If you are feeling used, it signals an important turning point in your relationship. You can choose to let it get worse, or you can work on making it better. Feeling unappreciated can make you resent your spouse.
You may also start to feel that you made a mistake and that they are not right for you. Blaming the other person for your issues is easy. However, it is not usually just one person’s fault. It takes both partners to make a marriage work or fail. By taking the first steps to seek out help, you are already trying to repair your relationship.
You also have to realize that if your are being used, you are the one that’s letting it happen. With counseling you can find out why and when you are feeling used and unappreciated. This will help you understand how you contribute to the problem, and eventually fix it.
The three biggest mistakes
There are the three common mistakes people make which contribute to feeling unappreciated and used.
1.Lack of communication.
A lack of communication between partners often leads to a lot of confusion. By constantly assuming you know what your partner needs or wants, two problems are created. You feel used, while they feel ignored.
You also find yourself doing things that were not asked of you. This will make you frustrated as a certain level of gratefulness is not being met. Usually this behavior stems from your previous relationships, or your parent’s behavior.
A problem with being needy is that you are often reluctant to be negative. Whatever your spouse asks for, they get even when you disagree. By trying to spare your loved one from being disappointed, you allow them to walk all over you. This only leads to a loss of respect and general sex appeal. This issue, and the issue of probable self esteem problems, needs to be addressed.
3.High expectations and trying to buy love.
If you are doing too much to please your spouse, you may have ulterior motives. If you try to buy or earn their love, you will only be disappointed. It will create a cycle in which you keep doing more and more. This leads to resentment and a deep sense of being used. As the cycle continues, you lose the love you once had.
This is probably the biggest mistake as it can leave both partners worn out. They feel worthless because they can never meet your standards, and you feel unappreciated and unloved.
Whichever mistake, or combination of mistakes, you are making, there are four steps to remedy the problem.
By learning good communication skills, you are able to understand each other better. It allows you to know what they want, and share your own thoughts and needs. Also learning how to respond to your partner helps diffuse conflicts. It paves a way for mutual respect and appreciation.
In order to create a balance in the relationship, you have to learn to set boundaries. By learning the art of saying “no”, you protect yourself from being used and earn your spouse’s respect. This may be hard as it can create conflict. At first it may hurt or confuse your significant other, but by standing your ground you will feel less used and more loved.
If you want to have a “give-and-take” relationship, you need to learn to take from time to time. Asking for your wishes to be met in a gentle and calm way will increase your spouse’s desire to do so. This may also be complicated as your spouse got used to the old way in which you have done things. Professional help will make this change a less volatile one.
4.Good role models.
Being as we all create and choose who we are, we can also change. To help you, choose a role model that is loving but never used. Take their example into consideration when making decisions about your relationship and your life. Role models that inspire you to grow and live a life that is appealing to you can guide you to your happiness.
You can work on these problems at home with your spouse. On the other hand, counseling creates a safe and informed environment to do so. Therapists can teach you valuable skills to overcome the hurdles in your relationship. If, however, you notice any of the below mentioned patterns, contact a professional soon. These are the warning signs of a serious problem.
If you are constantly feeling used by many people, and not just your spouse contact someone. Feeling this way for a long time, even prior your current relationship is a problem. It can indicate that you have trouble noticing how you create this negative pattern. This could also indicate that you have trouble with your perception of reality.
Maybe you are right, and your spouse is actually using you. Unfortunately, there are people out there which manipulate and use. It doesn’t have to be financial gain. They may be getting a maid service, child care, sex, or other things from the relationship.
These people remain for as long as they receive everything they want. Once you stop giving, they move on to their next victim. If you notice indifference to your feelings, perhaps you are being exploited. If they are calm except when their wants are in question, this may signal a real problem.