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How to Save Your Marriage when He Won’t Even Try

What One Wife Did All by Herself that Made Her Marriage Magical Again

One of the most painful things I often hear from a woman struggling in her marriage is hopelessness about her husband being unwilling to work on the relationship.

She’ll tell me he won’t go to counseling. He won’t even read a single book.

She’s already exhausted from all the work she’s done on the relationship, and it’s apparent he just doesn’t care. At all.

And he’s the one who has the anger problem or who doesn’t make any effort to spend time with the family or who wants to separate.

The good news is that any wife can single-handedly solve her marriage problems.

You can make your marriage magical without him even knowing what you’re up to.

And don’t worry–he’ll change too.

That’s what Olivia discovered. I’ll let her tell you in her own words:

1. Olivia’s Story

My husband is a smart, caring, insightful man–always the life of the party.

At home he would retreat though, proclaiming that he needed space and being cold and distant. He claimed that he loved me deeply and that this was just how he had always been.

We had been married for only six months, and I was so lonely and sad.

He would go days without speaking to me or even making eye contact.

I began to see gradual changes when I implemented Laura Doyle’s 6 Intimacy Skills™ independently, but the real change came when I began to receive coaching.

By using the specific techniques taught in the Ridiculously Happy Wife program, I was able to express my love and gratitude for my husband, showing him the faith and trust I had in him.

It has been transformative for both of us.

We always loved each other, but now we have learned how to communicate it, seamlessly navigating challenges that previously could have split us apart.

Our marriage is peaceful and loving now, with him not only wanting to spend time together at home but even calling me just to chat during our workdays.

In my most recent coaching session, I told my coach that I wished I had a scan of my brain prior to coaching and another one afterward.

I honestly feel like I have gained a whole new way of interacting with not just my husband but also the world. I have learned to see the good in every situation and to think before reacting.
Although these ideas are not new, the specific techniques I learned allowed me to internalize and implement them.

All areas of my life have improved as a result of receiving coaching in Laura’s techniques.

Shortly after beginning coaching, I began to exhibit positivity at my job. My company created a new position just for me, saying they wanted to invest in an employee with such good instincts.

I had worked there for ten years.

I couldn’t believe it!

I am eternally grateful.

I wish every newlywed could learn Laura Doyle’s 6 Intimacy Skills.

They provide couples with a foundation to navigate life’s challenges with grace and dignity, and to embrace life’s joys with peace and gratitude.

2. There’s No Such Thing as “Working on” a Relationship

One of the things I love about Olivia’s story is that it illustrates the power she had to change her marriage without her husband having to do anything differently.

But look how he changed as she transformed herself!

He started wanting to spend more time with her, communicating his love, and dealing with challenges harmoniously. He even started calling her from work.

Asking her husband to change would have been a criticism, and nobody much enjoys that.

But expressing her gratitude and love, and choosing her faith over her fear made an impact.

Those choices brought out her best–and his too.

In other words, he responded to her better when she became her best self. She made him change by changing herself.

The takeaway of Olivia’s story is something that most people don’t know: There is no such thing as “working on” a relationship. There’s only working on yourself and then him responding to you better.

Just like Dorothy in Oz, you’ve had the power all along.

With that in mind, what’s one thing you would most like to focus on about yourself to make your relationship better?

Is it making yourself happy every day? Expressing your desires in a way that inspires?

Maybe it’s expecting the best from your husband, or being more receptive.

Perhaps you’ll focus on being more vulnerable or expressing more gratitude or something else this week.

I’d love to hear what one thing you will focus on about yourself this week to create the intimate, passionate, peaceful relationship you want. Post your intention in the blog comments below.

Thanks for being on this journey with me!

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.

