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7 Warning Signs That You Are Being Taken For Granted In Your Relationship

It can happen to anyone…that feeling that you aretaken for granted being taken for granted in your relationship. It can happen at the beginning, or the middle or somewhere in between…in new relationships and in relationships that have a few years in them.

Being taken for granted can happen in relationships with parents, with children, with spouses/partners, with friends and with people that we work with.

Here are some of the warning signs that relate mostly to a spouse/partner relationship but I am sure that you can see that similar patterns can happen in those other kinds of relationships.

The 7 Warning Signs of Being Taken For Granted

  1. Never saying please or thank you or smiling at you
  2. Not responding to you when you speak
  3. Expecting you to pick up after them (clothes, dishes, etc.). You feel like the maid.
  4. No matter how much you do, it’s not enough…or appreciated…it’s just expected…
  5. There is a feeling, a very pervasive feeling, that you are being ignored or neglected
  6. Never taking the time to sit down and just talk with you, because you are important
  7. Not making birthdays or anniversaries special occasions (that doesn’t mean spending a fortune…unless you happen to be very prosperous…lol)

That feeling of being taken for granted is a very painful feeling…it hurts…and we have probably had an experience or two in our lives of some instance when we felt that way…when you are in a significant relationship and it feels that the other person is taking you for granted…it hurts how you feel about yourself.

Most human beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted-Aldous Huxley Tweet This!

Your self-esteem is affected and then it becomes a vicious cycle. As you feel worse about yourself, the other person seems to neglect you more…and so on…and in a way…that neglect is a form of abuse…emotional abuse…if it goes on long enough. It doesn’t mean that you need to be catered to or that if you are needy, the other person should always be at your beck and call…no…being taken for granted is deeper than that…

It’s when you have started out on a solid footing, have had great communication, and then…over time (sometimes not much time…)…the other person starts to have expectations of what you bring to the relationship…and it is more than they do…it is the inequality that is the problem.

Breaking Free of Being Taken for Granted


It all starts with you, doesn’t it? If you find yourself in that situation, here is what you can do:

Write out a list of the things you appreciate about your partner and invite them to do the same about you. This will open a door of communication and you will see where they are coming from. Often, it is a matter of life getting in the way (bills, work, health issues, kids, parents, etc.)…but you won’t know unless you talk about it…

This list will start the ball rolling…and the next thing that I am going to tell you might surprise you…and it might not…

You, on some level and for some reason, have accepted that behavior from your partner…and you have allowed them to take you for granted. So, start treating yourself as if you are important…because you are…take that time to do those things for yourself that you have been putting off… make time to develop yourself…take a class or read a book that will stretch your mind…

Make yourself a priority in your own life and others that you are in relationship with will start making you a priority too….we all have a need to feel significant in our lives and especially in our relationships…so if you do feel like you are being taken for granted…maybe it is time for a change…don’t you think?

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner

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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • linda July 30, 2013, 6:13 pm

    Going through this right now, with a man I’ve been involved with for a few months. The relationships has gone through some rough patches, and we aren’t even officially back together. Anyways, he started having some legal issues over child support/custody (he has the kids) and he didn’t have the money to retain a lawyer, so I found him an affordable attorney and loaned him the retainer money. I’ve been helping him out with legal stuff (I work in the field). Anyways, for three weeks now he only text messages me, or if we talk on the phone it’s always about his case. Always. I’ve tried hinting to him that I’m feeling a little neglected and slowly, I’ve been feeling resentful. And this past week or so, I just feel like giving up on the relationship altogether. I feel like I’m being used. So finally, I addressed it more directly. He basically said, “if you’re feeling depressed you should talk to someone, don’t take it out on me.” To which I said, “actually, I just feel taken for granted. It’d be a lot cheaper if occasionally you called me and we talked about anything other than your legal woes. Or maybe, you’d just say, “I know we have things to work out. I appreciate your help and when all this is done we’ll talk things through.” What did he do? Told me he’d pay me back the money and do it on his own thanks. He doesn’t have time for my “whiny” messages. And maybe we’ll talk after the court case. I told him keep the money until he can afford to pay me back and just think about what I said. Well, I’m glad I told him how I was feeling but now I feel crappy and that my feelings of being used were right on. 🙁 No good deed goes unpunished.

    • Sherie July 30, 2013, 9:49 pm

      Wow, Linda! All I can say is that I’m so glad that you saw the light, sooner rather than later. That could have been a much more expensive lesson. Paying attention to those feelings is right on. That guy certainly showed you who he actually is (and it’s not a pretty picture). Kick that guy to the curb!
      Sherie recently posted..Needy and Desperate? This Simple Guide to Feel Confident in Your RelationshipsMy Profile

  • Mickie lee May 6, 2013, 12:03 pm

    How about 4.5 pounds of chicken wings DEVOURED between 2 people with none left for you unless of course you want to get up and make ANOTHER MEAL for your husbands lunch the next day and then having the ALL the dishes in the sink for me to wash, oh except their 2 plates. So you cant save me any food but you can leave me your God awful mess. Thank you SOOOOO much for making dinner. You make me feel INVISIBLE. Or how about buying a stereo that is EXACTLY what i said i DIDN’T want. With my money for my vehicle without even consulting me. Or my FAVORITE. working 6 days a week, missing you every minute of that time and you get into bed and play with your GD phone. Then go to sleep. Screw this. I’m outta here.

