Relationship Advice: What To Do When Your Partner Makes You Feel Unappreciated

Updated April 5, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
You may experience many emotions if it repeatedly seems that your partner doesn’t appreciate you or the efforts you make for them. Knowing how to bring up the subject without starting a fight or what you can do to help inspire meaningful changes can be difficult. Read on to learn more about recognizing when your partner doesn't appreciate you, what you can do about it, and how therapy can help you learn healthy ways to communicate your needs and feelings.

Does your partner make you feel unappreciated?

Does your partner make you feel unappreciated?

Do you frequently feel undervalued by your partner or go out of your way to do something special for them, only to be met with a lackluster response? If you’re feeling unrecognized in your relationship, there are ways to repair the connection with your partner and move forward together. 

Identify the problematic behavior

When you feel unappreciated, one of the crucial steps is to identify what your partner does that upset you. Is it possible that they are showing appreciation in their unique way? Everyone has a love language that reflects how they receive and express love and show gratitude. 

Love language refers to how you give and receive love in a relationship. You and your partner don't necessarily need the same love language to be happy together. Try to understand how your partner demonstrates their love and appreciation for you. Identify your own love language and then work together to find ways to adapt so you can love and be loved in the way you both need. 

“Matching on love languages was associated with both relationship and sexual satisfaction. In particular, people who expressed their affection in the way their partners preferred to receive it experienced greater satisfaction with their relationships and were more sexually satisfied compared to those who met their partner's needs to a lesser extent.” — I Love the Way You Love Me

Words of affirmation

Spoken words, appreciation, and praise; someone with this love language may enjoy frequent messages to ask about their day, uplifting quotes or memes, kindness, love notes, compliments, and encouragement. 

Quality time

Undivided attention where both partners are fully engaged and focused on each other. Turning off electronics and centering the interaction on face-to-face communication can support someone with this love language. 

Physical touch

Non-sexual physical affection like hand holding, cuddles, massages, and casual touch may be ideal for people with this primary love language. 

Acts of service

Doing things for your partner to make them feel loved and appreciated, such as taking over the chores so they can relax, filling their car with gas, or making sure their favorite snack is stocked, can please people with this love language. 

Receiving gifts

Gift-giving indicates affection and appreciation to someone with this primary love language. While the gift itself is part of the pleasure, the time and effort that went into it can also factor into their joy. 

Define your expectations for appreciation

A relationship is an emotional partnership where both partners should be able to rely upon each other for love, support, and appreciation. Though “thank you” is such a simple phrase, it can mean the world to some people. However, everyone doesn’t have the same ideas about when and how to show appreciation. It can help to have an open, honest conversation with your partner about how you both would like to be treated. 

Signs your partner takes you for granted

  • They never thank you when you do something for them. 
  • Your partner doesn’t do a fair share of work around the house
  • They frequently make plans without asking or including you. 
  • Your partner doesn’t seek your advice or opinion. 
  • They don't try to be romantic or make you feel loved. 
  • Your partner doesn’t celebrate special occasions, often leaving you disappointed. 
  • They are unfaithful to you. 
  • Your partner doesn’t consider your feelings or dismisses your concerns. 
  • They don’t ask about your day. 
  • Your partner makes you feel like you’re not good enough and always need to do more. 
  • They show no regard for your time and don’t mind making you wait. 

How feeling unappreciated can affect your relationship

If you feel like your partner doesn't value you, it can affect your relationship and even your health in various ways. 

Mental and physical health

Studies show that healthy, loving relationships support good mental health. However, the opposite can be true. If the connection you share with your partner is harmful or destructive, the stress of the relationship can lead to chronic illnesses like heart disease, and stress causes many physical symptoms like headache, stomachache, and muscle tension. 


You may blame your partner for not loving you or showing appreciation the way you want. That blame can become anger or resentment if you don’t find healthy ways to express and process it. 

Eroding emotional intimacy

The more time that passes as you feel unappreciated and undervalued, the further the emotional intimacy in your relationship erodes. The complex emotional bond you share with your partner is typically the foundation of the relationship; without it, things may get worse. 

What to do when you feel unappreciated

If you realize your partner takes you for granted and doesn't properly value what you do for them, it doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is doomed. Open, honest communication and a willingness to adapt for each other can help you reestablish your connection and find ways to make each other feel loved and valued. 

Express your concerns and feelings

Talking to your partner and explaining how you feel is crucial to working past the problem and rebuilding your relationship. Try using “I” statements, such as, “I feel unappreciated when..” Be specific and avoid an accusatory tone. Communication and compromise should be the goal. Ask if there are ways they would like you to show your love and appreciation for them and how you can find a balanced middle ground. 

Identify and explain what you want

Before you can ask your partner for it, you must first know what you want. Take the time to examine and evaluate your feelings and put them into words. 

  • What makes you feel appreciated and valued?
  • Describe the reaction you expect from your partner in certain situations. 
  • What behaviors from your partner make you feel unappreciated?
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Does your partner make you feel unappreciated?

Model the appreciation you want to receive

Some people learn best through demonstration. If you’re feeling unappreciated, you can try modeling the type of behavior you’d like to receive from your partner, giving you an example they’re sure to understand when you talk about how you’d like to be treated. 

Prioritize your self-care

While you should be able to count on your partner for care and support, remember that you are responsible for your own mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Make self-care a part of your daily routine, ensuring you get plenty of sleep, exercise, and healthy food. 

Recognize when the relationship is one-sided and unhealthy

If you’ve already expressed your concerns and repeatedly tried to connect with your partner, but nothing seems to make any difference, it can be essential to know when to recognize you’re in an unhealthy, one-sided relationship, and take steps to safeguard your emotional well-being. 

How couples therapy can help improve appreciation and communication

If you feel like your partner takes you for granted, consider working with a licensed therapist online through a virtual therapy platform focused on relationship issues like Regain. Therapy can help you and your partner develop communication skills to effectively express your thoughts and feelings to each other, as well as how to understand each other’s love languages. You can also learn coping skills to manage stress and conflict resolution to work through problems. 

The past few years have sparked a huge interest in various therapy delivery methods. Researchers at the American Psychological Association revealed that online and in-person therapy provide similar results. Virtual treatment is generally less expensive and requires a shorter wait before speaking with a therapist. Studies show that couples therapy is also equally effective virtually and face-to-face. Teletherapy platforms additionally provide connection to a comprehensive selection of mental health treatment providers, making it simple to find a therapist who makes you feel comfortable and fits well with your personality and circumstances. 


Feeling unappreciated by your partner can lead to various emotions that may strain your relationship. The information in this article may offer insight into recognizing when your partner takes you for granted, what you can do about it, and how couples therapy can help you communicate effectively. 

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