Becoming a committed relationship means taking on new responsibilities and relieving some of the old. Sometimes, however, the transition into your new lifestyle isn’t quite the equivalent exchange you were anticipating.
Not to mention that with all the free time pregnancy affords some women, it is also common for many expecting or current mothers to feel estranged from their significant others who are still working the daily grind. When you were at work you were thoroughly preoccupied, but at home, you may feel a bit bored and lonely.
Suddenly, doting on your significant other and spending time with them has moved up the chain in your (Maslow-like) hierarchy of needs and, perhaps, you feel perturbed that they are unable to have the same degree of enthusiasm. With such a disparity, what is a girl to do?
We cannot comment on your situation directly. We can, however, discuss 7 steps to take when your significant other isn’t there for you that are designated to help better you as a person.
7 Have a Snack
The passage of time seems much more frivolous when you are relaxed. Studies have shown that people who are extremely lonely tend to perceive threats as more intensive than other people.
Within the context of someone who feels as if their partner is not there for them, this may cause them to focus excessively on their partners flaws or become extremely suspicious or spiteful towards them. Whether your partner deserves such treatment is a different subject, but for the sake of your own well-being, you should relax! Preparing a snack or simply opening up a case of something you enjoy can help in this department.
Fruits, nuts, and berries are the trinity of ‘happy food’ -- food that not only tastes good but transmits positive chemicals to your brain that can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. Beyond this realm are warm drinks, such as tea and hot chocolate. Drinking tea black can help relieve headaches and relax your mind and body.
Driving you to drink?
A Japanese study found that levels of psychological stress are statistically 20% lower in people who drank five or more cups of green tea per day compared to those who drank less than one. Probiotic-rich foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir that can be easily swished and mixed into a tasty dish are recommendable if you feel like going all-out.
If you’re a craver of sweets (like me…), you may just turn your attention to dark chocolate. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. As a result, this reduces the levels of stress hormones in people who rated themselves as highly stressed.
Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, a mineral that has been shown to help alleviate PMS symptoms, including fatigue, depression, and irritability. Finally, dark chocolate’s unique natural substances trigger a sense of euphoria that’s similar to the feeling of being in love – something that can without a doubt aid both you and your partner.
Some people may restrain from treating themselves because they feel as though they do not deserve it. This concept is easily countered by the notion that if you are in emotional distress, then you should be taking it easy. You can take a break as frequently as you need to, so long as, during the break, you are engaging in something that can help you.
Taking time out of your day to nourish yourself with healthy food is more than a good enough reason (more like a legitimate health concern) to maybe glance away from your daily routine whenever you can. Remember, you are not defined by your productivity.
6 Tell Them Your Concerns
The reason that this ranks as number two is the fact that it is preferable to be in a stable mental condition before approaching your significant other. Food re-establishes your cognitive equilibrium. While the advice in this column cannot specifically be tailored to cultivate how to give your significant other an epiphany, we can help you establish the grounds for proper communication.
Before talking to them, take some time to collect your thoughts and note your concerns. Think about their life and why it is you feel your needs are not being met. Think about what thoughts come to mind when you are at your lowest point emotionally and prepare to verbalize them.
A warm glowing flame, not an explosive spark!
The best time to address your concerns to your significant other is when they, likewise, are not preoccupied with stress or are rebounding from preoccupation from stress. This can escalate tension before you even get your foot in the door! Hold your ground and be honest with your feelings, but don’t let words dipped in venom be the first things from your lips, otherwise, you may spark an argument as opposed to kindle understanding.
I am not saying that you should not assert yourself or that you should be prioritizing tiptoeing around their feelings above expressing yours, but even if you are emotionally vulnerable, you should lay out your feelings in a concise and extensive manner. You have to see how they feel about the raw facts; the raw facts and, above all, how it has been affecting you.
The point of this exercise is to observe how your significant other handles your complaints. A busy partner may be a bit stressed, but if they acknowledge their wrongs and demonstrate they may care, you can breathe easy. If they act cold and aloof, or worse, attempt to turn the tables and make the conversation about their pain, you may have some deeper issues to probe. Marriage is a partnership, and understanding breeds progress.
It is you, ultimately, who will make the decision as to whether they are just in their response or not.
5 Do Not Fall Into the Cycle of Counter Attacks
If you do not resolve the issue with your significant other in one sitting, it may be easy to fall into a routine of argument about the same thing, or even bringing up other issues that should have been long-since resolved. An open wound cannot be healed if someone is still poking at it, after all.
When you have finally brought your thoughts to their attention, do not hold back. By this, we do not mean unleash the fury on them as much as we mean tell them exactly how you feel in layman’s terms. Like mentioned in point 2, there should be raw facts and no room for misinterpretation.
The point is to resolve the issue in one sitdown; if your partner attempts to dissuade you from talking about it or write off your concerns, then do not be afraid to confidently assert yourself. If they care for you, then they should be willing to lend you an ear.
At the same time, you should reflect on their situation as well. You should not let their circumstances sway you from being able to speak your mind. Rather, you should take them into account while reflecting upon your feelings.
If you know that the reason that they haven’t been around has been because they’re forced to work late, then your feelings are likely rooted in loneliness or a sense of longing. If you know that the reason they haven’t been there for you is because they’ve been watching the game or hanging out with their friends, then your feelings are likely rooted in a sense of betrayal or envy.
