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How to Fix My Husband: Ultimate Instruction Manual

The Instruction Manual You Always Wanted

When your man is making bad decisions, it drags you down.

It’s like he’s broken, and since your fates are tied together by matrimony, that’s a lot of weight you’re pulling when your hands are already full.

You’d like him to start contributing more, so it’s logical to try to help him improve.

You’ve tried encouraging him and telling him where to focus his efforts or what he needs to do differently, but nothing changes.

You’ve tried giving him suggestions and teaching him what you know, but he doesn’t make much effort and you’re afraid he never will.

He continues to complain and seem depressed, distant or angry all the time. It’s incredibly discouraging.

And here you are, reading this post trying to fix it, even though you’re already doing all the work in this relationship. At least it feels that way.

I still remember how painful that is.

Turns out, there is something you can do that works, but it’s probably not what you think.

Here are 3 effective ways you can fix your husband.

1. Look for Ways He’s Succeeding

Your husband has many shortcomings, and right now, some of them are glaring.

Maybe he’s not helping out and it’s leaving you overwhelmed with too much work.

Or it could be that he’s a negative or hostile force causing unnecessary conflict in your home.

It could be that he’s just not doing the simple things you need in order to feel loved, like telling you he loves you or offering a kiss and a hug.

But your husband is also doing something right.

How do I know?

Nobody gets everything wrong 100% of the time. It isn’t possible.

He may be a jerk with the kids, but perhaps he’s also keeping an impeccable yard.

He could be wasting hours playing video games every day, but he is also working hard to support the family.

Or maybe he’s cold and distant, but he also cooks dinner some nights.

You might be wondering what focusing on the yard, the paycheck and the dinners has to do with what you’re missing from him, the things you need that are so much more important and so painful not to have.

Here’s the connection: Everyone needs acknowledgment. Without it, people get defensive, and when they’re defensive they’re not their best selves.

Just noticing his efforts to make your life better, however small, will do two great things: First, it will help you shift your focus to what you want instead of what you don’t want.

As a fringe benefit, he’ll feel appreciated and likely respond to you better.

If, like me, you’ve already tried the other way, where you tell him everything he’s doing wrong, and it didn’t work, what could it hurt to experiment with a novel approach?

What you focus on increases, so this a powerful way to change your experience for the better.

2. Treat “The Truth” as a Lie

One very practical way to change your focus is to come up with a Spouse-Fulfilling Prophecy.

Start with your major complaint, like “My husband isn’t affectionate,” “He’s verbally abusive,” or “He’s irresponsible with money.”

Now let’s turn it upside down to make it the experience you want to be having: “He’s very affectionate,” “He’s a gentleman,” or “He’s savvy with money,” for example.

Next, use the word “you” to start the sentence, as in “You’re very affectionate.” Write that down and read it to yourself. Start saying it to yourself and to him.

If you’re anything like me, it feels like a lie and your complaint feels like “The Truth.”

But the truth is pretty squishy, depending on your perspective.

As Shakespeare wrote, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Thinking that your husband has a tragic flaw can contribute to making it so, in other words.

What if you pretend that “The Truth” is a lie and look for evidence to the contrary? Has he ever been affectionate, spoken gently or made a sound financial decision?

Of course he has. And if you open your eyes a little wider, you can find evidence that he is affectionate, gentle and responsible with money.

Trina’s main complaint was that her husband didn’t care about her. She had plenty of evidence for this, starting with how he never fixed any of the things that were making her crazy around the house and never noticed all the work she did, much less offered to help!

She came up with the Spouse-Fulfilling Prophecy “You take such good care of me.”

When she first said it to him, she felt like a big faker. But not long after, when she was called for jury duty for a long trial far away, her husband offered to take her to the courthouse every day so she wouldn’t have to make the drive by herself.

She almost rejected that offer because she thought it was too much driving for him, but she caught herself and decided to receive.

When she thanked him, he responded by saying, “Of course. I always take good care of you.”

