It is the end the year today. Tomorrow we begin to talk about 2024. Where did we go wrong this year in our marital relationships? What must we do to better our relationships in 2024? What must wives do if they feel neglected by their husbands, if they are not getting the attention they desire from their husbands?
Obviously it can be deeply hurtful to feel that your loving husband has now ignored and neglected you. But, if you want to get him to be a better husband in 2024, it’s important to start by avoiding criticizing him. You need to help him understand the kind of man you need in your life. Make him understand that you need a partner who respects your desires as much as he respects his own.
It could be that he is no longer talking to you as much as he used to. Maybe he is preoccupied with work. Maybe he has chosen to spend more of his time alone and less time joining you for activities both of you used to do regularly as a couple. Whatever excuses he gives you for these changes, if you’re feeling neglected, the chances are that you are not simply making up a narrative. Your feelings are important, and you should never give up on them. You’re probably the one who knows yourself, your needs, and your relationship best. Therefore, when it comes to determining what you need and what you should expect, trust your instincts on the matter.
Understandably, feeling this way could sometimes be terrifying. It seems to boil down to basically two options: either confront your husband on the issue that is giving you concern or allow him continue with his current behaviour. It’s a classic case of being stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. Confrontation is not that easy, but you also know you can’t keep going around pretending like everything is fine, when deep inside you, you know that is not the truth.
So, you will need to take charge of the situation by telling your husband, in gentle but unequivocal terms, how you feel and what it is you need from him. This can be difficult for many women. They all seem to be aware of thr fact that some husbands waged in that type of situation might feel vulnerable if they have no capacity to carry the ‘burden’. Such a husband might attempt to counteract your forceful stance by intimidating you into backing down. But when a guy reacts this way, keep in mind it’s not necessarily because he doesn’t care. It’s more like he’s seriously uncomfortable and defaults into operating behind the safe space of his emotional walls, shutting you out completely and causing communication to break down. Regardless of how daunting this all might seem, it’s a healthy and necessary first step.
Tell your husband that this topic is important and must be addressed. Be firm, but kind as you tell him exactly what you feel is currently missing in the relationship, as well as what you need from him to fix it.
Many women believe they shouldn’t have to tell their husbands what they want or need. In their opinion, for example, letting a man know you want him to make romantic gestures like bringing you flowers for no specific reason once in a while does detract from the specialness of him doing so. This simply isn’t true, and it isn’t helpful for either of you.
Men aren’t always great at expressing their feelings, even when their feelings for you are quite strong. He may be under the impression that you are fully aware of how deeply he feels for you, regardless of the actions he does or doesn’t take or the words he does or doesn’t say.
See this as an opportunity to teach him that making time for you and opening up about his feelings are things you need. And don’t be afraid to tell him what you’d like to see more of. When you tell him what you need, you make it much easier for him to perform those actions, say those words, and show you how important you are to him.
He might think you want big overtures of love, not realizing that something as simple as going to the store every so often to get you some simple flowers would be more than enough. When you teach him what you need, you make it possible for him to practise “smart generosity” by doing little things for you more frequently, keeping your relationship’s love levels at a premium. So be as specific as possible. If you want him to cook or pick up dinner a couple of nights a week to give you a break, let him know. If you like flowers or cards or being taken out to the movies, tell him that. Don’t leave him guessing based on vague or even passive-aggressive comments or suggestions.
If you’re trying to connect with him and not getting what you need, rather than make a blanket statement like, ‘I don’t like how you’re treating me right now’, try narrowing it down specifically to something actionable like, “Honey, I want to spend more time with you, and I feel like you’re pushing me away”. This tells him what the specific problem is and how he can fix it. The more direction you give him, the easier it will be for him to give you what you need in return.
When you see your husband honestly trying to show you he has listened and proved that he loves you, you must be receptive. It’s easy to be critical, especially when you’re still feeling the sting of having been neglected for so long and don’t think he’s done much yet. If you tell him what you need and give clear examples of how he can show you his affection, and he responds by starting to do those things, it’s important to encourage him. Don’t focus on the negative or complain that it’s too little, too late. Making him feel bad about his efforts is the quickest way to kill his desire to ever try again. When your husband sees your honest appreciation for the steps he’s taking to give you what you need, he’ll naturally want to try harder and do even more. Your husband loves you. Be kind to him as he learns how to better show you that love. Speak to him gently. Reward his efforts with gratitude and kindness. You’ll both be better off for it in the long run.
When someone feels neglected in a relationship, it’s easy to react like a wounded animal and withdraw or lash out to protect yourself. But withdrawing when you feel emotionally hurt doesn’t solve problems, it can cause further damage. One of the easiest ways to save your marriage and deepen intimacy between the two of you is by loving and cherishing him even more. When you approach him affectionately, it rubs off, making him more receptive to the idea of showing you more love in return.
If you feel neglected in your marriage, try reach out to him in small, but meaningful ways. Be affectionate and do small things you know are important to him. Since men aren’t always great communicators and often struggle with discussing their own problems, these caring gestures may be just what he needs to pull him out of whatever hurt or pain he’s carrying and refocus him on you and your relationship the way he used to. Whether he’s exhausted or overwhelmed at work, he’ll be appreciative of your efforts to make him feel better. Whatever the case may be, there’s no such thing as giving your husband too much love. You deserve to have your needs met in your relationship and to feel loved by your husband.
No relationship is perfect, but with patience, direct communication, and honesty about your specific wants and needs, you’ll soon be able to put this stage of your marriage behind you and ensure those feelings of being neglected and ignored remain a thing of the past. When you protect and cherish one another, you don’t have to be concerned with any deficiencies in the love you share. And when new problems arise, you’ll already have the tools in place for conquering them together.