Your feelings in either circumstance are valid, but you should have an idea of what you want out of their behavior when the conversation is done and they or you are ready to execute the changes you agreed on.
Ultimately, you should not end the conversation on a half-note. If the two of you cannot agree on something, then the argument will happen again. Having all of your thoughts open and a flow of understanding and compromise between you two is a key in preventing this.
4 Realize That You Are Not Bound to Them
Your significant other can be your best friend, your crutch, your pillar of support, and so much more (married couples have likely heard this all before!), but you are not an extension of them. There is so much more that defines you than how you are when you are with them.
Many couples feel a sense of structure come from being in an intimate relationship and married couples, in particular, can vouch for this. It is important to realize, however, that a relationship takes two people to work. Everything that has held up your relationship has been as much you as them.
If your significant other is not paying attention to you, you may fall into a pit of despair and you may feel like a part of you is missing. Realize that this is not the case. That you are your own person and that they are their own as well. How many years did you live on your own before meeting them? What did you do? What made you happy? What made you smile when nobody else was around? These are all important things to consider.
A tip to kickstart your journey back into independence if you’re one of these people who do become depressive when they feel ignored by their significant is to start doing more things on your own. Take a walk around a park or forest on a nice summer day and feed the wildlife.
Go to dinner on your own. Read a book. Go to a public event or show. Go to the movies. The possibilities are endless! The one thing to remember when doing all these things is to note that you are doing it for yourself.
Do not engage with a new event as a third person spectator voyeuristically watching yourself doing it; enjoy it for what it is and do not step back and wonder if it is weird that you’re doing it.
3 Develop a Hobby
To expand on point 4, the 5th point on our list details more about doing things that allow you to abandon feelings of isolation. A hobby is not simply a medium to preoccupy your mind; it also facilitates spiritual and emotional growth.
In the field of positive psychology, the concept of flow describes a state of mind in which your attention is fully fixated on an object or task. In flow, your mental state is described as euphoric and fully engaged; to put it simply, you are ‘living in the moment’. Every action you perform falls meticulously into the next one in a manner you may not even be aware of.
Positive psychologists argue that in flow, you facilitate new skills in a way that trains you to constantly seek out new and more complex challenges. Flow is ultimately a state in which you are doing something you are truly interested in at peak performance.
Applying Positive Psychology to Negative Situations
How does this relate to feeling underappreciated by your significant other? If your partner is unable to pay attention to you for a good reason, then you should erect the means to do so yourself. Hobbies of any kind can achieve rewarding results if one consistently keeps at them, especially hobbies that can elicit flow.
By maintaining a hobby, you are not only improving a skill but also decreasing the odds of being perpetually saddened by your partner’s absence. So read a book! Learn another language! Pick up knitting! The world of hobbies is endless!
2 Keep Track of Your Progress
One of the most powerful things that you can do is let your self-progress in anything (a project, progress in a game -- we truly mean anything) be a testament to your ability to persevere. Do not better yourself or develop new hobbies in hopes of receiving something from someone else. A woman who values herself based off of a man’s compliments will be crushed by his criticism.
It is easy to lose yourself while performing the same tasks day in and day out. Being pregnant, having young children, getting a new job, joining a club, and starting a new project or routine are all huge leaps towards a new stage in life, but, at times, things can get difficult, and you may wonder what you’re living for.
The Emotional Value of Tracking Progress
Looking back on your progress can give meaning to why you have chosen the lifestyle you have. The fruits of your labor, the sweet nectarine tastes they radiate only become all the more valuable once you compare your performance on day 1 to day 60.
Keeping track of one’s progress is a quintessential component of not simply accomplishing things in the real world, but also of self-esteem. It is a character-strengthening technique that serves as the cement for the brick house of your feelings of self-worth. It, as a result, can help you confidently support your busy-body partner. Your partner may not always be around to be proud of you, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t on your own terms.
1 Reach Out to Others
The reason that I am only listing this at the end is because, even though it is the most obvious, it is the most emotionally impactful. I like to believe that one who is taking all the other suggestions on this list to heart just needs an extra push for this step.
Your significant other should not be your only pillar of support. Reaching out is not weakness, nor does it suggest anything about your independence or self-sustainability. It is only human to desire friendly company and emotional warmth.
Even if a friend cannot offer help, sometimes, the silence that reverberates from them as they listen to you is more powerful than a plethora of “oh, I’m sorry” and other assorted Hallmark Gift Card verbal confectionaries.
You really are enjoyable and stuff.
It is important to realize that nobody thinks of you as a burden. Nobody will grimace at the chance to help you feel better if you let it be known what you need. You will not bother anyone or take time out of their day by coming to them with your problems.
Compassion, kindness, and understanding are innate qualities of a good friend – neigh, a good person. Trust us when we say that a friend would be more upset with the fact that they cannot help those in need as opposed to the fact that their friend is hurting.
If you do not have an abundance of people in real life or, perhaps, do not have a lot of places to meet new people, then that is alright too. The internet is a limitless resource for reaching out into the vast space that is cyber-civilization.
There are a plethora of public forums (BabyGaga included) that are an excellent platform for introducing oneself formally and meeting others through mutual interests and experiences. People online with similar issues will leap at the chance to meet someone similar to them, if only to soak in how good it is to know that they are not alone in feeling the sadness they feel.