  • Sharon O'Day July 15, 2012, 8:59 pm

    Your scenarios make it so clear that healthy relationships require well-defined expectations from both parties, plus honest (and regular) dialog. Without those things, the chances of one party feeling taken for granted will be pretty high.

    • Sherie July 15, 2012, 9:13 pm

      That is very true, Sharon, and I believe that those expectations need to be clear from the start! So appreciate you commenting, thank you!

  • Sally K Witt July 12, 2012, 8:37 pm

    Great reminders for all of us. Cherish the ones that you love.

    • Sherie July 12, 2012, 8:55 pm

      Absolutely, Sally! : D

  • Jamie July 11, 2012, 11:27 pm

    What a great reminder to have us look at how we’re treating our loved ones in our relationships =)

    • Sherie July 11, 2012, 11:48 pm

      <3, Jamie! Thank you for your comment!

  • Lisa Birnesser July 11, 2012, 10:05 pm

    Sherie, this is such an informative and powerful list. Being taken for granted is a very painful feeling. It can leave you feeling like less of a person. However, I love your exercise to take charge of the situation. Dealing with the situation does begin with you. Thanks so much!

    • Sherie July 11, 2012, 10:11 pm

      Lisa, you are so right. Dealing with the situation does begin with you. Thanks so much for reading the post and commenting!

  • Carele Belanger July 11, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Thank you for the list. This is so important for people to know. Unfortunately too many people are in this situation. We can all have a wonderful relationship.

    • Sherie July 11, 2012, 8:55 pm

      We all certainly can! Thank you for your comment,Carele, appreciate it!

  • Karla Campos July 11, 2012, 6:07 pm

    This is a big eye opener as I have been treating some of my family members in this manner because I am so busy working all the time, thank you will make sure that I change my ways with those that I love.

    • Sherie July 11, 2012, 6:15 pm

      It can be so easy to do…way to go for recognizing that you have been so busy working that it has effected your relationships!That is such an important step. Now, you can make a change…: D

  • Meryl Beck July 11, 2012, 3:27 pm

    This is a great list, Sherie, and I was so glad you also listed what to do about it!

    • Sherie July 11, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it, Meryl!

  • Wonderful post!! I especially liked this part, “You, on some level and for some reason, have accepted that behavior from your partner…and you have allowed them to take you for granted. So, start treating yourself as if you are important…because you are…take that time to do those things for yourself that you have been putting off… make time to develop yourself…take a class or read a book that will stretch your mind…” — so very true!!

    • Sherie July 11, 2012, 10:39 am

      Thank you, Lisa and I appreciate you dropping by to read the post and leave a comment!

  • Karen Presecan July 10, 2012, 7:44 pm

    Wonderful post to bring attention to a huge problem. It’s so hard to see sometimes when you are in the relationship. I’m sure that your post will touch several people and help them with their situations. What a blessing that is.

    • Sherie July 10, 2012, 7:50 pm

      I hope that it does help people at least see things differently. Thank you for your kind words, Karen. : D

  • Maria Stefanopoulos July 10, 2012, 7:03 pm

    Sometimes the person doing these things isn’t happy about themselves, so it is hard to even consider that they will be nice to you.

    • Sherie July 10, 2012, 7:05 pm

      That is totally true, Maria! Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Moira Hutchison July 10, 2012, 4:42 pm

    What a great post Sherie – thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and advice! It’s so true that in order to have a better relationship, it’s important to make ourselves a priority – it’s so crucial and yet still difficult for many!

    • Sherie July 10, 2012, 5:33 pm

      It really is, Moira! Thanks so much for commenting!

  • Anita July 10, 2012, 4:38 pm

    It does all start with us! We have to be the change we want to see for sure! I recently went through this last year in my business life. I had allowed another member of the professional community to use me and my knowledge for their benefit. Isn’t it ironic when they don’t need anything they just disappear 🙁 Sad but it was my choice to give too much. Lesson learned and I have moved on 🙂 Great post!

    • Sherie July 10, 2012, 5:34 pm

      Wow, Anita, it is ironic…when we learn those lessons and move on, we don’t need to repeat them, do we? Thanks for your insights and sharing your thoughts, I appreciate that!

  • Terressa July 10, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Great article. When you see it through someone elses eyes you can see what it is you can’t always see because you are the one caught in it. Taking care of oursleves and making sure we have all the things we need allow us to be genuinely happy and better for others .