3. Resign from the Job of Fixing Him

Michaela’s husband, Tim, complained about his work almost every day. Being a therapist by trade and wanting to be a supportive wife, she listened sympathetically and asked questions to draw him out.

When he didn’t take any action to change his work situation, she grew weary of the conversation and wished he would just do something already so she wouldn’t have to keep listening to his heart-wrenching problems.

She realized that she had volunteered for a job she didn’t want: the job of fixing her husband. It was draining, it didn’t seem to be helping him and the pay was terrible.

The next time the topic came up, she listened briefly then said, “You’re so strong. You’ll figure this out” and changed the subject.

The conversation started coming up less. Not long after that, Tim told Michaela he planned to make a career change and was looking into some options.

She was amazed that honoring herself not only saved her from feeling drained but also prompted action by her husband, who was capable of fixing himself.

Your man can fix himself too, and there’s something magical about trusting him to do that.

Therefore, consider resigning as his mother, life coach, therapist, business consultant or parenting expert.

You might wonder how you’ll ever get the things you want by changing your focus, acting as if he’s already the way you want him to be, or trusting him to run his own life.

That’s exactly what this blog is all about–you getting the support, the connection and the passion you’re craving.

And that’s exactly what I see happen again and again when women who are struggling in troubled relationships try these experiments.

Which of these 3 “fixes” will you experiment with this week? I’d love to hear in the comments below.


By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

I was the perfect wife--until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.

45 replies on “How to Fix My Husband: Ultimate Instruction Manual”

I’ve tried to not “fix” him, but rather to build him up. This works, of course; but he is admittedly self-centered and easily puffed up. I have to balance his ego with making sure I surround myself with godly women who don’t let me forget that I alsohave value. Time for me to focus on the self- fulfilling prophecy! (If you knew my hatred for lies …) This will probably be my biggest challenge ever.

I know exactly how you feel about the lying, I absolut hate lies…but there is a Bible verse that always comes to mind when I read Laura’s “treat truth with a lie” idea and it’s in Romans 4:17. “Speak the things that are not as though they were.” So basically speaking life and truth into existence, so they become reality. That’s my approach on that.

Thank you Petra! I need my God to make these changes in my heart and having scripture to back it up is exactly what I needed! You are a blessing ♡

This sounds pretty good and I can see how it can work. My worry is for one, that not every man is the same and it may not work on all of them the same, and two, there could be a flip side to this. I can see where a man becomes comfortable and complacent thinking he’s good and the wife is happy the way things are.

Petra, I hear your concern that expressing gratitude could come across as condoning his behavior. And that you don’t want your man becoming complacent! I admire your willingness to try out these tools despite your concerns.

I worried about the same thing. I practiced the 6 Intimacy Skills in spite of my fears and saw that they worked: I got to be desired, cherished and adored. But you’re right that not every man is the same. That’s why it has amazed me to see how the Intimacy Skills work for women from Canada to Hong Kong, whether they’re married to doctors or waiters, introverts or extroverts, narcissists or good guys. One thing most of these women have in common is they didn’t think the Skills would work–until they tried them.

It sounds like you’re not happy with the way things are, which is a painful place to be. To see how the Skills work for you, I invite you to my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

This is brilliant, and scary at the same time. My complaint is about handling of finances. My husband spends everything, and the house and car loans are in my name… because his credit is so bad…..and mine is too now.

He hasn’t been able to save a dime nor pays bills on time. He never has, even before we met it seems.

Perhaps he’s the wrong type of man….

Jenny, that is hard and does sound scary! You shouldn’t have to wonder if you just married the wrong type of man. That sounds painful and must not feel very empowering. I remember feeling the same way! My husband’s handling of finances was my big bugaboo.

As the wife, you have enormous power to turn this around, in my experience. Get a coach so you can stop feeling scared and hopeless, and start feeling well taken care of! You can join the waitlist and get all the details right here:

I resign from trying to fix him and let him discover his fixes all by himself, empowering and feeling good.

