When your boyfriend expects you to treat him like a king, but he doesn’t seem to give a second thought to your needs, your relationship enters an imbalanced and ultimately, unhealthy zone. Whether he’s lazy about doing his share of the work or he leaves you hanging without the courtesy of a quick phone call, he’s giving you the message that you don’t matter. If you want to get your boyfriend to stop taking you for granted, you need to stand up for yourself and let him know it’s not OK.
Speak up. Sometimes couples get so comfortable in their routines they all but stop communicating. If you never have a genuine conversation about the issues that trip you up as a couple, your partner has no way of knowing how you truly feel. Brief bickering sessions don’t get to the core of the matter and usually lead to more misunderstanding. Sit your man down and tell him you have needs of your own and it’s time for him to stop making you feel insignificant.
Set boundaries. Make it clear what sort of treatment you simply will not tolerate. If your boyfriend treats you like a servant, tell him in no uncertain terms you won’t wait on him hand and foot anymore. Setting boundaries is the only way to have a healthy relationship. You may be part of a couple, but you’re still an individual. Decide what your relationship deal-breakers are and share them with your boyfriend.
Implement consequences. Once you’ve let your boyfriend know what you won’t stand for, make your statements stick by reacting differently than you would have in the past. If your guy doesn’t show up on time after you’ve told him how rude it is, call a friend and head out without him. If you wait for him to show up like you always have, he might never learn to take you seriously.
Respect him in return. If you make a big deal of pointing out the many ways your boyfriend takes you for granted but continue to treat him like your personal slave, he’ll probably slip back into his old behavior and perceive you as the disrespectful one in the relationship. Open your eyes to the ways you might be taking him for granted and nip those behaviors in the bud. Expressing gratitude when your boyfriend makes the effort to change the status quo reinforces your position, but treating him right shows you respect him in return.