Lack of appreciation in the partnership? This is how it works better!

A lack of appreciation in a partnership destroys love. On both sides. We want to be seen and feel that we are properly understood by the other person. If there is even rejection, it acts like a low blow.

Come back to a loving and respectful partnership with my tips and ideas. For this I show you the different facets of appreciation in the relationship and would like to encourage you to

  • To realize why exactly appreciation is so fundamental to love
  • To pay attention to and use different forms of appreciation
  • to pay attention to how it can happen that you actively prevent appreciation (yes, actually!) – and not to do that in the future anymore
  • To give appreciation to your partner – even though you are waiting for it yourself (I will explain why this can make a difference)
  • To begin with the appreciation with yourself
  • Setting boundaries when you feel persistently disrespected by your partner.

Lack of appreciation in the partnership: hard and not heartfelt

A relationship is based on trust – and those who open up make themselves vulnerable

In a relationship we show ourselves, we also allow ourselves to be grateful. We make ourselves "naked. If there is no positive response to this, then we do not feel accepted in the way we are. Lack of appreciation in partnership thus leads us to withdraw or go on the attack because we feel no trust.

And something else comes along: In the partnership we also want to be able to be loose. Just leave the daily work routine behind – with all its obligations and customs. We want to be able to meet our partner in a relaxed way: put on the worn-out sweatpants, flop into the cushions and just feel good. Not having to weigh every word on the gold scale, as you do in your job. Just be the way we are. – This doesn’t exactly make things easier with appreciation ..

Lack of appreciation makes us unhappy

The deepest principle of human nature is the longing for appreciation.

William James

To be seen and appreciated by your partner is a basic need. In other words, life is always about love and belonging! Appreciation is a sign of love and a characteristic of it, what makes a good relationshipt.

We want to have a meaning for the other and be something special. Not being so easily replaceable. And this is especially true in partnership.

Appreciation in the relationship strengthens love

Appreciation does good – to both partners. Because whoever feels recognized and respected, feels accepted and connected. Only in this way can we trust each other. Happy couples take care to meet each other lovingly.

If we want to value each other – despite our differences – we need an answer to the question:

"What makes this difference valuable to our relationship?"

3 Effects of appreciation in the relationship:

  1. We pay attention to positive things because we "APPRECIATE" the partner’s "VALUE" instead of focusing attention on his or her weaknesses.We also make ourselves aware of the value of our partner again and again when we show our appreciation to the other person.
    A "side effect" of this: When we have something valuable, we also care for it and continue to nurture the relationship. It also generates gratitude. We also radiate this gratitude. And: What we radiate, comes back to us. – Actually quite simple. What do you do for it today?
  2. When we appreciate our partner, we make it clear: I love you the way you are.
    It affects the other person:
  • He feels accepted.
  • The connection to each other is strengthened. This creates a feeling of trust and security.
  • This in turn leads to the partner opening up.

At the end of the day, appreciation in a partnership ensures that we As a couple a good team are – and that is the prerequisite for happy long-term relationship.

Appreciation is more than praise

We praise ACTIONS of our partner, for example, that he has cleared out the attic or found a suitable vacation home. When we show appreciation, we refer to the PERSON of our partner. The way only he or she is.

So if you are praised you are replaceable. Other people might do what you do in the same or similar way. Appreciation goes much deeper. As the word implies: it’s about the VALUE you represent to someone – as a whole being.

Pay attention to what is (not) there: perceive appreciation in the partnership

There are many forms of appreciation. I have listed here only a few in arbitrary order.

What do you get appreciation for from your partner?? Check once!

  • to give time
  • be attentive, z.B. listen
  • Honesty and openness
  • Share with the other what is going on inside us
  • Respect the privacy of your partner
  • Respecting personal limits
  • Empathy
  • apologize
  • forgive
  • being tender
  • Mutual support for growth/development
  • Gifts
  • take into account different interests, values and needs of the other person: Thoughts, work topics, leisure activities, etc.
  • Include in personal successes, wishes, problems and interests
  • Invite the other person to participate in his own life: z.B. send a message during the day
  • call the (cose-)name
  • a smile, a look
  • ask the opinion
  • Admire strengths/abilities
  • Politeness, good manners
  • help, support or ask for help/support
  • Consideration
  • Respect the thoughts, feelings and actions of your partner
  • always approaching the other person with curiosity (and not thinking that we know him or her as a matter of course)
  • To comprehend thoughts and at least try, Understanding the other person (understanding will not always be possible, this is "normal")
  • Leaving or taking responsibility

Behind all this is: Appreciation means that we take the partner just as important as ourselves. (This does not mean that we do everything the other wants to do.)