Spouse fulfilling prophecy, but I am feeling unsure about which area to focus on. To be honest my main frustration throughout our marriage has been my husband having always had long-term health issues…insomnia, poor immunity, gut issues, injuries, etc (he had a lot of trauma in childhood). Is it possible to do a spf for this area or better to focus on other areas? His health has limited us in many ways…eg. when I think back, we have literally never in 13 years had any friends over (“I’m too tired at the moment, maybe another time”), which has meant we haven’t had joint friends. Also our child is 12 (and disabled, which adds to all this) and I really want to have another baby. He’s come around to being a lot more ready but understandably wants his health to be better first. I’ve recently experimented with focusing on strength, using the spf “muscle man” as I’ve really appreciated him doing heavy digging for me in the garden. There has been a huge positive shift in our relationship since implementing the skills and I’m so grateful that this gives him a much better chance of developing good health. Thanks for your help Laura.

Jane, I’m thrilled to hear you’ve had such a huge shift in your marriage since practicing the Intimacy Skills. it sounds like you’re doing great at surrendering! I love your idea of creating an SFP regarding your husband’s health, especially calling him “muscle man”! I have a feeling that will get you one huge step closer to having a baby. Here’s my blog on that in case you missed it:

What to do when your husband is really into porn on the internet. Also using phone to get in touch with women.
I am sick and tired of it ! ! !
Married to him for 34 yrs.

Doris, I can see why you’re sick and tired of your husband watching porn and contacting other women. That sounds hurtful and lonely. I admire your vulnerability and your commitment to your 34-year marriage!

You are not alone! So many of my clients can’t tolerate their husbands’ porn use, much less contacting other women. One in particular thought her marriage was hopeless after finding out he’d actually slept with these sex workers, but she kept practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills anyway. Her husband left behind the other women and started treating his wife like a queen.

I’d love to give you the tools for your husband to treat you like his #1! I invite you to my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

Laura, what if he has moved out (almost for 2 months now) and won’t give me a chance. Won’t talk to me about us without feeling “pressured” or “forced” to? How do I apply this in our marriage? I’m heart broken and currently reading The Surrendered Wife, I may look okay in the outside but in the inside I’m dying! Dying to grab him, shake him, kiss him, slap him and tell him to come back because we can work it out.

How am I able to apply these things along with the 6 intimacy skills if my husband has left our home? He’s moved out and we are separated? I want to fix my marriage not my husband.

Michelle, I’m sorry to hear your husband moved out and you feel like you’re dying inside. That sounds devastating. I admire your commitment to your relationship and to learning the Intimacy Skills. I love that you want to fix your marriage, not your husband.

I hear how hard it is when he’s not giving you a chance. So many of my clients had reached that point when they found the 6 Intimacy Skills. One thought the Skills wouldn’t do any good because her husband was adamant that nothing she could do would change his mind. But she practiced them anyway, in every little encounter. Little encounters turned into bigger, more frequent ones. He did change his mind, and they’re now more happily married than ever.

If she can do it against all odds, you can too. I’ll show you what to do when he has moved out in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

This hit me right between the eyes! Thank you for your timely wisdom and fresh perspective.

My husband doesn’t spend much time with the kids, doesn’t know how to talk to them, listen to them, how to get to know them. My spouse fulfilling prophecy will be: You really know how to talk to the kids.

My husband is constantly reconnecting to old girlfriends mostly via facebook and then texting phone calls etc. Ever since the one in particular he has become more distant with me. When I ask about it I am screamed at, called names and told I am paranoid and crazy, even though I have taken photos of seductive Valentines he sent her etc. So…it cant be discussed because he becomes abusive and shuts down the conversation. Any suggestions ? Thanks. This is heartbreaking.

Nancy, it does sound heartbreaking that you can’t even talk about these behaviors, which are so hurtful. I love your vulnerability and admire your commitment to your marriage.

I remember how hurtful it was when I found out my husband had looked up several old girlfriends on Facebook. Thanks to the 6 Intimacy Skills, nothing came of it and I got to remain desired, cherished and adored.

