When a woman feels neglected in a relationship, things can start to go downhill.
The connection between her and her partner can fade, and the relationship may even become full of conflict.
There are certain signs to look for that suggest that your partner is feeling neglected in a relationship, as well as steps you can take to remedy the situation.
What is neglect in a relationship?
One of the easiest ways to describe neglect in a relationship is that it occurs when one partner, or perhaps both people in a relationship, begin to take the other person for granted and stop putting forth effort.
It can happen when people in a relationship stop making time for each other or simply don’t seem to be nurturing the relationship.
For instance, if your wife feels neglected, it may be because you’re spending plenty of time golfing with the guys during the weekends, but you can’t make time for a date night.
On the other hand, when she feels that my boyfriend neglects me, you might notice that she starts to pull away from you. Instead of focusing on you, she will begin to prioritize her own needs and interests.
She may even take on new projects or explore a new hobby since she is no longer putting all of her time into you.
6. You realize you aren’t taking time to appreciate her.
If you cannot remember the last time you said “Thank you” to your partner or did something nice for her, such as taking her out to dinner, there is a high probability that she is thinking, “I feel unimportant.”
If she is putting forth an effort to make you happy and you never express your gratitude verbally or through acts of kindness in return, she is going to feel neglected.
Do’s & don’ts if you are feeling neglected in a relationship
If you have been the victim of neglect in a relationship, there are steps you can take to address the issue and try to keep the relationship together. The first step toward addressing the situation is having a discussion with your partner.
Verbalize your feelings without being critical or blaming. Use “I” statements, such as, “I feel like you don’t care about the relationship when you don’t carve out time for monthly date nights.”
Keep in mind that communication is key, but it needs to be positive. You aren’t going to resolve the issue if you use insults or derogatory language to confront the situation with your partner.
Also, remember that it takes two people to maintain a relationship, so you should avoid blaming the situation entirely on your partner. Recognize the role that you have played as well.
Perhaps there have been misunderstandings, or maybe, instead of addressing feeling ignored by your husband, you have pulled away and created an emotional wall between the two of you, which further complicates the issue.
Regardless of your specific situation, when communicating, remember to stay positive. It can be difficult when you arefeeling neglected in a relationship, but using positive language, instead of being critical and blaming, can help your partner to understand where you are coming from so the issue can be resolved, according to experts.
Finally, when you are working toward resolving a situation where you think, “I feel unimportant in this relationship,” it can be helpful to make gratitude lists.
Maybe you have been feeling neglected, but when you really sit down to think about it, you recognize that your partner does more for you than you realize. It may be something as simple as pouring your cup of coffee in the morning or taking out the trash each week.
Taking time to recognize these small acts of kindness can make you feel more appreciated.
Beyond addressing the situation head-on, it can be helpful to take care of yourself. If you’re in a situation where you’ve been neglected, your health can begin to suffer.
Take time to do things you enjoy, and practice self-care through a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, and exercise that you enjoy.
Taking care of yourself will help you to feel better so that your relationship problems do not take too much of a toll on you. You may also consider counseling to help you cope.
When a woman feels neglected in a relationship, it can lead to feelings of sadness and loneliness and eventually lead her to pull away and leave the relationship.
If you start to noticesigns of neglect in a relationship, it is important to act on them before the situation becomes too complicated to resolve. If you’re the partner doing the neglecting, listen to your wife or girlfriend when she expresses her concerns to you.
If the relationship is important to you, you must make more of an effort. On the other hand, if you are the one feeling neglected in a relationship, take time to talk to your partner and express your concerns without blaming or criticizing.
In many cases, neglect in a relationship is resolvable if both partners are willing to make an effort. If you’ve tried to address the issue, but nothing improves, you may have to consider ending the relationship for your own wellbeing.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker with a master's degree in social work from The Ohio State University, and she is in the process of completing her dissertation for a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology. She has worked in the social work field for 8 years and is currently a professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She writes website content about mental health, addiction, and fitness.
Licensed as both a social worker through Ohio Board of Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage/Family Therapists and school social worker through Ohio Department of Education as well as a personal trainer through American Council on Exercise.