What to do when you feel neglected ?
Let’s talk bout that awful position we can sometimes find ourselves in , where we no longer feel valued , prioritised or loved by our partner or spouse. Neglect in a relationship is usually one of those things that creeps up without even realising before it is too late.
This isn’t to be confused with being needy , because being needy comes from a place of self entitlement or insecurity .
Whereas as neglect means you are not having healthy needs met within that relationship or feeling devalued.
If not kept in check or addressed it can breed resentment and division and even lead to cheating. Say what?!
Yes that’s right , majority of the time the reason why people have affairs are because they no longer feel values , wanted or desired by their partner and therefore seek that attention and validation elsewhere.
Whilst it never justifies the behaviour , if you have experienced neglect you can see why it might cause it.
Either way it isn’t something that increases the stability , joy and health of a relationship and needs to be addressed as soon as it arises.
Here are some quick practical tips to help you stop the neglect and start feeling satisfied and fulfilled in your marriage or relationship again :
But don’t we all go through those phases of neglect?
I will be the first to tell you that a happy and healthy relationship is still full of battles. No one is perfect and there will always be things that effect a couple that are out of their control. We can never control the future fully , but we can choose to water what will help decrease the chances of neglect .
But just because we go through a lull in our relationships , doesn’t mean that we have to keep entertaining toxic and neglectful behaviour. Whatever you allow is what will continue. And more than often we use the excuse” it’s just a phase” or ” he is just busy” or ” he doesn’t really men it ” or my favourite … ” I know he loves me ” …even if you don’t feel loved.
We shouldn’t ignore our feelings , because they are an indication to what our brain and heart are seeking in order to feel fulfilled. If you don’t feel fulfilled by your partner due to their neglectful behaviour , I can tell you right now , just wishing they change isn’t going to fix the problem.
So why does neglect occur?
It’s clearly not something that most people intentionally do ( aside from the narcissists out there) but rather it creeps into a relationship for a couple of reasons :
- One partner is more self focused maybe due to internal processing , environment or circumstance stress and therefore is mainly trying to focus on their issues instead of giving attention to their partner.
- One partner may not feel as attracted to the other due to physical changes in their body their partners or because they don’t have their own love language and needs being met.
- Familiarity , the busyness of life and routine can also mean we forget to prioritise intimacy , romance and the relationship.
So what should you do when you feel neglected in your relationship?
If you can catch it as early as possible then it will be easy to address and rectify . So here are some practical ways you can start to do that :
1) Rebuild yourself –
Before we start pointing fingers at the other person , we have to stop and assess ourselves. Whilst it may not be a nice question to ask , you have to also ask yourself if you have contributed to the neglect in any way?
Have you let yourself go? Have you stop acting with love and appreciation towards your partner? Even if the answer is no , it’s still important to make sure you are coming from a place of a healthy mentality instead of a spirit of neediness.
Next start working on building your strength , confidence and value from the inside first before you start addressing your partner. This will help you have the strength to lay boundaries and assert your worth.
2) Communicate about it –
You have to talk about how you feel unapologetically . This may cause conflict but it is the only way to work out whether or not the issues can be resolved. This will mean conflict and uncertainty because we can’t control how others choose to respond. But it is the only way to start to get movement with this issue.
Choose a time where you are coming from a rational mind and you have had time to think about what you want to say. Make sure when you talk about it , you also listen actively to what they have to say .
3) Assert boundaries –
Boundaries are integral to a relationship as they are what protect your couple and each individual in the relationship. And chances are if you are feeling neglected then those boundaries have dropped. Start asserting them again by giving them consequences for their behaviour both good and bad.
Most of the time we get scared to lay the line down because we are so afraid that it will push them away. But I can tell you now , allowing them to neglect you is going to be a far more painful way to live daily !
4) Give consequences –
If they keep on neglecting you, show rather than tell them that you will not tolerate this behaviour. People respond to how you let them treat you. Whilst you can’t control someone , you can encourage them and also tell them what you are willing to put up with.
Growth though difficult periods of relationships always have some level of conflict and uncertainty because it is new territory! But the only way you know if they are really ready to act with love towards you is if you give them a consequence for their behaviour .
5) Plant seeds of love –
Try to also focus on what you want to grow rather than just the lack of what you are receiving . Learn to speak their love language to example the loving behaviour you would like to receive. As mentioned `before sometimes the reason for neglect is because that partner doesn’t have their own needs met.