I would love to give you the tools for your husband to give you the respect and tenderness you deserve so no one gets in the way of your connection. I invite you to my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

Amy and Petra, I have also been puzzling over the lying aspect of the spouse fulfilling prophecy. I think my husband does respond well to it, but I feel distant from him when I lie like that. I wanted it to work for me, but wasn’t sure how to do it while maintaining my feings of closeness and integrity.
Today I realized that with a small change to my “prophecy statement” I can say use the technique without feeling lying and distant. Instead of how I had been phrasing it “You always look out for my needs,” I can drop the word “always” so that I say “You look out for my needs.” I’m sure it’ll work at least as well, but I won’t feel dishonest about saying it. Because there are certainly times he looks out for my needs — just not always. Because as Laura would say, he’s a mere mortal man.
As always, Laura, thanks for the blog. Sometimes the inspiration comes from the posts, and sometimes, like today, from the comments too!

This information has opened my eyes and heart. I feel hopeful that I can change and love my husband the way he needs to be loved. Thank you!

Hi my name is Fiona,I’m married for 33y divorced him remarried him again but its just not working out,can’t say I didn’t try…….I want a divorce again,he cheats lies,disrespects me,I have had it

Fiona, I hear you. I can see why you’re fed up. I would struggle to have any hope with a husband behaving that way. I admire you for having the faith to remarry him and to come here for support.

I remember feeling so disrespected that I thought divorce was the only alternative to my miserable marriage. But I didn’t want to go through a divorce. I tried out the 6 Intimacy Skills instead and got back the fun, kind, giving man who had wooed me. Now I have the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted.

If you are curious how experimenting with the Intimacy Skills would turn your marriage around, I invite you to my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

my husband insults me in every verbal fight we have. like ” i shouldn’t have married you” then the next day he is very affection but never a verbal apology. i hate this up and down. and mostly over small issues, like me asking for a new computer needed for my freelance career. he hates spending money. but other issues too, he always insults right away. makes fun of my parents, how they didn’t discipline me etc. really hurtful and unwarranted. help???!?!?!?!??! please please help.


Ouch! That sounds so hurtful, and the hot-cold swings must be maddening. I love your vulnerability.

I remember those fights and how painful it was not to get the resolution I needed. The 6 Intimacy Skills gave me the tools to stop the fighting and instead be desired, cherished and adored.

You too can get the respect and harmony you deserve. I invite you to experiment with all 6 Intimacy Skills, which you can get from my book The Empowered Wife. Here’s a free chapter:

Hi laura
I am currently reading your book “the empowered wife”. It has helped me realise how I was being so controlling and in turn making my marriage worse.
I am married for 10 months now.. me and my husband shared a very beautiful courtship period where he was all romantic and loving.. but soon after we got married the ugly fights started. And it’s not him, it’s mostly me. I got extremely insecure and possessive and tried to make him spend every moment with me. Although I would still want that he spends most of his time with me but the methods I was using were drawing him away.. he started avoiding me more and more.. he is still a very caring and loving husband but I have become so succumbed to my negativity that I can’t stop criticising him. We have had many ugly fights becaus now of this behaviour of mine. Now he has become very distant and I fear that I might lose his love forever. I want to be his no. 1 always. Please help..

Tanvi, it sounds painful to have to deal with the fighting and your husband becoming increasingly distant. I admire your vulnerability, commitment and accountability.

I remember feeling insecure about my marriage and just driving my husband further away. I could not stop criticizing him, even if I wanted to. The 6 Intimacy Skills empowered me to express my feelings and needs in a way that attracted him rather than pushed him away. Now I feel desired, cherished and adored.

You can be your husband’s #1 too. I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

Hi Laura
Thanks a tonne for your reply. Feels so good to be reassured that yeah I am capable of bringing my marriage back to life once again. Feeling really hopeful and positive.
In your book I came across a phrase “ showing up as the Goddess of fun and light”
I totally get what you you are trying to refer to but I don’t understand how to become that Goddess of fun and light. Would be really helpful if you explained the same.

