Dear Barb—Excess Accommodations

Dear Barb:

My husband and I have been together for 12 years and it seems like we are either bored with each other or taking each other for granted.  We don’t seem to take the time to talk anymore, we just assume the other person is happy and will do what we expect them to.  I might be more inclined to feel this way than my husband.  I get impatient with him when he wants to talk about things.  I still love him, but I don’t want to take the time to talk about things with him.  Even when we are going somewhere I expect he will accommodate me.  I don’t ask him what he wants to do, I just decide what we are going to do and I know he will do whatever I want.  In some ways it’s nice, but sometimes I wonder if I am taking him for granted and he will grow tired of me.  He always seems to be the one who is concerned about our relationship and whether I am happy, whereas I just assume everything is good.  Even in our sexual relationship, my husband is the one who initiates and makes sure I am satisfied.  Do you think I take my husband for granted? Am I a selfish person? I don’t really like who I have become.  Do you have any advice for me? Amy.

Hi Amy:

The many dictionary definitions of being “taken for granted” include “to fail to appreciate the value” and “to treat someone in a careless or indifferent manner.” These definitions are independent, and the presence of one does not necessarily imply the presence of the others.

You begin your letter by saying you think you may be taking each other for granted, but it seems you come to realize it may be you that is taking your husband for granted.  Possibly through writing this letter you have been able to remove yourself enough from the situation, to see that you may be the one taking your husband for granted.  I agree that it does appear that you are putting your needs and desires ahead of your husband’s, but don’t be too hard on yourself.  Relationships go through different phases and the fact that you are even asking this question means you are realizing things need to change, and that is the first step in improving your relationship.  You recognize that your husband is accommodating, and that perhaps you need to take some time to discuss both your needs.  Just because he does what you ask doesn’t mean he’s happy.  He simply may not want to rock the boat.  I found a good website for you to check out about things to do to not take your spouse for granted.

I hope this information help, best of luck Amy.

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