Feeling guilty lately because you need to show appreciation more in your relationship than you have lately? Or, maybe you’re struggling because you’re not feeling appreciated.
There are a multitude of positive aspects to our lives we’re regularly tempted to take for granted. These could range from employment, good health, friendships and much more. Taking someone for granted is especially sad since people are worth far more than material wealth or even our own comfort.
Being taken for granted is a terrible feeling because there’s no love involved. Feeling appreciated in a relationship is crucial because it’s synonymous with feeling valued, respected and loved. It’s impossible to have a happy life together if mutual gratitude or appreciation don’t consistently exist.
Regardless of your situation, there are ways to show appreciation, making you and your partner feel valued.
Greater Appreciation in Your Relationship Starts with You
Most of the time, if you show your partner gratitude, they’ll appreciate you in return. You can’t directly make your partner appreciate you more because the choice is up to them. However, if you find ways to show them you’re grateful, you’ll start a cycle of appreciation.
Once this cycle gets going, it becomes increasingly easier to let each other know how much you value them. After a while, doing this becomes something you automatically do without thinking about it most of the time.
Nagging Will Only Get You More of What You Don’t Want
The absolute worst way to get what you want is to nag and complain (which, unfortunately, is often the most natural human response). You may constantly say, “You take my love for granted,” or, “Don’t take me for granted!”
Of course, it’s OK and important to communicate that you’re feeling used or that you don’t feel appreciated. You just need to be careful not to let it consume you to the point that you keep bringing it up.
Love is not birthed out of angst, frustration or bitterness (although these feelings are understandable in many situations). Love comes our way by showing love first. It often winds up, ironically, being a reflection of ourselves. If you’re not feeling appreciated, the solution could be as simple as “getting the ball rolling” without complaining, arguing or nagging.
When You Show Appreciation for Your Partner but They Don’t Return the Favor
As just shared, showing gratitude for our partner usually results in us getting some appreciation in return. It’s rare that your mate would take you for granted after such efforts. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. In fact, in some situations, gratitude giving does nothing but lead to even less appreciation from a person’s mate.
You keep trying to please your partner but, the more you do, the less they seem to care. First, be careful to make sure you’ve worked hard to show gratitude. That said, if things still haven’t gotten better, you may have to try a different approach.
In his Psychology Today article entitled, “How Gratitude Influences Loving Behavior,” Jeremy Nicholson M.S.W., Ph.D. shares the following advice when you run into a similar snag:
“…evaluate whether your partner is invested in the relationship and appreciates you in general. Doing too much for them, without asking for things in return, can result in you being taken for granted…not appreciated. If that is the case, then take a break, ask for things, and let them put something into the relationship.”
Show Appreciation in Ways that Matter to Your Partner
At times, it isn’t that your partner is indifferent to your attempts to show appreciation. It may be that you’re showing appreciation in ways that would fill your love tank but not theirs.
Perhaps you’re forgetting that your partner’s love tank is different than your own. Things that would make you feel appreciated may not affect your partner in the same way.
Communicate with your mate to see how you could show appreciation better and then take action. Doing so will be well worth it because your partner will likely return the favor once they feel valued.
Learn How to Show Appreciation in Your Relationship Through Counseling
None of us automatically possess the skills needed to value our partner as we should. That skill is acquired through years of effort and learning of what works and what doesn’t.
Our licensed counselors are trained to help you show appreciation better in your relationship. Once you start feeling more valued, you’ll find that your bond is stronger and consistent relational happiness can result.
Would you and your partner like to improve your relationship? If so, feel free to schedule an appointment with us. We provide counseling in Newport Beach and Mission Viejo, California.