Feeling neglected in a relationship can often lead to frustration, loneliness, depression, and the eventual demise of the relationship itself. You may feel stuck and unable to overcome this feeling of neglect, but it’s important to address it. Far too many relationships fail because people don’t express their needs and wants in a respectful and clear manner. In this article, I am going to explain what to do if you’re feeling neglected in a relationship, so that you have the best chance of fixing it.
Related article: 15 Signs of feeling neglected in a relationship
Feeling Neglected? Try These Solutions
1. Communicate your feelings
Express your feelings to your partner in a calm and non-confrontational manner. Doing this will prevent them from feeling attacked. Most people get defensive when they are put in a position to feel attacked or criticized.
Mitigate the risk of this by using “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory and focusing on your own emotions.
Be specific about the behaviors that make you feel neglected and what you’d like from your partner.
Related article: The dangers of the silent treatment in a relationship
2. Listen attentively
Encourage your partner to share their perspective on the situation. Listen attentively, and try to understand their point of view without interrupting.
Sometimes, partner’s pull away and avoid being vulnerable when they feel overlooked or unheard. If it’s possible that your partner is neglecting you for this reason, try to pay attention to them more often.
Doing so could shed some light on what’s going on with them or what’s causing this issue.
3. Spend more time together
It’s easy to get stuck in the race of life.
Chasing success and goals may be an integral part of life, but it’s always beneficial to prioritize your loved ones. Suggest spending more quality time together doing activities you both enjoy.
Plan regular date nights or activities that promote bonding.
4. Reflect on yourself
Take some time to reflect on your own needs and expectations in the relationship. Consider whether there are underlying issues affecting your perception of neglect.
Oftentimes, people who are going through a hard phase in life struggle to understand their own needs and wants.
Taking some time to understand yourself may just provide you with insight on what could be done to save the relationship.
5. Establish better boundaries
Clearly communicate your boundaries and expectations for the relationship. Discuss and agree on the level of attention and time you both need.
For example, neither of you should be on your phones during a date, or social media should be limited when the two of you bond for a while after a long day.
6. Express needs and desires
Clearly communicate your emotional and physical needs to your partner.
Encourage your partner to share their needs as well to create mutual understanding. Love languages differ from person to person. Your partner may be loving you in the way that they want rather than the way that you do.
Help them understand your needs and desires better through healthy dialogue and gentle suggestions.
7. Encourage open communication
Foster an environment where both of you feel comfortable expressing your needs and concerns.
Regularly check in with each other about the state of the relationship.
Make it a habit to ask about each other’s feelings and thoughts pertaining to the relationship, each other, and life.
8. Find common interests
They say that the grass isn’t greener on the other side; it’s greener where you water it. I agree with this idea.
Make an effort to identify and pursue shared hobbies or interests that can strengthen your bond.
Discovering new activities together can revitalize the connection and inspire feelings of romance again.
9. Practice self-care
Have you entertained the possibility that you are codependent? Is it possible that you require a degree of attention and affection that is difficult to sustain and maintain with the demands of everyday life?
I would encourage you to take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment independently of the relationship.
What may just happen is that, in finding joy as a person, you begin to view your relationship through kinder and more appreciative lenses.
10. Reevaluate priorities
Assess whether external factors, such as work or other commitments, are affecting the relationship.
Discuss and make adjustments to prioritize each other when necessary. It’s possible that both of you are living a lifestyle that is not aligned with the needs of the relationship.
Compromise and scheduling changes can resolve this if the two of you are willing to make these changes.
11. Seek professional help
Consider couples counseling or therapy to address underlying issues. A neutral third party can help facilitate communication and offer guidance.
Couples can fall into the habit of arguing with each other to be right rather than to fix the issue.
A good counsellor will help nudge the two of you towards teamwork that fixes the problem in your relationship.
I will end this article on what to do if you’re feeling neglected in a relationship by saying that if you make a consistent effort to connect with your partner but your efforts are thwarted or ignored, remember that you are not held hostage to this relationship. It may be difficult to do, but evaluate the relationship and decide, honestly, if you need to walk away for the sake of your wellbeing. In some cases, this can be the wake-up call a partner needs.