It can be useful to set a firm boundary. This doesn't have to be delivered as a demand. The difference is that a demand pushes against the other person to manipulate or bring about a particular result. A boundary is merely the clear statement of specific needs and conditions that you have.
Keep returning to the facts.
Reliable facts can free you from anguish and emotional pain. Remembering them can also benefit your relationship. It is always in your best interests to pause before you react. Sort out what you know is true from what you are merely guessing about.
This can help you decide what response will potentially allow you to re-connect with your partner.
Jenny can stop herself when she begins to fixate on the question of why Nick doesn't talk about their engagement. This doesn't mean that she ignores her desire to know what he wants; it just means that she doesn't go down the path of guessing what he's thinking.
Instead, she can stay focused on what she knows. She can remember that they did cuddle and watch a movie together recently. She can keep in mind the big upheavals in Nick's life.
Jenny can also be honest with herself about what HER needs are. She feels for Nick and what he's been through in the past few years and she can also honor her own needs. She can ask herself how long she's willing to wait to get married and also what she specifically needs to feel special and loved now.
Meet your own needs first.
Here's the trap that many people in relationships fall into... They look to their partner to “make” them feel loved, special, attractive and successful. This just doesn't work and can make a person feel even more alone and neglected.
While it's understandable that anyone would want to feel his or her partner's love, if this is how you feel, please remember that it's not your partner's job to do this. It's YOUR JOB to make sure your needs are met and that you feel special and loved.
This can be tricky because a relationship does survive and thrive when love and appreciation are expressed on a regular basis. But, they thrive even more when the individuals in the relationship are actively meeting their own needs first and do NOT make the other person responsible for how they feel.
If you feel sad or insecure, do what you can to soothe yourself in truly soothing ways. Write in a journal, treat yourself to nurturing self-care and meet with a professional counselor or coach if you're struggling to feel better.
There's certainly nothing wrong with asking your partner for a hug or some other specific request for support, but don't expect him or her to make you feel a certain way.
When you're doing your best to meet your own needs first, then you can talk with your partner about his or her behavior that feels neglectful to you. From this place, you are less likely to sound needy or demanding.
You can also more easily listen to what your partner is going through and then create some agreements that will help you two re-connect.
Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the relationship they desire. Click here to get their free ebook, Passionate Heart-Lasting Love.