When A Woman Feels Neglected In A Relationship | What To Do

Emotional Stress | |
Updated On: February 5, 2024
When A Woman Feels Neglected In A Relationship

Most women I know have, at some point or the other, fantasized about finding the ONE and living a fairy-tale life with their soulmate. And if the woman is a hopeless romantic like me, she would rarely believe that anything could go wrong in her relationship. So, when a woman feels neglected in a relationship, and the connection that she once shared with her partner starts to fizzle out, more often than not, she ends up blaming herself for the situation.

Picture this: After a long day at work, you come home and immerse yourself in text messages, video games, Netflix shows, or worse, go out to socialize with your friends, leaving your partner all alone at home. Do you relate to this? Are you being a partner who isn’t emotionally available? Does your partner feel the pangs of loneliness even after being in a relationship? Do you often find your girlfriend or wife complaining, “I feel neglected in my relationship” or “My husband neglects me emotionally and sexually”? Are you sure you aren’t leaving them feeling rejected too often? Or are you someone who hears your friend telling you often that she’s feeling sexually neglected in a relationship?

Don’t fret. In this article, we have not just listed what makes a woman feel neglected, but have also jotted down a few signs that will help you find out when a woman feels neglected and what to do about it. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s begin…

What Makes A Woman Feel Neglected In A Relationship

So, ever wondered what makes a woman feel she isn’t being valued enough in a relationship? Or are you dating someone who keeps wondering, “Why do I feel neglected in my relationship?” Well, there can be multiple reasons, from the pretty obvious ones, such as lack of emotional or physical connection, to the subtle ones, such as her own insecurities.

As feminist and author Bell Hooks rightly said, “Abuse and neglect negate love.” In equating neglect with abuse, she has probably shown us how toxic feeling neglected in a relationship feels like. In this section, we will delve deeper into this and look at a few factors that make a woman feel neglected:

  • Lack of communication: Often, a woman feels neglected by her partner when the relationship lacks communication. This could be caused by a devaluation of reactions or an absence of active listening from the partner’s end
  • Lack of emotional intimacy: Apart from communication, another primary facet of any relationship is the emotional intimacy between partners. When your partner ignores your needs, that’s a big red flag. When a woman opens up emotionally, an emotionally unavailable man will tell her she is overreacting, or simply offer the silent treatment to her, and it could very well lead to her feeling neglected. In fact, emotional neglect in relationships is the worst form of neglect women can face

Related Reading: Body Language Of Unhappy Married Couples  13 Cues Your Marriage Is Not Working

  • Lack of physical intimacy: Sex may not be the most important aspect of a relationship, but it definitely is a huge factor when it comes to building a stable and stress-free relationship. Feeling sexually neglected in a relationship affects a woman negatively
  • Past trauma: Negative experiences from the past often lead most people to drag in the feeling of neglect in their current romantic relationships. So, the neglect that a woman feels may very well be related to past trauma, such as physical or emotional abuse in a previous relationship.
  • Feelings of inadequacy: Quite often, feeling ignored in a relationship makes women feel they aren’t good enough for their partners. In fact, if their partners keep criticizing their flaws (such as their weight, dress sense) or their life choices (such as their careers), or keep comparing them to their former girlfriends, women often tend to get into a shell
  • Not being valued: Any woman would feel she’s being neglected in a relationship if her husband doesn’t make her feel valued. Lack of interest in a woman’s career aspirations, daily events, or personal achievements often leads to feelings of neglect

What Happens When A Woman Feels Neglected In A Relationship — Notice These 15 Signs

We often find women complaining, “I feel neglected by my husband.” Now, what does emotional neglect in a relationship look like, for a woman? Well, it depends on her emotional maturity, self-worth, personality, her attachment style, the duration or the strength of the relationship, and many other factors. It might take a neglected wife or girlfriend longer to accept that hers is a dead-end relationship. If a woman is feeling neglected in a relationship, you can be sure that there will be a reaction. She’ll make her needs known, be it by being silent or by putting her foot down.

Her reaction may also depend on her social conditioning. Most women are conditioned to believe that if anything goes wrong in a relationship, it’s their fault. They also believe they have to be the ones to fix this feeling of being unwanted in a relationship. So, let’s read on to find the very many ways in which a woman may react when she is neglected in a relationship:

1. Crying and pleading

What is emotional neglect in a relationship? Consider this scenario. Your wife or girlfriend is crying in front of you and complaining that you aren’t fulfilling her emotional needs. This is a clear indicator that there’s something wrong with your relationship. It’s serious, and she’s not being an attention-seeker. But if you refuse to mend your ways even after this, it is time to face the truth. This is when a woman feels neglected in a relationship. And such emotional neglect in relationships can lead to bigger rifts that may become difficult to mend later.

