Why Do We Take Our Closest Relationships For Granted?

Good Morning Dear Readers,

If you recall yesterday’s short story that I had published here on TPC, it was about a Husband and Wife arguing over who would change a dirty diaper.

If you notice the tone of the story, it is humorous, yes, but maybe you will also identify with the arguing couple – how they disregard each other’s happiness or comfort, how they quibble about trivialities, how they shirk responsibility. In short, a few years of togetherness/marriage ensures that the couple becomes less sensitive to the needs of his/her partner. At least this is what I felt after publishing the story.

If I am to give you examples from my own married life, I’d say the story reflects my married life almost completely, where I and my husband could argue over a small thing like a poopy diaper (we have done that in reality, though not this vigorously). What I have noted in my marriage and even in other marriages/live-in relationships is that somewhere down the line, we forgo the decencies, courtesies and good manners that we may have previously observed carefully during the courtship period. We start taking our other halves for granted. Sorries and thank yous become rarities and most of the time we just think for ourselves or think – he/she will get it, I don’t have to say it every time.

I’m not talking about the bigger sacrifices in life, like making work decisions, but smaller things like who will switch off the lights before coming to bed, or who will get the groceries from the market, or who will take the dog out for a walk, or who will tackle that pesky neighbour. These little, everyday responsibilities that we may have assumed on ourselves once upon a time when our romance was still in its youth, but now, after the blush of love has faded, these responsibilities become a matter of everyday arguments. Ok, maybe arguments is too strong a word. Make that everyday grumpiness.

Some may say that these everyday arguments in a couple are loving banter, and that’s true in my marriage too, but there could be instances when these everyday arguments escalate to something more serious, or may become the basis for a separation or divorce in the end. There have been friends who I have witnessed breaking up because one side was not able to digest the banter of the other side, or because they were always quibbling about something or the other. I feel that as time passes, instead of being nicer and more tolerant to each other, we become more dismissive and harsh towards our other halves.

This aloofness and unmindfulness to the happiness of our closest relationships is not only prevalent in married people or live-in couples, but even between relationships like Parents-Children, between In-Laws, the closest of friends. It seems like the closer we get, the more for granted we take that relationship, and the phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ begins to make sense. But why? Aren’t we supposed to value these relationships over every other relationship? To me, it seems that we are kinder and more accommodating to strangers than we are to those living in our own homes. In India, we have a phrase for this very thing – ghar ki murgi daal barabar – which literally translates to – the chicken at home is only as good as gruel, meaning thereby that the one at home is never given much importance.

Wouldn’t it be better if we returned to those times when we would ask them, ‘Are you okay? Can I help in any way‘ or that ‘I’m there for you‘ as often as we used to in the beginning of the relationship, even if it sounds too formal? Because these are the people who we love and want to spend our best and worst times with. Then why be mean to, or mean-minded with them?

When I try searching for an answer to these questions I can only find two possibilities –

Ego & Tiredness

Our egos prohibit us from bending over backwards too much for any one person. And when we see the other side being unresponsive/unmindful to us, we get tired of trying to make up with them and just let the relationship go south.

I could be wrong about this, but this is my observation when ever I have noted relationships going sour.

So today I pose a question to all of you –

Why do we take our closest relationships for granted?

Why do we cease saying ‘Thank you’ or ‘Sorry’ to those who we intend to stay with until the end?

I hope you will be proactive in discussing this because I’m sure every one of you must face this in some form or the other, and wish that things could be nicer. Let’s read the responses of others and understand what we can do to make things better with those who matter the most to us.

Have a great day!

39 thoughts on “Why Do We Take Our Closest Relationships For Granted?

  1. It seems like you’ve had a lot to think about with your last post. I’m glad you came to this realization, and by extension, your readers including me. The points you make are very very valid, I guess one can try being nicer, but then again the monotony of life drags us back to the starting point. I think it would take some real effort on everyone’s part to not take such things for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting 😊 I agree, the monotony of life and our belief that they’ll always be around makes us complacent towards their desires and needs. But we should be putting more effort in such relationships because they are the only ones that matter afterall. I think we should just keep our egos aside and try a little harder. The efforts could be rewarding.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very Realistic! But at the same time, we also do a lot more for someone close to us, which we may never even think of doing for strangers. But yes, we do take people who are close to us for granted. I think it comes more out of trust that they are going to be around, no matter what.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly…. Its this absolute faith that they’ll forever be around that makes us so complacent towards our behavior towards them… We start mistreating them or even ignoring them at times. It’s a shame it happens to the ones that we want to keep the closest to us, the ones for who we can do anything, but not the simplest thing in life. What an irony.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Its not only ego pradita. Even when we try to be nice, gentle, caring and affectionate, to the other person and he or she is unresponsive, I get a feeling that they are is taking us for granted. There’s an incompletion lurking, and this gets carried forward in all future interactions More so, where the opposite party is your parents/in-laws….

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, that’s why I said it’s ego or tiredness. We give up when we see the other being unresponsive to us. And it’s so sad that this happens in our closest of relationships, the ones that we should try the hardest to keep intact. Thank you so much for airing your views Deepika 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not just saying this for ‘taken for granted relationships’ Akhila. This goes for every relationship that is close to us. Because they are the ones that matter the most. Granted, every relationship is important and needs a lot of hard work to maintain, but certain relationships are special to us. I’ve noticed that over a period of time, those are the very relationships that we start taking for granted. Now if we don’t treat our closest relationships well, then what justification is there to treat the farther relationships better?


  4. Hi Sis,

    Sorry for a delayed response…

    There’s a saying in Odiya, “Manisha Mana Khyana Khyana Ke Ana”… Which means, “Human mind changes every moment” or “Human Mind searches for new things every moment”. The moment we find things around us getting older, we stop giving importance to them and thus take them for granted. Just think about the time we enter into a new relationship… We try to keep ourselves clean, beautiful, we try to buy gifts for each other, we are more concerned about each other and so on… But slowly when we become old in our relationships we stop giving that attention which we used to give earlier. That’s why we all need to work our relationships out. We need to renew ourselves for each other whichever relationship it is doesn’t matter… Renewal is an absolute necessity.

    It’s a fantastic article and very thought provoking.

    Regards, Dada

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The small things that convey caring make the beauty of a relationship and equip us with strength. Communications is key to the success of a relationship. Why so much ego and taking each other for granted? It will be good that couples zero on a day every week to go on a harmless date filled with excitement like during the initial stages. Very well observed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes yes! I totally second that. Having some ‘we’ time between couples is very very important or else we begun to forget that even our other halves need us. Thanks for reading Vishal 😊


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