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Is your relationship suffering from Appreciation Deficit Disorder?

Relationships thrive on appreciation. When partners don’t feel appreciated, they often withdraw, lash out, or put up defensive walls. Although it may be done subconsciously, the results are devastating to a relationship. Feeling ignored or taken for granted leads to resentment and anger. Soon criticism is a constant companion, stealing precious moments from the relationship. Instead of appreciating what our partner does for us, we begin arguing with them.

When both partners feel unappreciated, they begin working against each other. They create a tit-for-tat scoreboard, comparing who helps out around the house or with the kids more. The cure for this is to simply begin focusing on what you appreciate about each other. However, when you’ve built walls against each other, the process of breaking those walls down requires emotional maturity, humility, and forgiveness. These are very difficult graces to extend to someone who has hurt you.

As with all problems, the key is prevention. Preventing appreciation deficit is a matter of letting your partner know you appreciate them every day. Here are simple acts of appreciation that will make your partner feel noticed.

  1. Relationships thrive on servitude. Focus on giving more than taking from your partner.

  2. Tell everyone how much you appreciate your partner. Say it front of the kids, your friends, and family.

  3. Purchase small gifts, make a special dinner, or plan a surprise date from time to time for your partner.

  4. Leave notes or letters of appreciation for your partner.

  5. Give your partner a break from household tasks by doing your share. Respecting your partner’s need for time for themselves makes them feel appreciated and special.

Showing your partner appreciation is vital for the relationship. When couples feel like their partner is grateful for all they do, they are more invested in the relationship and generous with their love and affection.


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