People in relationships would all agree – feeling appreciated is an important part of a successful and lasting relationship, right?
Yet, one of the most common complaints I get from couples is that they believe their partner takes them for granted. They feel unappreciated.
Now there is independent research that backs up what we’ve been hearing from couples for many years.
A survey of more than 2000 Australians in committed relationships asked: “Do you think that your partner takes you for granted?”
Almost half of the women who took part in the research said that they did feel that their partner took them for granted, while just over a third of men felt the same way.
It’s perhaps not surprising then that family lawyers are seeing more women who are no longer willing to stay in an unhappy relationship and are prepared to take the lead on divorce.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more women than men are making the difficult and emotional decision to end their marriage.
In 2013, the number of divorce applications from Australian women was almost 16,000 compared with around 12,000 from men.
It’s been that way for more than a decade, with more women than men taking the first step towards divorce.
Our research also found that Australians aged between 34 and 44 and those who have been married for between five and ten years were more likely to feel that their partner took them for granted.
These couples probably have mortgages and young children and very busy lives. They may not be as attentive to each other as they once were and that gives rise to the belief that their partner takes them for granted.
The same research asked couples to nominate the most important factors needed for a relationship to work. Feeling appreciated came in at number three - just below trust and shared values.
It’s clear that for a relationship to be successful there must be mutual appreciation.
I really hope that our research, together with divorce statistics, serve as a wake-up call to couples that they really should not take each other for granted.