8 Painfully Honest Signs Your Spouse Doesn't Put You First

Your partner has slowly stopped caring about you, or never did at all.

Woman notices signs her spouse doesn't put her first and thinks what she should do about it. Alliance Images | Canva

Self-care is a key component of maintaining a healthy, happy, and fulfilling relationship. After all, how can you take care of someone else if your needs aren't being met too? If you're spending all of your energy trying to make someone happy but you still feel miserable, you might be the one ignoring your feelings and hurting yourself.

Here are 8 painfully honest signs your spouse doesn't put you first and what to do about it:

1. You constantly placate him rather than telling him what you're thinking

You say what you think he would want to hear rather than what you want or feel. In this scenario, you are unconsciously protecting yourself from criticism or rejection. What to do about it: It's important to be honest with your partner and yourself. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. You want to be accepted for who you are — not what you think he wants you to be.


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2. You constantly dismiss your wants

He asks you, “Where would you like to go eat?” You mention your favorite place, but then quickly add, “But we don’t have to go there. Wherever you want to go is fine with me.” He’ll be happy he got what he wanted, but you miss out on what you want. What to do about it: He was kind enough to offer to let you pick, so make a suggestion and stick with it! Chances are he wants you to have it your way, or you guys could at least come to a compromise that makes you both happy.

3. You're always making excuses as a way of hiding things that bother you

He does something that troubles you, and you overlook it by making excuses for his actions. You think it's better to avoid an argument and risk upsetting him for fear he will reject you. The problem is, you are still bothered by it. What to do about it: If you're upset by something he did, talk to him and take responsibility for your feelings. Say something like, “I felt [angry, hurt, taken for granted, sad] when you did [this action]. I’m curious, what was your intention?” This can help lead to a discussion instead of an argument, and it will make him aware of it in the future.

@withlovesabrinaflores Reply to @boringearthsignhealthy confrontation is a two person job 🥰 can do more scenarios too! #healthyrelationships #couplestherapy ♬ Married Life (From "Up") - Sergy el Som

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4. You always put off your plans for someone else's

You were going to train for a marathon or go back to school, but that would require time away from him and you don't want him to feel unimportant by devoting your time to something other than him. Thus, you sacrifice what you want for him. What to do about it: You can use good time management skills and schedule time to be together. You'll be able to plan actual quality time instead of just quantity of time. If the relationship is healthy, he will want to support you in your endeavor!

5. You always give more than you get in return

You spend a lot of time investing in the relationship and are happy as long as he is happy. He, on the other hand, doesn't invest as much and is content that you are doing all the work. This could be a sign that you fear rejection or being alone. What to do about it: Be more aware of how much you're giving and try holding back a bit, even if it's just to fuel your reserves. Make sure the give-and-take between you is fair and balanced. Otherwise, over time, you will feel empty because your heart and soul are not being fed, and you have given everything you have, with nothing left over for yourself.


6. You apologize for absolutely everything

He had a bad day at work and you are ten minutes late for your date. He is upset when you arrive and tells you about his rotten day but says nothing about you being late. You then apologize for making it worse by being late. What to do about it: Remember: You didn’t cause him to have a bad day. You can have empathy for him, simply by saying, “I’m sorry you had a rough day,” but don’t take responsibility for it. Blaming yourself for his situation will only leave you feeling worse and it doesn't solve anything.

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7. You change your routine to make his easier — even if it inconveniences you

You like to work out in the morning, but he likes keeping you out late. You want to accommodate him so he will be happy. Now you can’t get up so early and have to get your workout in later in the day when you have less energy and your workouts are not as effective. What to do about it: Continue the routine that works best for you. There's only so much time and energy we all have in a day, and you need to spend yours as efficiently and thoughtfully as possible. This doesn't mean you're being selfish. In a healthy relationship, what is important to you should be important to the other person.


8. You dress or style yourself in a way you never would, just because he likes it

You change your hairstyle or buy a new rockin’ outfit purely to gain his approval, even though you wouldn’t have made that change otherwise. By doing this, you are not being true to yourself, and you'll eventually resent him for it. What to do about it: Be your most authentic self. A healthy relationship doesn’t require you to change unless you choose to for the sake of self-improvement and self-growth.

Don't sway in the wrong direction toward his preferences when they don't mesh with yours. The true you will inevitably emerge, no matter what, and he should love you for exactly who you are — so should you. If any of these apply to you, it may be time to evaluate the relationship and take a good look at yourself. Don't lose your individuality for the sake of your relationship.

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Craig Nielson is a Professional Coach, Speaker, and Educator who supports clients via his company My Internal Image.