Never Appreciated

unappreciated

Never Appreciated

Do you feel that you have control over your life, but you are always getting stepped on? You go out of your way to show love, devotion, and perform grand gestures in hopes that they will be reciprocated. Instead, they turn out to be expectations. It stings the most when it’s a lover. But often those who are taken advantage of by romantic partners suffer at the hands of bosses, professors, friends and family too. If you’re never appreciated, or taken for granted more often than not, read on and you’ll know how to change it all around, and put some new direction in your life.

First, evaluate what you do for your lover and what they do for you. Writing two lists might make sense. Compare. Are you actually being taken advantage of? If your column takes up two pages with footnotes and addendums whilst theirs is barely two lines long, your lover has some explaining to do. Don’t get heated though. Instead, start to take a look at the patterns you take part in, in life. Do you get taken advantage of often, and by whom?

A lot of people are people-pleasers, so don’t feel bad. These people gain self-esteem from the gratitude of others. When they bestow their gratitude you get a bump. The problem is this person doesn’t often voice their own needs, wants and desires. No where do they feel more awkward at voicing their needs than with their partner. They secretly believe their own needs aren’t as worthy as others. But they are. So sit down with your partner and discuss how you feel with them. Tell them how hard you work on your grand gestures and how disappointed you are when they don’t reciprocate. Understand that they will be defensive. Don’t point the finger at them, or make them feel guilty. Just tell them how you feel and ask how they feel about that.

Approach it as a problem and invite them in. Have solutions outlined already. If your lover is resistant perhaps they aren’t in it for you, just for what you do for them. Assert yourself with your friends and at work too. Ask for what you want. Don’t overcompensate for past behavior. Be reasonable and ask in the right manner. But don’t back down. They may try to scare you off, but stand your ground. When you stick up for yourself others recognize it and you get respect. For more advice read the New York Times bestseller, The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome by Harriet B. Braiker, Ph.D.

Common Relationship Blunders

neglected

Common Relationship Blunders

No matter what stage you’re in, whether you are in a new relationship and want to do it right or just walked away from a bad one, anyone can benefit from learning what common relationship blunders take a couple who have potential and drive them apart. If you can catch these early on, or you and your partner have the gumption to renew your bond, you can change your fate and fall into a close, loving, and supportive relationship.

One of the most common is that as time wears on couples tend to slip into a very comfortable phase. The niceties slip and sooner or later they are taking each other for granted. It’s important to show your appreciation for one another. Reflect on what your life would be like without them. Then think about what they bring into your life. Leave them love notes. Tell them they look nice in what they’re wearing. Whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears. Make it special and make it count. If you take each other for granted, each of you will feel undesirable and unfulfilled, and may stray outside the relationship in order to fulfill those needs.

Another problem is when it goes the other way. One partner appreciates the other too much. That is to say they become dependent, or needy. If you feel insecure, look to the signs of your relationship to see if these feelings are justified. Do they call when they say they will? What do they say to you? Do they compliment you? Do nice things for you? If all signs point to a healthy, stable, well-adjusted relationship then relax. If you or your partner are feeling these signs of insecurity perhaps discuss them, or even seek the help of a mental health professional.

Do you complain about your partner to everyone except them? First, you two have to learn how to deal with your problems directly. You shouldn’t be complaining about them to everyone. Deal with them directly, or vent to a confidant. But if you are constantly focusing on the negative you will not see the positive in your partner and the relationship will thus sour. Come to terms with your sweetie’s shortcomings and expect them to come to terms with yours. Otherwise if you can’t, this isn’t the person for you. The same thing goes for passive-aggressiveness. Instead of slinging barbs learn to communicate in a positive and productive manner. For more on this topic read, Relationship Advice: How to Rekindle and Cultivate Healthy, Passionate, and Long-Lasting Relationships by Henry Lee.

Are you a Pushover?

pushover

Are you a Pushover?

