What to Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Appreciate You

A Young Woman Is Sad And Offended By Her Partner

Ilona Titova / EyeEm / Getty

Everyone wants to feel like their significant other appreciates them. When your partner doesn’t acknowledge your efforts or makes you feel taken for granted, feeling undervalued is upsetting. But the relationship can still thrive, and you can work things out with your partner if you’re both committed to it.

One expectation in a relationship is to feel supported. That’s a valid and reasonable expectation. You want to feel that in any circumstance, your partner has your back. When your partner ignores your needs and doesn’t give you the respect you deserve, you want to question if you’re in an unhealthy relationship.

Signs of Feeling Unappreciated

If you’re feeling like your partner doesn’t appreciate you, put away the social media. That pair you consider “couple goals” might look happy barbecuing in their backyard, but you don’t know their true story.

Rather than feeling sad or rejected, see if you are experiencing the following as part of your romantic relationship.

Common signs of being unappreciated include:

  • Your partner is acting emotionally unavailable or doesn’t consider your feelings at all.
  • When you bring up what you’re upset about, your partner dismisses you, stonewalls, or gaslights you.
  • Your partner doesn’t ask your opinion or for your advice. Maybe they’re good at waxing the car and want to take care of it for you. But if they decide to relocate to a different city, they need to discuss their decision-making with you.
  • Your partner doesn’t consult you about plans. For example, your partner arranges a weekend trip to visit college friends and you learn about it that morning.
  • Your partner doesn’t acknowledge birthdays and anniversaries. If you explain the situation and your partner then makes too big of a deal the next time with overly-grand gestures, they could be love-bombing you. 
  • Your partner doesn’t do their fair share of the household chores.

One study aimed to see if unequal distribution of household chores between men and women contributed to work-family conflict. Less involvement by men in these chores did increase stress, the domestic workload on women and marital conflict.

Dangers of Not Feeling Appreciated

While your partner can’t meet every need, there has to be a give and take. Appreciation is critical in a relationship so you feel comfortable and safe. Otherwise, lack of appreciation could cause these outcomes.

Mental and Physical Health Concerns

Healthy, nurturing relationships foster good mental health. Furthermore, social strain and stressful interpersonal relationships can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease.


If you’re hurt and don’t feel like your partner cares, you might blame your partner and choose to pull away. You can put the relationship into a downward spiral. Or you pull away and you blame yourself for the problems in the relationship.


Before long, you might hold a grudge. Because he didn’t tell you he was going away for the weekend, you’re not going to answer his question about where his basketball is. If you’re filled with bitterness, you’re still ruminating about the negative situation.

Emotional Damage

You don’t want to be in a one-sided relationship where your significant other doesn’t appreciate you. But if you withdraw emotionally and isolate yourself, you might develop a sense of worthlessness. The emotional damage has negatively impacted you and compromised the relationship.

What You Can Do If You Don’t Feel Appreciated

Rather than have these negative outcomes, there are steps you can take with your partner to get the relationship back on track. Here are some things you can do:

Open the doors of communication

Maybe your partner is dealing with a problem at work. Bring up your feelings of being unappreciated and actively listen to their response. Maybe there is something going on that you didn’t know about. Don’t forget to pay attention to the nonverbal communication. Are you responding by rolling your eyes and shrugging your shoulders?

Talk about the problem with your partner calmly and honestly. Ideally, you can work together towards resolving the issue and figuring out ways your partner can make you feel appreciated. They could be very small actions like kissing you good morning or thanking you for doing the dishes.

Model appreciation

Maybe neither one of you is appreciating the other. Re-focus on the positive things your partner is doing. By giving more energy to what your partner is doing right, like sharing the story of how he helped carry groceries for the elderly neighbor or brought home your favorite flavor of ice cream, you can focus on ways to make your relationship better.

Express gratitude

Gratitude strengthens and enhances our relationships. Also, gratitude makes you happier. When you appreciate, you acknowledge or recognize something. When you show gratitude, you’re in affective mode and you feel thankful.

In a recent study, scientists asked 120 newlywed couples to report their feelings and expressions of gratitude for their partner every year for 2 years and their marital satisfaction every 4 months for 3 years. Results suggested that low gratitude in one partner acts as a weak link that is capable of disrupting both partners' relationship satisfaction.

Look objectively and evaluate

Maybe your partner shows you his appreciation in actions not in words. You’re wanting to hear that he noticed you woke early to clean the kitchen, but your partner’s love language is touch. So, he touches your shoulder and smiles at you without saying the words of acknowledgment

You might ask yourself how you show appreciation to your partner? What is your own motivation for giving? Is it for recognition or because you feel like you owe your partner? Once you objectively evaluate the situation, you might realize that you haven’t been very appreciative either.

Make yourself a priority

You might have noticed you’re more upset with your partner when you yourself are overwhelmed. Get into the right mindset and give yourself self-care. You might choose to establish some new boundaries and prioritize yourself a little more.

Seek out professional intervention

If you two cannot find a resolution by yourselves, consider going to couples counseling. Online therapy is another way to benefit from counseling in the comfort of your own home. Being counseled virtually can save you time in driving to appointments and also save you money.

Couples counseling can help you reclaim your relationship. This type of counseling can strengthen your emotional bond and give you the tools that will help you both cooperate and communicate better.

4 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cerrato J, Cifre E. Gender Inequality in Household Chores and Work-Family ConflictFront Psychol. 2018;9:1330. Published 2018 Aug 3. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01330

  2. Waldinger RJ, Schulz MS. What's love got to do with it? Social functioning, perceived health, and daily happiness in married octogenarians. Psychol Aging. 2010 Jun;25(2):422-31. doi:10.1037/a0019087

  3. American Heart Association. Managing Stress to Control High Blood Pressure

  4. McNulty JK, Dugas A. A dyadic perspective on gratitude sheds light on both its benefits and its costs: Evidence that low gratitude acts as a "weak link". J Fam Psychol. 2019;33(7):876-881. doi:10.1037/fam0000533

By Barbara Field
Barbara is a writer and speaker who is passionate about mental health, overall wellness, and women's issues.