98 replies on “How to Save Your Marriage when He Won’t Even Try”

I want to work on making myself happy, without expecting him to do it for me.
My husband says I am selfish and lazy, I have a high stress job and I still take care of our two children, but I can’t seem to do anything right in his eyes. I can’t talk about my job, he apparently hates it (he never mentioned this before we got married), his dad was a doctor to so he knew what my life is like.
And now we are basically room mates, no physical contact, we barely talk about anything but kids and bills.
I feel abandoned and rejected. So I think I need to work on myself, and not expecting validation from him.
Honestly I just don’t expect anything from him anymore.

Vanesa, feeling like you can’t do anything right in his eyes sounds so painful. It’s lonely not being able to talk about your work or have any physical contact. I can see why you’re feeling abandoned and rejected, especially when you’re stuck living like roommates.

I remember feeling the same way and it was lousy. I’m grateful for the coaching and community that allowed me to start feeling desired, taken care of and special.

I want that for you too! I love your vision of making yourself happy and can’t wait to see you in the Ridiculously Happy Wife when the time is right for you.

I struggle with making myself happy. I also struggle with trusting my husband again, and I can’t bring myself to expect the best from him when he is now addidted to gaming.

Happy, dealing with your husband’s gaming addiction sounds scary, and so lonely. I can see why it’s hard to trust him. Struggling with that and your own happiness sounds hard.

I remember feeling the same way and not being able to expect the best or trust my own husband, which was painful. That’s why my coaches and I have helped so many women turn this around. We would love to help you too! Join the waitlist for The Ridiculously Happy Wife so you can be happy and inspire your man to be his best self!

My husband left 5 months ago when I told him I’m pregnant with our 4th for the 2nd time last year.
He says he doesn’t love me cause I accused him of an affair with our worker after finding porn searches that relates to her. His friends around the time told him he was getting to close to her which I didn’t know about until recently.
I found messages that he told her she makes him happy and does better with her around. And he hopes he’s not the reason why she didn’t want to come back from Europe. She’s told him secrets about herself he can’t tell me. He told me he doesn’t need to smoke weed or drink now he’s not with me.
I made snarky comments about her because I felt so insecure and uncomfortable with how close they were getting.
He also had an online sexual affair with another woman he knew from school.
He’s left now and spends so much time out of work with the worker.
Even his Christian mum has said she doesn’t think he’ll be back.
He wants to split all our assests and have nobring to don with me.
He looks at me like trash when he sees me. I’ve been trying to be lively and friendly when he comes to see the kids.

Alicia, that sounds devastating. No one deserves this, but to go through it when you’re pregnant is just heartbreaking. Again.

As the wife, you have enormous power to save your marriage, in my experience. I can’t wait for you to get coaching and community so you can stop feeling hopeless and alone, and start feeling desired, taken care of, and confident in your marriage!

I am so inspired by all these brave women over the past 5 years here (I think the rest are archived), and the great advice and reassurance from Laura.
I am committing to creating spouse fulfilling prophecies and looking after my own happiness, free of the need for validation, affirmation and feedback.

Good for you, Jules! I admire your approach and can’t wait to hear how it serves you.

I want to learn to how to make myself happy, stop feeling insecure and stop trying to control my husband

I’m working on showing my husband more gratitude, less negativity, working on being less controlling and taking risks to be more vulnerable. I already noticed this past week a difference in my expressing gratitude for my husband and using “whatever you think” and his response has been great. We are separated and going through a divorce and living in separate homes so communication is limited.

Heather, I love your gratitude and your commitment! Thank you for sharing your inspiring wins already. I’m so glad you’re getting coaching so you can turn this around. I’m standing for you and your marriage!

This week I am going to try hard to continue my self care and keep busy, I am going to try to focus hard on myself and stay on my page and not comment to my husband about how he spends all his time at work during the week (where the woman who he had an affair with also works) and then on weekends always seems to feel unwell and not want to be around me 😞
I also plan on reading and listening to lots of ridiculously happy wife to get inspiration from all the other amazing women who have saved their marriages, even though I feel doomed and miserable 😞

Linda, I’m sad to hear you feeling doomed and miserable. That is so hard and so lonely. I remember those days in my marriage and how rejected I felt when my husband didn’t want to be around me.