Related Reading: 15 Real Reasons Your Wife Avoids Intimacy

2. She blames her looks

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 and thinks her man doesn’t desire her enough. But instead of getting aggressive and putting the blame on her partner, she blames herself and her appearance. If, as a partner, you’ve ever come across this situation, it’s one of the clear signs your girlfriend feels neglected and that you need to give her the attention she needs. At times, a little validation doesn’t harm.

3. She 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? This is a sign that a woman has begun to stop caring in a relationship because she saw you have stopped caring long back.

One of my friends, Stacy, once related her experience, “He told me off one day and said that I’m taking HIM for granted. Can you believe that? Just because I started creating my own life after he stopped paying attention to me, he forgot what led me to avoid him. This is what happens when you neglect your woman: she’ll eventually stop waiting around for you.”

4. The inevitable dead bedroom

To feel neglected in relationship is a pain that manifests itself in the bedroom too. When a woman doesn’t feel loved, she no longer initiates sex. In most cases, emotional neglect gives way to the dead bedroom. Feeling neglected in a relationship can take its toll on one’s mental health.

If she is depressed about the way the relationship is going, it might also affect her hormones and libido. She might realize that sex will not satiate her emotional needs. So, it’s time you accept that your girlfriend or wife avoids intimacy because she feels neglected in the relationship. So, instead of reaching out to you to rebuild the love, she’s curled away into her shell.

A colleague of mine, Tally, recalls a similar experience, “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.”

Related Reading: Why Has My Husband Lost Interest In Me Sexually?

5. Change of priorities

Another friend of mine, 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 stems from feelings of neglect in relationships, when 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.”

And we agree. When a woman doesn’t feel loved, don’t be surprised if she finds new passions to pursue. It could be gardening, vlogging, cooking, or just making waves in her career. Guess what? She is probably fed up with NOT being your priority and is now prioritizing herself. Wouldn’t you do the same if you feel neglected in relationship?

More on compatibility

6. Exit affairs

A colleague, Ivana, spoke about her ex-wife, “Feelings of neglect in relationships can often bring in unexpected affairs, and I learned it the hard way. My ex-wife 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 eventually told me about it, 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, Ivana shared, “I knew we had issues that seemed to have piled up over the years. But I guess I didn’t take them seriously enough to work on them. I had no idea I had neglected my wife. This shows how much I had allowed to slip past me.”

Often, feeling ignored in a relationship may lead you to exit affairs to pull the final trigger. When a woman does this, you’ll know she probably had to survive betrayal. So, she wanted her partner to feel the same pain that she had felt all along. It could also have been her way of saying that she is ready to move on. Please also note, exit affairs are different from regular affairs, and there’s no coming back from this one.

7. She blocks you everywhere

When your wife ignores you on social media, it can be a great indicator of the emotional turmoil that she’s going through. In fact, one of the prominent signs that a woman is unhappy in a relationship is when she blocks you on her social media and her phone. It could be her last attempt to make you feel her absence or a cry for attention. It may very well be her final exit strategy too. If she keeps blocking and unblocking you from time to time, however, she may be trying to tell you that she feels neglected.

Related Reading: 20 Things That Make Wives Unhappy In A Marriage

8. She complains

One of the prominent signs your girlfriend feels neglected is her tendency to get irritable and complain on a regular basis. It is said that silence is a woman’s loudest cry, but there are times when women complain constantly before going silent.

In fact, if a woman keeps complaining that she doesn’t get to spend quality time with her partner or that she doesn’t get emotional support, it’s time for the partner to take a step back from the negativity and listen to her before the relationship goes downhill.

9. She gets insecure

Being ignored in a relationship may lead to insecurity and low self-esteem. Often, when women get insecure, it’s a sign that they are probably feeling neglected in the relationship. So, if a woman keeps telling her man to keep away from other women (without any valid reason for her to get insecure), or if she is always worried if he is micro-cheating, there’s a good chance that the relationship she is in needs a revamp and is probably showing signs of decay.

Related Reading: 12 Signs Of Insecure Women And How To Deal With Them

10. Shallow talk

If a woman is unhappy in a relationship, she may get into a shell and not indulge emotionally with her partner. So, conversations with her man may be reduced to a “What would you like to have for dinner?” or “I have done the laundry”, instead of deep, meaningful discussions or flirty, casual banter. The conversations will mostly be bland and may also focus on facts and logistics.

11. Lack of positive emotions

Being ignored in a relationship may lead to a lack of positive emotions. Be it bonding on warm moments from the past or celebrating major life events together, a woman who feels neglected will often shy away from participating in such emotions. She will, instead, be withdrawn most of the time.

Related Reading: Positive Relationship: Psychology, Signs And Benefits

12. Lack of teamwork

A woman who is feeling emotionally neglected by husband or boyfriend will not plan the future, not even the imminent future. For instance, she may stop saving up for a house or a car that she may have planned to buy with her partner earlier. She may even stop planning for birthdays and anniversaries. The man-woman teamwork will be missing.

