Lack Of Respect In A Relationship And 4 Ways To Restore It


Lack Of Respect In A Relationship Kills It: Ways To Restore

A lack of respect in a marriage or relationship silently kills it. Mutual respect is the essence of a happy and healthy relationship, and if that is absent, it’s just a matter of time before your relationship crumbles. But worry not, there are a few things you can do to restore the lack of respect in a relationship.

Lack of respect is one of the key reasons many couples get divorced. It is one of the major marriage problem signs. It destroys love, connection, and intimacy.

Many individuals and couples that join my online Save My Marriage program, share that respect has been missing or lost in their relationship. So I wanted to address what respect is in a loving relationship and how you can restore respect if it is missing.

Dr. Emerson in “Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs” says that women most need to be shown love and men most need respect in a marriage for harmony. I agree with Dr Emerson’s notion, however, men also need love and women need respect, as does the relationship. As mentioned, it’s definitely one of the marriage problem signs.

What is Respect?

Respect is where you consistently:

  • Consider and value the feelings and opinions of your partner.
  • Talk to and treat your lover in ways that you would want to be treated.
  • Compromise and negotiate with your partner respectfully.

Lack of Respect – Problems in a marriage

While this sounds very simple the stresses and strains of modern day life can easily lead to respect to go. We probably all at some point have been guilty of taking our stresses out on our partner. But if this has become a constant way you relate, then you need to take action quickly to restore it. As I mentioned a lack of respect can lead to divorce.

When rebuilding respect it is important to know that respect is not just the absence of negative behavior, but also the presence of positive behaviors.

Related: 8 Signs You’re With Someone Who Respects You

A couple that joined my online program recently were suffering from a lack of respect in their marriage. Keith felt his wife didn’t respect the hard work he was doing to provide for the family.

He took his wife Sara’s complaining about the lack of time he spent with the family and her telling him to get a better-paid job, as a real insult. He said to me “Respect went a long time ago Nicola, I am not sure how we can ever get it back.”

Sara felt her husband was not respecting everything she was doing, raising the three children, running the home, and organizing all the weekend activities, holidays, and family gatherings. They both thought that each other had it easy.

Sara said “I’d love to be able to escape to the office or go on a business trip and take a break. I get no break.”

She had shared this several times with Keith at home and he became furious saying his trips are not a holiday but hard work, long hours, and lots of pressure.

This lack of respect for each other’s roles led to a lack of respect in the way they communicated. They spoke down to each other using sarcasm or criticism rather than being kind at first.

When they started the online program they were barely communicating. Slowly the relationship was shutting down.

In order to restore respect there are several things you can do to avoid this common marriage problem.

Lack Of Respect In A Relationship: How To Restore Respect In A Relationship?

Here are 4 ways to restore respect in a relationship

1. Respect each other’s roles.

The chances are you agreed on the roles you were going to have in the marriage and home. The biggest way to show respect is to support and appreciate each other’s efforts. Compliment and thank your partner.

We all like to be praised for the efforts and gifts we bring to the relationship, even if it is our role. This restores respect because being noticed and valued is important.

Another way to show respect is to be there for each other if one of you is having a difficult or tough time. Where you listen without trying to fix the problem. You act respectfully when you show support for them during these stressful times.

For example; you could offer her/him a “sleep-in” on the weekend, a power nap, or a massage if they are tired. Or encourage them to take some time out for themselves and do something they love.

Restore Respect in a Relationship
Restore Respect in a Relationship

2. Respect each other’s viewpoints and feelings.

Disagreements are normal and healthy in a marriage. Vicious personal attacks on your spouse’s character or personality are not!

You can disagree without belittling or hurting someone. This is the difference between standing up for yourself and being defensive and attacking.

Everyone has a right to their own feelings and viewpoint and all feelings are valid. It is disrespectful to say to someone “You shouldn’t feel that way” “You’re too sensitive” “Stop crying” or your “over-reacting”.

