In any healthy and loving relationship, both partners should feel valued, appreciated, and respected.
However, sometimes, the dynamics in a marriage can shift, and one partner may start taking the other for granted without even realizing it.
Being taken for granted can be hurtful and detrimental to the overall happiness of the relationship.
If you suspect that your spouse might be taking you for granted, here are 13 signs to look out for.
13 Signs Your Spouse Takes You for Granted
Remember that a successful marriage requires effort, commitment, and mutual respect. Both partners must actively participate in nurturing the relationship and appreciating each other.
If your spouse continues to take you for granted despite your efforts to address the issue, you may need to consider whether the relationship is truly fulfilling your emotional and relational needs in the long run.
1. Lack of Appreciation:
In a healthy and fulfilling relationship, appreciation plays a fundamental role in creating a sense of value and validation for both partners. When one partner lacks appreciation for the efforts, sacrifices, and contributions of the other, it can have detrimental effects on the relationship’s emotional connection and overall well-being.
The lack of appreciation often manifests in various ways. For instance, if you take care of household chores or manage responsibilities, your spouse might not acknowledge the time and energy you invest in maintaining the home or fulfilling shared obligations. Similarly, if you provide emotional support and understanding during difficult times, your efforts may go unnoticed, leaving you feeling unvalued and unimportant.
Appreciation is more than just saying “thank you” or offering superficial praise. It involves genuinely recognizing and acknowledging the impact of your actions on the relationship and the family. When appreciation is lacking, it can lead to feelings of resentment, as you may begin to question whether your efforts are truly valued or if your contributions are being taken for granted.
Feeling unappreciated can also affect your motivation to continue putting effort into the relationship. Over time, you might become disheartened and less inclined to invest emotionally, leading to emotional distance and potentially even a breakdown in communication.
2. Absence of Communication:
Communication is the lifeblood of any successful relationship. It is the foundation upon which emotional intimacy, trust, and understanding are built. When communication breaks down, it can be one of the most challenging issues to address, as it affects every aspect of the relationship.
An absence of communication can take several forms. Your spouse may become disinterested in discussing everyday matters, important life decisions, or even your feelings and experiences. They might show little enthusiasm in engaging in meaningful conversations, leaving you feeling isolated and emotionally disconnected.
This lack of communication can stem from various factors. It could be due to stress, personal issues, or a gradual drift apart in the relationship. Whatever the cause, it is essential to address this issue promptly, as unresolved communication problems can escalate and lead to even more significant challenges down the road.
Without open and honest communication, partners can’t truly understand each other’s needs, desires, and concerns. Misunderstandings and assumptions may arise, further widening the emotional gap between both individuals. It becomes difficult to resolve conflicts or work through problems together, as effective communication is the key to finding common ground and reaching compromises.
3. Prioritizing Their Needs:
A balanced and healthy relationship requires both partners to consider each other’s needs and wishes when making decisions. However, when one partner consistently prioritizes their desires over the other’s, it can create a significant power imbalance and lead to feelings of neglect and resentment.
In a relationship where one partner’s needs are consistently put first, the other may feel undervalued and unimportant. Over time, this dynamic erodes the emotional connection and sense of partnership, replacing it with a feeling of inequality.
Decision-making becomes a one-sided affair, leaving the less prioritized partner without a voice in matters that affect both of them. This can lead to a breakdown in trust and intimacy, as the marginalized partner may feel like their opinions and feelings don’t matter.
4. Ignoring Special Occasions:
Special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or personal achievements, hold significant meaning in a relationship. These events provide opportunities for partners to celebrate each other’s lives, accomplishments, and milestones. When a spouse consistently forgets or neglects these important occasions, it can be deeply hurtful and indicate a lack of thoughtfulness and consideration.
Celebrating special occasions is not merely about giving material gifts; it’s a way of showing that you care and are attentive to your partner’s emotions and experiences. When a spouse fails to acknowledge these moments, it can leave the other feeling unimportant and unloved.
Ignoring special occasions may also suggest a lack of effort in maintaining the emotional connection and investing in the relationship. It may lead the overlooked partner to question the level of commitment and dedication their spouse has towards the relationship.
5. Reduced Physical Affection:
Physical affection is a crucial aspect of emotional intimacy in a romantic relationship. It includes various forms of touch, such as hugs, kisses, cuddling, holding hands, and other gestures that communicate love, comfort, and closeness. When the frequency of physical affection diminishes in a relationship, it can have profound effects on both partners’ emotional well-being and the overall health of the relationship.
