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Do you feel that you’re not getting enough attention from your husband?
That might make you feel like you’re being neglected, or that you’re becoming part of the furniture, rather than loved, honored, and cherished.
Let’s take a look at some healthy, positive ways to approach this issue. Hopefully we can determine the cause, and turn things around.
1. Talk to him.
The most important thing to remember is that there are two people in this relationship. As such, there are going to be miscommunications and misalignments from time to time
One person might feel like they’re not getting enough attention from their spouse, while the other might not be getting enough alone time.
So the one who’s feeling neglected might push for more time together, which makes the other feel smothered. This will make them retreat even further, and so on.
As you can imagine, this kind of spiral will only make things worse on both sides.
Communication is absolutely vital, so be sure to talk to your husband about how you’re feeling.
Try not to be accusatory. Instead of saying things like, “you’re not paying me enough attention,” or, “you’re pushing me away,” use neutral or “I” statements instead, along with questions that can help encourage further communication.
“I’ve noticed that we haven’t been spending as much time together lately. Is that something you’d like to change? Or do you need alone time right now?”
“I’ve been feeling sad that we aren’t as affectionate with one another as we used to be. Are you feeling the same way?”
By using this approach, your husband won’t feel attacked. Instead of getting defensive, he’ll be able to express what he’s feeling, since he’s being approached with love and respect.
2. Look at the big picture.
Quite often, when people feel that they aren’t getting enough attention, they focus on their own hurt. They’re feeling rejected, sad, or lonely, so they only consider how bad they’re feeling. They want to make that hurt stop. End of.
This is very similar to how people behave when they’re ill. Most want to just take medicine to make the sickness disappear, so things can get back to normal again.
A far more effective approach is to determine the cause of that illness. Rather than just treating or masking symptoms, it’s better to find out where it’s originating from. That way it can be treated at its source, right?
Same goes for relationships.
You might feel overwhelmed by your own emotions right now, and that’s okay. Nobody is asking you to ignore or invalidate those at all. Journal about them if that helps, have a good cry to release some tension, go for a walk.
Then, when you’re ready, try to pull your attention far away so you can see the entire situation. Think about this like observing a tapestry instead of focusing on a single thread.
Were there any big changes in your lives recently? What’s going on in your husband’s life, personally, that might be trickling into your relationship?
Is his work going well? Has he expressed frustration about anything? Is he generally depressed or withdrawn?
Remember that men don’t necessarily process or express their emotions the way that women do. In fact, they often withdraw in order to deal with their personal stuff.
What you might be interpreting as not giving you enough attention might actually be that he’s struggling, and trying not to burden you.
Work stress, family responsibilities, and various other changes will all have a ripple effect into every other aspect of our lives. When we have to focus our attention in several directions, our partners might not get the exact same amount of attention they’ve grown accustomed to receiving.
Again, just talk to him. Find out what’s going on.
3. Is he engrossed in his own stuff? Does he want to do it together?
One of the reasons why people might feel that their spouses aren’t giving them enough attention is when their partners suddenly take up hobbies or interests.
Suddenly, instead of spending X hours with you, your husband might be in the garage, workshop, garden, or art studio.
If this is the situation, once again things come down to communication.
He might be so engrossed in this new hobby, which is making him so happy, that he hasn’t realized that he’s been neglectful toward you.
It might surprise him to discover that you’re even unhappy! Unless we communicate our feelings toward others, they often have absolutely no idea what’s going on inside our heads.
Is this new hobby or pursuit something that interests you as well? If so, great! Ask him if he’d be interested in you doing some aspect of it together. Not so much that it infringes on his time alone, but enough that you feel like you’re involved in his stuff.
Alternatively, if his interests either bore you to tears or are just absolutely not your thing, ask him if you can dedicate a couple of nights per week to doing stuff together.
That way, you won’t be interrupting his time with demands for attention, and he can make sure to hold space in his schedule to make sure the one he loves is honored with his time.
