How do you deal with a partner who doesn’t respect you? How do you tackle disrespect dehaviour? What does it even mean to be disrespectful in a relationship? I already explained this in one of my previous posts and it simply means when your partner’s behaviour harms or hurts you in some way; puts you in an uncomfortable position either in front of your family, friends or even yourself; makes you doubt yourself and equally makes you feel like you’re doing something wrong.
When it comes to disrespect in relationships, do you know what the worst thing is? It’s simply the fact that you have no idea it happens until it’s too late.
At some point, someone else might even have to make you see things cuz you are blind enough not to notice. They tell you, “Hey, that’s not okay. It’s so not cool”. And then they still ask, “Are you really gonna let yourself be walked over just like that?” Then you pause and get sober for a while. But that’s not the time to be all sober you know. That’s the moment you should ACT.
So what happens if you don’t act on it? Here’s the thing…
As humans, we are the most adaptable species on this planet. It means we adapt to the bad with the same determination we adapt to the good in life. Well, that’s a good thing when it comes to evolution, but equally harmful when it comes to relationship abuse, disrespect and maltreatment.
News Flash: When someone’s being disrespectful to us, it’s not always because they are mean, bad people who don’t love us. However, it’s an indication of a red flag you should pay attention to.
Okay, so right now, let’s get a closer look at the steps required for dealing with those behaviour that doesn’t feel right. The goal at the end is your Happiness and of course, Sanity, remember?
So Let’s Dive In!
STEP 1: Identify the Disrespect in the Relationship.
First and foremost, identify the disrespect and be honest with yourself that it is indeed, disrespect. Once you are entirely sure it’s not just one of those stressful periods in your partner’s life (something manageable), then it’s time for step 2.
STEP 2: Ask Why.
A healthy comminication is one of the keys to every successful relationships. Ask questions. Get clarification on things. Clear your doubts. Always communicate the problem. Big or small – talk about it. Look your partner in the eyes and open your senses. Is he or she being honest? Is he or she completely avoiding the subject? Is he or she just uncomfortable to talk about it at that moment or are they just hiding something? This isn’t an investigation my dear so don’t see it as one. It’s a simple communication skill. So, ask why.
Communicate the disrespectful behaviour with its source – your partner. Lay down the problem calmly, tell how you feel and ask what the reason for their reaction is. It might be something completely different from what you think. There could be another problem that peaks out of this one. Your partner could just be overwhelmed with other things or probably isn’t paying attention to what he says or does at that period.
Intentionally or not, we all hurt the people we love and often say things we don’t want to say. It’s not a cr*me, and it’s not necessarily something horr*ble.
STEP 3: Always Ask For A Change.
There isn’t even the slightest reason to tolerate disrespectful behaviour, so demand for a change. And when I say “demand”, I don’t mean you should set ultimatums, be r*de or be the one who acts disrespectfully. NO!
Instead, explain why, when and how what your partner does hurts you. Share your feelings and explain why you don’t want to feel that way. Offer help if needed. One way to do this is to let your partner know upfront whenever they act disrespectful. They need to be aware of it. Be on the look for their honesty and notice if they try to correct their behaviour.
STEP 4: Still Don’t Expect Change.
Uhmm.. This is a harsh point and I know that. Some people including relationship counsellors will always say, “never to demand change because the only person we could actively change in this world is ourselves. If someone changes, it’s only because they wanted to”. And I can agree to that fact.
But what they leave out is that you should ask for the change when it’s a necessity – such as a case with disrespect in the relationship. Your partner would always have the choice to change or not, you certainly cannot impose change on them. But you must ask for it if need be and as well give them the chance to change.
All that sounds so sweet and nice, but here’s the deal.
Still Do Not get your hopes high. Don’t Expect the Change to Happen!
Unfortunately, not many people are ready to put in the work to change. So, don’t expect it. Instead, be pleasantly surprised when and if it happens.
STEP 5: And if it Doesn’t? Don’t Give Second Chances.
One of the best ways to get stuck in a disrespectful relationship is to keep giving the other person chances to correct their disrespectful behaviour, most especially when obviously, they just aren’t planning to. So after you must have demanded for a change and they’ve promised to adjust, it’s time to observe them.
Set up a period – a month, two months or if it’s something serious – a few weeks. Observe if your partner tries to change as they said and see if you’re going forward with this or not.
But if it doesn’t happen, if they keep making you feel bad and miserable, if they keep telling at you, if they keep being jealous and insecure for no reason, if they keep ignoring you, if they keep placing everything else before you – honey, don’t give second chances (except you’re certain it’s worth it).
You know why?
Cuz that’s definitely what encourages them to keep doing the sh*t they’re doing. If you give a second chance, there’s a 50% chance you’ll give a third one and 80% chance they’ll need a fourth one. And you know what honey? The cycle just continues.
News Flash: The more you ignore a problem, the more you adapt to it. And a disrespectful relationship isn’t something you should adapt to.
STEP 6: Leave. I mean.. Take a Walk.
Sounds too easy to say right? Yeah yeah. I know that too. It’s just a sentence, more like a statement, but you do have strong feelings for this person. You are in love and you really want to make things work.
I’ve been there too. Love hurts atimes… Or doesn’t it?
Years ago, I was in a disrespectful relationship. Demanding change after change, giving one chance after another. Dude kept promising to change. Reassurance after reassurance. Baby Girl believed him. I kept adapting to a relationship with no future. Because I believed “I was in love”.
But then, love is never enough you know. I have had enough already and I needed my sanity back. Right then, I knew it was about time I took a walk. Not so long after the relationship ended (in a painful way though), I realised a simple truth about love.
Love is a feeling not some circumstantial bullsh*t. Love and pain aren’t related. If it hurts, it doesn’t make the love deeper, it only makes the scars deeper. Love heals. Love gives hope. Love makes you a better person. Love gives light. Love embraces. Love is pure and doesn’t come very often. Love is Priceless!Olivera
Recall that awkward moment when you think you’ve found the right one for you but suddenly, he or she starts behaving like a roundabout. How many times in the past have you thought you’ve really found the one and were m*dly in love with them. But you guys still broke up and now you’ve found a “new love”. Do you feel like this time it’s different? If it is truly different, why does it still hurt in the same way it did then?
Sweetheart, Leave. Not later. I mean Right Now! Refuse to drown. Lift your head high above the water and breathe. Honey, go get your sanity and happiness back. With courage and your shoulders lifted up, get that a*s up and leave… Immediately!
Related Post: 30 Tips to Keeping Yourself Happy and Grounded.
STEP 7: Learn Your Lesson.
No matter the pain and the sorrow, no matter the broken heart, no matter the gravity of the heart break and no matter the amount of love you feel you have for this person, do yourself a whole lot good by learning your lesson. Love yourself baby. Learn to love yourself in a way that shows self-respect and no one else would dare to disrespect you. That’s the first lesson.
Disclaimer: Disrespectful behaviour in a relationship is very painful. It hurts a lot and shouldn’t be ignored or tolerated. But even at that, we could either love each other enough to change for the better, or we could love ourselves enough to quit and move on. Life Goes On.
Just like every other rule, there are exceptions to this one. This post isn’t for victims of abusive behaviour or strong manipulative behaviour. If you feel like your case is much more serious, there’s just one step guide for you – leave this person as soon as possible. Look for help and end the relationship immediately.