Physical affection serves as a non-verbal way of expressing love and care. It releases oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” which fosters feelings of bonding and trust between partners. Regular physical touch helps strengthen the emotional connection, reaffirming the sense of security and commitment in the relationship.
When physical affection wanes, it can lead to feelings of emotional disconnection and rejection. The lack of touch may make one partner feel unloved, unwanted, or emotionally distant from the other. This emotional disconnect can give rise to insecurity and self-doubt, leading to questions about the overall satisfaction and commitment in the relationship.
Various factors can contribute to the reduction of physical affection. Stress, work pressures, health issues, and unresolved conflicts can all impact a partner’s willingness or ability to engage in physical intimacy. Additionally, a decrease in physical affection may also be an indication of deeper emotional issues within the relationship that need to be addressed.
6. Taking Decisions Unilaterally:
In a healthy partnership, important decisions should be made together, with both partners’ input and perspectives taken into consideration. However, when one spouse starts making significant decisions without consulting the other, it can lead to feelings of exclusion, powerlessness, and a lack of shared responsibility.
Unilateral decision-making can range from minor matters, such as household purchases, to more significant life-changing choices, such as career changes or financial decisions. When one partner consistently makes decisions without involving the other, it sends a message that their opinion and contributions are not valued, and they are not seen as an equal partner in the relationship.
This pattern of decision-making can lead to a breakdown in communication and trust. The partner left out of the decision-making process may feel disregarded and unimportant, which can erode the foundation of the relationship. Over time, this dynamic can result in a power imbalance, where one partner holds more control and authority than the other.
Healthy relationships thrive on collaboration, compromise, and mutual respect. Making decisions together fosters a sense of teamwork and shared ownership in the relationship’s direction. It is crucial for partners to communicate openly and honestly about their needs, desires, and preferences, and to seek each other’s input when faced with important choices.
7. No Effort to Improve the Relationship:
All relationships go through ups and downs, and it is entirely normal to encounter challenges and conflicts along the way. However, when one partner shows no interest in addressing these issues or working together to enhance the relationship, it can lead to stagnation and emotional distance.
Relationships require ongoing effort and nurturing to thrive. Both partners need to be willing to invest time and energy into understanding each other’s needs and resolving conflicts constructively. When one partner becomes complacent and takes the relationship for granted, it can create a sense of neglect and emotional disconnection for the other.
Complacency in a relationship may manifest in various ways. It could involve a lack of communication, reduced quality time together, neglecting to express affection or appreciation, or failing to address recurring problems. As a result, the emotional bond between partners weakens, and they may start to feel emotionally distant from each other.
Over time, this lack of effort to improve the relationship can lead to feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. The ignored partner may feel unfulfilled and may even begin to question whether the relationship is worth maintaining.
Addressing complacency requires open communication and a willingness to work together to identify areas that need improvement. Both partners must be proactive in recognizing and addressing issues, expressing appreciation and affection, and finding ways to nurture the emotional connection that initially brought them together.
8. Dismissing Your Concerns:
In a healthy relationship, both partners should feel comfortable expressing their feelings, thoughts, and concerns without fear of judgment or rejection. However, when a spouse dismisses these concerns, it can create emotional barriers and damage the foundation of trust and intimacy.
Dismissing concerns can take various forms. It might involve belittling the partner’s feelings, making them feel silly or irrational for expressing themselves. It could also entail ignoring the concerns altogether, pretending as if they don’t exist or aren’t significant. In some cases, the dismissive partner might resort to gaslighting, where they manipulate the other person into questioning their own feelings and perceptions.
When concerns are brushed aside or not taken seriously, it sends a message that the partner’s emotions and needs are not valued. It creates a sense of invalidation and emotional isolation, as the partner may start to believe that their feelings don’t matter in the relationship.
Over time, a pattern of dismissing concerns can erode communication and emotional intimacy. The partner who feels unheard may withdraw emotionally to protect themselves from further rejection, leading to further emotional distance between the couple.
To build a healthy and thriving relationship, both partners must actively listen and validate each other’s concerns. Expressing empathy, understanding, and a willingness to work through challenges together can help create a safe and supportive environment where both partners feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.
9. Lack of Emotional Support:
Emotional support is a cornerstone of a healthy and fulfilling relationship. It involves being there for your partner during challenging times, providing empathy, understanding, and validation for their feelings and experiences. When a spouse fails to offer emotional support, it can leave the other feeling isolated and emotionally uncared for.
