7 subtle signs your partner loves you but doesn’t fully respect you

Navigating love isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like. Sometimes, you’re in a relationship where there’s no doubt about the love, but you can’t help but feel like respect is lacking.

It can be hard to be sure, though, right?

Often, disrespect in a relationship isn’t as obvious as shouting matches or put-downs. It can be subtle, almost invisible, yet deeply felt.

Well, fear not. As the founder of the Love Connection blog, I’m here to guide you through this tricky terrain. Today, I’ll share 7 subtle signs that your partner loves you, no doubt about that, but may not fully respect you. 

So let’s dive in and get some clarity together, shall we?

1) Overlooking your boundaries

Boundaries are the invisible lines we draw around ourselves to protect our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. And they’re essential in any relationship, especially intimate ones.

The thing about boundaries is, when they’re respected, they’re invisible. But when they’re crossed, you feel it.

Let’s say you’ve communicated a specific boundary to your partner. You’ve told them it’s important to you. Yet, they repeatedly cross it, either obliviously or knowingly.

They may love you deeply and sincerely, but this constant disregard for your boundaries could be a subtle sign that they lack the necessary respect for your individuality and autonomy.

It’s crucial to recognize these signs and address them. Love without respect can lead to a toxic dynamic that neither of you deserve.

2) They trivialize your accomplishments

It’s human nature to want to share our achievements with those we love. Their joy and pride in our accomplishments often add that extra sparkle to our success.

However, if your partner tends to downplay your successes or achievements, it might be a subtle sign of disrespect. They may love you, but this pattern can indicate a lack of esteem for your individual efforts and accomplishments.

As Oprah Winfrey once wisely said, “Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.” This principle applies perfectly to relationships, too.

Your partner should be your biggest cheerleader, not someone who belittles your victories.

3) They dismiss your feelings

Feelings are deeply personal and subjective, and we all want them to be valued and acknowledged, especially by those we love.

I recall an instance from my past when I confided in my partner about a stressful situation at work. Instead of offering support, their response was dismissive, brushing it off as “not a big deal.”

That moment stuck with me, not because of the stress I was feeling but because of how my emotions were brushed aside.

In my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I delve into how crucial emotional validation is in a relationship.

But for now, just know that if your partner dismisses your feelings regularly, it may indicate a lack of respect for your emotional experiences.

In a healthy and respectful relationship, your feelings should always be taken seriously.

4) They often interrupt you

I say this all the time, but it really can’t be said enough: communication is the backbone of any relationship. And an integral part of good communication is listening – really listening – to what the other person has to say.

I remember a time when a previous partner would often interrupt me mid-sentence. At first, I shrugged it off, thinking they were just eager to communicate their thoughts. But over time, I realized this pattern was not about enthusiasm; it was about respect.

Does your partner frequently interrupt you while you’re speaking? Does it feel as though they don’t value your voice or opinions? It’s a subtle sign, but it may indicate a lack of respect.

Both you and your partner should have the space and patience to express yourselves fully and freely.

5) They don’t defend you

Here’s a raw truth. Love isn’t just about the good times; it’s about standing up for each other, especially when the other is not around to do it themselves.

There may be situations where you’re criticized or gossiped about in your partner’s presence. If your partner stays silent or even agrees, rather than standing up for you, it can feel deeply hurtful.

Their silence might not stem from malice, but from a misguided attempt to avoid conflict or confrontation. Regardless, it can reflect a lack of respect for you and your reputation.

A truly respectful partner defends you and your integrity, even when it’s uncomfortable. Because in a loving relationship, respect means taking a stand for each other.

6) They make decisions without consulting you

Years ago, I remember being taken aback when a partner decided on a major life change that would affect us both, without consulting me. It wasn’t about the decision itself, but about the lack of regard for my input.

If your partner frequently makes significant decisions without consulting you, it could be a subtle sign of disrespect. They may love you, but such actions can suggest they don’t value your input or consider your perspective.

7) They make jokes at your expense

This is the last one we will cover today, but it’s a big one. 

Humor has its place in every relationship. But when the laughter comes at the cost of your self-esteem, it’s a problem.

Does your partner consistently make jokes at your expense, especially in public?

They may not mean to hurt you, and they may even be surprised if you express your hurt. However, repeated instances can erode your self-esteem and sense of worth in the relationship.

A loving partner would respect you enough to not use humor as a weapon. Your feelings should never be the punchline.

Final thoughts 

Navigating the nuances of love and respect can be challenging. But recognizing these subtle signs can be the first step towards creating a healthier dynamic in your relationship. It’s all about fostering mutual respect to complement the love you share.

If you’re looking for more insights on building a balanced, healthy relationship, my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship might be a helpful resource.

Remember, everyone deserves a relationship where love and respect go hand in hand. And sometimes, the most significant act of love is standing up for your self-respect.

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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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