Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re being taken for granted in your relationship…
…and sometimes it’s glaringly obvious.
Either way, if you suspect that your partner doesn’t appreciate you as much as they should, you’re probably right.
Perhaps your friends keep pointing out the ‘warning signs’ or maybe things have shifted and you now feel undervalued.
We’re here to help you work out what’s really going on, and what to do next.
Here are 8 signs that your partner is taking you for granted.
1. They don’t always treat you with a basic level of respect.
Respect runs deep in meaningful relationships, but the basics still count.
Simple things like acknowledging when you’ve done something for them, however small, make a huge difference to how you feel about yourself and the relationship.
A simple thank you when you’ve cooked a meal or tidied up might seem insignificant, but it reveals a lot about how your partner feels about you.
Taking you into account when making plans is also a sign of respect. If this isn’t happening, it’s a big sign of disrespect.
Of course, we’re not saying that husbands and wives or boyfriends and girlfriends need to spend every waking moment together…
…but it’s important that you’re both very aware of each other’s presence.
Looking out for each other and making sure you’re both comfortable with plans is important in a healthy relationship.
If you’re organizing a night out with your own friends… but you should let your partner know.
Making plans on behalf of your partner? Speak to them first! Your partner should tell you if they’ve signed you up for a night out with work colleagues or dinner with family members – it’s basic, decent courtesy.
Cancelling plans last minute is also a pretty big no-no in terms of respecting someone. If your partner often does this, it’s a sign that they don’t appreciate you as much as they should.
Once or twice is understandable – things happen outside of our control! But, and this is where respect comes into play, these changes must be communicated to the other person.
It doesn’t make you needy or desperate if you want to know what’s going on or why your plans suddenly have to change.
You would expect to be informed of changes to any other plans, too, whether it’s a meeting with your boss that’s been cancelled or a night out with friends that’s been postponed.
If your partner isn’t making the effort to let you know why they’re changing plans, or keeps doing it for no apparent reason, they’re taking you for granted by assuming you won’t kick up a fuss.
2. They don’t involve you in their life and aren’t interested in being involved in your life.
This might seem like a silly point – of course you’re involved in your partner’s life.
…but, are you really?
Sure, you talk/text throughout the day and spend time together, but are you actually a part of the rest of their life?
Part of being with someone is valuing their presence in your life. That means asking them for advice, wanting their input on things, and turning to them when you need support.
If your partner isn’t doing this, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of their life.
We’re not saying that you should elbow your way into every aspect of what your partner does, but it’s nice to be informed and up to date with their life.
If they’re not telling you what they’re doing or aren’t involving you in things, it’s a sign that they’re taking you for granted and maybe don’t appreciate you the way you’d like.
Are they involved in your life, too?
Do they ask how things are with your job, how your hobbies are going, and what’s happening with your friends?
Sure, they don’t need to have intimate knowledge of Susan from accounts and her relationship issues, but they should be aware of who your friends are, at least!
… but that doesn’t mean that your lives should be totally separate from each other.
If your partner is making little or no effort to involve you in their life, and pushes away from being involved in yours, you’re being taken for granted and they aren’t appreciating you as they should be.
Simple as that.
3. They don’t pull their weight.
This can be a tricky one because there are so many ‘responsibilities’ when you’re with someone.
Think about what they’re contributing, and how this compares to what you contribute.
Financially, for example, are you paying more rent and bills than they are? Do you find yourself cooking every single night, even though they’re home? Who does the housework more often?
Sure, couples get settled into habits and one person will often take care of a particular task because they just… do!
Maybe your partner is just so used to you cooking that they think you enjoy it and don’t really see it as an issue.
Make sure that things feel mutual in some ways. If your ‘role’ is to cook every night, they should still be contributing elsewhere, by doing the dishes or taking out the trash.
If there’s an uneven or unfair distribution of responsibilities, you need to think about what that means.
It may be an innocent oversight or it may be a sign that they think they’re above you or that they don’t need to ‘bother’ helping you with things around the house.
Another question to ask is: Are they supporting you enough emotionally?
This can be incredibly difficult to answer.
To make it clear – you are not ‘needy’ for wanting attention from your partner.
Sure, there are some boundbaries that ought to be respected, but you should never feel like you’re not entitled to being cared for.
A good relationship means being there for each other, caring for one another, and supporting your partner.
If you feel as though you’re the one giving all of this and you’re not getting much in return, your partner is taking you for granted.
4. They don’t put in the effort.
You shouldn’t expect flowers and candlelit dinners every night (although making an effort on special occasions is to be expected, really!).
Affection and attention are huge parts of being with someone and are what you should expect as a minimum – and what you deserve.
Affection isn’t something that everyone is comfortable with all the time, but it is a very important aspect of relationships for a lot of people.
These are to be respected at all times.
That said, if there are no real reasons behind the lack of affection, it may be a sign that your partner is taking you for granted.
It isn’t asking too much to hold hands with your loved one every so often.
If your partner is unwilling to be physically intimate with you, it probably feels as though they don’t care enough, or that they’re potentially embarrassed to be seen with you in public.
This may not be the case, but their behavior shouldn’t make you even consider that this could be an explanation!
If you find that you’re the only one expressing emotion and intimacy in your relationship (and that it is often rejected or dismissed), you need to really consider whether or not your partner values you.
5. They aren’t faithful to you.
If your partner has cheated on you, it’s very clear that they are taking you for granted.
Now, for a lot of people, the immediate solution is to end things.
People cheat for all sorts of reasons – but none of them are valid. If you’re aware that your partner is cheating on you and you’re still with them, you need to question why.