13. She stops sharing her thoughts

Often, a neglected wife or girlfriend may open up to people other than her husband or boyfriend. So, when your wife ignores you even if she is facing a crisis, for instance, when she needs some help, you know for sure she has been feeling neglected. Likewise, she may stop sharing positive thoughts too. For instance, if she has been promoted or has won a lottery, she may end up calling up her friends or family rather than open up to her partner.

Related Reading: 7 Expert Backed Ways To Help A Depressed Wife

14. No productive discussions

Being neglected in a relationship may lead a woman to argue or go silent, but in either case, there will be nothing productive. So, any argument will end with more arguments, instead of a resolution. And any silence will be equally counter-productive, widening the gap between the couple.

when you neglect your woman
Being neglected in a relationship can make a woman go silent

15. Psychological issues

Often grave psychological issues, such as depression and anxiety, creep in when a woman feels neglected in a relationship. Insecurity from being neglected, and other relationship problems, can give rise to body image issues. In some cases, such mental ailments may take a graver form and may require serious counseling.

Related Reading: Mental Health Issues On The Rise – Identifying And Seeking Help

What To Do When A Woman Feels Neglected In A Relationship

If you are often curt with your woman or never do what she asks you to do, your relationship is bound to develop cracks someday.

When a woman feels neglected in a relationship, her partner should take it seriously in the initial stages itself. He should listen to her needs and validate them. Working on your issues with the woman in your life before it’s too late is crucial here. Here are a few tips from our end:

  • Communicate: In any relationship, open communication is key. Lack of communication almost always crops up when you stop caring in a relationship. So, the first step to fix the situation is to have a healthy and open-ended conversation about why she feels neglected
  • Self-reflection: Once you know where your relationship is lacking, you can focus on doing your part to make it better. Own up to your flaws and take steps to make her feel special and valued. For instance, if you’re a workaholic, try and keep some time apart from work to focus on your partner
  • Spice up your sex life: It’s important for a partner to show physical affection. Be it through hardcore sex or just playful kisses and hugs, physical attention can do wonders to a woman’s mood, especially if she feels neglected
  • Share some new hobbies: Try a new hobby or join activity classes together, be it pottery or painting. You can even learn a new skill, such as swimming or martial arts, together

Related Reading: My Wife Hates Me: 5 Signs, 8 Possible Reasons, And 9 Tips To Cope

  • Spend quality time: Go out for date nights and shower your partner with some romance. Or just go for a digital detox and spend some time with her at home, away from phone screens. Little things like these go a long way in fixing a relationship
  • Help her out: It’s likely that a woman who feels neglected will go about her daily chores without asking for help. So, read the signs and help her out, even if she doesn’t ask for it
  • Understand her love language: In every healthy relationship, partners and significant others must recognize each other’s love languages. If any woman is feeling unimportant in a relationship, her romantic partner must act on her love language. Be it showering someone with gifts or praising them, as a partner you should know what works for your wife or girlfriend
  • Counseling: Seek help if you think you are unable to manage the situation on your own. An expert is always the best person to suggest ways to rekindle your relationship. Take the help of online therapy platforms or go for in-person couples counseling to decide if you can fix the relationship or part ways

Key Pointers

  • A woman may be feeling unimportant in a relationship for many reasons, such as lack of communication, lack of physical and emotional intimacy, and past trauma
  • When a woman is feeling emotionally neglected by husband, she often tends to cry, blame her looks, shut down completely, or engage in affairs
  • Some ways to fix feelings of being neglected are communicating, self-reflection, spicing up your sex life, and opting for counseling or online therapy

Related Reading: 8 Ways To Get Out Of An Unhealthy Relationship

In any relationship, it’s important to make our partners feel valued and appreciated. If things have gone sour between you and your partner, or your relationship has gone drab over time, it’s crucial to address the underlying issues at hand, rather than make your wife or girlfriend feel unwanted and neglected. We hope you’re no longer clueless about what makes a woman feel neglected. We also hope you will be able to sort things out with her with the tips suggested in the article. And if you’re a woman who keeps cribbing, “My husband neglects me emotionally and sexually”, you may actually find an answer to all your woes in this article and start addressing the real issues.


1. Why does a woman feel neglected in a relationship?

Usually, when your partner ignores your needs, you may be bound to feel you’re not your partner’s priority. Any woman, in this situation, starts to feel neglected. She wants her significant other to spend time with her and take care of her intimacy needs. If her husband has checked out emotionally from the relationship, it hurts her.

2. What does a woman do when she feels neglected?

When you neglect your woman, 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.

3. How can you fix this?

Partners should check in with each other every now and then to know how they feel. Ask your woman about her day and make sure you remember important dates such as 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 counseling.

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