Good for you for focusing on your self-care even when–especially when–you feel that way. I’m glad you’re finding inspiration here. Please let me know how we can support you to have the marriage you deserve.

I’m doing self care which I love and has made me feel so much better.

I’m listening and not giving my opinion.
Let go of control with the kids to.

Giving thanks and gratitude.

I’ve not seen any change in my husband yet but I’ve only be doing it a month and the fact I feel better is a great improvement.

Laura, kudos to you for trying a different approach and experimenting with all these Skills. I’m so happy to hear that YOU are feeling better already! That sounds so empowering. I’m standing for you to see the change in your relationship too. Sounds like it’s on its way!

My goal is to use the following sfp’s:
My husband sees the best in me.
He is a good father.
He is good natured and not easily upset.
He is a positive person.

I need to learn to let go and not feel
The need to control every aspect of mine and my families lives.

Twila, I admire your desire to let go and relinquish control–and that you’re reaching out for support with this. This is the perfect time, as the 5-Day Adored Wife Challenge just started TODAY! You can join us for FREE at Hope to see you there!

I’m working on showing gratitude for everything my husband does instead of focusing on what he doesn’t. I e already noticed a difference in him and it’s been less than a week since I discovered your book and your podcast. We’ve enjoyed each others company more and he offered to do the dishes last night!

I want to be able to make myself happy without looking externally for validation, gratitude or dependence on someone else doing something before I can be happy.

RE, I love your desire to take responsibility for your own happiness! That sounds very empowering.

I am learning to trust my husband with my heart again. In 7 months, I want to be able to happily celebrate my 20th anniversary! I want us to be together not out of comfort, but out of desire!

My husband and I have been separated for 2 years. I have days I feel completely hopeless but deep down I do not want to give up on our marriage. I know that he is a good man. I do not understand him right now but I love him. He is currently not speaking to me or responding to any messages. I have been sending him one text a day with something I am grateful to him for or a funny meme. I am doing this not just for him but for myself. I realize even though I didn’t mean to I was very disrespectful and controlling. I have apologized in person. He has asked me to stop. I think it makes him feel bad.

Definitely making myself happy everyday so I can be a GOFAL! I’ve been working at it for a while now but with the pandemic, it hasn’t been easy that’s for sure.

My husband and I met through a friend, got engaged after 3 months and married after 5 months. The communication between us has always been difficult. In the beginning we tried but after 23 years there is barely any talking apart from about daily necessary things and the kids (3 daughters ages 18, 14 and 9). We have zero intimacy not even a kiss, a hug or holding hands. I know he loves me but I crave this because that’s how we used to be. We’re both in our 50’s and I’d rather die than live like this in my old age. In the past I’ve looked for intimacy with 2 men (no sex) but I enjoyed the desire and feeling wanted. I stopped because I know this is wrong and also I want this with my husband.


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

My 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 put your name on the waitlist for my Ridiculously Happy Wife program.

It’s the most economical way to have access to a certified relationship coach, a secret FB group, online training, and all the bonuses so you can learn and practice the exact steps that attract husbands, fiancés, and boyfriends back and make the relationship playful and passionate again. We see a lot of miracles in the program!

Many things here resonate. I am just too tired to try anything anymore. I just like to be alone.

We have a son who does not talk to any of the family members anymore. It used to be the worst with my husband because of his tendency of bullying and verbally being abusive. His biggest issue to me is not trusting anything but wanting to be trusted. How do we go about that? And he claims he is hurt of not being trusted. We lived for 20 years together and we could not have a normal conversation. I just retracted to be patient while kids got hurt. He only changed when I stood up the ground.

I don’t see a hope. I just want to be left alone. Too exhausted.

