You must have value to be valued. Do you expect your partner to value you? What messages do you receive from your mate that he or she sees you as a person of worth?
I often hear partners complain that they do not feel that their partner listens to them. They describe this as a communication problem, “I told him what I needed but he just ignored my wishes.” The “communication” problem may be better described as a failure establish your worth in the relationship. We attend to that which we value. The partner who is always forgetting your birthday or other important events in your life is giving you a message of your worth.
Do you tolerate messages that devalue you? These messages may be disrespectful statements but are more likely to come in more subtle nonverbal messages. Does your partner look you in the eye when you are giving your views or sharing your feelings? Does your partner’s expression suggest your views, feelings and desires are important? If not, do you tolerate such messages of disregard, thus limiting your worth.
Take a minute to clarify your worth. What do you offer a partner? Are you kind, caring, sensitive? Do you share the demands of each day? Are you an enjoyable companion and friend? Are you a source of support and encouragement? List your good qualities and remind yourself of your worth.
This isn’t a list for your spouse to see. This is a list that establishes your worth for yourself. Your partner may disagree and not value you as a partner or he or she may not have been challenged to acknowledge your worth because you have tolerated being diminished and disrespected.
Challenge your partner’s view of your worth. Inform him or her that you will not tolerate the verbal or nonverbal messages that suggest you are anything but a valuable partner. Start today!