During difficult moments, such as facing personal struggles, dealing with stress, or coping with losses, having a supportive partner can make a significant difference. However, when your spouse doesn’t provide the emotional support you need, it can create feelings of loneliness and emotional distance.
A lack of emotional support can manifest in various ways. Your spouse might seem indifferent or disinterested when you express your feelings or concerns. They may offer dismissive responses or avoid engaging in meaningful conversations about your emotional well-being.
Feeling emotionally unsupported can erode trust and intimacy in the relationship. It may lead you to believe that your partner doesn’t truly understand or care about your emotional needs. Over time, this emotional disconnect can lead to a breakdown in communication and a sense of emotional detachment.
10. Not Listening:
Effective communication is a vital aspect of any successful relationship. Listening actively and attentively when your partner speaks is essential for understanding their thoughts, feelings, and needs. However, when your spouse consistently fails to listen or appears disengaged during conversations, it can be highly detrimental to the emotional bond between both partners.
Not listening can take different forms. Your spouse might interrupt you while you’re talking or jump to conclusions before you finish expressing yourself. They may also display non-verbal cues of disinterest, such as looking away, checking their phone, or appearing distracted during conversations.
When a partner doesn’t listen, it conveys a lack of respect and importance for what the other person has to say. This can lead to feelings of frustration, resentment, and even a reluctance to share thoughts or emotions in the future.
Active listening is a foundational element of emotional connection and support. When partners truly listen to each other, it fosters mutual understanding and strengthens the emotional bond. On the other hand, consistently being unheard or dismissed can result in emotional distance and a sense of being undervalued in the relationship.
11. No Time for You:
In a healthy relationship, spending quality time together is essential for building and maintaining emotional intimacy. However, when your spouse consistently prioritizes other activities over spending time with you, it can create feelings of neglect and emotional isolation.
Time is a valuable resource, and how partners choose to spend it communicates their priorities and commitments. When your spouse consistently chooses work, friends, hobbies, or other activities over spending time with you, it may leave you feeling unimportant and undervalued.
Quality time is an opportunity to connect, communicate, and engage in shared experiences. Without it, emotional intimacy can suffer, and partners may start to feel disconnected from each other’s lives. This can lead to a breakdown in communication and a lack of understanding about each other’s emotions and needs.
Prioritizing other activities over spending time together can also signal a lack of effort to nurture the relationship. It may make you question whether your spouse is genuinely invested in building a strong and meaningful connection.
12. Ungrateful Attitude:
Appreciation and gratitude are essential for a healthy and positive relationship. When partners acknowledge each other’s strengths, positive traits, and efforts, it fosters a sense of validation and emotional support. However, when your spouse focuses on your weaknesses and criticizes rather than expressing appreciation, it can negatively impact the relationship’s emotional climate.
An ungrateful attitude may involve consistently pointing out your shortcomings, downplaying your achievements, or failing to acknowledge your positive contributions to the relationship. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a sense of not being good enough for your partner.
When you feel unappreciated, it can diminish your self-esteem and confidence. Over time, this can lead to emotional distance as you may withdraw emotionally to protect yourself from further criticism.
Expressing gratitude and focusing on each other’s positive attributes is essential for building emotional intimacy and a strong bond. When partners feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to reciprocate those positive feelings and invest more in the relationship.
13. Assuming Your Presence:
Assumptions in a relationship can be damaging, especially when it comes to taking a partner’s presence for granted. When your spouse assumes that you will always be there, regardless of how they treat you or how much effort they put into the relationship, it can lead to neglect and emotional distance.
Assuming your presence can manifest in different ways. Your spouse may take little or no action to nurture the relationship, believing that you’ll always be there no matter what. They might neglect to invest time, effort, and emotional energy in the relationship, assuming that it will remain intact without active participation.
This assumption can lead to emotional complacency, where one partner doesn’t feel the need to work on the relationship or make it a priority. It can create feelings of emotional neglect and a sense of being taken for granted.
A healthy relationship requires active effort and dedication from both partners. Taking each other for granted can lead to a gradual decline in emotional intimacy and mutual understanding. Over time, the neglected partner may become disheartened and question the value of the relationship, potentially leading to emotional detachment and a breakdown in communication.
What Can You Do If Your Spouse Takes You For Granted?
If you feel that your spouse is taking you for granted, taking action to improve the situation is crucial. Here are some practical and actionable steps you can take:
- Schedule a calm and private conversation: Find a suitable time to talk with your spouse when you both can be relaxed and focused on the conversation.
