Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

There are overtly difficult relationships and there are benignly difficult relationships. The overtly difficult relationships are extremely uncomfortable. The benignly difficult relationships, sadly, can become far more comfortable than they should.

Why? Because rather than be overtly abusive they are benignly abusive.

It’s easy to stay in a relationship of benign neglect. After all, the individual who is being ignored is with a spouse who basically leaves them alone. It seems like a pretty good deal. The ignored spouse initially believes they have independence. They also believe they have entered into a relationship with someone who is extremely laid back.

The warning signs of a relationship of benign neglect:

Do you feel lonely even though you are in a relationship?

Do you feel so independent that you are living a single life rather than a relationship life?

Do you feel more ignored than engaged?

Do you live and share just the life and interests of your spouse, but not the life and interests that drive you?

Do you speak and feel as though your significant other does not listen to you the majority of the time?

Do you feel unsatisfied with the emotional intimacy in your relationship?

Do you feel as though nothing gets the attention of your spouse?

Do you feel as though you simply share a house rather than a relationship?

If you feel any or the majority of these things than you may be experiencing a relationship of benign neglect. If you feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness and a sense you are living a solitary life despite being in a relationship then you may also be in a relationship of benign neglect.

A relationship of benign neglect may not carry the sudden shock of trauma, but make no mistake that it is equally as damaging. It is a long-term, slow erosion of love and lack of love.

It is just as cautionary.

Love should be overt! Love should not be benign!

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