Sometimes we must overlook our feelings of being taken for granted and put our partner’s needs first. It is a part of compromising. But learning how to stop being taken for granted in a relationship plays a big part once you realize that you’re the one one doing all the giving.
I am sure at some point or another, we all feel taken for granted in a relationship. Maybe our partner doesn’t thank us for what we do around the house or how we support them. As much as it sucks, it is normal for it to happen time and again. Maybe your partner has a super busy month at work or something is going on with their family.
But, once it gets to be the norm and being taken for granted in a relationship is starting to feel more like being ignored or unappreciated, you need to shut that down. But, how? [Read: 12 big, yet subtle signs you are being taken for granted]
Why are you being taken for granted in a relationship?
Before confronting your partner about your feelings of being taken for granted in a relationship, look inside yourself. What is it that you need from them in order to feel like everything you do is being appreciated? What do you need them to do?
Are they never saying thank you? Do they need to do more for you? Do they just need to acknowledge what you do for them? Are they acting like they expect you to be supportive and help them rather than appreciating it?
Figuring this out before talking to your partner will help you be more clear. It will prevent an angry fight and be a more open and honest discussion about your needs and what they can do to make you happy. [Read: How to know what to do if you are unhappy in a relationship]
Maybe you need to speak up more and ask for what you want. Maybe your partner is not as intuitive to your needs as you are theirs. What can you do to help them understand you?
You cannot place all the blame on them. They are not causing you to feel this way. They probably don’t even realize it. So put any resentment aside and see where you both can give and help each other feel appreciated. [Read: 16 clear signs you’re in a narcissistic relationship]
How to stop being taken for granted in a relationship
Now that you have had time to distinguish between what you can do and what your partner can do to stop you from feeling like you’re being taken for granted, you can put it into action.
#1 Speak up. I am not blaming you for being taken for granted. I have been in this position too. It sucks. You give so much of yourself with nothing in return, barely even a thank you. But, as someone who used to be a people pleaser, I went out of my way for others and let them take me for granted.
Whether they realized I felt that way or not, I never said anything. So speak up. Next time they ask you to do something, say that last time you felt like they didn’t appreciate it. Next time you do something they should make a point to make sure you feel appreciated. [Read: The real truth behind what makes a normal relationship tick]
#2 Don’t take them for granted. Sometimes we solely focus on how we feel and not how our partner feels. They may feel like you don’t appreciate them or that you take them for granted. So make sure you thank them and know you appreciate them. They may see that behavior and return it unto you.
#3 Look at your behavior. Are you going out of your way without being asked? Are you quick to say yes to anything they ask? Do you ask them to do things for you? Sure, they could be more vocal about their appreciation, but you could say no sometimes. I don’t like to say you are giving too much, but you just might be able to hold back a little. [Read: How self respect affects you and all your relationships]
#4 Say you’re welcome. If they aren’t getting it, next time you do something for them and they don’t say thank you, say you’re welcome.
Whether that be making dinner, taking out the trash, driving their parents to the airport or supporting them through grad school, when you say you’re welcome, it opens their eyes to the fact that they haven’t verbally thanked you.
#5 Put yourself first. It is nice to put your partner first sometimes, but also care for yourself. If you want to know how to stop being taken for granted in a relationship, do what you need first. Next time they ask something of you, don’t do it immediately. Take care of what you need and then get to it.
#6 Focus on your needs. Without even realizing it, we worry about our partners. I used to keep my ex’s schedule and double check that he was doing everything and if he needed anything from me. He didn’t ask me to do it, but I was on top of it.
I did not need to do that. He was a grown man and could handle it himself. But I put that extra effort in and felt overwhelmed. Instead of following my mistakes, do what you need. Focus on your work, your hobbies, and your friends. You can reach out and check in, but don’t make that your priority. [Read: How to pull back in a relationship when you’re giving too much]
#7 Say no. You do not need to say yes to everything. I know it can feel mean or selfish. But you are allowed to say no, I am sure they say no to you sometimes.
If you are overwhelmed with your own stuff, you do not have to go out of your way for them. If you start saying no to their requests, they may rethink their behavior.
