If you are in a relationship, but feel lonely or neglected, you may be very clear about why. Perhaps your partner is dealing with high stress, drama, illness, or some other unexpected difficulty and this leaves you on the sidelines. You may be sympathetic, but it is still normal to miss having the expression of love and attention you are accustomed to in the partnership. Feeling neglected can be different for everyone, but for the most part it is based in not feeling taken care of, feeling unloved, or in need of something not currently present. For some, this may be a common feeling that has existed from the beginning. Each situation is different, but feeling unimportant, or unloved is scary and simply sad. Feeling emotionally neglected is not a part of a healthy relationship. The worst part is, in reaction to this feeling, you may become needy and demanding or passive-aggressive, which can push your partner further away. Below is a list of what not to do if you are feeling neglected in a relationship.
- Accuse – Accusing your partner of something will lead to more fighting, more distance, and it shows you are not ready to listen. Unless you have some concrete evidence that your partner is cheating, lying, or breaking some agreement, any accusations will likely push them further away.
- Jump to Conclusion – Never assume anything, you may feel like you know why your partner is distant, but talk to them to get to the truth.
- Ignore Information – When talking with your partner, do not ignore reliable information that they share. If there are things that do not seem to add up or make sense, pay attention. They may also be asking for help in some way that you should not ignore.
- Get Defensive – You may be hurt and angry, but being defensive will not make your partner feel closer or want to be.
- Play the Victim Card – You may feel rejected by your partner’s actions, but do not make it all about you unless you know it really is about you.
- Make Demands – While firm boundaries are useful, this does not have to come about as a demand. A demand pushes against someone to force them to a specific result, a boundary is just a specific line that you desire met.
It can be hard not to do those things listed above because you are feeling hurt, but it is not impossible to avoid these things that make the situation worse. The good news is, there are also healthy way s to communicate your needs when feeling neglected. Below are several healthy ways to help the situation.
- Return to the Facts – Reliable facts can help you be free from emotional pain and the anguish of feeling neglected. Keep the reliable facts in mind and take time to pause and think before reacting. Sort out what you know from what you are guessing or assuming to help you decide how to reconnect. Have specific examples if you are pointing something out.
Personal Needs First – Too often, people look to their partner to feel loved, successful, and attractive, but this does not work when the person is feeling neglected. It is not your partner’s job to make you feel whole or special. Make sure you are having your needs met in healthy ways. Another person is not responsible for how you feel. If you are feeling insecure, try to relax through journaling, self-care, counseling, or a life coach. Ask your partner for something specific like a hug, but do not expect them to make you feel better until you are willing to work on your own needs. This will help your partner as well.