You’re welcome, Tanvi. I love your hopefulness and your desire to be the goddess of fun and light! That is so attractive. I had no idea how to be a GOFL when I started, but the Intimacy Skills gave me the tools to tend to my own happiness and attract my husband back.

For more support on how to do this, I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see how working with a coach would fit for you. The call alone will bring you clarity. You can apply here:

Tanvi, I so get where u are coming from and have wanted to ask that same thing. I’m not that kind of personality (ie I haven’t forgotten how to be one cuz I never was). Its quite painful to admit to be honest. But I would like to develop that side of myself and still feel authentic.

Jane, I can see why it’s painful to admit you’re not a goddess of fun and light. I admire your vulnerability and love your commitment to being authentic as you develop that side of yourself. I talk about the GOFL more here.

Hi Laura
Hi Jane
Thanks for your comments
I am trying really hard to implement the 6 intimacy skills but I am falling into the trap of my old habits again and again.. every time I don’t get what I don’t want I lash out at my husband for not being understanding.. I have a sister in law who is over friendly with my husband.. I have had insecurities with her since the start but more I try to curb them more and more they increase. I don’t know how to break this cycle and pattern.. I just fear that I have lost my husband forever and he will never believe that I can change. I am doomed please help

Tanvi, I’m sorry to hear that you feel like you’ve already lost your husband and are doomed to stay stuck in the same old pattern. That is painful.

I admire your awareness. I remember how painful it was once I realized how my behavior was blocking me from the intimacy I craved. I had the desire to change but couldn’t seem to do it! I needed more support to help me see my blind spots.

I’d love to give you the support to practice the Intimacy Skills like you want to! I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see how working with a coach could empower you to save your marriage. I know you’ll find this call alone so valuable.

My own pain is worst, I love this guy with all my heart and he loves me equally but the problem here is am a single mother, and the mum said u
Our marriage won’t work, both of us were hurt but it didn’t stop us from departing, we still stands for each other, now the guy’s mum has forced him to engage the girl they brought for him which he told me,because the mum gave him two options is either he engage the girl or they will not settle him from the family business, I told him to engage her in order for him to be settle but he don’t love the girl for once, my question now is what can I do, am feeling hurt since then and same with him please I need advice please

Princess, that is such a tough situation. I can see why you’re in pain. I admire your commitment to being with the man you love.

I have felt at the mercy of others’ decisions. The 6 Intimacy Skills empowered me to focus on my own happiness, which attracted my husband to me and gave me the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted.

While I can’t support your man in making that decision, I can support you in being the clear choice for him! I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

Dear Laura,
Thank you so much for your blog. I only finished reading “The surrendered wife” like two weeks ago and now have read the first posts on your blog and I feel like you are writing about my relationship in every single one of them.
I moved in with my boyfriend and his teenage daughter (he 39, she 17 and me 31, we found a new apartment together) and we’re expecting our first baby by the end of August.
The past few months have been a rocky road and there is almost none of the romance and intimacy left but I don’t want to give up yet.
I’ll read a lot more here and hope that I can find the strength and patience to apply at least some of what you are suggesting. I really do hope that I will get this funny, energetic, romantic and life loving man back I fell in love with.

How do you learn to ignore the ways your partner is affecting you on a daily basis (alcoholism). I get anxiety and have trouble controlling what I say and do as soon as he starts drinking. There is so much disconnect between us, but because he is a functioning alcoholic he just doesn’t believe he has an issue. My dad was also an alcoholic which contributes to why my husbands drinking bothers me so much. I just don’t know how to let it go. How do I ignore the anxiety it gives me. I don’t even want to be around him

Thanks for reaching out and for sharing what’s going on. That sounds hard. I admire your vulnerability and hear your desire around wanting transformation.

Our students have fixed their marriages in similar situations (and worse!) and become happy wives.

I know it seems hopeless right now, but when you get the right structure and support, there’s every reason to be hopeful.

I invite you to download my FREE Adored Wife Roadmap to get started.

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