Failing to provide the emotional support that is expected of you in a relationship is referred to as emotional neglect.
Some psychologists consider emotional neglect as a mild form of emotional abuse. Any sort of emotional pain triggered by the actions of a partner can be considered emotional abuse; therefore, emotional neglect is also abuse.
Consistent emotional neglect will create a wedge between partners overtime and may break their relationship.
Here are some telltale signs that you may be emotionally neglecting your partner:
Intimacy is a necessary component of a romantic relationship. If you’re no longer as intimate as you once were with your partner, it’s a red flag. Sure, life is stressful and you’re both busy but you should want to make time for each other. Intimacy is needed to connect with your partner at a physical and emotional level.
It’s one thing when both you and your partner are too caught up with other things and there’s a mutual understanding that you’re busy. But if your partner is sitting around waiting for you, it becomes a problem. They’re expecting intimacy and you’re letting them down.
Not Asking About Their Day
Your spouse’s life may not be that interesting but it’s important to ask about their day to show them that you care about what’s going on in their lives. When you don’t ask about their day, they’ll feel like you aren’t interested in what they do when you’re not around.
Make it a point to ask about their interests to remind them that you do care about what matters to them.
You’re Stuck in a Routine
Married couples often struggle with keeping things interesting. Having lived together for so many years, it’s only natural for people to fall into a routine. As great as the stability of marriage is, going through the same stuff day after day can get repetitive and dull.
At the beginning of a relationship you pull all stops to create amazing memories and make your partner feel special but after years of being together, you no longer feel the urge to be spontaneous and create new memories. The problem with this is that you and your partner will start looking for new things elsewhere.
Don’t be surprised if your partner seems drawn to someone else who brings back the element of novelty in their lives.
If you’re in the relationship for the long-run, be prepared to make the effort to keep things fresh and interesting; no one wants to feel like they’re wasting their life away by being stuck in a rut.
Is your relationship suffering from emotional neglect? You may benefit from couple’s counseling.
Azizeh Rezaiyan is a marriage counsellor at Silicon Valley Marriage Counselling based in Palo Alto in the Bay Area. She specializes in couple’s counselling, family meditation, anxiety treatments and other psychotherapy treatments.
Call (650) 206-9973 to book an appointment.