The worst of the four horsemen is contempt. It is the relationship-damaging negative behavior. Being disrespectful to others and making fun of them with sarcasm and condescension are both examples of contempt. Here are some signs to tell if you are experiencing contempt from your partner.

What Is Contempt

The other feels devalued and inferior when someone treats them with contempt. It comes from a deep-seated feeling of being undervalued and ignored in the relationship.

It can be expressed through verbal or nonverbal means, such as sarcasm, mockery, and facial gestures. Partners frequently forget what they said or did, especially when it comes to snide gestures like an eye roll or chuckle that angered their partner.

Contempt intensifies a conflict situation, whether it manifests in speech or actions. It is no longer about the topic that sparked the argument and is instead an attack on someone’s value, which is akin to saying, “You are unimportant.”

Why Contempt Is So Destructive And Dangerous

Negative feelings toward a partner that have been harbored for a long time can fuel contempt, which manifests as an assault on a person’s self-worth.

Ultimately, contempt does not lead to reconciliation; rather, it inevitably results in more conflict, particularly violent and destructive forms of conflict. 

When your partner perceives that you despise them, that you’re acting patronizingly toward them, and that you’re acting as their superior, it’s nearly impossible to find a solution.

Signs Of Contempt In A Relationship

According to experts, there are some signs to watch out for if you’re concerned that your relationship may be experiencing contempt.

It’s a brave and worthwhile task to even investigate whether you might be experiencing contempt in your relationship, keeping in mind that the first step toward a solution is identifying the problem.

Early in your relationship, you should be able to spot indications of contempt to prevent them from growing.

Contempt In Relationship

Your Partner Constantly Puts You Down

Regardless of what you do, nothing is ever sufficient. Whether it be the family dinner you prepare or the attire you choose to wear to work. 

You never seem to be able to do it correctly. You experience nasty, vengeful criticism. 

No one enjoys receiving criticism, but there are constructive ways to make recommendations.

To avoid hurting their partner’s feelings, some people will even tell white lies. That luxury is not available to you. Your partner wants you to understand their exact feelings for you. 

You Are Interrupted All The Time

Do you think that what you have to say is useless? Is it now so bad that you won’t say anything for fear of being retaliated against? Bullying can take place in both public and private settings in this manner.

Your opinion is not valued, you are not being listened to, and what you say doesn’t matter, to name a few things it suggests to you. It is insulting and demeaning to interrupt frequently. 

Ignoring You All The Time

The effect that constant interruptions have on your soul is the opposite of the banality that results from ignoring. Both confrontation and indifference are potent.

Your words are not heard because no one values your opinion, but rather because no one has paid attention to you.

You must be treated equally in order to express an opinion. Your partner is acting in a passive-aggressive manner toward you to demonstrate their dominance. 

Your Partner Makes Sarcastic Remarks To You

Even subtle insults can be considered contempt. Usually, a random sarcastic remark is the first thing to happen. When a husband doesn’t do his fair share of child care, a wife might become resentful. She’ll make a sarcastic remark rather than discuss it.

Your Partner Is Patronizing Towards You

Do they continually offer you justifications? Over time, using condescension diminishes a person. It matters how you speak to someone, especially a loved one. 

Relationships can be nourished and strengthened by words, or they can be ruined and destroyed. A patronizing spouse or partner may appear to be doing you a favor. You are incompetent, though, is the overarching message. 

You Are Always Corrected When You Speak

Some people interrupt their partners, while others choose to ignore them, and then there are those who enjoy giving advice. Whether they are right or wrong is irrelevant. They want to upset your equilibrium and instill self-doubt in you. 

The perfect opportunity for them to start gaslighting you arises as soon as you start to hesitate. There are, of course, various ways to inform a person that they made a mistake.

But if you consistently receive criticism and it annoys you, something is wrong.  

Redoing Household Tasks You Have Just Completed

Which age group do you belong to? Instead of fixing things that our partners have done, we frequently fix things that our children have made. To finish a task and then have your spouse redo it because it was insufficient in their eyes is pretty soul-destroying. 

You feel useless as a result. Even basic housework cannot be done properly by you. Everything around here has to be done by your partner. What good are you? You are lucky he or she puts up with you.

Making You The Butt Of All Their Jokes

Last but not least, this is the most severe example of disrespectful behavior I have saved for last. Despite the fact that when we first begin dating someone we like, we often tease them. Making them the punchline, on the other hand, is quite another story.

One of the ugliest indications of contempt in a relationship is when everyone makes fun of you, the joke is on you, and people laugh at you rather than with you. 

Final Thoughts

Contrary to popular belief, the key factor separating happy couples from unhappy ones is not negative feelings and conflicts but rather avoiding the Four Horsemen and positively showing affection.

Once contempt has been introduced into a relationship, it may be difficult to break the negative cycle. Focus on the positive traits your partner possesses and try to recall the things that first brought you two together.