Are you dating someone that you think is taking advantage of you? In a relationship, for real love to blossom there has to be mutual respect and if there isn’t, then it’s merely a relationship of convenience. You can’t have a real relationship where one person takes advantage of the other. But what is the difference between being sweet, considerate, understanding and showing your appreciation for your significant other and being taken advantage of? Read on to find out whether you are a pushover or not.

Are you in a committed relationship? If not, are you interested in being in one? If you haven’t established exclusivity, you two have been seeing each other for a while, you want to establish a commitment but you are afraid of being left, you are a pushover. Of course, when you are first dating and figuring things out, you don’t want to push a relationship. It should develop naturally. But if you’ve been seeing each other regularly for months with no signs of commitment on the horizon, talk to your significant other. If they still don’t want to give you a commitment, when that is what you want, let them go. They aren’t serious about you. Discuss the issue, in depth to make sure there aren’t any extenuating circumstances. But by and large, if this is the case they are taking advantage.

Does he or she have friends over all the time and you feel more like the wait staff than their romantic partner? If you are cooking, cleaning, and taking off so they can have guys or girls nights at your place all the time, you are definitely a pushover. Why can’t they prepare all this themselves? And what about times when people aren’t coming over? Do you do his or her chores in addition to your own? If so, your significant other treats you more like a servant than a partner. Unless this is some type of weird fetish or you are female and very traditional from a certain ethnic or religious background that causes you to do all these things, you are a pushover.  Everyone goes out of their way once in a while for their significant other. But if you are always making accommodations, allowances, and keep saying to people that’s how he or she is when confronted by what they see as an injustice, you are definitely a pushover. Is this person loving, attentive, and do they surprise you with something, a little sweet text, a gift, take you out, something like that? If you feel perpetually taken for granted, while you do all the little niceties for your partner, you are a pushover.

If you avoid conflict and every fight ends with you backing down, you are definitely a pushover. Now what are you going to do about it? There are two problems here, your significant other is taking advantage and you are giving them more than enough opportunity to do so. Instead, sit down with them. Have a chat. Set some ground rules. Go over everything that is unfair and tell them what you think would make it fair. Hear them out. But if they aren’t willing to bend you have to be willing to walk. Instead of investing all that energy in your relationship start investing it into yourself. Work on your goals, your dreams, your career, going to college or whatever it is that will enrich you. You are worth it. If they don’t see how worthwhile you are, be brave and lose them, and find someone who does. For more advice read, How to Be More Assertive: Quit Being a Pushover and Boost Your Self Confidence in Any Situation by Alfred Hale.

Are you Giving Too Much and Not Getting Enough in Return?

codependency

Are you Giving Too Much and Not Getting Enough in Return?

If you are in a relationship where you feel emotionally drained bending over backwards for your significant other, while they hardly lift a finger for you than this isn’t real love. In fact, you are being taken advantage of. Some people are born givers and they don’t know where to draw the line. Some people are codependent. And although it may look alright on the surface, in fact this is a very unhealthy relationship for both parties. And some people have low self-worth and so let their significant other walk all over them. Or perhaps, someone could just be in the wrong relationship, where what they do for their significant other is no longer appreciated. Instead, they are taken for granted and don’t see much coming down the pike in the other direction. Traffic only goes one way.

Are you giving too much and not getting enough in return? Here are some indicators. See if these fit your situation. The first question is, do you agree to disagree on a whole host of topics? It’s hard for two people to agree on everything. Negotiation, compromise and commitment to one’s word are key for any relationship. But if there are a bunch of things you don’t like and are expected to ignore, you are giving too much. Stick to your priorities. Demand fairness. And if it isn’t possible or doesn’t come, perhaps it’s best to move on.

