Taking or Taken
Feeling taken for granted…or taken advantage in our relationship is absolutely devastating. In fact, being seen by our mate is one of the most fundamental needs in our relationship. Couples often struggle with feeling unappreciated and devalued by their mate. And it’s seriously one of the loneliest experiences we can weather.
But I want to flip the coin here, so stick with me for a second. Now one of the things I’m always curious about when I’m working with couples is how they’re showing up in love. When I say “showing up”, I mean how are you behaving, acting, talking, etc? What are the ways that you create disconnection or trample connection between the two of you? Are you sharing or withholding? Are you reaching out or shutting down? How are you showing up?
Now, I don’t ask this question to be mean or insensitive, it’s truly based in the belief that the only person we can work on is us. As great as it would be….and believe me it would be frickin’ awesome…we don’t have the ability to change our mate. We can wish (or plead) for it, but it’s futile, because we only have ourselves to change. And this is the root of why I ask how you’re showing up in love.
But what happens when we feel like we’re being taken for granted in love? How can we deal with that if a) we can’t change others and b) you have an annoying therapist that keeps asking you how you’re showing up?
Well, I’ll tell you how…..and here comes the coin flip….
What if we’re being taken for granted just as much as we’re taking for granted?
Seriously, what if we’re really so focused on how much we’re being taken for granted that we’ve become blind to how we’re taking our mate for granted?
And this really hit me the other day. And I haven’t been able to shake it since.
Because, if we’re so focused on the ways our mate isn’t appreciating us or taking our hard work for granted, are we even able to see how we’re appreciating them?
Like if you’re so consumed by the assumption that you have to manage the kids schedule or always come up with ideas for dinner, can you really see how much your mate is doing when they work a 10-hour day or constantly encourages you to unwind while they tackle the dishes?
Will your preoccupation for the ways you’re not being told thank you enough make you blind to the ways you’re neglecting to show gratitude?
And honestly, I sort of think it does. I’m starting to believe that the more we keep score or pay attention to the ways we’re being shorted, that we’re in fact creating that reality by unconsciously taking our mate for granted.
So here’s my solution (or at least immediate plan). I want to challenge all of you, and myself too, to just show gratitude. To focus our energy and perspective solely on appreciation for our partner.
And I want to see what effect it has.
Will we actually start to feel more appreciated when we become better at acknowledging all our mate brings to our relationship?
I don’t have the answer of whether or not it will work, but I have a hunch it may.
Now that you’ve read this, you’re all part of this experiment too. Which means I need to hear from you! How is it working? Is focusing on appreciating your mate helping you feel more appreciated too? Is shifting your perspective from one of deprivation to abundance actually creating more?
Please reach out and let me know, I’m really really interested! And I promise to share how it works on my end too! And disclaimer time…I do realize that sometimes relationship issues can seem really one sided, so by no means am I telling you to shower your mate with gratitude when you’re being treated disrespectfully and unkind. If this is the case for you, please reach out as I’m happy to talk more about the support that is needed to heal your relationship.
As always, I want to know what your journey in love and connection is like. That’s why I do this work. Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call, 916.955.3200.