This doesn’t help you remain close. For respect to be present, you need to validate each other’s feelings and points of view, even if you do not agree. Simply saying “I can see how you may feel that way.”

Related: 25 Ways You Can Show Respect to Your Partner

3. Respect each other’s opinions.

This is critical for a supportive close relationship. The first step in respecting your partner’s opinion is to ask for it. Decisions that affect you will often affect each other.

As Steven Covey said “The key to commitment is involvement” I heard that when I was 20 and have been using it ever since for all personal and business relationships, sharing my thoughts and asking for input from others. When you involve your partner you are demonstrating respect and honouring their value.

Reem was angry that her husband was always constantly asking her what to do all the time when it came to her children.

“Nicola, he drives me mad asking me what to feed the baby or where to put the nappies, he should know.”

“What if he didn’t ask and did it wrong” I said.

“He does get everything wrong all the time.”

“So do you tell him that,” I said.

“Oh yes, but he never listens or learns.”  

Reem’s constant criticism had led her husband to not want to make decisions for fear of being moaned at. Then Reem became annoyed that he was asking her opinion on everything.

I suggested to Reem that if she wants this to change she needs to empower her husband and let him decide what he thinks is best.

So she agreed to try the sayings “whatever you think” or “it’s your call” and not to moan if she didn’t like the choice he made, as she, after all, encouraged him to take the lead.

This simple statement shift made a HUGE difference in their marriage. He felt respected and she felt less burdened.

4. Respect each other by making joint decisions.

Make your decisions together and continue to dialogue until you reach a joint compromise or agreement to disagree and move forward.

What about if they do something that causes you to lose respect?

If there is a lost respect due to infidelity: financial, emotional, cyber, or physical or due to an act of violence then respect MUST be rebuilt through consistent acts of kindness over a period of time.

Supporting and maintaining respect during the course of a relationship takes effort. We are all human, and if someone begins to treat us negatively, inconsiderately, and disrespectfully, we often tend to respond in kind.

This can set off a vicious cycle where the mutual disrespect can feed on itself. Similarly, an inability to resolve or manage conflicts or differences can lead to anger and frustration, which if expressed in negative and blaming ways can start the same cycle of negative interactions and result in the loss of respect.

To support couples re-establish respect I share that you can never really “work on the relationship” you can only ever work on yourself.”

It is disrespectful to police your partner, so I work individually with men and women to re-establish respect by treating their spouse differently and freeing themselves and the relationship of negativity.

Most people believe in Karma but they tend to forget this within their close relationships. Treating your spouse how you would like to be treated is the quickest way for respect to come back.

Related: 6 Signs Your Partner Doesn’t Respect You

Hope you enjoyed reading this.

From my heart to yours,


Written by Nicola Beer

We hope the above article offered insights on why you should address and restore any lack of respect in a relationship before it ruins a beautiful connection. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

4 Ways To Restore Respect in a Relationship
4 Ways To Restore Respect in a Relationship
Ways Restore Respect Relationship Pin
what is respect

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

10 Riveting Movies About Broken Marriages: How Love Crumbles Over Time

Best Movies About Broken Marriages: How Love Dies

Marriage is supposed to represent love and commitment, but it’s not always a fairy tale. Below are some of the movies about broken marriages that challenge the “happily ever after” stereotype!

Sometimes, things start falling apart — from within or without — and this is frequently caused by different pressures and conflicts.

Broken marriage movies have taken up this subject widely, giving us stories that are sad, or even hopeful around relationships.

Below you’ll find ten such unhappy marriage movies that show how love can breakdown and be turbulent – each films look at human

Up Next

Friendship Marriage: Japan’s Latest Relationship Trend Explained

Friendship Marriage: Japan's Latest Marriage Trend Explained

Friendship marriage is the latest relationship trend taking the world by storm, and it’s got everyone talking. Forget the traditional notions of romance and commitment; these couples are rewriting the rules of marriage and how!