Hi Girls, this week I am going to focus on being more grateful. Hubby expressed overwhelming emotions tonight of feeling unrecognised n basically taken for granted by the entire family. I think this is the perfect place to start. To make sure I am saying something I’m grateful for that he has done twice a day. At least. It maybe harder than it sounds as most days I’d rather nag at him for what he hasn’t done or what he has forgotten and they seem so big I can’t see anything to be grateful for!
I can only try n keep practicing.

Expressing my desires in a way that inspires and expecting the best from him. I want to be the goddess of fun and light again; his “stress ball” to hug as he referred to me when we were dating!

Hi Laura.. I pray your coaching and program will help.. as I’ve tried everything else and failed. I desperately need to learn how to make myself happy and resist the temptation to always see what’s on his page. He cheated..I caught him in the act, two years ago but of course refuses to admit nor apologise for it. He was my high school sweetheart, separated for over20 years and now reunited for 4. I left all i had in the U.K. this March to live with him in another country… and his red flags have been blinding. He was diagnosed with ADD as a child and most definitely is a narcissist.. so saying I’ve felt lonely. is an understatement. I just cancelled counselling after only 2 sessions, as it was pointless.. after someone recommended your program. Help.. please help.
Earlier on in our relationship. he broke my heart and spirit so severely that I lost 15 lbs, and lost a lot of my hair from depression and the stress. I weighed 114 pounds. from being 130 lbs before.
I crave so badly to be happy with him… but even more to learn how be happy by myself… so that HE can respond to that. Please help me..

My husband and I have been married for 18 years. For nearly 3 years, we have slept in separate rooms, have very little connection, no intimacy. I have been trying to practice the intimacy skills with some success but no real breakthrough. He is still at home, but it is very, very lonely and a really terrible model of marriage for our young child. I would love to become the goddess of fun and light, and learn to put my own self-care as a priority. I would really love to be able to just let things go sometimes, accept that there will be consequences if things don’t get done, and trust him to be able to deal with that! I want to be able to stay right off his paper and let him solve his own issues, and continue to work on gratitude and respect. Thanks for all the work you do Laura, I don’t think I would have made it even this far without your book, emails and podcasts.

I’d like to make myself happy every day, but it is tough. I have been implementing some things to try and fix my marriage.
My husband told me he wants to leave, he’s wasted the last 6 years of his life being with me, and doesn’t feel anything for me anymore.
He picks up extra shifts at work just so he doesn’t have to be home, and goes out with the guys any night that I am not busy.
I try and send him a sweet message at the beginning of the day and one as I’m going to bed (in the guest room) and I usually don’t get a response. Last night I sent him one telling him I miss sleeping in the same bed and he responded that nothing is going to go back to normal, and he is not trying to hurt my feelings but feels bad when he doesn’t respond.
I told him that I want things to better, and he didn’t respond and was colder than usual today.
It’s starting to feel pretty hopeless and I’m feeling so very discouraged.

I think my thought life sabotages me. It’s counterproductive be thinking angry, hateful thoughts, and then to speak peace and love to someone. I’m going to try to stop my negative thought life with thankfulness.

I’m so thankful to be part of this group. I have made a lot of mistakes in the past and so has my boyfriend. We seem to get in arguments over such petty things. I don’t realize though that things that I say and do are disrespectful to him. And I don’t think he realizes how hurtful he is when he doesn’t show how much I mean to him. And doesn’t show that he cherishes me. I want to be cherished loved and respected and I want to give him the respect and love in the way that he needs it as well. Every time we have an issue he shuts down and blocks me out of his life. I believe it is part of his way of dealing with difficult situations because of some childhood issues that he had from abuse from when he was growing up.

I would like to re pattern my habits from complaining to true desires.So I can be authentic and create intimacy in our relationship. I know I have controlling tendencies and I have been working on myself to let go of the fear and have trust in my husband. My husband is a very giving man and will do absolutely anything for me. I didn’t realize that when I complained about even a little thing, that I was criticizing him. I’ve read the Empowered Wife a few times and when I do use the skills, he is much kinder and wanting to do even more things for me. I notice he feels safe with me and can relax. I want to focus and acknowledge the good in him and in my life, to create even more good. As they say, you get more of what you focus on! Your book and skills are so amazing, I’m so grateful I found you.

