Do you feel like your partner is taking you for granted? It is possibly one of the worst feelings that you could ever experience in your relationship. It makes you feel unappreciated, upset, and unsure of yourself. Not to mention, it can ultimately make you not even care about the relationship.
But communication is key, and you should let your partner know how you are feeling. Rather than putting an end to the relationship, start the dialogue. They probably don't even realize that their actions are hurting you!
Unless approaching people with your issues is second-nature to you, the idea of having this conversation can make you feel vulnerable and scared. Nothing wrong with being scared - it is a delicate subject, and you don't want to be rejected. However, it's extremely important to your relationship.
Don't wait too long to have this talk, but if you need a little support and advice, then maybe we can help you initiate the conversation and follow through.
1. Plan for one-on-one time with your partner
Set aside some time to be one-on-one with each other. Trying to have a serious conversation in a sea of distractions will not help you get your point across. Not to mention, if your partner is constantly being distracted, you may feel the same taken-for-granted feelings all over again.
2. Catch them in the moment you feel they take you for granted
You may not be the type of person who's good at the planned conversation. You can't think of examples, you'll psych yourself out, etc. Sometimes, it's best to talk about the incident as it happens.
If you planned a special date night, went all out to make sure every detail was perfect, and you don't even hear a "thank you" from them, go up to your partner at the end of the night and explain how you feel calmly.
3. Don't expect the worst from the conversation
Not every conversation will end happily; some issues in a relationship take work. However, go into this conversation, thinking that you will make progress.
In other words, don't make the little storm cloud that's raining over your head bigger than it already is. Conversations about issues in a relationship are supposed to lead to healing and bring about awareness.
4. Just tell your partner what the issue is - without attacking them
Don't beat around the bush; just tell your partner how they are making you feel. But watch your tone.
Presenting the information in an overly accusatory or hostile manner can make them go on the defensive, and you won't get anywhere. Present your side clearly without attacking them.
5. Don't be afraid to express how hurt they make you feel
If you start to cry while you tell your partner how they make you feel, it is okay. We like to think that we're only allowed to express signs of affection passionately to our partners, but it is equally important to let them know that our feelings go both ways.
If you get emotional while explaining to them that you feel they don't appreciate you, let it all out. You are being honest.
6. Crocodile tears are not okay
On the same note, if you aren't a crier, don't fake it! Manipulation is not a healthful way to get your point across.
Be real, not a phony. Plus, if your partner catches you in crocodile tears, these conversations may not be helpful for any other issues in the future.
7. Leave ultimatums at the door
There's no need to threaten your partner with ending the relationship. This creates a hostile situation for both of you and can turn your heart-to-heart into an argument.
Let your partner's follow-up actions speak for themselves. If your partner keeps treating you poorly, then know that that's who they are. An ultimatum should not be the thing that turns around their behavior. It should be from a place of genuine concern for your well-being.
8. If your partner dismisses you, defend yourself, but don't freak out
When you're spilling your heart out to your partner -- who is supposed to care about you -- and they dismiss your feelings, it stings. It stings hard. If your partner brushes off your feelings like they're imaginary, don't start yelling at them.
Sure, your anger reflex may twinge, but take a deep breath. You may want to defend yourself because what they just did is pretty darn rude, but don't raise your voice. End the conversation. You have your answer.
9. Don't be offended if they can't think of anything to say but, "I'm sorry"
Some people need time to process. When you present your side of things, your partner's brain could be going a mile a minute, thinking of what to say and what not to say.
If they do not respond with some long apologetic soliloquy, do not be offended. A simple, "I'm sorry," may be all they can muster, especially if they are prideful. Actions tend to speak louder than words, anyway. Look for progress, not piecemeal.
10. Don't be vague about what you want
Once should be enough -- why should you have to constantly remind your partner that they are taking you for granted over and over again? Therefore, tell them what you need and want from them in order to make the conversation fruitful.
Do they need to tell you "thank you" more, or maybe clear their spot from the dinner table? Maybe they need to be better listeners or pay more attention to the effort you take into cleaning the home. Whatever it is, reasonable behavior modification requests can go a long way for a relationship.
Overall, you should be in a relationship with a partner who values you and treats you with respect, considering all your needs.
If you ever find yourself feeling unwanted, talk about it. This doesn't mean that things will magically be okay. If your partner is not willing to take time to understand your feelings, you might have to re-evaluate your relationship.