust, loyalty, and faithfulness, respect is of the utmost importance in a relationship. Without it, your relationship is bound to fail. If you often find yourself questioning whether or not your partner truly respects you, you need to take a long, hard look at your situation. A lack of respect, whether it be blatant, condescending, rude, or otherwise, means there’s an imbalance of power, which is why it’s so important to recognize the signs of disrespect early on.
A partner is supposed to be just that — a partner. Someone who supports your goals, shares your responsibilities, and respects your opinions. If any of these five signs sound familiar, your partner doesn’t respect you.
1. Your partner shows up unannounced
Surprising you with flowers on a random Wednesday is a welcome treat; showing up unannounced when you’re clearly busy or have a lot going on is not. If you find your partner repeatedly popping up at inopportune times or at inconvenient places, there’s a problem. As mentioned by The Frisky, if he or she shows up at your work, class, or home unannounced and uninvited, causing a scene, they don’t respect you.
2. Your partner uses gaslighting techniques
If you often find your partner using sneaky techniques to keep you in check, he or she doesn’t respect you. According to YourTango, “Gaslighting is a phrase assigned to an emotional abuse technique that has one partner convincing the other that reality is an illusion. If your partner is denying they said and did things or blaming you for saying and doing things you didn’t, it’s abusive.” Have you ever known a person who, no matter how at fault they may be, somehow seems to vaguely skate over the issue, turning it around on you? Dealing with a person like this is infuriating. If this is your partner’s norm, it’s likely it will never change.
3. Your partner treats sex as a transaction
Anytime a person expects sex in exchange for something, the most basic form of respect is tossed out the window. Sex should never be used as a method of coercion or a form of payment. It’s your body, and it certainly doesn’t belong to anyone else, no matter how committed two partners may be. If your partner does the chores, is it your job to owe them a sexual favor? No. Sadly, though, not everyone takes the same stance on the issue. Case in point — this article from The Stir that calls out Pat Robertson, host of a call-in show, who has claimed that wives should thank their husbands with sex each time they do chores around the house. No, just no.
4. Your partner isn’t proud of you
Just as you’ve strived for your parents’ approval throughout your life, seeking those heavily-weighted words of acceptance, you want the same from your partner. To hear “I’m proud of you” from someone you respect is a big deal, and it’s important that both partners take pride in the relationship. When your partner is proud of you, and proud to be with you, Bustle says, there’s a mutual respect for one another. Could you imagine being in a relationship in which your significant other doesn’t really think you’ve worked hard for your career? Without a partner who’s genuinely proud of you, your accomplishments, and your overall contributions to your relationship, they clearly don’t realize or value your worth, and you shouldn’t stand for that. Ever.
5. Your partner refuses to compromise or negotiate
It’s only natural the person closest to you will get under your skin, and part of a relationship is being able to discuss life’s major challenges as a team. But when one person in a relationship isn’t willing to act as a team, there are bound to be long-term issues. A big part of respecting someone is being able to reach a compromise in which both parties are satisfied with the outcome. The Centers for Family Change says, “Respect is established when you consistently: consider and value the feelings and opinions of your partner; talk to and treat your partner in ways that you would want to be treated; and compromise and negotiate with your partner.” If you and your partner aren’t doing this, you’re not getting the respect you deserve.