Surprisingly, love itself is not a problem in many failing relationships.

A lack of respect and good communication skills are to blame. Unfortunately, most of us come from families who suffered poor conversational dynamics. Thus, we never learned how to properly communicate.

And that verbal correspondence follows us into our relationships outside of the home.

Most importantly, it rears its ugliest head in our romantic liaisons.

And then, sadly, love becomes encumbered by layers upon layers of escalated arguments. Which in turn, builds years of resentment.

At times, making it nearly impossible for a relationship to recover from. 

Because love has turned monstrous during these exchanges.

And the worst part? Most of us are unaware of the conversational tendencies we bring forward with us.

The 5 reasons a lack of respect kills relationships

Disrespectful people can’t hear us

Disrespectful people can’t hear us…because they are too busy trying to prove us wrong. 

A lack of respect by nature means an inability to allow another person to be who they are, feel what they feel, etc. Disrespectful people NEED others to be like them, feel what they feel, believe what they believe, etc.

Therefore, disrespectful people can’t hear us.

They aren’t willing to allow us to have our own thoughts and feelings. 

They have an intense need to convince us, thinking other than the way they think, is inherently wrong.

It boils down to an underdeveloped ego. A mature and confident ego is not threatened by allowing someone to have different feelings. For example, a disrespectful person would convince their significant other they are ‘silly or overreacting’ about their need to be on time. A respectful person would acknowledge their spouse finds this stressful and work to minimize that stress.

A much more loving and considerate approach.

A lack of respect causes either yelling or tears

It is easy for an argument to escalate when we feel as if we are not being heard.

Of course, escalation means different things to different personalities.

It could cause one person to yell, another to cry, another to become silent, another to retreat, etc.

None of which are involved in healthy communication. 

But we become desperate because every single human being wants to be understood.

A lack of respect increases the frequency and intensity of arguments. In fact, it often causes the same circular conflict to be regurgitated again and again. Leading to increased frustration and a sense of feeling crazy. How can this person not acknowledge how we are feeling even when they see how much it is upsetting us?

Therefore, our reactions become extreme.

It becomes a power struggle

A lack of respect introduces a never-ending, never-resolving relationship pattern.

Conflict can’t be resolved within disrespectful relationships. 

This is a powerful fact and all the more reason couples should learn and embrace healthy communication skills and respect.

Disagreements are not resolved because disrespectfulness is a trifecta. It generally includes ego, immaturity, and a need to be in control. All things which tend to be ‘singular’ not to mention bad for a relationship. Which by nature should be a ‘duo.’

Disrespectful individuals need to win.

Never a good thing for a successful partnership.

Delivery is ugly

Disrespectful arguments involve dirty tactics.

People call each other terrible names, etc.

Sadly, they would probably never say these things if the disagreement could be resolved quickly.

People who have learned disrespectful communication generally speak this way because the argument has escalated. Or because it is the same friction being examined over and over again. Unfortunately, we think this will work. If we resort to rash tactics maybe we will get the attention of the one we love.

But again, disrespectful people can’t hear us. 

They can’t hear us when we are being reasonable, pleading, crying, etc. They definitely won’t listen just because we get desperate enough to be hurtful.

If anything, this just increases their desire to win.

It sends the message ‘I love you’ but ‘I don’t like you’

One of the most unfortunate aspects of a lack of respect is the damage it does to each individual.

It sends the message ‘I love you’ but ‘I don’t like you.’

Two wildly different narratives are being delivered.

In good times love bubbles to the surface. In bad times, personal attacks are being made rather than an attempt to resolve underlying issues. This is a severely damaging dynamic. To the relationship and to the individual.

The name-calling in between the ‘I love you’s.’

That sentence alone demonstrates the toxic nature of disrespectful love.

It’s not healthy for love.


Most individuals do not grow up around great communication. Therefore, a lot of relationship damage can be done early on. And it can be difficult to recover from.

Love turns into continued conflict.

And who wouldn’t want to retreat or run entirely away from that?

It is possible to be two completely different individuals with different family backgrounds and have a wonderful relationship. But respect and solid communication are at the core of that. Taking the time to meet with a couples counselor can evolve conversational skills so they are mature, absent of ego, and a need to be in control.

If a person is ‘in it to win it,’ there will ultimately be unwanted baggage and heartache. 

Reading alone will not foster the necessary skills. Primarily because most people are unable to see what they bring to the table. And consequently, a highly recommended professional can teach both spouses improved verbal correspondence.

I’m contributing pieces on Family Today and Medium. Follow me below. #WomanResurrected

On Medium @ColleenOrme

Follow me on Instagram @colleenorme 

Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist



Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels


More from Beliefnet and our partners