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8 reasons why your girlfriend doesn’t respect you (and 7 things you can do about it)

Every relationship starts out great.

It’s why anybody decides to be in one, right?

The butterflies, the passion, the euphoria of being with somebody new: it’s all a wonderful part of starting out a relationship.

But that feeling doesn’t last forever; things change as you grow accustomed to each other.

Maybe you’ve been getting the sense your girlfriend just doesn’t respect you anymore. Maybe you even broke her trust and you want to get it back.

When she doesn’t show you respect, it can be frustrating, upsetting, and even demoralizing.

Why doesn’t she just show me the respect I feel like I deserve?

It’s a good question to ask, and an important thing to think about.

When she doesn’t show you respect, the relationship can be strained and difficult; it’s easy to feel uncomfortable and angry all the time, or at least any time you have to see her.

Not to be too blunt, but there’s usually a good reason she isn’t showing you respect, and it’s probably something you’re doing–or something you’re not doing.

It’s important to reevaluate your own habits before accusing her of being the problem.

We get so stuck in our ways sometimes we don’t even realize how bad our habits can be.

Your actions and behaviors have a direct effect on your significant other. That river runs both ways; it’s a two-way street.

The good news is that if it is something you’re doing, there’s almost always an opportunity to gain that respect back.

But how?

First, let’s identify 8 common reasons behind why your girlfriend isn’t showing you respect, and then I’ll take you through 7 things you can do to gain back her respect.

So, why do women lose respect for men in relationships?

1) She’s not getting the respect she deserves

It’s all too easy to forget to respect the person that you spend the most time with. It’s just part of human nature. We get careless, preoccupied, and that’s okay.

If you notice your girlfriend has lost respect for you, take a minute to think about whether or not you’re showing her the respect she deserves.

She deserves your attention, time, and is worthy of the level of treatment you gave her at the very beginning of your relationship.

If you’re not showing her respect in return, it’s unlikely that she’ll be showing you respect, either. Two-way street, remember?

2) She’s being taken for granted

Along the same lines, feeling valued in a relationship is crucial to the happiness of both parties.

Without this, there’s no mutual benefit, and one or both people will feel neglected and unloved.

If you’re taking your girlfriend for granted, she might have a hard time respecting you.

How often do you thank her for all that she does? Do you notice when she extends herself for the benefit of your relationship?

Even in her personal life, do you see her struggle and the effort she puts forth to be her amazing self?

If it’s been a while since you’ve really looked at your girlfriend with fresh eyes, it could be a good reason why she isn’t respecting you anymore.

Here are some good ways to tell if you’re the one being taken for granted in a relationship.

3) You aren’t living up to your word

A man who doesn’t live up to his word is a man that’s hard to respect.

Think of the different male figures you know in your life. Which ones are trustworthy? Which ones aren’t?

The ones that aren’t trustworthy are difficult to have respect for.

The same is true in relationships. Honesty and the ability to live up to your word and your promises are crucial to a functioning relationship. Betrayal of that trust is one of the hardest things to overcome.

Having personal experience with my trust being broken, it’s not an easy thing. Respect and trust go hand in hand–you can’t lose trust without also losing respect.

If you’ve severely broken the trust of your partner, it’s important to have a serious discussion about it. Be open, clear, and completely honest. Allow your girlfriend to express fully how she feels, and listen to her.

It is the first step in mending the relationship if it’s something that’s possible.

If you’re wondering why people cheat on their partners, here’s some fascinating reasons.

Not living up to your word could mean something less serious than infidelity or lying.

Maybe you always say you’ll get things done around the house, and never make the time. Or you tell her you’ll buy her something, but just don’t put the money aside. Maybe you’ve been telling her you’re going to reach a new goal, and never really get around to it.

If you consistently don’t live up to these words and don’t prove yourself to be a man of action, it’s going to be hard for your girlfriend to garner respect for you.

Especially if she has to hear it all the time.

4) You’re too needy or demanding

A lot of men, especially those raised by parents of the baby boomer era, tend to have an ingrained idea about the “role” of a woman.

To generalize, the woman is “in charge” of certain household responsibilities, more than the man is.

With this preconceived notion, some guys might tend to demand unreasonable things from their girlfriend. They might ask her to do his laundry, or always clean up his messes. Or even cook all the time.

While each relationship is different and these “typical” roles for male and female work for a lot of people, it can easily morph into something else.