#8 Give them a limit. Sure, maybe there are some things you are totally fine doing like picking up your partner’s dry cleaning or walking their dog. But, I will bet there are some things you hate doing. Yes, compromise is important, but don’t do it all.
Let them know your limit. Say you are happy to have lunch with their mom or go to their work events, but just aren’t willing to go to the ballet or boxing matches. Without making a limit, there isn’t one. [Read: How to say no, stop pleasing people and feel awesome instead]
#9 Don’t let them override your plans. This is something I did as a teenager. If I had a boyfriend I would cancel any and all plans when he texted. I would put him before friends, family, and homework. That is not cool.
If you have plans, don’t cancel them for your partner, especially not last minute. Sure, you might not see them for a few days otherwise, but prioritize other parts of your life too. It might sound juvenile, but when you show them you have other plans, they will get that they are not the center of your life, you are. [Read: The signs your partner is truly supportive of your goals]
#10 Wait for them to ask. Don’t beat them to the punch. You may be able to anticipate their needs and wants and think it is faster for you just to take care of it.
Instead, let them come to you. Let them ask. When they go out of their way to ask you to do something, they acknowledge they need you rather than expecting you do to something.
#11 Let go of the fear. Many people who want to stop being taken for granted are, well, being taken for granted. And we tend to be people pleasers and afraid of confrontation. We fear that if we ruffle feathers by sharing how we feel, it will start a fight.
But, if you truly want to know how to stop being taken for granted in a relationship, you need to let go of that fear and face how you are feeling. If you can’t communicate with your partner, how will you face bigger problems that may arise? [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted]
#12 Appreciate time alone. This is a big one. We often go out of our way to get time with our partner. We don’t always enjoy alone time. We do things for them so they reward us with attention or praise.
Instead, make the most of the time alone. You do not need to spend your free time with your partner or doing things for them. Watch the show they hate. Have a movie marathon. Order the take out they think smells like a farm. Do things you can’t do with them.
#13 Break out of your routine. Do you always bring your partner lunch at work or do the shopping or cleaning? They may just be used to it as your routine. And saying thank you does not even cross their mind.
I know you would like them to read your mind and offer to take these errands off your hands, but that won’t happen. Instead, tell them you are taking a vacation from housework this week. Once they get a taste of what you normally do without them noticing, they should stop taking you for granted. [Read: 15 ways to spot selfish people and stop them from hurting you]
#14 Talk about it. If you do all of these but do not sit down and have a conversation about how you’re feeling, nothing will be resolved. You still put all this effort into them to changing their behavior. You may not even need to do all of this if you are straight forward and just tell them how you are feeling.
Do not accuse them of being dense or not seeing your feelings, instead softly let them know that you feel like you do a lot for them and they overlook your efforts. They should apologize and ask what they can do to make you feel seen. Then, discuss it. How easy is that?
#15 Appreciate yourself. We cannot have our self worth dependent on praise or appreciation from our partner. Of course, it is always nice to be seen and have them be grateful for you, but if you know your worth, you may not need so much praise for your good deeds. [Read: How to draw your happiness from within]
What if you are still being taken for granted in a relationship?
If after all of this, you still feel like you are being taken for granted in a relationship, do a deep dive. Are you asking for too much? Are you expecting more than is really feasible?
If not, you may have a partner that is selfish. You may have a partner that actually doesn’t appreciate you and does take you for granted. If you talked to them and their behavior hasn’t changed, they probably don’t want to.
Sometimes they may even do better for a while, but end up falling back into their pattern of acting like everything you do for them is just what is expected.
If you get to this point, it may be time to say goodbye. Even giving an ultimatum will only help temporarily. So, if this relationship makes you feel less than or not good enough or unappreciated you deserve better even if that means being single and focusing on you.
[Read: 20 sure signs your relationship is oh-so-over already]
Learn how to stop being taken for granted in a relationship and do not look back. It may seem difficult at first, but you’ll realize just how strong and in control you feel when people stop walking all over you. You deserve better.
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