Day 4: Neglect


Shared by Lauren A. Lee.

One of the questions a reader asked was “why did you two breakup?” I will not go into details here, out of respect for my ex’s privacy. What I can say, is that at least a part of the breakup is due to neglect. I take responsibility for this neglect too, so please don’t mistake my use of this word as passive-aggressive. If I reflect not only on this relationship, but also the significant romances from my past I believe neglect has played the largest role in ending the relationship.

Neglect, to me, is not synonymous with intentional abuse. Rather, neglect stemmed from being too personally preoccupied with individual pursuits and goals to acknowledge each others needs. Neglect occurred in many small moments, not saying ‘goodnight’ to each other, not welcoming each other home with a warm hug and a kiss, staring at our phones instead of connecting with each other. The problem is that these micro-moments build and accumulate into a lack of care and an air of indifference. Neglect initiates the transition away from ‘we’ and back to ‘I’.

Unfortunately, in our relationship neglect exerted its negative consequences far before we recognized it. I knew something felt different, there was a nagging feeling of doubt and hurt. I couldn’t articulate it, and didn’t communicate what I felt. Only with time apart and nurturing my self-awareness have I realized this.

Regardless of your relationship status, I urge you to reflect on what role neglect has played in your relationships with lovers, friends, and family. And, if this post speaks to you, act now to address it.

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