How often do you ask your girlfriend to do things for you? And how do you ask?

Do you just expect her to do them? If you’re too needy and just assume she’s going to get things done for you, it’s easy for her to lose respect for you.

You aren’t a child, you don’t need to be babied, and you don’t need your girlfriend to be a stand-in mom.

If she gets the sense that you can’t do these things on your own and need her to do them, there’s a slim chance that she’ll have any respect for you.

Here are some no-nonsense tips to get your life together.

5) You’re overly suspicious and controlling

There’s a hard line between healthy jealousy and unhealthy jealousy.

Which side of the line are you on?

Healthy jealousy engenders a desire to protect the ones you love and keep them safe. There is a sense of belonging and unity with healthy jealousy.

How easily that morphs into unhealthy jealousy.

Possession, the need to control, and constant suspicion of your girlfriend are big signs of unhealthy jealousy.

Ownership does not have a place within a healthy relationship. Just because your significant other has made a commitment to you does not mean that they belong to you.

Trust and respect go hand in hand. If you’re unable to trust your girlfriend, you’re unable to respect her, her individuality, and her ability to be an independent person.

And if you can’t respect her, she can’t respect you.

This can be hard for a lot of guys. Fear of abandonment will lead to all kinds of trust issues, warranted or not. These elements will interfere with a healthy relationship.

If she’s not showing you respect, it might be because you are demonstrating suspicious, controlling, or possessive behaviors.

I’m not trying to attribute any bad motives to you or your actions. Often these tendencies can manifest in really small, seemingly innocuous ways, and they may not even be intentional.

Here are some good pointers to fight those tendencies and stop being jealous.

6) You might be too critical

As someone who’s really hard on myself, I sometimes find it difficult to avoid having such a critical eye for the people aound me.

In a relationship, criticism is often unavoidable. We spend the most time with our significant other, share almost every meal, and learn their every little idiosyncrasy.

Quickly we identify what annoys us and what doesn’t.

It’s all part of compatibility. If we can mesh our habits with the one we love, we will find it easier to get along with them.

After all, relationships are more about effort than they are compatibility.

But, at the end of the day, there are just some things that bother us, and they always will.

That’s no excuse to be overly critical of your girlfriend. How often do you call her out for things she does?

Does she feel valued by you? Or is it a constant stream of “things that she could be doing better”?

Self-improvement and the desire to be better, for ourselves or the people around us, is an important part of life.

People help us grow.

On the flip side, it’s a positive echo and upbuilding reinforcement that helps someone achieve their best self–not over-criticism. It’s the same for your girlfriend.

If you’re constantly tearing her down by criticizing what she does, she won’t be able to have any respect for you.

7) You’re unclear about your desires and boundaries

Being unsure of yourself is normal. We face all kinds of external inputs and pressures on a daily basis. Finding our way can and will be difficult, at every stage.

But knowing yourself is a huge part of life. The ability to understand who you are and what you want from life is number one, a cornerstone in reaching success. Number two, it makes you a very attractive person.

People are drawn to those who have an innate understanding of what they want, and what they don’t want.

How certain are you of your life path? Your goals and desires?

If you don’t know who you are–you’re constantly changing your mind about boundaries and principles–or are often indecisive, your girlfriend will have a hard time respecting you.

It can be difficult to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t know who they are.

8) You have the tendency to be a pushover

Compromise is a vital part of sustaining any kind of relationship. It can’t be your way (or her way) every single time. That’s one-sided and unhealthy.

On the flip side, though, never having any input can be exhausting and can lead to your girlfriend losing respect for you.

Being accommodating to her desires, wants, and needs are huge. It will make her happy, secure, and loved.

But, you’re also your own person, with desires, wants, and needs. Being clear about what you want will give her stability and structure.

This can go both ways. But in a lot of relationships, the male will take the lead and set out the structure.

Structure is an important part of a relationship, even if your girlfriend is the one who takes the lead in that structure.

Kindly voicing your opinion, putting your foot down, and taking a stand for what you know is best will garner a lot of respect from your girlfriend.

If you’re always a pushover, it’s hard for anybody to have respect for you. Least of all your girlfriend.

Here are some great ways to learn how to respect yourself.

It’s really important to be completely honest with yourself when trying to decipher why you’re girlfriend isn’t respecting you.

