What To Do When You’re Feeling Neglected In Your Relationship

Updated March 15, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Feeling neglected can be one of the most disheartening feelings in the world. In many cases, it can be even worse than being disliked because it is simply a person's passive response to your existence. This has the potential to make you feel unwanted, sad, lonely, and even depressed. This can be a normal response when someone you love is neglecting you. It could be helpful to consider that many people have gone through similar struggles and have recovered.

Relationships Can Be Challenging

Neglect In A Relationship

Neglect can creep into any relationship over time. Even in healthy, long-term relationships, it is common for both women and men to have felt neglected at one time or another.  When two people are together for an extended length of time, they may begin to take one another for granted. Perhaps they get used to the other person being around; they may stop dressing up for each other, going on dates, or expressing affection. There could be times they prefer going out with friends as opposed to spending time together. While it’s a natural tendency for some relationships to go down that route, it can also be harmful to the relationship.  There are some things you can do on your own, with your partner, or even with outside help to address the problem and move forward. 

For some short-term relationships, it may mean that the honeymoon stage is over. It may have felt like a fairy tale life for a time. Then, things may settle down, and in some cases, feelings of neglect can crop up.  Regardless of the length of your relationship, these feelings are normal. If the relationship is to survive, quality time together may be key. This article will offer some suggestions on how to begin the journey.

How To Address The Issues Of Feeling Neglected

It may be important to step back and view the situation as a whole. There may be many small changes occurring over a period of time that could have led you to this current situation. We can also say convoluted things to one another, which our partner may misinterpret, and the situation can escalate. Such problems may simply be a breakdown of communication. Here are some approaches to begin addressing this issue.


Perhaps the most important thing you can do when you feel neglected in a relationship is to communicate with your partner. Communication is fundamental to healthy relationships. Without it, we could be working with inaccurate beliefs about each other. This can allow negative feelings like hostility, confusion, resentment, or apathy to present themselves. Consider preparing your thoughts, sitting your partner down, and letting them know that you have been feeling neglected and would like to discuss ways to address this issue.

Exercises To Communicate In Healthy Ways

There are some communication exercises that relationship experts use in therapy. These can help you and your partner discuss what is going on in your relationship. 

  1. Positive Language Exercises

Consider using positive language to talk to your partner, no matter what you are talking about. Even if you feel like calling your partner a name or making negative remarks, try to resist the urge. Instead, practice using positive words when speaking with your partner. This may sound like a difficult thing to do when talking about hurt feelings, and it can be, but it promotes productive and mutual problem-solving.

  1. “I Feel…”

If you are feeling unappreciated and neglected, telling your partner how you feel may be the only way they will know the dissatisfaction you are experiencing. This exercise starts out with you saying, "I feel…" and then filling in the blank with how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way. Then, you can take turns telling your feelings and listening without interruption. The goal is to better understand your partner's feelings, even if you don't agree with them.

  1. Active Listening In Conversations

Communication is arguably one of the most important parts of your relationship, and if you are not listening to each other, this communication may fail. If the other person is not listening, it may feel like talking to a wall. Sometimes, people may think they are listening when really they are merely grasping  onto the first few words that are said and then preparing what they will say, or just waiting for their turn to speak. To be an active listener, you must focus on everything your partner is saying and try to think about it from their point of view. 

  1. Gratitude Lists

We tend to take our partners for granted, and all the little things they do may get overlooked. Perhaps your partner picks up your wet towels off the bathroom floor every day without complaining. Or maybe your partner makes sure that your favorite television series gets recorded every week, for instance. This exercise includes writing down all those things you are grateful for that your partner does. Couples who practice gratitude regularly are more likely to succeed, according to relationship experts.

Relationships Can Be Challenging

    5. Look At Things Through Their Eyes

It is possible that your partner's neglect is not related to you in any way. Their disregard for you may just be a byproduct of another issue they are currently dealing with. Maybe they are feeling under the weather mentally or physically, or they may be busy with work or grappling with a family problem. It could be  important to try to understand things from their perspective.

They might not be giving you as much time as you are used to. This doesn't necessarily mean that things will stay like this forever, though. Relationships can go through ups and downs. People sometimes go through personal struggles that take time to get through, too. Consider giving your partner a bit of time if they haven't been attentive lately. Don't be afraid to ask them about what is going on, though. They might need your love and support to get through something that they're having a hard time with. 

Knowing When To Let Go

Sometimes, no matter how hard you both try, the relationship may just not be working. No matter how much effort you put on how to stop being needy, if your partner still neglects you, maybe it's time to give up. If you are putting so much time and energy into trying to make something work and you are still miserable after getting help, it may be time to let go. Just taking a short break from each other could be all you need to realize what you are missing. Other times, it may be better to go your separate ways. 

Before you decide to take drastic measures to end your relationship , consider all of the above and take the necessary steps to address the problems at hand. There could be a chance you will be able to build a stronger bond with your partner as a result. If you are still feeling neglected after attempting to resolve your issues, it may be beneficial to reach out to a support network of family and friends. Additionally, you could seek professional guidance to uncover any underlying issues in your relationship. A therapist may have suggestions, treatments, or other resources like a support group or related reading depending on your specific needs.

Prioritize Mental Health

If you are feeling consistently neglected and you do not seem to be getting anywhere with communication, consider whether you should see a couple's counselor. Sometimes, when you are having issues and you cannot work it out on your own, having a therapist mediate can be helpful. 

Relationship problems can sometimes pose a barrier to treatment, though. That’s because many people are hesitant to discuss their problems with a significant other with a stranger present, especially if the stranger is in the room. An online setting could be more conducive to this type of conversation. Plus, if you are too busy or live too far from town to make the commute, online therapy may be a good option for you. 

Researchers in the field of mental health have been investigating the effectiveness of online therapy for decades now. A recent study showed that online therapy was just as effective for couples as in-person therapy in terms of increasing relationship satisfaction, mental health, and therapeutic alliance.

Many couples go through tumultuous times at some point in their relationship. These feelings that you're being neglected can be addressed in therapy sessions. Read the reviews for BetterHelp below, from people experiencing similar issues.

Therapy Reviews

"Erin really helps me set goals for communication, and it's really crazy how much it's improved the communication in my marriage. She also asks me every week what I'd like to work on, so it's just really great to be able to decide and then to put it into action. Without her, I wouldn't even know where to start."

"Stephanie is a gem! She's very thoughtful, thorough, honest, insightful but most of all helpful. This is coming from a person that never wanted to do counseling and just "knew" I didn't need it. She's been key in helping my wife and I find our better place. She made us grow as a couple and individually. Thanks Steph!"


Feeling neglected in your relationship can be difficult, but know that things can improve. Your relationship can get better, and you can live a life that is full of love once more. Don't hesitate to reach out to the dedicated online therapists at BetterHelp who are waiting to assist you.  Take the first step today.

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