Feeling unappreciated is as common as it is unpleasant.
No one likes to go unnoticed. No one likes to be dismissed. And yet we often experience it in relationships. We may even shrug our shoulders and just accept “feeling unappreciated” as a fact of life.
Feeling Unappreciated May Not Take Much
Feeling unappreciated can happen in an instant. Let’s say you are the cook in your relationship. You plan a meal, make the food and expect that your partner will arrive so everything will come out exactly so. But then they don’t and the minutes go by and you start to worry that the food you prepared so well will be cold and not as good. This causes you stress and now you feel as if your partner doesn’t care and you are now feeling unappreciated.
I know how this can happen because my husband is the cook in my family. I have in the past taken longer at work than I told him and when I finally came home he said something like, “I thought you would be home sooner.” He just sounded so bummed and sad. Then he said, “I wish you would let me know when you are going to be later.”
Identify the Cause for Feeling Unappreciated, and See Whether You Can Address It As a Couple
I used to explain what I was doing as a way for him to understand that I wasn’t dawdling, but really working and closing up the office and to communicate there are things that have to get done. I know he understands my work and probably appreciates my efficiency, but I have to consider the work he does for me, which is the cooking.
I have learned to text him when I will be even longer than 10 minutes. This might not sound like a big deal, but it is when timing food preparation. So I have ingrained in my psyche that if I am going to be a few minutes late, I just text him the number. He knows what I mean and this relieves him of his stress and also relieves me of his disappointment.
Small Habits Can Help Someone Feel More Appreciated
He used to feel unappreciated when I’d cavalierly stroll in and blame it on a lot of unforeseen duties. But now he feels appreciated, because I am sure to let him know when I will be arriving.
I know this is a simple thing, but so much of our relationships are really based on simple things that get overlooked. Make an effort to be considerate of your loved one. Do this so they won’t feel unappreciated. Don’t wait for them to do it first. Be the leader. I promise you, when one partner acts out of kindness, the other is not far behind. It just seems to work out that way. You will see.
Are You or Your Partner Feeling Unappreciated?
Read a Book About Relationships
Help yourself and your partner feel more appreciated in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you better see to one another’s needs and to voice your appreciation for one another. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.