While you’re at it, consider taking up some hobbies or pursuits of your own. Delve into subjects or activities that you love, and you won’t feel as much of a need for other people’s attention.
4. When and why did things change?
Take note about when and why the relationship dynamic changed. Did it happen out of nowhere? Or did something happen that shifted energy into a different direction?
For example, some partners are super affectionate and doting during the earlier part of a relationship, but then pull away once they’re actually married.
Relationships do change after the first bloom of romance and the honeymoon period, and some people feel like they don’t need to put in as much effort once the ring is on, so to speak.
What is the current state of your relationship?
Have things been going smoothly, or have the two of you been arguing a lot?
Figure out whether there’s something that’s causing him to either pull away, or turn his attention elsewhere.
Be sure to observe his behaviors on a daily basis. Where is he putting his attention when he isn’t offering it to you?
For example, if you’re spending time together watching a movie, is he spending most of his time on his phone? If so, try pausing what you’re watching and asking him if he’d rather see something different.
You can make the gentle observation that he doesn’t seem to be into it, and then ask him if he’d rather be doing something different instead.
Remember that a lot of us tolerate things we aren’t particularly into because our partners adore it. But that doesn’t mean that we can hide how we really feel about it.
You might want to watch Love, Actually for the 50th time because you absolutely love the film and how it makes you feel. He may completely despise that movie, but will watch it with you because he loves you and knows it makes you happy. But he feels the need to distract himself during the film, and you misinterpret that as not giving you the kind of attention that you want in that moment.
Most conflicts come down to miscommunication and misunderstanding. Discuss things with him, and find a middle ground that both of you can enjoy.
Maybe instead of sitting and passively watching a film, you two can play a game together. Or else make sure that you’re both having an equal say in the kinds of movies that you watch.
Healthy relationships require little sacrifices and compromises in order to flow well.
5. Is the energy and attention exchange equal and reciprocal?
In simplest terms, determine whether you two are giving each other the same amount of affection and attention, or if one person is demanding more, and giving less.
Is your husband demanding your attention and physical affection when he wants it, but then not reciprocating in kind?
If so, this is an imbalance that should be discussed as soon as possible. Once again, he might not even be aware that he’s taking you for granted, but will hopefully adapt once it’s brought to his attention.
In contrast, be honest with yourself about your own behavior. Switch that around and determine whether you’re being as loving and giving toward him as you want him to be toward you.
Quite often, people mirror the attention that we give to them. When we show love and affection to others, they end up reciprocating in kind.
6. Is there a punishment cycle going on?
Sometimes, when a person feels like they’re not getting enough attention, they’ll seek to “punish” their partner by going cold.
For example, let’s say that you’ve been wanting your husband’s time and attention, but he’s been otherwise involved.
Then, once he’s finished what he’s been engrossed in, he comes and wants to spend time with you… so you brush him off and say that now YOU’RE busy.
He made you feel bad by not giving you attention when you wanted it, so you’ll bloody well not give it to him in turn.
…which then leads him to do the same, and it all spirals from there.
People do what they want, not what is demanded of them. Additionally, other people don’t owe anyone else their attention – we place it where we want to because we’re interested in doing so.
The idea of “getting” someone’s attention because you feel you’re not receiving enough is an unhealthy approach. If you try to get attention through negative means, then that’s usually the type of attention you’ll receive in turn.
Think about how children act out when they feel like they’re not getting enough attention. They’ll misbehave simply for the sake of grabbing someone’s attention.
It doesn’t matter that they’re getting yelled at… they’re getting attention. And that’s what they wanted.
If you want someone to give you more attention, it’s important to take a look at how you are meeting their emotional expectations in turn.
What kind of attention do you want?
Are you giving as much of that kind of energy as you want to receive?
Approach these issues at their source, and healing will unfold naturally.
Still not sure what to do about the lack of attention you get from your husband? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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