If a person asks whether or not their being taken for granted, something has broken within the relationship. This does not mean things are doomed. In fact, the most common signs of the state can be corrected provided both people are willing to put in the work to correct the problems. Here are the three keys, the deeper issues they point to and some steps toward relational repair.
Key 1: Lack of Communication
A partner who fails to share what is going on internally leaves space for other things fill the void. There can be a number of minor things triggering the silent treatment. Physical factors like tiredness, emotions like stress or external factors family disagreements may lead someone to take a more reserved approach in conversations. Most of this acute issues pass quick and lines of communication reopen relatively easily.
Deeper issues might shut down sharing long term. A chronic issue leaks into everything going on with a couple. Communication problems exist like the canary in the coal mine. If couples do not work on talking to one another worse things are on the horizon.
Solution: Get to the root of what is blocking the communication. Some of the things keeping people from being fully open in their conversations center around fear. Give one another a pass to share what is really going on inside. From there, communication and appreciation can be rebuilt.
Key 2: Mysterious Decisions
Unilateral decision, especially small ones, demonstrate a lack of interest in what is going on with one’s partner. Arguments could be made when some decisions are better done by one partner or for a special circumstance. After all, who wants to give input on their anniversary gift or surprise birthday party.
Where things get tricky are when a partner makes the call to major life changes without securing any input. Granted, certain areas may affect one person more than another, so they have a greater vested interest in the outcome. Despite this situation, fractured couples fail to include their partner in any of the decision making process.
Solution: Seeing things as a true partnership helps couples to break the pattern establishing them as solo people under a combined relational roof. Practice helps them to move forward as unit and make decisions together. The first few can be difficult, but once things get rolling support is right around the corner.
Key 3: Ignored Needs
A sure sign of being taken for granted centers around personal needs, no matter how trivial, neglected. Several excuses can be offered. The offending member, especially if the been happening for a while, will have several explanations in their quiver. These lame offerings prove how damaged the relationship has become.
Underneath the simple thoughtlessness, base selfishness demonstrates the damage done by one person taking care of only themselves. Almost the very definition of taking someone for granted is placing oneself above them and their needs. If a partner practices this behavior, they will likely have developed some skillful reasons they need to protect themselves. These are only more elaborate excuses.
Solution: Acknowledging the mistake, asking for forgiveness and striving to place the partner’s needs in a higher status allows for the opportunity to alleviate the damage done. The steps involved will require repeated use to repair the damage. The time for simple fixes will be gone, so commitment is necessary.
Being taken for granted presents as a deep relational fracture with several tributaries coming off of it. Time and effort can heal the damage done through long silences, unilateral choices and selfishness. Each person must commit to a strong plan of action and from there set about rebuilding what they possessed before. Love is worth the effort.