During the honeymoon phase of a relationship, it's easy to feel like your partner is basically perfect. It's almost like they're the absolute best version of themselves — with your friends, with your family, and in the bedroom. But as time passes, so too does the "perfect." People are flawed, and that's OK! It's so normal to realize that your partner might not be perfect, but you love them for their imperfections. However, when your partner isn't considerate anymore, that's a whole different ballgame. There's a difference between them being their normal selves post-honeymoon phase, and them just not being nice. Trying to figure out how to approach them about it can be tricky, so I spoke to two experts about what they suggest you do if you notice your partner no longer takes you into consideration like they used to.
"Speak with them openly, candidly, and diplomatically, express your concerns calmly and non-judgmentally, and ask for what you want," psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Grant H. Brenner tells Elite Daily. "Let them express any concerns they may have. Be prepared to talk about potential relationship issues, but assume it is benign. Don't assume it means they have lost interest. Try to talk about how you feel rather any conclusions you may be jumping to already."
When you and your partner sit down to talk, Brenner recommends using "me" and "we" statements, instead of "you" statements. The latter can come across as accusatory and put your partner more on-edge than they probably already are. He suggests saying something like, "I felt sad when you didn't offer to make me dinner like you used to, and I'm a little worried about what it might mean. I've felt more lonely recently and less interesting to you. Is something going on?" If you go up to your partner and say, "You don't seem to care about being nice to me anymore. What's your problem, how come you've been acting like such a jerk?" they'll likely get defensive, he explains. If your partner feels attacked, they may not be open to discussing what's going on.
While it may be tempting to bring it up to your partner the moment it happens, like if you're out and you notice they seem not to care that you're there, it may be better to hold off until you're home again. "I recommend that you wait for a natural opening or a neutral environment," Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent dating and relationship therapist in Los Angeles, tells Elite Daily. "Then, simply tell your partner specifically what it is that you are observing — maybe they no longer bring you flowers; don’t hold the door open for you; make decisions that impact both of you without including you; or neglect to ask you how you are doing or if there is anything they can do for you."
Be open with your partner and tell them how these changes make you feel, Dr. Brown suggests. While you may think your partner should know how their behavior is affecting you, chances are, they might not. "There's a common belief we'd all love to have a partner who automatically knows what we think, feel, need and want, but most people need to do the work of communication in order to understand one another," Brenner explains. So, instead of assuming your partner should know what's on your mind, it can be in the relationship's best interest that you tell them what you've noticed without making them feel attacked. "The idea is to create a safe emotional environment for the two of you to process all of this," Dr. Brown says.
A change in your partner's consideration could be the result of a lot of different things. There's a chance it's because they're unhappy with something in your relationship, or it could have nothing to do with you and everything to do with something else. "Perhaps they are under a great amount of stress at work, and it is impacting their mood," Dr. Brown points out. "Whatever the reasons, you need to talk about it to see if this is just a brief period of being inconsiderate, or if there are deeper issues and reasons. Not having the conversation could leave you feeling increasingly sad and anxious for a prolonged period of time." So, save yourself the anxiety, and sit your partner down for the talk. It could do wonders for your relationship down the line.