How are you doing in these 8 aspects? Do you see any need to develop yourself to be a more respectable person?

A lot of these points will bleed over into your day to day life as well. Each relationship is different, but respect is a building block in every relationship.

Being a respectable person is important for both genders, in every aspect of life.

If you can identify with one or more of these reasons behind why you’re feeling a lack of respect, there’s a good chance some changes need to be made.

But it’s not the end-all if your girlfriend has lost respect for you. It’s oftentimes possible to gain that respect back.

Here are 7 really good ways to start gaining back that respect

1) Be straight up about it

If you lost her respect by breaking her trust, it’ll be hard to win it back. But it starts with being honest and straightforward.

Even if it’s not as serious as something like cheating, being straight up with her will go a long way.

Tell her you’ve been working on one of these 8 reasons, or that you’re making a concerted effort to better yourself.

And then follow through with it.

She’ll gain respect for you if you’re straightforward with her; you’ll get even more respect when you follow through on your intentions.

2) Live up to your word

If you have the habit of telling your girlfriend you’re going to do something but never follow through, she might not believe you when you tell her this again.

But as soon as you do follow through and live up to your word, you’ll gain her respect. It’s easy to respect a man of action, someone who lives up to their word and always follows it with affirmative action.

3) Be decisive

Indecision is not really an attractive trait.

For whatever reason, many women are put off by a man who is indecisive.

With indecision comes the impression that you don’t know who you are, or what you want. And it can be hard for a woman to respect a man who doesn’t know who they are.

A way to gain back respect is to be decisive in your actions. It’s a great way to move forward in your life and achieve your goals, as well.

Here are some ways to use the two-hour rule to achieve your goals.

Having clarity in making decisions will garner the respect of more than just your girlfriend.

4) Let her be her own woman

There’s nothing sexier than letting a girl be herself.

When you give her the space and respect to embrace and love everything about herself, she can truly shine and glow.

This goes both ways in a relationship, of course, but if your girlfriend isn’t showing you respect, remember to give her space.

When you let her be her own woman, she feels empowered and can respect you for it.

Her respect for you will grow when you not only let her express herself but show your support and love for exactly who she is.

Being controlling and possessive is a short trip to losing respect.

If you let her be her own woman, she’ll be able to blossom, and you’ll get all the respect you need.

Here’s a captivating look at 7 different types of love.

5) Keep your head up

Life’s not easy.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world and all too often we find ourselves kicked to the curb and licking our wounds.

Allowing ourselves to feel sad and process these difficulties is vital to staying healthy.

With that said, wallowing is never good.

If all you do is complain about all the reasons why you’re sad, and why life is terrible–your girlfriend is going to get sick of it and lose her respect.

Even when you’re down, it’s important to stay optimistic and keep your head up.

When you keep your head up, you show your resilience and tenacity.

You show your girlfriend your strength and ability to heal.

When she sees this side of you, her respect for you will bounce back and grow.

6) Always apologize

Men tend to have this annoying, overbearing quality–pride.

Pride is tied directly to the ego. While both pride and ego can sometimes be beneficial, blind pride is not good, and neither is an overinflated ego.

If your pride interferes with the ability to see your mistakes and own up to them, it’s a big reason why people will lose respect for you. Especially your girlfriend.

She sees you at your worst, she knows the most about you.

Pretending like you never make mistakes is a fast track to losing her respect.

So, own up when you make a fumble. Tell her you’re sorry, especially if your mistake hurt her in some way.

The strongest men are the ones who are humble and willing to admit to their weaknesses.

7) Always (always) listen to her

Most guys have a hard time tuning in when women are talking. There are a lot of reasons why, and it seems especially true in established relationships.

While you may never fully be able to remedy this tendency, taking the time to tune in to your girlfriend while she’s talking can go a really long way. It’s a huge way to show her respect.

This is especially important if you’ve lost her respect.

Showing her that you’re listening will mean a lot to her. If she’s giving you advice, make sure to give that advice genuine consideration and thought.

From my experience, I’ve found that women, in most cases, are far wiser than men. We have this clumsy way of trying to comprehend the world around us; women are far more insightful, far more often. (No offense, guys.)

Respect is no easy thing to get back. But it’s a vital part of every relationship.

Identifying why you’ve lost someone’s respect, and then doing everything you can to get it back will go a long way.

If your girlfriend has lost her respect for you, just remember that there is still something you  can do about it.

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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