The Dark Power of Neglect

Dr T J Jordan
4 min readJun 29, 2023

Neglect exerts a supremely powerful, destructive force on our relationships.

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

By Dr T J Jordan

We inflict such suffering when we neglect! Yet, neglect is surprisingly common in our adult relationships.

Neglect translates into deprivation. Neglect means that something our bodies, minds, hearts, or souls needs from our partners is missing. And over time, the experience of neglect becomes the experience of abuse.

Sins of Omission

We have a difficult time grappling with the missing parts of our intimate relationships. Sins of commission are obvious — easily identified — but sins of omission are more “subtle”and often are the ones that quietly destroy our relationship lives. Sins of omission are easier to get away with committing.

Neglect in our adult relationships takes on the meanings of unwanted, unloved, unsexy, unattractive, unworthy, and unacceptable. Neglect telegraphs messages of shame, impending abandonment, and even betrayal. Neglect eats away at our sense of self worth.

And neglect paralyzes the neglected because the power of deprivation lies in the hands of those who withhold. The longer the withholding goes on, the more likely we are to develop Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a kind of learned helplessness.

Chronic neglect is slow and insidious torture, whether it’s intentional or not. It drives out love. It gets parsed as rejection — and rejection ultimately hurts us all.

Two Types of Neglect

We are familiar with two broad types of neglect that can beset us from earliest childhood onward. Here are the ways those types of neglect manifest in our adult relationships:

— Physical

The premier example of physical neglect in long term relationships is…

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Dr T J Jordan

Passionate about sexualities, masculinities, relationships, intimacy, mental health, CPTSD , animals, growth, psychology, and exotic locations.