“What have you done for me?” or “What have I gotten out of this?” is really not a question that has any place in a romantic relationship. If someone is asking you this, they’re probably coming from a position of not-really-mature-enough-for-a-relationship. Why would someone look for “what they’re getting” out of a relationship when the whole point of it is to RELATE. If the relating is good (the camaraderie, the bond, the shared happy moments, the feeling of being part of something special, the pleasure in the actual relationship is working) then the value that you bring to the relationship lies in you existing in a state of your-best-self.
A friend of mine actually had a relationship motto with her boyfriend a while back. “Whatever makes you more you” was the term they used for this. I loved the way that sounded because it placed their relationship in a position of being a tool for them maximizing their own personal impact by following their own passions, albeit fully supported by one another. It sounded like the relationship was secondary and complementary to their individuality and after being in a relationship where my individuality was crushed to pieces, that alternative sounded much healthier. Who on earth wants a relationship that diminishes their own personal effectiveness?
The reason I used this as a writing prompt in the Divorce Journal for Women is because NO ONE has any business quantifying your value as a person. You’re not worthless. You’re not useless. And if someone is looking to you to meet their needs, then they’re taking your energy away from meeting your own needs (which is a pretty shitty thing to do to someone you love). Your presence in any relationship, including the one with yourself, is to enhance the experience. It’s my hope that women in the process of divorce make their every day thoughts, activities and pursuits an exercise in personal growth and don’t let someone else decide what value you’re bringing to the table. If you’re not appreciated and loved for who you are, then you’re not in a healthy relationship. If someone is asking “what have you done for me” or “what have I gotten out of this?” then they’re not really seeing you, and there’s no point in trying to convince them that you’re worthy. Likewise, if you can’t look to your relationship and see that the individual in question’s mere existence has had an overall positive impact, then let them go.