If you don’t want your partner to take you for granted, say goodbye to these 9 habits

“The best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.”

Feodor Dostoevsky

I sometimes think that taking things for granted is one of the defining traits of humans.

After all, we live on what is, as far as we know, the only planet with any kind of complex life, circling a multibillion-year-old nuclear explosion that sustains us against the vast emptiness of space.

When you think about it like that, it’s surprising we don’t greet every sunrise as the miracle it is.

Unfortunately, the same thing applies to our relationships.

We all do this to some extent. That person that you couldn’t stop thinking about, the person who it seemed you would wilt and die if you didn’t get to be with, becomes, if you’re lucky, just a regular part of your life. Somebody who is always there, so that you rarely stop to think about how lucky you got.

No one wants to feel like they are being taken for granted. And if your partner makes you feel that way, there’s a good chance they should be doing more to make sure you feel appreciated.

At the same time, it’s possible some of your own habits are contributing to this lack of gratitude. So if you don’t want to be taken for granted, you may need to eliminate these behaviors.

1) Always saying yes

One of the easiest ways to make sure someone takes you for granted is to always say yes.

Look, I’m not saying you should constantly be saying no to your partner. After all, any healthy relationship requires give-and-take. Sometimes, that means you have to say yes to things, even if you don’t really want to do them.

But maintaining a healthy relationship also requires you to maintain a healthy respect for yourself. And sometimes, that means knowing when and how to say no.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to do everything they say. And nobody who truly loves you would expect that. Emotionally healthy people understand that relationships are not about controlling one another, but working together to build a fulfilling life.

It can be hard to find the balance between saying yes and saying no, especially if you’re used to doing things a certain way. But if you feel like you’re being taken for granted, it’s worth considering that maybe, it’s happening because your partner has gotten used to you always agreeing with everything they say.

2) Being too accommodating

Likewise, being too accommodating is a good way to get your partner to start taking you for granted.

Do you always let your partner’s needs, desires, or plans take precedence over yours?

Do you drop the things that you want to do to make sure that your partner gets to do what they want?

Again, there’s a place for that in a healthy relationship. But there should always be balance. If you give up some things you want, your partner should also give up some things they want to make you happy.

If that’s not happening, you are probably being taken for granted.

3) Not setting boundaries

Often, an inability to say no to your partner or a tendency to be too accommodating of their needs at the expense of your own comes down to an inability to set boundaries.

If we don’t set boundaries, “we can find ourselves in a one-sided relationship with a “taker,” writes psychology professor Shawn M. Burn.

“Our helping and giving isn’t always sustainable given our energy and financial resources. Instead of strengthening our relationships, our giving can strain them.”

In other words, it’s very possible to give too much to your partner and not save enough for yourself.

Remember that boundaries are not about controlling the behavior of your partner. Instead, they are about controlling your own behavior to determine what you will tolerate.

So you can’t stop someone from taking you for granted. But you can remove yourself from a situation where someone does that. You can also refuse to do things you don’t want, even if you love the person who asks you to do them.

4) Avoiding confrontation

One of the reasons many people fail to set reasonable boundaries in relationships is because they are afraid of confrontation.

That’s perfect normal. Nobody likes to fight, especially with people they care about. And so it’s tempting to go along to get along. Unfortunately, that’s how boundaries get ignored and people get taken for granted.

Setting boundaries doesn’t have to be confrontational. Try to find a moment when you are calm to talk about your relationship roles with your partner. It’s better to keep emotion out of it as far as possible and stick to the facts of the argument.

If your partner loves you, they may not realize they have been taking you for granted. Pointing out how you feel in a clear, calm, and nonconfrontational way may be all they need to understand the way they have been making you feel.

5) Making excuses for your partner

relationship has no future If you don’t want your partner to take you for granted, say goodbye to these 9 habits

Often, people take advantage of others just as much as they can get away with.

And this isn’t always a conscious behavior. Your partner may not mean to take you for granted, but if you let them do it, it’s an easy habit to fall into.

But when that happens, you may find yourself making excuses for them.

After all, you want to believe the best of your partner. And nobody likes to think they are in a dysfunctional relationship.

So you will tell yourself things like, “he’s been under a lot of stress lately,” or, “she’s been through a lot in her life.”

And those things may very well be true. But they are not excuses for a partner to fail to respect you as a person.

6) Abandoning your own interests

I know someone like this.

Whenever she gets into a new relationship, it’s like she forgets who she is. She will neglect hobbies she used to enjoy and have less time to spend with her friends and family as she devotes herself to her new relationship.

In many ways, she loses herself in the other person. She will adopt their interests and their leisure activities, basically remaking herself into what she thinks her partner wants her to be.

The trouble is, when you do this, your partner can get used to it.

They may not realize this is what you’re doing. They may just think that you don’t really have any interests of your own, and be happy to share their own with you.

But in any relationship, it’s important to maintain your sense of individuality. No matter how much you love the other person, you still have to love yourself.

7) Not communicating your needs

Healthy relationships are built on good communication. After all, you can’t expect your partner to read your mind. If you don’t tell your partner you feel they are taking for granted, they may not realize it.

If you feel underappreciated, let your partner know. Again, try to do this when both of you are calm so that you don’t get emotional and turn what should be a reasonable discussion into a fight.

It’s not easy to communicate your needs, especially if you have fallen into the habit of neglecting them. But if you don’t, you’re setting yourself up to be taken for granted.

8) Always being available

Again, it’s important to be there for your partner, especially when they need you.

But it’s also important to value your own time and not fall into the trap of being on call for them 24 hours a day.

I’m not saying you need to lie to your partner and pretend to be busy when you’re not. But I am saying that you need to value your own time if you want your partner to do the same.

If you don’t, they will get used to you always being available, assuming that you are never busy.

“Successful couples teach each other how to read one another’s non-verbal signs of the likelihood of availability,” says psychologist Randi Gunther. “ Accurately informed, they can predict when to expect fulfillment, when to ask for a favor, and when not to ask at all.”

9) Not appreciating yourself

Ultimately, we tell other people how to treat us.

And so many of these behaviors can be traced back to a lack of self-worth.

If you don’t appreciate yourself, you’re making it very hard for your partner to appreciate the things you do for them. And that’s a recipe for being taken for granted.

Recognizing your own value can help you to set the healthy boundaries you need to feel appreciated.

Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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