We’re not saying that relationships like this can’t work, because they can, but you need to look at why you’re choosing to stay with someone who has been, or is, cheating on you.
If you’re married, have children, or have a financial tie to them (such as a mortgage, joint bank account, or jointly-owned business), there are reasons to try to figure things out.
If you’re staying with your husband, wife, or partner because you have a fear of being alone, you need to consider your actions. You may feel as though you have no choice, but you need to see things for what they really are.
Your partner probably feels as though they can ‘get away’ with cheating on you as they never really get ‘punished’ for it, as it were – there are no consequences to their actions.
In this instance, they are taking advantage of you and your good nature. Your partner does not appreciate you or respect you and you deserve much more than that.
There can still be a lot of love in this kind of relationship, but it is a toxic type of love and it is not healthy to stay with someone who treats you this way.
If you think your partner may be cheating, but don’t know for sure, it’s still a sign that you may be being taken for granted in your relationship.
Fear of being cheated on stems from a lot of different places. Some people have been cheated on in the past and are now worried about it happening again.
Now, we’re not saying that these feelings aren’t valid, because they are, but they’re not signs of a healthy relationship.
Disappearing without explanations, not replying to you for longer than normal when they’re out, etc.), there is definitely something wrong!
That’s not to say that they’re cheating on you, but that behavior is unfair and toxic.
If you have highlighted that this behavior makes you feel uncomfortable and that, although you trust them, these actions make you feel nervous or insecure, they should be trying to help you through that.
They don’t need to completely change what they’re doing (they should still feel as though they can spend time with female friends, for example), but they need to recognize that you are having a hard time and work with you to find a solution.
If they’re not making any effort to alleviate your feelings or reassure you through taking action, you’re being taken advantage of and your partner is not treating you with the respect that you deserve.
6. They contribute to, or cause, your low self-esteem.
If you suffer from low self-esteem, consider how it’s being affected by your partner.
It could be that you felt this way before, but ask yourself how they are helping you to deal with those feelings, or if they’re making it worse.
It may be that these issues have arisen during your relationship, in which case you really need to ask yourself why that is.
In some relationships, people can get very territorial or controlling, which can link to taking their partners for granted.
Of course, the partners sometimes realize this and get themselves out of the relationships. For others, these controlling behaviors build up and it becomes very difficult to separate from the relationship, regardless of how destructive or toxic it is.
In these relationships, the controlling party will seek ways to put their partner down in a bid to degrade their self-esteem and make their partner dependent on them.
Common ways of doing this include telling their partner that they’re useless and unattractive and will never find anyone else who loves them.
Or they may tell them that nobody else will ever want them and that they’re worthless on their own and lucky to be loved by their partner.
This is horrific and abusive behavior that some people use to trap their partner in the relationship. Their partner feels as though there is no way out and nobody else who will ever accept or love them.
This is a sign you’re being taken for granted in your relationship, as well as sign of abuse that you need to find a way out of.
7. They manipulate you emotionally.
This links to the point above about toxic cycles of self-esteem destruction.
If you find that you’re being emotionally manipulated into things, you need to really consider if you’re in the right relationship.
It may be small things, like where you go for dinner, or may be bigger issues like not being able to spend time with certain friends or go out without your partner.
They seem to be in control of the relationship and, to an extent, you.
They randomly decide that they don’t want to be with you and force a break-up. They will then also decide when they want to get back together with you.
They’ll then keep you guessing whether or not you’re ‘safe’ and they’ll find ways to keep you on edge – dropping hints that you should ‘watch your behavior’ or give them ‘some space.’
If there is any form of emotional manipulation in your relationship, you need to ask yourself why you’re putting up with it – or why you’re too scared to raise it as an issue.
This is not healthy behavior and is not what you deserve at all. There are always ways out of these types of relationships, and you will always find the support you need.
8. Physical intimacy levels have shifted – either way.
Another sign to look out for is a change in physical intimacy. This can go either way, but there are a few things to take note of in terms of being taken for granted.
If your partner seems to want to have sex with you significantly more, but isn’t giving you any emotional intimacy, it may be that they are taking advantage of you.
They may not be willing to share anything with you in terms of feelings and affection, which is a sign that the relationship is not as healthy as it should be.
You should never be made to feel as though you ‘owe’ your partner anything, especially when it comes to your sexual relationship with them.
If they are making you feel as though you need to have sex with them in order to receive attention or affection, you need to consider how things have reached this point.
Your partner should not be making you question your worth as a person, or make you consider using sex as a ‘currency’ for emotional connection.
You should never feel forced or pressured into anything physical. It should be a way to share your bond and not a bargaining chip because you want to feel close to them.
If the opposite is happening and your partner is no longer engaging with you physically when they once used to, you need to question why this may be happening.
The most important thing to remember during all of this is that you have a choice.
You can choose to stick at your relationship and bring up these issues with your partner or you can choose to leave the relationship.
There may be a valid explanation for some aspects that we’ve touched on – their sex drive may have lowered due to work stress, or perhaps they’re not talking to you about things because they don’t want to worry you, etc.
Open and honest communication is the only way you’ll find out what’s really going on, and you can then make a decision about how to move forwards from there.
If you’re too anxious or scared to communicate about these types of issues, you have another problem in that your relationship is very unhealthy and toxic.
Remind yourself that you deserve a healthy relationship that you feel happy and comfortable in.
No relationship is 100% perfect, or perfect 100% of the time, but you deserve to feel loved and secure.
If you are not getting that from your partner, you need to decide whether you can work on it or if you need to move on.
You will be absolutely fine either way and you will get through it, however messy the break-up is, however many tears you cry, and however much ice cream it takes you.