This unique approach has not only got people talking, but it’s also challenging many societal norms when it comes to marriage, romantic relationships, physical intimacy and cohabitation.

So, are you ready to unravel what the friendship marriage in Japan is all about? Let’s go then.

Related: 5 Simple Ways To Strengthen The Friendship In Your Marriage<

Up Next

Should I Start a Family? 10 Reasons That Might Convince You

Should I Start a Family? Reasons That Might Convince You

Two paths are diverging before you at a crossroads. You can either continue with your present life which has the comforts you know so well, or you could choose the other path which goes into the unknown. 

The decision to start a family is one of those big adventures in life that leaves us breathless with awe; it is filled with twists and turns and love upon love.

This article takes you on an exciting journey of decoding parenthood: an adventure that is both daunting and thrilling, and joyous as well as demanding.

Whether it is from the depths of unconditional love or soaring heights of leaving a lasting impact, each reason acts as a lighthouse in this respect.

Therefore, let’s examine these 10 reasons why to start a family!

Up Next

8 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Want To Avoid Marrying The Wrong Person

Marrying The Wrong Person? Important Questions To Ask

Picture this: you’re standing at the altar, surrounded by beaming friends and family, moments away from saying “I do” to the person who you thought was your soulmate and the love of your life. But deep down, you can’t ignore the nagging feeling that something doesn’t feel right. Could it be possible that you’re marrying the wrong person?

The fear of marrying the wrong person lingers in the hearts of many, and it’s a fear worth exploring, because this is your life we are talking about. In this article, we’ll dive into eight essential questions that you should ask yourself before taking that leap into forever.

So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s unravel how to avoid marrying the wrong person.

Up Next

63 Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Why conversation starters? Over time conversations with your partner might begin to feel shallow and focused more on the daily grind than topics that actually matter. This is normal. It’s probably not a dangerous red flag that your relationship is about to end, but it is likely unsatisfying and monotonous.

It’s quite easy to reignite the spark with your partner by enjoying deeper and more meaningful conversations just by becoming more intentional in carving out time to talk.

We all know that communication is key to a healthy relationship, but let’s be honest; talking about what’s for dinner or whose turn it is to walk the dog just won’t cut it.

If you’re yearning for a deeper connection, it’s worth dedicating ten to fifteen minutes a day to one of the most important people in your life.

Up Next

When You Outgrow Love: What Is Grey Divorce And How To Thrive After

What Is Grey Divorce and How to Redefine Your Story

Divorce is never an easy decision to make. But sometimes life happens and you have to do the unimaginable. Grey divorce is one such experience that can feel like an unthinkable decision, yet, you know you just need to take the step. But what is grey divorce?

In life, at a certain stage we may feel that it is absolutely crucial that we start over, not only to survive but also to thrive. It becomes necessary that we step into the unknown regardless how scary or irrational it may sound. And the same goes for a marriage. 

Even if you may have shared a lifetime together and created lasting memories and experiences, a divorce may be the only option left for a happier, healthier and better life. That’s the reality for an increasing number of couples who find themselves in the realm of “grey divorce.” 

Up Next

What Does Being Submissive Mean? 9 Warning Signs You Might Be A Meek, Submissive Woman

What Does Being Submissive Mean? Signs Of A Meek Woman

Ever wondered, “What does being submissive mean?” Well, let’s put it this way: it’s like constantly being in the backseat of your life’s car, letting others take the wheel while you navigate the road of existence.

For example, meet Jess. She’s that friend who’s always putting everyone else’s happiness and needs before her own, and she often finds herself getting involved in abusive and unhealthy relationships.

If you relate to Jess and the ways she lives life, then you might be in for a very rude reality check. Because this points to the realm of female submissiveness. Stick around as we uncover nine warning signs that scream, “Hey, you might be more like Jess than you think!”