The one thing that kills romance is being taken for granted. When someone feels that way, feelings of resentment aren’t too far off. In long-term relationships and marriage, often we get settled into routines. The things that we used to say “thank you” for has now been something to be expected. The early days of relationships everything is exciting and you are thankful for the things your significant other does. You feel special and taken care of and you make sure the other person knows how grateful you are for the things they do. Somewhere along the way, people stop saying, “Thank you,” or “I appreciate that you did that.”
Routines can be nice, but it can also fizzle out romance and desire. With Jak and me, we each do things for the other that have now become routine. In the beginning, they were sweet and unexpected, but now it’s as if we expect the other person to do those things. For me, Jak gives me back massages, and it’s become so common, that there were times that I forgot to thank him. Once I realized I hadn’t said thank you for those massages I made a point to make sure I said thank you after that. It didn’t cause too much strife because I caught it early and apologized that I had taken the massages for granted, and Jak didn’t even realize I hadn’t said thank you, so it was something that we quickly resolved.
If a spouse or significant other does things for you, paying them a compliment or expressing your appreciation is a must. If the significant other does things, like going out of their way to bring your lunch to work, and doesn’t get appreciation after a while they can feel like they aren’t important or respected. It can happen without you noticing, but being aware of complacency is important in a relationship. Just because the relationship is going well doesn’t mean effort should stop happening. Every day, treating your significant other like it’s the last day you’ll spend with them is a great way to keep complacency out of the relationship.
When I feel like complacency enters our relationship, Jak and I tend to talk about the beginning, when we met, the cute things we did, and that brings back the spark and gets us in a creative mindset of what we can continue to do to show our love and appreciation for each other. We also talk about the reasons why we fell in love in the first place. We then, if we haven’t been, bring the appreciation back to the relationship and realize what we truly have.
Feelings of resent are often the most dangerous feelings within a relationship. Resentment leads to indifference, and indifference is the deathly blow to any relationship. Feelings of resent often surface after one feels taken for granted. If one lets feelings of resentment fester for too long, then the relationship could start to go downhill. The best thing to do when the feelings of resentment are felt is to address them with your significant other. I’ve had moments where I felt like Jak had taken me for granted and once I started feeling down about it and had a hint of resentment, I sat down to talk with Jak and let him know that when I did X, Y, and Z with him assuming I’d always do it I was feeling unimportant and like a maid. Jak hadn’t realized I felt that way, and so we addressed it and came up with a compromise on how to redistribute those chores.
Again it’s all about communication in the end. Routines, complacency, feeling taken for granted and feeling resentful can all be handled with open and honest communication. Those conversations can feel awkward, uncomfortable, and at times frustrating if it’s been a topic that’s been addressed before, but they are worth having.