Please tell me there’s hope for me! My husband has been into porn since young and he constantly links in with women online. He’s never stayed for counseling and doesn’t agree with anyone’s solutions. He can become very angry when things don’t go his way. He also stonewalls whenever I want to discuss any issue or concern. I feel like I’m a single parent of 4 children

Bev, There is definitely, definitely hope for you! I know you just want to be a happy wife, but first you have to fix this challenge and right now it feels like he’s always going to be linking with other women online. That’s not right. You shouldn’t have to live like that. I know how frustrating it is to feel like your marriage is a sham. That’s why my coaches and I have helped over 15,000 women fix their marriages without their husband’s conscious effort no matter how hopeless it seems. We can help you too. So get a coach so you can stop feeling hopeless, lonely and scared and start feeling desired, taken care of and special.

I’d like to make myself happy every day and learn to express my desires in a way that inspires. I always put myself and my needs last so I’d like to learn how to express my needs in a way that’s healthy for myself and my relationships with my husband.

Laura. Do you think you can get past gaslighting and a man who’s offended by everything if his mood isn’t right? When things are good, they’re great. When they’re not it only takes one wrong word from me to have him packing his bags.

Helen, Sounds scary and hard! I know you just want those good times to keep on rolling, but first you have to fix this recurring breakdown with him and right now that seems impossible. You shouldn’t have to live with gaslighting. I know how exhausting that is. That’s why my coaches and I have helped over 15,000 women fix their relationships. We can help you too! Get a coach so you can stop feeling hopeless, abandoned and lonely and start feeling desired, taken care of and special. Join the waitlist to the Ridiculously Happy Wife coaching program here:

I want to feel desired in communication and intimacy. I want him to be the first person I want to share things with. I want his daily outburst to dissipate and I want to only have eyes for him. I also want a fulfilling physical intimate relationship with him.

Becoming a better me. Although my husband and I are seperated. He is seeing another person they haven’t spoken for nearly 4 weeks now and he is spending more time here. I just wanna become stronger not break down the whole time. I want to show him how much I really love and appreciate him but the anger and hatred I carry towards this situation is just eating me away ? I need to learn how to show him what is the right way still after 14 years what we have and not get upset and things when he talks in a way I find disrespectful towards me as I pull him out on this. Draw him closer it’s what I want to do show him how great we still can be. I know people will judge me but I moved countries and everything to be with the man I love and now I feel so lonely. Yes he complains and says main reason he left is my weight although I have serious health issues.

I am working on trusting his decision making. I’m trying to step back and follow his lead and follow up on suggestions he makes that he believes will be good for us to have a more prosperous life together, like making calls to places he suggests would be a good area for us to live when we are back together.

Laura, my husband is hot and cold at home. I barely see him due to our work schedules, so I’m not sure how to specifically apply the 6 steps when I don’t see him. He secludes himself in his room (we have separate bedrooms) and spends most of his free time on the computer playing games. When I go to talk or tell him something important, he is cold and dismissing since I am interrupting his leisure time. I have been practicing the 6 steps, I attended the webinar and I am having my discovery call tonight. How long does it take in general or average for the 6 steps to work if my husband has said that he doesn’t think we are compatible anymore or that we probably only got together because we were both lonely and wanted someone to make us feel special? He doesn’t want to do anything with me and only wants to try for our son. There have been too many hurtful and emotional confrontations from me for him to loosen up and let me in a little. This is the man I love and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. He doesn’t want to spend it with me anymore.

