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Am I expecting too much in my relationship???

Community Member

As long as I remember, from primary school, I as always happy to help out in the family. I remember getting up, going to the shop to buy bread, making sandwiches for my siblings, polishing their school shoes and helping mum and dad around the house. I was always inquisitive about life and how things worked. I loved to get my hands dirty. Unfortunately, my dad did not teach me much, although he used to work on his car or gardening, he did not explain what he was doing and how he done it. Anyway, to cut the long story short, I am married for 20 odd years. Have two lovely daughters and I am a dedicated dad and hubby. I also work from home so I am happy to pick the kids up from school, I usually prepare dinners, work around the house, vacuum, mop, clean, hang clothes, iron clothes, maintain the yard, make beds etc. I will do any work around the home since I am always there. I have come to realise that my wife does not appreciate the work that I do. Firstly, I thought its just human nature to take each other for granted. Lately I have discovered that I am not happy as I don't feel appreciated around the house. When I do something, I make sure I do a good job of it, either being cooking, cleaning or anything else so I am no sloppy worker. I am a very sensitive person who likes simple things in life but I am also old fashioned who likes to be thanked and appreciated. I love my wife and most mornings, I make breakfast, make kids lunches, even drop them if she is getting late but I feel she is so cold. Sometimes I see her parents and I see her dad being so cold towards her mum so I think its in her genes to act that way. This morning, I made her poached eggs on toast with avocado and tea. I don't even get a thank you and its been like this for a long time. Maybe I am expecting too much but I only want a thank you and not much. Two days ago I pulled a calf muscle in the park and she let me walk back whilst she walked back home. I told her that I felt she is not empathic towards me but she said I was being sissy. I am lucky to get a cup of tea made by somebody else unless I ask, but I do it for them everyday. What do you think? Am I expecting too much as I do give a lot but only feel I am taken for granted.

5 Replies 5

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey there,

I don't think you're expecting too much, but it also sounds like you haven't been setting that expectation either.

We all have different emotional needs and her being cold could just mean she doesn't need or expect much from the relationship. But just because she doesn't need it, doesn't mean you shouldn't need it.

Have you ever told her that you feel like your effort is being taken for granted when, for example, you make her breakfast?

The flip side of that would even be to ask how she felt when you made her the breakfast. I know I hate it when my mother makes me breakfast because maybe I didn't want it, or maybe I wanted something else. This basically means that I feel bugged, and she feels I'm being ungrateful. Not good.

Also, I never said much to my ex, including thank yous for what she did, because I always felt like she was taking my efforts in keeping my issues to myself for granted. Naturally, she just wanted me to tell her so she could help.

Communication is super important and it sounds like you both need to reset a little and go back to the basics of your relationship: how are each of you feeling?


Hello James1.

I agree I do the chores because it is required. I ensure the kids have brekkie before they go to school, being a responsible parent, like her. I understand I don't need a thank you everytime of the day. but its the little things every now and then that make us appreciate each other and that its good to have somebody who make life easy for you at home. I keep telling the family since I am able, I am happy to do it but maybe not in a decade. I think its human nature to get used to the trend and I realise that. I also think working from home, being isolated most times adds to the issue of being 'did-engaged with society. I am waiting to join meals on wheels so I can donate my time to be involved with some community work. I think this will help me to get out of the house.

Thank you for replying to my post, james1.

Hey as someone who likes a thank you for the things I do, I understand that. I have a friend who couldn't care less for thank yous or gestures of appreciation, so I've just had to get used to the idea that us still being friends means he values our friendship. We're just different people I guess, but that doesn't mean we can't have a friendship.

I think doing some community work will definitely help with the isolation and even that can give you a bit of self-confidence to approach some of these things at home. Good idea!

Thanks for your advice James1.

I always believed in giving back to the community and feeling good about helping others at the end of the day. I guess you are correct in saying we are all different and that there are people who will take things for granted and that's ok, we can live with that. I think the isolation gets to me and I do a lot around the home since I am in that position and I am capable of doing these things. I am indeed going to persue the community service work this week.

Thanks for making me feel better. Sometimes you just need an independent opinion to give you some reassurance and its ok.

Hey, you're doing well to not only manage the chores, but also in taking steps to fix up that isolation issue. Nice one 🙂