of: Dr. Frank Gunzburg
are times when neglect is a little more straight-forward. In some cases, one person
in the relationship is fairly explicit with what they need and the other person
neglects that need, either directly or indirectly. This is absolutely poisonous
to a relationship.
is nothing that can make one partner resent the other faster than neglect. As
we have already established, we enter an intimate relationship in order to get
certain needs met. When these needs are intentionally or unintentionally ignored,
it causes the person whose needs arent being met to feel angry, offended,
ashamed, demeaned, and unsafe in the relationship. This is a terrible position
to be in.
this happens, the partner who is being neglected sometimes uses this to justify
having an affair, in the hopes that they will get their needs met in another 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.
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. If they consistently
have neglected an issue that you have communicated in the past, then you need
to discuss this as well.
injured person who is affected by the affair always has their need 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. I have
helped you cope with some of the thoughts and feelings that are associated with
this ignored need in previous chapters.
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. The exception to this situation is the desire for certain sexual
needs to be fulfilled, and we will discuss that later.
only takes one person to split up a relationship, but it takes two people actively
working at it to make a relationship successful.
is my belief that all relationships can work if both partners genuinely invest
in making the relationship work. But if one of the partners does not invest in
this process, it can lead the other partner to feel victimized.
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 arent making any effort
to change in this regard, it could be time to end the relationship.
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. This could even happen
with issues you have discussed in the past.
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 in the relationship. This means that sometimes needs will be ignored,
both intentionally and unintentionally.
require work. Anyone who has been in a successful, long-term relationship will
tell you this. Work, in this context, doesnt 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 cant always get what you want. The product you are offering (you)
is not perfect, and you cant expect your partner to be perfect either.
you always need to communicate with your partner. Sometimes this isnt 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.
that end we will now turn to the 10 critical dimensions of a relationship. Exploring
these 10 dimensions will help you assess whether there are places in your relationship
that currently are suffering from neglect. If there are (and if you have suffered
from an affair, there will undoubtedly be areas that you need to work on), examining
these various dimensions can help you make an assessment of what needs to change
in your relationship.