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Unknowingly Disrespecting Your Partner: 6 Behaviors to Watch Out For

On this episode of DETANGLE

Are you disrespecting your partner?

This problem is as old as the hills. There’s really nothing new here. It happened to me in all of my romantic relationships, especially in the beginning. And you might think that is a problem only for young folks. But this is not true. It can happen to all of us, no matter our age.

For example, I am guilty of interrupting my partner while he is talking. I’ve done this many, many times. And I don’t like it. That’s why I am actively trying to change that, and it is already better.

Now, I am going to present to you some ways you can disrespect your partner without even knowing it. Ready to find out?

It’s simple to ignore the minute details that add up to big problems in relationships. Even if you genuinely care for and love your partner, there may still be some unintentionally disrespectful behaviors or actions on your part. They might appear little or minor taken individually, but taken together, they can have a disastrous impact on your relationship’s sense of connection and trust.

This article will discuss some unpleasant habits to look out for that you may be unintentionally displaying toward your partner.

You may improve your relationship, increase communication with your partner, and build a greater sense of connection and empathy between the two of you by being aware of these behaviors and taking action to change them. These suggestions may be useful to you, whether you’re trying to fix an existing relationship or prevent conflicts in a new one.


When someone interrupts their partner frequently while they are speaking, it implies that what the partner has to say is insignificant or unimportant. Interrupting someone might make them feel insulted, disregarded, and unheard. Since both parties may find it challenging to communicate clearly what upsets them, the relationship may take on a negative character.

Interrupting can also signify that one is not actively listening to the other, which is fundamental in a relationship if you want that feeling of mutual understanding. More than that, it could mean that you don’t value your spouse’s opinions and thoughts, which could be hurtful and make your partner be more careful when expressing themselves in the future.

It’s important to keep in mind that in a good relationship, every partner should have the opportunity to express their views and be heard. Giving your partner space to finish their sentences without trying to insert something shows your respect and regard for them. It can also promote openness and understanding, qualities that we all aspire to have in our romantic relationships. It will be easier to have a respectful and equitable relationship if you make an effort to allow your spouse to finish what they have to say and listen to them.

Not Recognizing Achievements

People expect their partners to acknowledge and reward their efforts when they put forth significant work to achieve something, whether in their personal or professional lives. Your partner may feel worthless and unimportant if their accomplishments aren’t observed and appreciated.

In a romantic relationship, not recognizing success can be extremely upsetting because it may appear that one spouse doesn’t care about the other’s success or well-being. It may create a negative scenario when one partner begins to believe that their efforts are unimportant or underappreciated.

Remember that in a good relationship, both parties should support and cheer each other on in their pursuits. Pat-on-the-back comments or a simple “well done” can go a long way toward helping your partner feel valued and respected. It’s important to express interest in their accomplishments. And this is very simple to do! Just ask about them and share in their joy when they succeed. Promoting a more respectful and equal relationship is it also a great tip because doing so shows your support and care for them.

Photo by Images From Shutterstock

Joking Too Much

Your spouse may feel disrespected if you joke around with them too much. On one hand, humor may be an efficient way of spreading emotional harmony and easing conflict when needed. But on the other hand, jokes may be harmful and insulting when they are used as a way of sidestepping serious issues or dismissing your partner’s feelings.

Making jokes about your partner can cause them to feel ridiculed and humiliated. Do you want someone to make you feel that way? Probably not. And it is okay to be unaware of it in the first place, but once you see it or your partner tells you that they don’t like it when that happens, you should immediately stop.

They can find it challenging to express their worries and emotions because of the possibility that they will be ignored or not taken seriously.

A good relationship needs honest and open communication, and it’s necessary to keep in mind that excessive humor might get in the way of that. The ability to have meaningful talks and effectively support one another while maintaining a sense of humor is key. Prior to telling a joke, it’s generally a good idea to think about how your partner might react and how the joke might be received.

Making All the Decisions

It might be a subtle kind of disrespect to make every decision in a relationship alone, without talking to your partner first. When one person frequently chooses to act without taking into account their partner’s feelings, thoughts, and desires, it may indicate that their partner’s needs are not important to them. This might make the other person, the one who is being excluded from the decision-making process, feel frustrated, resentful, and helpless.

Controlling all the decisions can also limit a relationship’s room for progress, compromise, and shared accountability, which can result in relationship stagnation.

Here, we’re talking about the more important decision in a relationship. Taking out new contracts, such as loans or various subscriptions, and making substantial purchases should all be addressed, especially if you split a family budget. Refusal to do so demonstrates a lack of trust and supports secret-keeping. Have a direct conversation with your partner and make an effort to understand their views and emotions before making any decisions that will impact your relationship.

Using the Wrong Tone

The tone of voice can be used to minimize a person or their emotions or to express the fact that something bugs you. This might leave the other person feeling unappreciated and unheard. More than that, it has the potential to mess up mutual respect and trust, and we all know that those are the cornerstones of a strong relationship.

Using “that tone” can also limit the room for conversation, giving the other person the impression that they are not allowed to freely express themselves. This could lead to an unpleasant dynamic. In this scenario, one partner starts to hide their emotions and refuses to talk about the relationship anymore.

In a good relationship, communication is essential, and each partner needs to feel appreciated and loved. It’s important to recognize when “that tone” is being used, and when you are about to use it, try to speak in a more considerate manner. Additionally, it’s necessary to talk to your spouse about this in a supportive and constructive way so that both of you can seek to improve communication and avoid adopting “that tone” in the future.

Photo by Khosro Images From Shutterstock


Constant criticism can be destructive and upsetting, leaving your partner feeling small, devalued, and disrespected. Even if the criticism is meant to be constructive, it can have the opposite impact and make your partner feel so much worse for themselves if it is given in a harsh or dismissive tone.

Criticism can also lead to a situation in which one partner believes they can’t do anything right and the other believes they are always correct. It can result in a power imbalance and lead to the criticized partner doubting their own abilities. This, again, could make the criticized partner hold back from expressing their thoughts, ideas, and feelings, causing a breakdown in communication.

Instead of criticizing, try to express concerns, provide solutions, and highlight the good things your partner did. It’s essential to communicate your emotions without insulting or making your partner feel inadequate. A more respectful and equitable relationship can be created by showing compassion, understanding, and a willingness to solve issues together.

Communication is a big part of any relationship, and you probably want to work on this together with your partner. But beginnings are always tough, and many times you are not sure where to start. When I first decided to improve the communication aspect of my marriage, this book really helped me, and that’s why I would like to recommend it to you.

Entitled partners can cause problems in a relationship. Read our article “Entitled Partners: 7 Warning Signs to Watch Out For” to learn how to identify and deal with these types of partners and better understand what entitlement is in a relationship. Don’t miss out on this informative and helpful read.

2 Responses

  1. I’m very moved by this introduction to understanding living with a Toxic Person. I’m totally broken and didn’t know it.

    1. Yes, I hear you! I was “blown away” when I first understood that I was married to a Covert Narcassist. For some crazy, unknown reason – I got directed to Dr. Les Carter’s YouTube website named “Surviving Narcassism.” Crazy – because up until then I worked 6.5 days per week. Being Self-employed, you work A LOT! As such, I didn’t even know about YouTube or any other on-line site. I never had the time. So – of course, I was blown away! Please do a deep dive into Dr. Les Carter’s site: “Surviving Narcassism” & also Dr. Ramani’s site – both FREE on YouTube!!!! They are so smart… and life (mind) savers. Hugs – M

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