Take a look at the enumeration and consider how it looks in detail for you and yours:

  • In what way are you recognized and valued in your relationship??
  • What exactly does this show for you??
  • Which needs have been fulfilled for you?
  • And what good feelings arise from this?
  • Which form of appreciation are you missing?? And how could you address this?
  • Where do you yourself give appreciation to your partner??
  • Which esteem could you give to the other person additionally? When, where and by which behavior exactly?

Lack of appreciation in the partnership: Is it really like that??

Perception is always selective and constructive. Partly we distort what we hear or see. It is important to be aware of this all the time.

Does your partner often offend you intentionally? Does he no longer respect your being? Then it may be appropriate to think about a separation. But first you can do many things to get clarity about the perceived lack of appreciation in your partnership.

How sure can you be that it is really so? Not every carelessness or perceived criticism is meant to be: as a lack of appreciation. Sometimes the supposed lack of appreciation in the relationship is also a misunderstanding, a misinterpretation or simply negligence – or even self-protection of the other, possibly when the Partner hushes up problems.

In the course of Long term relationship partners make less effort towards each other. For that we trust each other more. So it happens that we address the other person a bit more harshly or even let him wait sometimes. This is not about our respect for the person. We simply take more space in the partnership.

When I ask the partners in couples counseling what they value about each other, they almost always have the following answers. They just don’t always express it in everyday life as much as they did at the beginning of the partnership. The relationship has become more self-evident. Habit covers the fascination from the other, which was still there at the beginning of the partnership. Routine has set in, everyday life prevails. And that’s the way it has to be, because when living together as a couple, a lot of things have to be done and organized automatically – without asking the other person’s opinion in a big way.

From there it can be that couples still love each other and also value the other, but don’t show that so clearly anymore.

Think about it:

Is your partner’s behavior intentional or is it negligent?

Why people (unconsciously) hold up the "faults" of their partner

There are 3 reasons why we unintentionally criticize, devalue or disregard our partner:

  1. If you are burdened yourself because you have to cope with big challenges, you release the pressure elsewhere. (The perceived stress can be quite subjective.)
    Partners are themselves – because of the close proximity – the source of many a challenge. There then pent-up pressure is discharged or there is not the strength to react mindfully and appreciatively or to be empathetic.
  2. Those who devalue others unconsciously elevate themselves. This relieves from (perceived) own inadequacy and (supposed) deficiencies.
    The higher your own self-worth is, the less this happens. The care about itself works is therefore relationship-promoting. So it becomes clear why Self-care in the relationship no egoism is.
  3. Characteristics of our partner that we once fell in love with often later seem anything but attractive. You become a nuisance.
  • Every positive side also has a negative side. And this usually shows up only after a certain time of living together.
    Example: the fun-loving, humorous party animal may not enjoy having serious conversations as much. And instead of chilling on the couch, he prefers to spend his free time with a variety of activities.
  • We fall in love with people we find attractive. In some cases, peculiarities of the other person play a role, which we ourselves would like to have (unconsciously). And since this is not our nature, it doesn’t work out: in the course of the partnership we don’t become as carefree, as structured or as calm as the other person. Our partner stays smarter, attracts more attention and holds small talk with all the world with ease. We ourselves fall behind and are – without being aware of it – disappointed (about ourselves).

From this point of view, lack of appreciation in the partnership has more to do with the one who does not give it.

Appreciation requires generosity

Permanently disregarding the other person and his or her behavior does not help to relieve one’s own burden. Because we put ourselves under pressure. Who demands from the other, sets the bar high also for himself/herself.

Only if you are generous with your partner, you can be generous with yourself. Lack of appreciation towards the other person is therefore also lack of appreciation of your own person. In the end, we resent ourselves for living with a partner we cannot fully acknowledge and respect.

Lack of appreciation in love: What you may also contribute to yourself

Yes, you read correctly: It can be that you prevent appreciation. That you don’t get appreciation – and you do it actively. Like? Using these 3 "appreciation inhibitors":

  1. Not paying attention to the partner’s appreciation: rejecting it or belittling what was appreciated
    (although you want the recognition): "It was nothing" or "It’s not that great". This is not good for you! At first, you will be a "yes" person!"You may hear this from your partner, but over time he or she loses the joy of it. So rather react with a "Thank you" or "Pleased to meet you".
  2. Don’t ask the other for attention and appreciation, even if you need it urgently right now.
    Better: care for yourself and ask for feedback.
  3. Don’t reject an appreciation even if you don’t want it.
    Sometimes you may not feel a statement from your partner is honest, and may even feel manipulated. A sentence like "You can simply put the dishwasher away much better than I can" does not have to be meant manipulatively by your partner. But: If a statement does not really please you, but even comes across negatively to you, point it out to the other person, ask about it and explain it to him or her.

