5 Signs You Are Emotionally Neglected In Your Relationship
They say you are responsible for your own emotions. But are we humans really that indifferent to each other’s behaviour? Have we achieved that level of independence? Sadhguru says human relationships can never be absolute; they are always variables. You have to constantly cater to it and if you don’t give it the nurturing it needs, things will change. We enter a romantic relationship, expecting it to be an absolute one. But unless you’re in a relationship with the dead, that’s not how it can be. My point is, in a romantic partnership, both persons are to some extent responsible for the other person’s emotional wellbeing in the relationship. And when that fails to happen, at least one of them experiences emotional neglect.
“Emotional neglect involves failing to provide emotional support that one should provide, given one’s relationship to the other,” Elliot D. Cohen Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today. “Emotional neglect is also distinct from emotional abuse. Emotional abuse (as distinct from physical abuse) involves abusive commissions—that is, doing things to another that can be emotionally hurtful or traumatizing (for example, name-calling, manipulating, gaslighting, etc.); whereas emotional neglect involves neglectful omissions, that is, omitting to do things that tend to promote emotional well-being,” Cohen, founder of philosophical counselling and author of over 27 books explained emotional neglect.
The partner who is witnessing emotional neglect is often torn between staying and toughening or walking out. Being gaslit to believe they are crazy and have too many expectations doesn’t help anyone’s self-esteem. It’s not like your relationship is doomed. But if this isn’t fixed, then it will suffer. You will suffer.
Here are 5 signs that you may be experiencing emotional neglect in your relationship.
The focus is always on them
You want to be a supportive partner so when they tell you about how they had a bad day, you kiss them on their cheek, ruffle their hair and let them vent. When they are going through a bad time or are worried about something, you cut them some slack. But when you had a bad day and could use some love, they are still talking about what they are tensed about. When you tell them what hurt you about their behaviour, they are more offended about feeling accused of something. Somehow, you feel like your relationship is all about them and you’re a supporting character in your own movie. You’re definitely being emotionally neglected.
They give you the silent treatment instead of answers
It is borderline emotional abuse when instead of communicating with you, they completely shut down. Each time you have a fight or they feel upset, they shut down and there’s no way you can penetrate through those walls. Meanwhile, you’re dealing with immense anxiety because you need answers. You want to talk it out. It’s okay to need space to gather your thoughts. But they should tell you, “Hey, can we talk on this once I have collected my thoughts?” Ghosting you and leave you anxious is emotional neglect.
You’ve been achieving new levels of emotional independence
Each time you fight, they seem to take no responsibility of how you feel. You feel insecure? You’re supposed to deal with it on your own. Is there a behaviour that really pisses you off? You’re supposed to learn to be calm. Anything you feel, need or want is something you have to achieve single-handedly. You’ve become so emotionally independent, you feel like you’re single RN.
You’ve been suppressing your emotions for peace
You’ve experienced so much emotional neglect that you know there is no point in expressing your emotions. Each time you do, those are invalidated and your partner either shuts down or calls you crazy or both. So for the sake of peace, you stop reacting on most things. You’ve stopped expressing your feelings to him. But once in a while, when you feel too neglected, you cry into a pillow.
The intimacy between you has become comatose
You care for them. They care for them. So who’s caring for you? Nobody. Emotional neglect doesn’t exactly make you horny for them. Gradually, resentment has grown in your heart for them. There are no heart-to-heart conversations, no pillow talk or that feeling of being home in their embrace. Your intimacy – both physical and emotional – has gone for a toss.