Neglecting Your Partner’s Needs

There are times when neglect is not casual, but a little more straightforward. In some situations one person in the relationship is fairly explicit with what they need, asking for it and the other person manages to neglect that need, either directly or indirectly. This is absolutely poisonous to a relationship.

There is nothing that can make one partner resent the other faster than neglect. As we understand a marriage, we enter an intimate relationship in order to get certain basic and important human needs met. When these needs are intentionally or unintentionally ignored, it causes the person whose needs aren’t being met to feel angry, offended, ashamed, demeaned, and unsafe in the relationship. This is a terrible position to be in, and trust is lost.

When this happens, the partner who is being neglected sometimes uses this neglect as the reason to justify having an affair, assuming that their needs will be met in another parallel relationship.

This is not a healthy way to approach this issue. And if the cheater has, in fact, been neglected, it is still no excuse to engage in an affair.

Again, this is primarily an issue of communication. You need to learn how to communicate what you need to your partner in a way that they can hear. Perhaps giving up the hope that the other will magically understand what is the need will help. This reflects a level of opening and trust that needs to be reciprocated with attention…

If the partner consistently has neglected to do the behaviors needed to make you secure, connected, loved and appreciated, then this is a secondary level of hurt which urgently needs to be reviewed before the gap opens so wide it can’t be repaired.

The injured person who is affected by the affair has their needs to feel safe and secure in their relationship neglected. This is to be expected, and you must accept and deal with it if you are going to make your relationship work.

If you are in a situation where your partner intentionally and consistently ignores your needs and shows no indication that they intend to change that behavior, you might need to sit down, take a hard look at your relationship, and assess whether it is working.

It only takes one person to split up a relationship, but it takes two people actively working at it to make a relationship successful.

It is my belief that all relationships can work if both partners genuinely invest in making the relationship work by taking care of and being responsible for doing the actions that solve their partner’s needs. But if one of the partners does not invest in this process, and is only taking from the other then the other partner will feel victimized and angry.

This is particularly true if your partner has ignored previous expressions of your need for them to be faithful to the relationship. If they have consistently ignored this basic necessity and you feel strongly that they aren’t making any effort to change in this regard, it could be time to end the relationship.

Whatever your position, you need to temper your needs with a bit of reality. Understand that your needs will not be met all of the time. People make mistakes. Your partner may fail to take care of your needs from time to time, due to other kind of pressures. This could even happen with issues you have discussed in the past.

Remember, when you enter an intimate relationship, you are taking all of your most important and difficult psychological issues with you. Your partner is doing the same thing. From time to time, this differing set of needs and expectations is bound to cause some friction. This means that sometimes needs will be ignored, both intentionally and unintentionally. What can tide the couple over is the perception that both care for each other, and that in due time will pay attention to the partner’s frustration and deliver.

Relationships require attention, and dedication to work. In this context, it doesn’t just mean doing chores and making money (though these are included). When I say work here, I mean emotional work. Sometimes you have to forgive your partner a bit. Sometimes you have to accept them for who they are. Sometimes you have to come to terms with the fact that you can’t always get what you need. The product you are offering (you) is not perfect, and you can’t expect your partner to be perfect either.

But you always need to communicate with your partner. Sometimes this isn’t so easy, but the cost of not communicating is neglect. And as you have seen, neglect can destroy an otherwise good relationship. So stop neglecting your partner, and stop neglecting yourself by silencing the expression of your needs…

Open neglect sends a terrible message: it tells the other you couldn’t care less. If you can’t answer his demands now, at least acknowledging them will serve as a communicational bridge:

“I recognize what you need, sorry I can’t , but I know what is going on with you.”

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I’m the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don’t have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.

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