    • Sherie July 10, 2012, 5:35 pm

      Thank you, Terressa. Seeing things from somebody else’s perspective gives us some distance…so that we can see clearly. Thanks for your comment!

  • Alexandra McAllister July 10, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Thanks, Sherie! Excellent article…so well defined! I was one that was taken for granted and finally, in January, ended this relationship. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be because I felt relieved!! Best decision ever! Now, I know what to look for if I ever decide to date….which is not a priority!

    • Sherie July 10, 2012, 5:36 pm

      When you are ready, you will be so much more prepared, won’t you, Alexandra? The fact that you took action and felt relieved afterwards, says a lot. Thanks for your comment!

  • Carolyn Hughes July 10, 2012, 3:15 pm

    A post I can totally relate to Sherie. ‘Being taken for granted’ can sound a bit innocent as opposed to my partner is abusing me, but the smaller things can all add up and have the same detrimental effect on self esteem as outright abuse.
    What superb advice you give! I really liked this statement:”…start treating yourself as if you are important…because you are…” That is such a stepping stone to being treated as you deserve. Because if you aren’t treating yourself right why should any one else?

    • Sherie July 10, 2012, 5:38 pm

      Carolyn, thanks for your kind words. Those smaller things can add up, like you say, and that is where the trouble starts. We do teach others how to treat us, so if we treat ourselves as if we are important, they have to…or they make a decision to go…thanks for your comment!

  • Susan Preston July 10, 2012, 9:38 am

    Outstanding post, Sherie. Love, love, love it! When we start treating ourselves like a priority rather then as an option we are also teaching others how we want to be treated. It all starts with us. Thank you for sharing your great wisdom and knowledge 🙂

    • Sherie July 10, 2012, 10:44 am

      Yes, it all starts with us! Beautifully said, Susan, and thank you for the comment, my dear! : D

  • Sue Graber July 9, 2012, 11:20 pm

    Love what you say about treating youself as important. We can’t “give” ourselves to others when we are lacking ourselves of the important ingredients of joy, love, respect, self control, etc. Fabulous post!

    • Sherie July 9, 2012, 11:22 pm

      Sue, you are absolutely right…we have to give to ourselves first! Thank you so much for reading the post and commenting!

  • Suzanne Jones July 9, 2012, 10:06 pm

    Sherie, you know I know this stuff, but you also know sometimes when it is close to you, it becomes overlooked. Thank you for validating what I knew to be true with someone close to me.

    • Sherie July 9, 2012, 11:23 pm

      I know exactly what you mean, Suzanne! Even though we know it, sometimes we need someone else’s perspective. I am glad that I could be of help, dear. <3 Thank you so much for commenting!

  • Eva Blaskovic July 9, 2012, 12:41 pm

    Sherie, I feel these three things make your posts useful, effective, and appealing:

    1. You cite personal examples in some of your posts.

    2. In all your posts, there is an implied sense of non-judgemental understanding that people get into all sorts of situations in life without meaning to.

    3. Your “voice” is one of genuine interest in people’s problems. Your articles convey a solid intent to help combined with well organized methods for generating change:

    You never glaze over the situations people end up in, never make it sound like all they have to do is be happy, not think the way they are, and just imagine a better life. Because it’s not as simple as that. What people need is to first be able to define what the problem is and where it is coming from, and then they need clear, realistic, and tangible instructions–step by step–for changing the situation. Of course thoughts, mindset, self-talk, and visualization are all a part of that, but people often need guidance with how to do those as well (and you have separate posts that deal with that!).

    • Sherie July 9, 2012, 2:22 pm

      Eva, a simple thank you for your kind words doesn’t seem sufficient here…but I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

  • Eva Blaskovic July 9, 2012, 12:21 pm

    Great post, Sherie, with well defined signs followed up with steps for breaking free. These are what make your post so effective.

    • Sherie July 9, 2012, 1:53 pm

      Eva, thank you!

  • Darris July 9, 2012, 9:05 am

    These are also 7 warning signs of abuse. We don’t like to use or hear the word “abuse” in our society so we roll our eyes when it’s attributed to something as subtle as the 7 signs you’ve listed above. These are early warning signs for abuse. Abuse comes in many forms. It typically begins with emotional abuse, then moves to verbal abuse which can be so subtle you might feel “stung” by the words but there was nothing outright harsh said. Often times things escalate to physical abuse. Anyone experiencing what you describe should read the book; ‘The Verbally Abusive Relationship’ by Patricia Evans. Patricia talks about the subtleties of verbal abuse and how to empower yourself to not be a victim. Thanks so much for this post.

    • Sherie July 9, 2012, 9:55 am

      Darrris, that is definitely true, those can also be the warning signs for abuse. It doesn’t always escalate into abuse, fortunately, but one must always be aware….thanks for your comment!