- Express your feelings using “I” statements: Clearly communicate how you feel using statements like, “I feel unappreciated when…” or “I need more emotional support when…”
- Provide specific examples: Share concrete instances when you felt taken for granted, such as, “Last week, I worked late every day to prepare dinner, but it seemed like my efforts went unnoticed.”
- Share your needs and expectations: Let your spouse know what you need to feel more valued and appreciated. For instance, you can say, “I would love it if we could spend some quality time together every week, just the two of us.”
- Ask for their perspective: Encourage your spouse to share their thoughts and feelings on the matter. Listen actively and be receptive to their side of the story.
- Negotiate compromises: Work together to find solutions that address both of your needs. For instance, you can agree on dedicating one evening each week for date nights or quality time.
- Lead by example: Demonstrate appreciation and empathy towards your spouse to encourage similar behavior in return. Show gratitude for their efforts and be supportive when they face challenges.
- Set boundaries: If your spouse consistently prioritizes other activities over spending time with you, assertively communicate your needs and the importance of spending time together.
- Seek support from a marriage counselor: If communication remains difficult or the issues persist, consider seeking professional help to navigate the challenges together.
- Set shared goals: Discuss your vision for the relationship and set joint goals to work towards together. It could be as simple as sharing responsibilities more evenly or planning a future vacation.
- Acknowledge positive changes: When your spouse makes efforts to address your concerns, acknowledge and appreciate their actions. Positive reinforcement can strengthen the desired behavior.
- Reevaluate the relationship: If despite your efforts, your spouse continues to disregard your feelings and needs, consider discussing the state of the relationship openly. Be honest about your emotions and evaluate if both of you are committed to making necessary changes.
Remember, improving a relationship requires effort from both partners. By initiating open communication and actively working towards positive changes, you can increase the chances of building a more loving and appreciative bond. However, if your spouse remains unresponsive or unwilling to work on the issues, you might need to reassess the relationship’s overall health and consider what is best for your emotional well-being.
How do you ignore your husband who takes you for granted?
Ignoring a partner who takes you for granted may not be the most effective approach to resolving relationship issues. Instead, consider addressing the problem openly and honestly. Initiate a calm conversation about your feelings and the behaviors you would like to change. Express your needs and boundaries, and work together to find solutions that strengthen your emotional connection. Ignoring the issue might lead to further distance and misunderstandings in the relationship.
How do you tell if your spouse still loves you?
Telling if your spouse still loves you requires paying attention to their actions and behaviors. Signs of love include showing affection, expressing appreciation, actively listening, and making efforts to spend quality time together. Acts of support, empathy, and consideration also indicate love. However, keep in mind that every individual expresses love differently, so open communication about feelings and needs is crucial to understanding each other’s emotions.
How do you make him worry about losing you?
While it may be natural to want your partner to value and appreciate you, deliberately trying to make someone worry about losing you can lead to manipulation and further relationship issues. Instead, focus on building a strong, healthy, and communicative partnership. Express your feelings and needs honestly, work on resolving conflicts constructively, and prioritize self-improvement and self-care. A genuinely loving partner will appreciate your efforts and reciprocate in kind.
How do you know you are being used in a relationship?
Feeling used in a relationship can be distressing. Signs of being used may include your partner consistently prioritizing their needs over yours, not valuing your contributions, and displaying a lack of emotional support or empathy. If your partner only reaches out when they need something and does not reciprocate in times of need, it may be a sign of being taken advantage of. Reflect on your feelings and have an open conversation with your partner to address your concerns and assess the health of the relationship.
My spouse is always busy with work and other activities. What can I do to spend more quality time together?
If your spouse consistently prioritizes other activities over spending time with you, have an open discussion about your need for quality time together. Share your desire to strengthen your emotional connection and suggest specific activities or date nights to spend more time together. Finding common interests or hobbies can also help create opportunities for shared experiences.
Recognizing and addressing signs of being taken for granted in a relationship is vital to preserving its emotional intimacy and long-term fulfillment. Lack of appreciation, communication gaps, prioritizing personal needs, neglecting emotional support, and assuming perpetual presence are red flags that demand attention and action.
Open and honest communication is the foundation for resolving these issues. Expressing feelings and needs with empathy and understanding can foster a more compassionate connection.
However, it’s essential to remember that both partners must be willing to invest in the relationship’s growth. If genuine efforts to bridge the emotional gap are met with resistance or indifference, it may be time to evaluate the overall health of the partnership.