Has your partner started to neglect herself or your relationship – either by indulging in junk or fatty foods, becoming a couch potato, losing interest in having intimate relations, not engaging in couples’ activities, staying up all night and sleeping all day? If so, she may have a problem that needs to be addressed – by you, a professional, or both! If the change is sudden, there is probably a reason for it – one that she isn’t sharing with you for whatever reason.
Oftentimes, in long-term relationships, one of the partners starts neglecting himself/herself in various areas of his/her life. And, although this partner may not consciously notice that “slacking” in these areas does harm, it could be indirectly affecting his/her relationship, sex life, and overall wellbeing.
For you as a man, it’s hard not to take this personally. Thoughts like, why isn’t she investing in herself and in our relationship like she used to do? Doesn’t she think I’m worth it? Doesn’t she find me attractive anymore? Why isn’t she respecting me? Well, it’s important to understand that this lack of motivation probably has a reason. And, you might be surprised and find out it’s not actually about you. So, the important thing is to be supportive. Even if it’s difficult because your ego is hurt or because you’re feeling angry.
So, what should you do if your partner has been neglecting herself? Well, you are in luck, because in the upcoming paragraphs I explain how you can rekindle the fire in your relationship, and help your partner regain her self-confidence and drive.
Should I Even Bring This Up?
The short answer is: Yes! The truth is, people just don’t neglect their health and well-being for nothing. There is a cause behind it. Therefore, it is important to discover what’s really causing your partner’s decline.
Why does this matter? Well, because even though you might have some pent-up anger, if something is going up with your partner this might be the time she needs you the most. And, as you know if your partner isn’t happy it will negatively affect you as well.
It’s common for the relationship and sex life to take a beating in these scenarios. Think about it, your partner is upset, frustrated, depressed, and/or angry, and she needs your support. You, on the other hand, feel she is being unfair. So, you close up and distance yourself. It’s a recipe for disaster.
If this goes on too long, there is a chance; it will cause problems with you, as well. More specifically, it could affect your mindset and self-confidence, triggering stress which could affect other areas of your life. Not only that, a host of sexual problems which are psychological in nature like premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, or erectile dysfunction could also develop with time.
So, how can you bring up the topic – without offending her?
If your partner is not taking care of herself, you will need to gently (and cautiously) approach the subject in the most non-judgmental way possible. Why? Well, because there is a real chance she will view your comment(s) as critical, disapproving, and picky. What happens next? Hurt feelings and closed ears – with a side of anger. After that, anything you say on the topic will be construed the wrong way. So, be cautious and considerate when broaching the subject with your partner.
Let’s see how we can address concerns about diet and fitness as an example. Begin by saying something like, “Libby, I have been thinking about working out more… I’d really love for you to work out with me sometimes. I feel like we have both put on a few extra pounds and I think we’d feel much better, if we could get rid of them. Plus, it’d be a great way for us to spend extra time together.” See, how gentle that sounds? Also, Remember, don’t bring up the subject until your partner is in a good mood. If she’s had a bad day or is in a bad mood she probably won’t hear you.
In this example, taking care of yourself even if she doesn’t join you at first could be a motivating factor. It’s also quite possible that even if she’s not a big exercise buff or health food nut, she may follow along simply to make you happy or spend quality time with you. But, providing a personal example doesn’t always work, so don’t be offended if it doesn’t. This largely deepens on your partner’s personality.
An important side note: If you notice significant or sudden changes in your partner’s behavior, appearance, mood, etc., this may be a sign of a more severe underlying issue. And, if these changes increase or reoccur, make subtle suggestions and encourage her to schedule a “check-up” with her doctor.
Frame this suggestion by saying something like, “Hey Libby… we haven’t had a check-up in a while, I think it’s time we make sure that our engines are functioning properly – what do you say?” It’s all in the words and tone. So, be concerned, but also be kind and cognizant of how your partner will take your concern – and suggestions.
The examples I give above are for health and fitness issues. But, the same principles apply for other areas of life as well, such as investing more in your romantic relationship, improving your sex life, managing your careers and financial aspirations or any other topic that might be bothering you.
What can you do if she doesn’t take it well?
What if you find the “perfect” time to discuss the topic with your partner – one where she is in a pretty good mood. And, you approach it carefully, thoughtfully, and considerately – and she still doesn’t take it well – what should you do? Well, first of all, be patient and understanding. Then, back-off – for a while, anyways. In other words, table the discussion and re-introduce it at a later date. And, the next time, change your approach. Instead of talking to her directly about your concerns – frame it like I suggested above – as a “we” activity – not just a “you” activity.
Include yourself into the conversation, by pointing out things you could improve about yourself. And, include lots of compliments into the discussion, so she doesn’t feel like you are finding fault with her. Give her a chance to voice her opinion and listen to her explanations – without interrupting. But, most of all reassure her that you love her the way she is and that you’re bringing it up because you care about her. Remind your partner that you’re on her team and that what happens to her – happens to both of you. Then, make a pact to work on improving yourselves – together.
It’s never a good idea to keep the things bottled up. That’s why it’s important to build an open line of communication with your partner. When approaching the subject be compassionate, empathetic, and loving. Let her know that you’re concerned but do it in a gentle way. Finding a way to let your partner know about the things that bother you and about your concerns, will greatly benefit you, your partner and your relationship. And, what could be better than that!
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
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