When we prevent appreciation, it often has something to do with more or less unconscious negative beliefs, like "I’m not worth it" or "I’m not good enough".

To identify such unhelpful thoughts, professional support is usually needed. The goal is to recognize these negative attitudes towards oneself and to remove the destructive ones Letting go of beliefs to be able – as far as possible. For they can Deteriorate relationship. Appreciation starts with yourself.

Lack of appreciation in the partnership leads to conflicts in the relationship

A partner who doesn’t feel valued or appreciated often charges up. As a result he feels even worse. This then leads to withdrawal, arguments over trivial matters or in the long run listlessness to the point of a Relationship without sex. It eventually leads to more frequent and increasingly painful conflicts.

The offsetting in the absence of appreciation in love is understandable: Who always only gives, without getting something, demoralizes. And indeed, it is important that the "relationship account" is balanced. Both partners should "pay" equal attention, attention and appreciation into the relationship. But: If you always make up for what your partner has done to you, living together does not feel good at all. And it will not help you and you in the end. The attitude makes the difference Improve the relationship want.

Rethinking relationship conflicts improves the esteem balance

We can’t change the wind, but we can set the sails differently.


A completely relieving balance goes differently. It comes from a Japanese businessman, Ishin Yoshimoto, and consists of 3 questions. The third question is the decisive one.

1. What did I get from my partner in spite of everything?

2. What did I give him/her?

3. What difficulties have I caused him/her?

The fourth question, "What has the other done to me??", should be avoided according to Yoshimoto. It does not lead to clearing up the conflict.

Offsetting leads nowhere

An example: You have cooked something and have already called your partner twice for dinner. He/she reacts only on your third request. Now you are angry, feel that your efforts are not appreciated. Quite fast then one word can result in the other and there is dispute.

Don’t get caught up in thinking how unappreciative, disrespectful and ungrateful he/she is, even though you have taken over the cooking. (So do not ask the fourth questions.) This will only make you angrier. And attack leads to counterattack.

Admittedly, this is not easy. Venting your anger, complaining and blaming, on the other hand, feels relieving at first. And of course, the situation is really not nice.

However: Offsetting makes you more and more dissatisfied and cools down the relationship. Rethinking the third question, on the other hand, liquefies the pent-up anger.

But please don’t misunderstand me: This does not mean that you swallow injustice or disrespect!

You can decide how to deal with (perceived) lack of recognition or disrespect in the relationship

Where you can be a part of the change?

Back to my example above: the answers to the three questions could be:

  • He/she has apologized. I have received a kiss. He/she praised my chicken curry, told me how good he/she liked it.
  • I have cooked an elaborate dish. I have made a lot of effort. I chose a dish that the other person likes.
  • I have torn him/her away from his/her exciting thriller. Or he/she was busy with account management and concentrated on the task at hand. I have pulled my partner out of it.

Try this other point of view, these new thoughts first of all on a conflict which already lies some time ago.

The change of thinking requires a different attitude from you: the one that the other person will have his reasons for something. To think like this requires greatness from you. But it is worth to practice this kind of appreciation: it because it comes back to you – if it is love.

You can still point out that you have waited – but against the background of also having understanding for your husband/wife.

For more examples of choices in your response to conflict, see my blog article "10 ways to react when you feel criticized by your partner". There I give you more tips on how differently you can react in the same situation.

Take responsibility – for yourself!

If you keep doing this,

what you have always done,

then you will always get that,

what you always got.

If you want something different,

you have to do something else!

And if what you are doing is not getting you anywhere,

then do something completely different –

instead of more of the same wrong!

Paul Watzlawick

If you feel badly treated, become active. Take responsibility for yourself and your situation, for your needs. Do not blame your partner for your state of mind and mood. If you see yourself as a victim, you make yourself weak and helpless – more than you are.

Set a limit and say "Stop! This is hurting me right now." Do not say: "You hurts me right now!"Because this will be perceived by your partner as a reproach or even as an attack. Tell the other person how you feel in the situation and what you need. Then he can act. If you reproach him or her, he or she will feel that his or her person is being questioned. With that he still doesn’t know what to do.

Acting instead of reacting makes the difference

When we react instead of act, we make ourselves dependent on the partner’s behavior. When the other person is affectionate and loving, we are doing well. If the other person reacts in a distant or critical way or shows rejection, we let it pull us down and we feel bad. Until then, we blame the partner for our own bad state of mind. This puts us in a victim position.

