If you tolerate these 8 behaviors in a relationship, you lack self-respect and boundaries

Maintaining self-respect and setting boundaries are crucial in any relationship. But let’s face it: sometimes we let things slide that we shouldn’t.

If you’re constantly feeling like you’re bending over backwards to please your partner or if you’re putting up with behaviors that leave you feeling disrespected or unappreciated, it’s time to take a step back and reassess.

These eight toxic behaviors can sneak into relationships and erode your self-worth. Recognizing them is the first step toward reclaiming your boundaries and ensuring your happiness comes first. 

Ready? Let’s dive in.

1) Always saying ‘yes’

In relationships, there’s no hard and fast rule that you must always see eye to eye with your partner. 

In fact, it’s perfectly natural and healthy to have disagreements and to voice your own thoughts and feelings. Constantly agreeing with everything your partner says or wants, without considering your own needs and desires, can lead to trouble.

This isn’t compromise; it’s yielding.

When we’re in love, it’s tempting to agree just to avoid conflict. But remember, a relationship is a partnership where your voice is just as important as your partner’s.

2) Tolerating disrespect

Disrespect, in any form, should never be part of a loving relationship.

If your partner is constantly belittling you, making snide remarks, or treating you like you’re “less than,” it’s time to reassess. Remember my dear, you’re worthy of respect and kindness, and anyone who treats you otherwise isn’t worth your time.

In the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.” You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

It took me a while to learn this in my own relationships, but once I did, the difference was night and day. Respect yourself enough to demand respect from others.

3) Ignoring your gut feeling

We all have that little voice inside us, our intuition, that whispers to us when something’s not right. But how often do we really listen?

If something feels off in your relationship, it’s important to pay attention to that gut feeling. Perhaps, it’s a behavior or a pattern you’ve been choosing to ignore.

In my own journey, I’ve learned that this gut feeling isn’t just paranoia. It’s a survival instinct, honed over millennia of human evolution, and it’s there to protect us from harm.

In my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I delve deeper into understanding these feelings and how to trust them.

Ignoring your intuition is like trying to navigate a dark room without turning on the light. So switch on the light, pay attention to your feelings, and remember: you deserve a relationship that feels right.

4) Giving up your hobbies and interests

It might sound a bit surprising, but when you start giving up your own hobbies and interests for your partner, it can be a sign that you’re losing touch with your own boundaries and self-respect.

A healthy relationship isn’t about merging every aspect of your lives. It’s about sharing your journey together while still being true to yourself.

If you’ve stopped doing what you love just to spend all your time with your partner, it’s time to reclaim your space. Get back into that painting class you used to enjoy, or go ahead with that solo trip you’ve been dreaming of.

Your relationship should enrich your life, not take it over completely. Keeping your personal passions alive is key—they’re what make you uniquely you.

5) Not setting boundaries

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from my own relationships is the importance of establishing boundaries.

Don’t get me wrong. Boundaries aren’t barriers to shut your partner out—they’re guidelines that help you maintain your individuality and mental well-being. They’re there to clarify what you’re comfortable with and assert it confidently.

If you find yourself constantly drained or stressed in your relationship, it could be a sign that you haven’t set clear boundaries.

Whether it’s deciding how much time you spend together, how frequently you communicate, or respecting personal space–it’s essential to communicate your needs.

6) Accepting broken promises

Let’s be brutally honest here. Allowing someone to constantly break their promises to you is nothing short of self-destruction.

Promises form the bedrock of trust in a relationship and when they’re broken repeatedly, it can shatter your faith in the person you love.

You start to question your worth, wondering why you’re not important enough for them to keep their word. But darling, it’s not about you. It’s about them and their inability to honor their commitments.

Don’t let broken promises become the norm in your relationship. You deserve to be with someone who values their word and respects you enough to keep it.

7) Staying silent when hurt

When I was younger, I used to bottle up my feelings whenever I got hurt in a relationship. I thought it was the ‘mature’ thing to do. But let me tell you, it’s not.

Silence might be golden at times, but not when your feelings are at stake. If something hurts you, speak up. Your feelings are valid and should be respected in a relationship.

As the late Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Don’t let your hurt feelings pile up until they become resentment. Speak your mind, express your feelings, and remember—it’s okay to show vulnerability.

8) Allowing emotional manipulation

Here’s a tough truth: if you’re tolerating emotional manipulation in your relationship, it’s a clear sign that your boundaries and self-respect might be compromised.

Emotional manipulation can be subtle yet harmful. It might involve guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or portraying themselves as the victim whenever there’s a disagreement.

This toxic cycle can leave you feeling exhausted, confused, and questioning your own sanity.

You deserve better, dear. You deserve a love that empowers you, not one that drains you emotionally. Don’t allow anyone to play mind games with you.  

Embrace yourself, and the world will follow

Dear reader, relationships aren’t always easy. They require work, patience, and a whole lot of self-love.

The behaviors we’ve covered today might be tough to confront, but remember, the first step towards change is awareness.

Don’t allow these behaviors to undermine your self-respect in a relationship. You deserve love that honors and respects you, not one that diminishes your worth.

For more insights and guidance on maintaining healthy boundaries in relationships, consider checking out my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship.

Until next time, remember – love yourself first. You’re worth it.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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