Laura, that sounds so painful and lonely. I really admire you for your commitment to your marriage and your vulnerability in reaching out for support. I remember feeling so lonely and hopeless when my husband had withdrawn from me. I wasn’t sure if he would notice the changes in me when I found the 6 Intimacy Skills, but men have a way of noticing more than we give them credit for. That has been my experience and that of the thousands of other women who have made their relationships playful and passionate using the Intimacy Skills. Most women see changes within two weeks of practicing the Skills. For me, I needed support to apply them effectively, so I’m happy to hear you’re getting more support. I’m so excited for you to start seeing these changes and to see what opens up for you in your discovery call tonight!

I have apologized to my husband I don’t nag him and am doing all the steps . When I ask him for something I use your tool of would etc and he reply so hear what you want but I will never give it to you. It can be anything for help with dinner. He is going out of his way not to communicate and I am working the 6 tools . I watched you on amazon I have reread your book! Is it possible some men it doesn’t work? I even use ouch as needed

Lisa, it sounds so hurtful that your husband doesn’t want to please you after everything you’ve done to restore intimacy. I admire your commitment to your marriage and your desire for further support. You are not alone! Most of my clients believe the 6 Intimacy Skills won’t work with their husband. Even I got frustrated at times when they weren’t making my husband change the way I wanted him to in the beginning. For me, this pointed to the opportunity to deepen my practice of the Skills, learning to use them in conjunction with each other. But I needed support to apply them in ways I couldn’t see myself.

From my experience working with thousands of women, I believe your husband is not the exception to the rule–deep down, he wants to please you. That’s how men are built. I’d love to give you more support to help you inspire him to do that. I invite you to my free upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it at

Hi Laura,
How do I use this when my husband and I have sold our home and separated? We’ve been apart for a year and 2 months. It was my doing because I had been ill for 3 years several years back. During that time of my illness he feel into porn sites and had emotional affairs with women, and placed adds on sites to look for them for hookups. This went on for about 5 years. I had stumbled upon this information on day while I was searching for something on the web. I was devastated to say the least. We had not been intimate with each other at that point in 7years. We took a vacation to re-connect, which I initiated. I thought things were going good for us. He is a wonderful, caring and giving man who I love with all my heart. We’ve taken care of his parents for the last 15 or so years. His dad passed away 3yrs ago, and now takes care of his mom. She’s 89 and has several health issues. (Husband is in his late 50’s and I am 60, been married 21yrs, been together ). Our vacation was in 2006, but he was so involved with his family and work that he lost interest in me again. Late Nov of 2014 I found out he had been using the internet again. I don’t know how long or how deep he was involved he was again. Again I was devastated. I felt no self worth, ugly and worthless. We lived together for the next year and he said if we couldn’t be together we needed to sell the house and split assets. I was so hurt and angry I couldn’t see straight, let alone think straight. It didn’t seem to bother him. Now, we’ve been separated, he lives with his mom and I live with my mother. I miss him so much. I miss my best friend. I don’t think he is seeing anyone. I’ve tried to arrange for us to talk but he never has time for me. I know I’ve hurt him badly. I don’t know if I can change his mind. What can I do? I feel so hopeless.

Thank you for your beautiful vulnerability in reaching out to share about your marriage. I’m sad to hear what you’ve been going through and that you feel hopeless. I once felt that my marriage was hopeless too. Divorce seemed like the only solution, but I wasn’t ready for that and missed the man I’d married. The 6 Intimacy Skills helped me get him back and have made our marriage more playful and passionate than ever. If I could restore the intimacy in my marriage after all my raging, I know you can too! To give you the tools to do that, I invite you to a free webinar I have coming up called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here:

Hi Laura
My husband has been living away from my 20 month old son and I for the past month. I have been trying to use the 6 intimacy skills over the past two weeks but it is very hard when he mostly ignores me apart from picking up or dropping off our son. What do I do in this situation when he isn’t living at home? I have no idea whats happening and he has no idea what he’s doing either. How do I try and get him to come home before it’s too late

Mallory, I’m sorry to hear about your husband leaving. It sounds lonely and hurtful to be ignored like that. I admire your courage in reaching out for support and hear your longing to have him come home. Many of my clients practice the 6 Intimacy Skills with a husband living outside the house. One had already started divorce proceedings, so the only time she could practice the Skills with him was at the attorney’s. And she saved her marriage! It’s actually great news that you get to see your husband regularly. I know you can get him back and make your marriage better than it ever was! I’d love to see you get some Skills to know how to do that. I have a free webinar that you will find so valuable. It’s called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here:

Hi Laura!

