What to do when your boyfriend or girlfriend starts taking you for granted

Wretched asks: I have had a boyfriend for two years, and every time we fight, he just ignores me, and then comes back days later asking if I’m already good or not. He wasn’t like that before. He was so sweet and he didn’t want to sleep if we were still fighting. But now, he’s totally different. He can go on for a week ignoring me. I already confronted him about this matter and he said that being in a relationship for so long makes things casual, so that’s why he’s like that. But no. He doesn’t put an effort in settling things between us anymore and he easily breaks up with me and I end up comforting him instead of him comforting me. If I threaten him that I’ll leave him, he’ll be like “Oh, okay. If that’s what you want.” What do I do? I really love him and I don’t want a future without him. He’s perfect for me and this is the only the downside of him. I’m so confused. I can feel his love but I’m perplexed by the way he acts whenever we’re not in good terms.

Hi Wretched –

So I’m of two minds here (which is very difficult when I’m a dog and already have a much smaller brain than you humans!).

First, I want to help you make your relationship work, as you clearly love this guy so much, and so much is right about you two as a couple.

But second, I want to bite him, and bark at you loud enough to scare you away so you get a life without him, because you deserve to be treated MUCH better than this.

And you know what?  I think the best answer involves mixing the two!

Let me explain.  This guy is

absolutely taking you for granted.  He isn’t putting any value on your relationship, or your staying with him.  He’s right that relationships can get “casual” after a while, but that’s when both people need to start to work harder, to find ways to make things fun and loving and meaningful!  It’s not the time to get lazy and stop caring!

And I think the one thing that’s going to change his mind is for you to get him really scared that you might leave.  And the best way to do that is to do it.

What?  What did I just say?  To leave him in order to stay with him? 


But you really have to mean it.  To explain to him that you love him and would love to be in a great relationship with him, but that he’s been treating you so badly that you’re envisioning a hateful future.  So either he is going to change or you’re going to leave.  And then when he says that it’s okay for you to go…  Go. 

The truth is, you deserve better than this.  And he knows it.  He used to treat you like a princess, so he knows what you like, and he knows he’s not doing it now.  So let him know that there are three and a half billion guys in the world, and it’s quite likely that at least one of them would treat you the way he used to.  And if he can’t be that one, then, well… okay. 

Let him feel what he’s made you feel.  That cold emptiness of rejection, of not being cared about.  Every child fears that feeling, and every dog feels it way more often than we should (like every time our humans leave us at home alone). 

He’s been with you for two years.  And that’s long enough to get lazy, but it’s also time to get very used to having you around.  So when you’re not, he’s going to feel it.

Have you ever heard a beautiful old song called “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face?”  It’s from one of the greatest musicals ever, My Fair Lady, and it’s sung by a very arrogant man who has the most wonderful woman in the world and, um, takes her for granted!  Can you relate?!

So I know what I’m suggesting is hard.  I hope you don’t have to go that far – I hope a threat is enough to make him shape up!  But if not, if he really has to feel your loss, then I think it’s necessary.

And if so, then I do think he’ll find himself all alone in his room, furious at you and himself, scared and sad, and singing…

I’ve grown accustomed to her face
She almost makes the day begin
I’ve grown accustomed to the tune
She whistles night and noon

Her smiles, her frowns
Her ups, her downs
Are second nature to me now
Like breathing out and breathing in

I was serenely independent and content before we met
Surely I could always be that way again
And yet
I’ve grown accustomed to her look
Accustomed to her voice
Accustomed to her face

And maybe this relationship can grow up in the way it needs.

And so can he!

All my best wishes,


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