Something is wrong if you are feeling neglected in a relationship. However, there could many reasons for this. There are also many solutions.

Have you ever found yourself feeling neglected in a relationship before? I mean, have you felt like you were emotionally alone? I know I have felt this way before. In my last marriage, there were many times where I was alone, raising children, and spending countless hours writing, cooking, or gardening to keep my mind off my problems. Although I did create and learn many things, my relationship did not flourish as it should.

Over time, I resolved myself by doing my own things to stay sane. But just because I started all that cooking and gardening, and such, didn’t mean I was emotionally healthy. I yearned for attention. And yes, my children provided attention to me, but I was married and I shouldn’t have felt neglected by my own husband. It hurt, and it left scars as well.

Why are you feeling neglected in a relationship?

So, I wanted to know why. How could a man or woman get married, then completely neglect their spouse in exchange for other things? I took the blame upon myself too, when in truth, the blame could have been anyone’s issue. Then later in life, I found myself neglecting my second husband, but not intentionally.

You see, there are many reasons why a person may neglect their spouse or loved one, maybe on purpose or not. Yes, that’s right, you could be neglecting your loved ones because of a problem outside your control. Let’s examine some of the ways neglect happens.

1. Addictions

We’re going to look at the most common reason why you may be feeling neglected in your relationship. It’s the addiction. Addictions come in all forms including alcohol, drugs, food, games, porn, gambling, and many other things.

I’ve heard so many complaints about people feeling lonely because their partner is always on the computer, or their partner is out most of the night drinking with friends, and of course, I can attest to living with a partner who had a substance abuse problem.

All these things cause neglect. If you recognize any of these things in your partner, it’s the main reason you feel neglected. It’s the obvious reason. And although many people will tell you that things like alcohol or porn are harmless, that’s not the case. These things can destroy relationships.

2. Chronic pain

Now, this may be a new one for some of you. But, did you know that chronic pain can cause neglect? I suffer from chronic pain, and my husband gets neglected sometimes because of the constant discomfort I feel from day to day. I try to make sure he feels needed, but honestly, when the pain flares up to high levels, I tend to withdraw, and even sometimes refuse to let anyone touch me at all.

If you have a loved one with chronic pain, and you are feeling neglected in a relationship, have mercy, this is a legitimate reason, and it will take time to find a way to reconcile their pain with your needs.

3. Mental illness

If you are feeling neglected in your relationship, and your partner has a mental illness, then it’s semi-normal. Yes, it’s not healthy to feel neglected, but sometimes, in these cases, it happens.

Unfortunately, you have to learn to deal with some of these episodes. Take, for instance, depression – when you have a loved one with depression, they will withdraw and even sleep more often than normal.



If you have a loved one with PTSD, they will want to be alone at times because of triggers or overwhelming thoughts from the past. Not to make excuses, but mental illness can be difficult, and it will take your patience during neglect to make it work.

4. Unhappiness

Have you asked your mate lately if they are happy? Maybe they aren’t and staying gone all the time or spending time alone may be the way they are handling their unhappiness. The lack of communication will make you feel even more neglected too.

In certain circumstances, especially if many problems are never solved, one partner may withdraw and give up on trying to find happiness in the relationship. If you’re feeling neglected, and your partner seems distant, this could be the reason.

How can you stop feeling neglected in a relationship?

1. Look at yourself

Before you start accusing your partner of neglect, take a look at yourself. Are you doing something to make them withdraw? Could you be exaggerating the situation at all? Are you understanding how they feel?

There are actually many ways that you could be contributing to the neglect factor. Examine yourself first, then go from there. If it is you, then try to change some things about yourself that might be a little unfair.

2. Step back

The worst thing you can do is suffocate your partner when you feel neglected. I know, I know, you want attention and it just feels natural to ask for it, but you can’t overwhelm someone with requests. So, create some space and let them come to you. It may create a bit of mystery about yourself and they will be intrigued.



3. Examine your feelings

You can take a closer look at how you feel about the lack of attention you think you deserve. For instance, does this neglect make you angry or sad? Do you know the exact reason for the neglect? You must understand exactly what you’re feeling before you can go any further. Your emotions can distort reality sometimes.

4. Communicate and listen, listen, listen

There’s a reason I said listen three times. That’s because we learn more from listening than from talking. There is a reason why you are feeling neglected, and when starting a conversation, you need to listen to your mate.

If he starts to tell you why he’s being withdrawn or creating space, then you should consider the validity of what he’s saying. Don’t automatically assume his view is wrong.

5. Remain a team

When you discover the problem, instead of harsh fighting, look for a solution. As a team, you work together, not against each other. In a relationship, it’s supposed to be fair, and not judgemental either.

So, before you give up on a relationship, consider pulling together and becoming stronger. If it’s an addiction that you’re dealing with, and your partner admits to it, then you can seek help together.

If she doesn’t admit to the problem and you know there is one, then you may have to resort to other solutions. Either way, remaining a team can lead to resolution much easier than fighting. Even with addictions, the truth usually comes out. Then you can decide how to proceed.

6. Take care of yourself

Despite whatever is making your partner neglect you, do not lose your self-respect trying to fix things. In some cases, and I always hate saying this, you may have to sever the ties. Yes, you might have to end the relationship. The reason is that your mental health is more important than being with someone who cannot respect you. Just keep that in mind.

Are you feeling neglected?

I sincerely hope you aren’t feeling neglected in a relationship or by your loved ones. If you are, then maybe these suggestions can help you. I’ve been there, and I have also neglected people myself, as I’ve said before, so I know how it feels from both sides.

So, before you get furious and judgemental, take a pause, and consider all perspectives. Then you can make a sound decision about how to handle things.

I do wish you the best with your relationship.

Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

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