I have a question that you don’t really touch upon and am in desperate need of help. We were married with husband for 2 years and have been separated for 4 months but still friends. We both had a religious marriage and legal one. Our religious marriage ended 1.5 months ago and we prepared everything to end the civil one as well. Although, everything is ready he did not submit the papers even though I pushed him to when I was feeling really hopeless. Today, we met after 4 months and he told me he loves me very much and he doesn’t want to get a divorce but when he thinks about our lifestyle and religious differences he doesn’t think it will work out and if we separate again everything will be harder (and sadly I agree). Yet he is not making a move to fix things, he doesn’t want to try! So, we are in this limbo that is killing me.

I love him too but my biggest concern is I am very devoted to practicing my religion and he is not at all. To some, this might be not that important but this a deal breaker for me. I feel guilty being around him when he is not practicing and I feel so hopeless about my future and my heart gets so congested. My main priority in this life is to please God. Of course, I cannot change him and I can’t live with someone who doesn’t see things eye to eye with me when it comes to practicing religion. Because, I am also thinking about my future children. But, I love him! What do I do in this situation? I read all of your books and blog posts but I didn’t see anything about this. I am dying to see what you think about this.
Thank you!

Val, I can see why you feel hopeless when you and your husband don’t want to divorce but can’t see eye to eye on religion. I hear that compromising your beliefs would be a deal breaker. I acknowledge you for honoring that. There were so many things my husband and I could not see eye to eye on, and I remember feeling so hopeless when I thought divorce was the only option. The 6 Intimacy Skills have empowered me to honor my desires and beliefs while learning to live in harmony with him. You are not alone. I have clients who came to me for this very reason–religious incompatibility–and are learning the skills to feel cherished, desired, adored and even on the same page with raising their children. I want that for you too. I’d love to give you some tools in my free upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here:

Can you tell me about the tv show based on your book; what is it called and when it will or did come out. I’d be very interested in watching, thank you!

Angela, thank you for your interest in my new TV show! Empowered Wives, based on my book by the same title, is due out on Amazon Prime the first week in May. The 18-episode series will be free for Amazon Prime members. Here’s where you can find out more about it and see the trailer:

I’m not sure what I want to work on in me. I feel like sometimes I’m so self absorbed that I’m not hearing him. I wish he would communicate and tell me his thoughts, but sometimes, he seems to go along with something I want and then, gets angry and is very moody and sarcastic and says hurtful things and then FINALLY I find out where most of its coming from and I had no clue he didn’t really want to do what we were doing, but he did it anyway. I feel blindsided and hurt by it, and I ask why he didn’t tell me, etc… I ask him to communicate. I only want what’s best for him, us and our kids. I also wish his moods didn’t dictate mine. I keep thinking if I could remain positive and not take it personal, perhaps it wouldn’t lead to so many fights and misunderstandings!! Maybe even he would be able to cheer up quicker?? I don’t know…

I can’t afford your retreat, I can’t afford your course or personal coaching, but as soon as I possibly can… I’m buying the book and putting a book cover on it!

Shannon, thank you for sharing your hurt so vulnerably. I love your awareness, your commitment to your marriage and family, and your desire for what’s best for all of you. I know how painful and frustrating it was not to have the communication I longed for with my husband. 6 Intimacy Skills later, I continue to be amazed at our open communication and joyful interaction (and that I don’t have to depend on whatever mood he’s in to make me happy). I know that is waiting for you too, given your commitment to getting support in any way you can. I trust that you will find the resources that are a fit for you. Hope you enjoy reading–and transforming your marriage! Here’s a free chapter of The Empowered Wife to get you started: (Try out the 5-Day Get Cherished Challenge there–it’s free!)

