Tips for How to Stop Feeling Neglected and Ignored In Relationships
Advice for a Healthy Marriage
Dear April Masini,
I know I can be a sensitive woman, but I always feel like someone is writing me off. When my husband chooses to go to his buddy's house and watch the football game instead of hanging out with me I get really upset. And when my teenagers ask their friends or their dad for advice instead of coming to me, I feel like they're writing me off as well. Even when my mother-in-law visits and wants to spend alone time with my husband I get really annoyed and feel horrible.
Why am I constantly feeling written off and is there anything I can do to stop feeling so bad?
Sincerely, Written Off"
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Written Off,
Women often feel written off by loved ones because they are super-sensitive. They really think that certain decisions have to do with them, when the truth is that the person making the decision wasn't really writing them off at all, they were just making a decision that didn't include them. Being "written off" is a pretty rash term. Often someone is just interested in a different situation, different company, or something that has nothing to do at all with the woman who assumes she is being written off.
The trick is feeling that the decision is negative and that it has to do with you. The truth is that people make decisions that work for them. Period. If someone doesn't include you in something, instead of moping and focusing on what disappoints you, focus on moving on, using the time and space created by the decision to do something positive.
Also stop thinking that the world revolves around you. It doesn't.
If you feel like your husband is writing you off:
* Tell him how you feel without accusing him. Use "I" sentences. Say, I'm hurt and disappointed that you didn't invite me to play golf.
* When he reacts, you'll have new information that you may not have realized. You can respond, again with "I" sentences to the new information.
* Tell him what you'd like. Say, I'd really like you to invite me to go with. Keep what you want simple. Don't tell him how you want to feel. It's not his job to make you feel a certain way because it's too hard. If you give him a simple direction or a simple clue, like, I'd like you to invite me to play golf, he can do it. Keep it simple and unemotional.
* Thank him and give him good feedback. He may not know that you feel written off, or he may not understand his part in what to him seems like complicated emotions.
If you feel like your teenager is writing you off:
It's really hard to feel rejected by a child, but the reality is that kids separate from their parents. Fight the feelings of competing with your spouse for your child's attentions. Try to appreciate the fact that your child has someone to go to who is family. Many teens don't have family to go to, or they reject both parents and get involved with peers who may or may not be good for them. Take a deep breath and accept separation and that your child does not need you as much any more. Keep the door open. Trust me. Your child will be back for advice whether he or she is a teen or a full fledged adult with their own kids.
If you feel like your mother-in-law is writing you off:
A sense of humor helps here. Take a deep breath and try to understand that your mother-in-law or your mother feels displaced by you. Tread gently. Set your boundaries, but be as generous as you can. And count the hours until she leaves! It's a temporary (although sometimes chronic) situation -- but she doesn't live with you!