Do you apologize immediately when there’s a problem? Do you do this whether it’s your fault or not? In healthy relationships, people analyze the conflict or problem and only apologize for what they’ve done wrong. But if you do this you are over-apologizing. Your partner, whether they realize it or not, will soon feel free to take advantage of you. Instead, apologize for what are your mistakes or missteps only. Otherwise you are giving way too much. Are you in a happy relationship or an unhappy one? If you fight all the time, how long has this been going on? Codependent people stay in bad or tumultuous relationships for fear they won’t find anyone else. If this is you, seek professional help. This is a serious problem and can prove dangerous depending on who your partner is. You may be experiencing emotional or even physical abuse. If you are in a high conflict relationship get out as soon as you are able. If there are children involved take them with you too. How much do you prioritize the relationship? If your partner is all you think about, putting school, your job or career, friends, family and other things aside for this person, you may be codependent. Each person in a relationship should have their own lives. But if your entire life is wrapped up in the other person, but they don’t feel the same way, you are giving way too much and not getting enough in return.

When you go out, do you worry constantly whether your partner is enjoying themselves, that you can’t relax and enjoy yourself? If parties, clubs, bars and other social situations are a constant source of worry about your partner, but they aren’t concerned whether or not you’re having a good time, you are giving way too much and not getting enough in return. Have you changed your entire life to fit this person, while they have hardly changed, if at all, for you? If so you’ve given way too much and them not enough. Do some soul searching. Talk with friends and family. Then discuss it with your partner. If they aren’t willing to change, or don’t change, get out. Find your self-worth. And then find someone who appreciates you for the incredible person you are. Don’t accept this situation. You deserve far better. And if you don’t know it, find out how you can come to that realization and feel how great you are inside. It will help you one day find the person who will recognize it when they meet you. If you believe you may battle with codependency read, Codependency- Loves Me, Loves Me Not: Learn How to Cultivate Healthy Relationships, Overcome Relationship Jealousy, Stop Controlling Others and Be Codependent No More by Simeon Lindstrom.

Sudden Divorce Syndrome

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Lots of people get blindsided by a divorce. They claim they never saw it coming. This phenomenon is called “sudden divorce syndrome.” According to experts, though it does occasionally happen to a wife, it affects mostly men. Ohio psychotherapist Donna Ferber wrote in a recent article entitled, “Sudden Divorce Syndrome: Reality or Myth?” that most women send out signals that they are unhappy in the marriage for a long time, but men generally don’t pick up on them, or perhaps even ignore them. The majority of divorces in the U.S. are filed by women, a whopping 66%. There have even been reports saying 75% is more accurate. Ferber believes it is often because them man isn’t listening to his wife. In lots of relationships the wife seems to continue to communicate her problems and concerns. If she feels ignored or that she’s getting nowhere with her husband or fights begin with no resolution, she becomes disillusioned, starts to feel disconnected and frustrated and if there is no change, she leaves. The first problem is the infamous nagging complaint. Though it is true that some women complain on and one for no apparent reason but to be the center of attention, or advertise their disgust for the world. Be that as it may, there are others who have legitimate gripes that their husbands fail to address.

Sometimes nagging can actually be seen as a call for help. If you feel you’ve become a nag, why not try to reach your husband by communicating what it is you want to say in another way? A note, letter, email, or a gesture to get the point across may reach him better. If you are a husband who thinks your wife is a nag, why not consider what she is saying? What underlying emotion is driving her concern; is it fear, anxiety, loss, grief or something more? Why not talk to her in depth and try to find out. Finding better and different ways to communicate can often save a marriage. Another problem is being taken for granted. Lots of husbands get involved in the rat race and put all of their energy into their careers. They are never home and when they are they are too tired to give their wife the proper attention. In consequence, the marriage suffers. Instead, guys have to try and manage their careers smartly without throwing all they have into it. Family life and married life is important, too. Learn to give yourself some alone time. Find a little time, too, to show your wife what she means to you. She needs your undivided attention sometimes. Ladies, understand that the demands of your career and your husband’s sometimes get in the way. But make that quality time special for him, too. Make sure all of your communication and all of your gestures and messages communicate your love, gratitude and respect for your spouse and you will find happy days bestowed upon you. If none of these help and you are planning on getting divorced, read Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life: A Reasoned, Practical Guide to the Legal, Emotional and Financial Ins and Outs of Negotiating a Divorce Settlement By Sam Margulies.