People who act, on the other hand, actively shape their partnership and do not let themselves be guided by their partner’s behavior for a long time. You

  • Do not let the mood or the actions of the other person unsettle or even paralyze your own value
  • focus on what they can do and don’t wait for the partner to change
  • Say clearly what they need or what they want (differently) (instead of being frustrated, complaining or accusing the other person)
  • are sincere in their criticism of the other’s behavior
  • Do not expect immediate approval, but give the partner time to deal with the criticism internally first – and arrange if necessary. A second conversation
  • know where they stand if nothing changes anyway – and make choices.

Show initiative when you want more appreciation in the relationship

How does it look like with yourself? When we hope or expect something from the other, we often forget to do what we want from our partner. And it doesn’t even have to be conscious, it just happens.

  • In which situations am I appreciative of my partner??
  • How obvious is my appreciation in love for my partner? Does he notice her at all?
  • What would I have to do differently so that appreciation can be perceived (even more clearly) in love for the other person??

Appreciation is part of Relationship maintenance – so that the love remains. Without it, a partnership gradually deteriorates, without the partners noticing it immediately. And both partners are responsible for working on the relationship.

Why you yourself win when you value the other person

A single kind deed takes root in all directions, and these roots sprout into new trees.

Frederick William Faber

The appreciation you give to your partner affects you in many ways:

  • You focus on what works in the partnership instead of on the problems between you. Because this view is often lost in the hectic of everyday life in a relationship – and especially in a crisis.
  • Appreciation is one of the components with which you Build trust can.
  • You make yourself aware (again) of what you love about the other person and how important your relationship is to you.
  • If you recognize the value of your relationship, then you will make sure that the love will stay.
  • You feel gratitude for your partnership. And gratitude is a criterion for happiness – in general and for one happy marriage. Appreciation in marriage makes us happy.
  • If you yourself are happy, then you radiate this and smile (literally) at the other person. This increases not only your perceived attractiveness, but also your attraction to your partner.

You are not alone: talk about your partner with appreciation

A lack of appreciation in a partnership is especially hurtful when it becomes obvious to outsiders.

  • Stick together in front of parents, in-laws and siblings? From friends?
  • Do you also confess to each other in public?
  • How positively and lovingly do you talk about each other in front of third parties??
  • And are you loyal even if you do not agree with the behavior of the other person?

"Gossiping" in presence works

"Gossiping in presence" means that you say something affectionate about your partner in front of others. she says. If possible with a proof of his or her distinctive nature.

For example, in a conversation you can drop an acknowledgement about an endearing quality of your husband/wife: "Yesterday we planned our vacation together. My wife is so good at organizing."Or: "Klaus is such an attentive man. During pregnancy he massaged my feet every day."

Try it out very specifically. But you should really mean it honestly!

Think of an appropriate occasion where you can be authentic and make it as easy as possible to show your partner your appreciation by "gossiping."

  • In front of whom?
  • What recognition of your partner might be appropriate in this context?
  • How could you formulate this exactly??

Do not make your satisfaction dependent on the behavior of your partner

Don’t blame the river when you fall in the water.

Chinese wisdom

Stand up for yourself and take care of yourself! If you feel unappreciated in your relationship, first realize that you need something – and then feel it, what You need.

If you stick with the idea that your partner or. Your Change partner you make your happiness dependent on the behavior of the other person. Clearly, a lack of appreciation in your partnership is not a good basis for your relationship and this should change.

But if the other person does not do anything, do not remain stuck in helplessness. Do not make yourself a victim! You are just as responsible for your relationship as your partner is.

Why you should value yourself first, if you lack appreciation in the relationship

Take yourself important! Basically. (And this is no contradiction to my tip at the beginning of this post to lead by example if you don’t get enough appreciation in the relationship.)

Triggers the frown on your face? In fact, we can’t be appreciative of our partner if we don’t first acknowledge and think of ourselves.

And for two reasons:

  1. Only if we are doing well, we can also give something to our partner.
  2. Your partner can only awaken in you the love that you feel in yourself. But he or she is not responsible for your welfare as such.
    If we expect the other person to satisfy all our needs and make our life precious alone, we are actually doing an injustice to our partner. No one can do this for another.

Also in the sense of your partner it is not only meaningful, but also necessary that you first turn to yourself. So: Take care of yourself first! Actively go into situations where you feel seen and respected.

