Most women have fantasized about finding the ONE and living a fairy-tale life with their soulmate. The hopeless romantic rarely believes that anything could go wrong in her relationship and so when she starts feeling lonely or disregarded in a relationship, it’s painful for her. When a woman feels neglected in a relationship and the connection that she once shared with her partner starts to fizzle out, she thinks it’s her fault – until she doesn’t.
After a long day at work, your partner comes home and starts fixating on their messages, video games, Netflix shows or worse, goes out to socialize with their friends leaving you all alone at home. When your partner isn’t emotionally available or doesn’t cater to your basic intimacy needs, it is but natural to feel lonely.
How She Reacts When Feels Neglected In A Relationship
For a woman, what does emotional neglect look like in a relationship? It depends on her emotional maturity, self-worth, personality, her attachment to her partner, the duration or the strength of the relationship, and many other factors. She might pack up and leave at the first sign of neglect, or it might take her longer to accept that this is a dead-end relationship. If she’s feeling neglected in a relationship, you can be sure that there will be a reaction. She’ll make her needs known, whether calmly or by putting her foot down loudly.
Her reaction also depends on her social conditioning. Many women are conditioned to think that if anything goes wrong in a relationship, it’s their fault. That they have to be the one to fix this feeling of being unwanted in a relationship. Let’s read on to find the ways a woman can react when she is neglected in a relationship.
1. Crying and pleading for affection
What does emotional neglect look like in a relationship? Consider this scenario. Your wife or girlfriend is crying in front of you. It’s serious, she’s not being an attention-seeker. It’s hurting her self-respect and dignity. If even after this, you don’t mend your ways, it is time to face the truth – she is not your priority. This is when a woman feels neglected in a relationship.
Ladies, if she or he disrespects you and your feelings, and isn’t willing to change, dump them. When you neglect your woman, sure, she might break down and be completely vulnerable. She might think of ways to win you back or to repair the relationship. But this phase is temporary, and eventually, she’ll move on.
2. Blames her appearance
Sometimes, when a woman feels neglected in a relationship, you’ll find her making negative remarks about her body. It’s probably because she doesn’t feel appreciated by you and thinks you don’t desire her enough. Instead of getting aggressive and putting the blame on you, she blames herself and her appearance.
This is one of the signs your girlfriend feels neglected, and that you need to give her the attention she needs. Or, have a conversation about what’s on her mind to find out where this need for validation is coming from. It might not be something to do with you at all, and could be her own insecurities that she needs support in dealing with. It would be nice that while she deals with her issues, you also think of ways to make her feel special.
3. Doesn’t care anymore
Remember when she used to tell you every detail about her life and how it used to annoy you? You knew about her whereabouts 24×7. But now, you are often clueless and don’t know when she’ll come back home. Guess what? She no longer cares whether her significant other is worrying about her or not. She may even believe that you are indifferent about her safety.
“He told me off one day, he said that I’m taking HIM for granted. Can you believe that? Just because I started creating my own life after he stopped paying heed to me, he forgot about his own behavior that led to mine. This is what happens when you neglect your woman, she’ll eventually stop waiting around for you,” says Stacy.
Related Reading: 13 Things To Do When Your Husband Ignores You
4. The inevitable dead bedroom
She no longer initiates sex. Most emotional problems give way to the dead bedroom. Feeling neglected in a relationship can take its toll on one’s mental health. If she is depressed regarding the way the relationship is going, it might affect her hormones and libido. She might realize that sex will not fix the emotional void. Your wife avoids intimacy because she feels neglected in the relationship. Instead of reaching out to you to rebuild the love, she’s curled away into her shell.
Tally says, “It became a vicious cycle. The more I felt neglected, the more I wanted attention. But the more I needed his love, the more I withdrew into myself out of fear of rejection.”
5. Change of priorities
Brenda talks about what happens when a woman feels neglected in a relationship, “See, there’s only so much we can do to chase our partner and try to find out what’s wrong. There will come a point, after all the depression and the anger, that you accept things the way they are. You pick yourself up. You remember the importance of self-love and realize there’s a life beyond your partner.”
So, don’t be surprised if she has found new passions to pursue. It could be gardening, vlogging, cooking, or making headway in her career. Suddenly, the tables have turned and now you are the one who feels like a trophy girlfriend, something you have been treating her like! Guess what? She is fed up of NOT being your priority and hence, she is now prioritizing herself.
6. Exit affairs to bid goodbye
Ivana talks about her ex-wife, “She had decided to let go of me even before she thought of having that affair. Our relationship was over in her mind while I remained clueless till the end. When she told me, I was blindsided – she confessed it so casually. I wouldn’t even call it a confession. There was no hint of apology, no regret. This was her brutal way to leave me.”
When asked why she did it, Ivana shares, “I knew we had issues that seemed to pile up over the years, but I guess I didn’t take them seriously enough to work on them. I had no idea I had a neglected wife. It shows how much I allowed to slip past me.”
Often, spouses indulge in exit affairs to pull the final trigger on their relationship. She had to survive betrayal, so she would want her partner to feel the same pain that she felt all along, or it’s her way of saying that she is ready to move on. Exit affairs are different from regular affairs – there’s no coming back from this one.
7. Too many fishes in the sea
Once a neglected wife has decided to move on, she will not consider working on the relationship anymore, not even for the children. Because she realizes that she can only be a better mother once she is out of this unhappy marriage. She might date casually, fool around with different men, until she finds the one who sweeps her off her feet and gives her what you can’t.
If you aren’t married yet, then the signs your girlfriend feels neglected would be even more straightforward. She’ll stop responding to you (that is, when you eventually decide to text her back), she’ll block you from her social media and phone, she’ll be back on dating apps, and move on. This, of course, will only happen after the initial stages of shock , sadness, and grief wash away.
Related Reading: 8 Ways To Get Out Of An Unhealthy Relationship
If you are often curt with your women, or never do what she needs you to do, then sooner or later your relationship will crack. As women are often emotionally evolved creatures, as her partner, it’s your job to make her feel emotionally satisfied.
And while it’s true that even power couples and happy couples can cheat on each other, one of the biggest reasons for cheating is neglect. When a woman feels neglected in a relationship, take it seriously in the initial stages. You’ll need to listen to her needs and validate them, and then put across your own point of view gently. Work on your issues with the woman in your life before it’s too late.
Seek help – go for relationship counselling to save your relationship, have a honest and open conversation with each other, and see if you are on the same page. Also, an expert can tell you what to do when your husband is not affectionate or romantic, and you’re looking for ways to rekindle love in the relationship. Sometimes, a change of scene works wonders. Consider going for a vacation together – who knows, you might get a new perspective.
Usually, when she is emotionally discontent and feels that she is not her partner’s first priority, she starts to feel neglected. She wants her significant other to spend quality time with her and take care of her intimacy needs. If her husband has checked out emotionally from the relationship, it hurts her.
She looks inward and tries to find faults in herself. For instance, her husband might be cheating on her, but she is the one who would feel guilty. When she realizes that she didn’t do anything wrong, she starts being too emotional or passive-aggressive. She can also become destructive and ruin her relationship completely by having an affair.
Partners should check in with each other every now and then to know how they feel. Ask her about your woman’s day, remember important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Make her happy by pampering her and be an active listener. Most importantly, work on yourself and before the worst case scenario of separation, seek marriage counselling.