Self-care is respect for yourself

Create space and consciously take time for yourself. What is alive in you right now? And then do things that make you alive. Be curious to try out what you are in the mood for.

Think about this very specifically: In what way are you appreciative to yourself?

  • When were you last good to yourself?
  • What exactly are you doing to value and acknowledge yourself??
  • How seriously do you take your own needs? What do you have at all?
  • In what way can you be more specific about your needs?
  • How can you ask your partner for positive feedback if you don’t get it any other way??
  • How much time do you take for yourself within your relationship??
  • How honest are you with yourself??

What becomes clear to you through these reflection questions? Take your time with the questions. If you don’t have any now, return here at a later date.

Confess your uniqueness.

You are not there to be the way your partner would like you to be. The same applies in other areas of life: If you are "Everybody’s Darling", you do not get respect for it.

When the limit of missing appreciation in the partnership is reached

If you suffer because you don’t get appreciation and respect in your partnership for a long time and in several areas, you should set a clear signal.

Ask your partner or. Asking your partner for a conversation.

First of all, make it clear for yourself alone:

  • How much respect for the other is still there with yourself?
  • And how many feelings are still present for him or her with you: Do you still love your partner and do not want to lose him/her??

How does your partner think?. Your partner about these questions?

If you both want to hold on to your relationship, think about how you can rebuild the missing respect in the partnership. What could be helpful?

A good basis for conversation can be a Relationship Test that makes it clear where the "construction sites" are in your partnership. And – depending on the extent – you should deal with the question whether you are in the relationship stay or go Want. You can also read more about this in my article "When is a relationship failed?".

And here you will find a guide on how you can in conversation solve relationship problems can.

Draw a conclusion right now

What good is all the sunrise if we don’t get up??

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

What would be a very first step toward appreciation in your relationship today? What is the one thing you can do today to get more appreciation in partnership?

You’re stuck and need individual help?

Lack of appreciation in partnership makes mutos. A view from the outside helps to get more clarity and to find new possibilities again. A coaching with a view to your relationship or a couples counseling shows you again a way to.

By the way Couples counseling Is also relationship building. So that love remains!

My book recommendation on the topic of "Appreciation in the Partnership

And here is another good tip for more ease of implementation – have a listen!

Many small, easily convertible impulses for a happy life and one Appreciative handling in the partnership you also get in my Podcast "Love, Life – Happiness, in which I show you together with "Hanser" Bertelmann, coach and expert on happiness and happiness research, How appreciation can be well implemented even with small suggestions. Listen in!

Be good to yourself!

Maren Sorensen
Certified pedagogue and systemic therapist (SG). Is married near Flensburg and has two adult sons and three grandchildren.

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Thank you for this comprehensive article with the helpful and uncomplicated practical tips.
On the one hand, this article clearly shows the complexity of problems in a partnership and on the other hand, it opens up simple solutions.
Thanks a lot!

This is exactly my concern: to show both sides of an issue again and again: It is not as simple as we might think at first and it is the small, simple things that set something in motion (again).
I am very happy that you find my article helpful in this way.
Thank you for your feedback!

Exactly the answers I was looking for! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! now I just have to find a way for me to steer the conversation in the right direction..

With pleasure, dear Silvia!
I wish you good luck for the conversation!

Wow, great article. THANKS.
I realized through the article that there are so many different points of view on the subject and that I myself have possibilities to approach the whole thing.
My first step for this is more self-care… now make myself a face mask.
Kind regards

Dear Judith,
with pleasure. I am glad that you could get to know new points of view through my article. The desire for the other person to change is so understandable. However, we have only a limited influence on other people. To start (first) with yourself is very promising – and can do immediate good, like with your face mask. This is how you actively move forward.
Have fun and enjoy

What am I doing wrong that my ex girlfriend does not let me touch her anymore?. Although she lives with me she cooks, goes shopping, sometimes puts a chocolate on my table or makes a coffee with cake or sits with me where I touch her with my legs but she says I am unattractive and she doesn’t love me and she sleeps in another room and she sometimes comes back from shopping and brings me cigarettes sometimes she strokes me on my head and asks before going to sleep do you need anything else. In the morning she is all ei and another person insults me in the worst way and she sometimes goes away comes back after hours but she washes the clothes takes them off is sweet again but she doesn’t let me touch her she says she doesn’t like me anymore and you curl away from me she wants to be alone what am I doing wrong

Dear Franz,
that sounds stressful. In fact, I suspect that the two of you are not doing well with the situation.
Since you write about your ex-girlfriend, it does not seem to be clear how you want to redefine your togetherness now. It would certainly be helpful to clarify this once.
Many greetings

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