After months of reading your blog and trying the intimacy skills, I recently got your book. It’s great! Very organized, easy read, gives lots of perspective.
Perhaps you would like to do a blog post on how to share the intimacy skills with others. My daughter is getting married soon, and her fiance is crazy about her. And they seem to handle their relationship well, certainly without my interference. But we all know that things can change after marriage. I want her to have the book, but I don’t want to be pushy about it or imply she needs relationship help and can’t manage without me.
Any thoughts on how to present it?
As always, thanks for a great blog!

Ilana, congratulations on your daughter’s engagement! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book and building on what you’ve learned about the Intimacy Skills in my blog. Thanks for the great idea for a new blog topic! I love your sensitivity about how to offer this gift because I know it can be challenging for women to receive. (And kudos on relinquishing control of your daughter’s marital happiness.) Many of my clients have offered my books as gifts, with no expectations, just as they would any other gift. In my experience, the receiver tends to find her way to the book when she needs it.

Thank you so much for your books and blog. I am a big fan. I am trying so hard to implement the intimacy skills. There has been improvement as I put the skills into practice. But my husband demands perfection from me. In his eyes, I am never allowed to get annoyed or irritated but I constantly turn a blind eye to his doings. Thankfully, I am getting much better so it is much less frequent that I get upset and I do apologize if I am disrespectful. So recently I said something that was inappropriate (telling him to look for a job, since he is a full time student on a stipend and things are tough financially for our family). I apologized sincerely soon afterwards (twice) but he loses it. He didn’t even hear the first apology, so then I repeated again. His is just overcome with emotion and can’t move on for days. He was sulking in bed when we had guests. It’s like his emotions overcome him which seems so atypical for a male, first sulking and afterwards being angry and even gets into a bit of a frenzy (he used to even get aggressive in these moods but thankfully no longer). I think he needs psychological help to him cope with this strong emotions . (His mother is similar, a very emotional type, and she can be volatile, abusive and storm off for months when unhappy, quit jobs, end friendships abruptly, etc). I feel like I walk on eggshells – am I never ever allowed to get annoyed or irritated, and don’t know if a rare comment will set him off. I am human and we all some times get upset. Isn’t it ok to get upset occasionally ? I guess I can keep trying to implement the skills but I think he needs help as well – what do you think Laura?

Mandy, first of all, I want to acknowledge you for your commitment to practicing the Skills so purely. I admire your vulnerability and your humanness. You have the right to get upset and not be perfect. I’m not perfect at practicing the Intimacy Skills myself! The more I’ve practiced them, the more grace I experience when I do make a mistake. There used to be a lot of rage at my house, but since learning the Skills that has been replaced with peace and playfulness. I know you can have that too. I have a free webinar that will help. It’s called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here:

Narcissitic men will always respond postively if you are being a shiny wife mirror with no complaints about them due to their fragile sense of self. The problem is that it’s unsustainable. Every human, female or male should have the allowance to be upset at times, irritated or not our best self and have the other spouse apologize for their wrong doings or show up for you as their best self. Seesaw needs to go both ways…not just on the side of the female. That is depleting in it’s own way …to always have to be “on” so as to keep him in a good mood. If the guide to make ourselves happy so that we are showing up as our best self regardless of how foul our man is…than the same rules should apply to him. We are still as women, getting the responsbility put on our shoulders of how the other half shows up to the party. That is just simply not fair. He has a responsbility to show up as his best self for you and you are allowed to have grievances.

Hi Laura,
I think so much of your work is spot-on. For me, like many women, there comes frustration when being soft comes at a price. When the relationship becomes more “functional” in a way, yet you lose some of yourself. I would love for you to speak to the issue of personality disorders with unhealthy narcissicism and when being soft begins to mean walking on eggshells. When your man responds, yes, to the things you suggest but then the relationship becomes more narrow and frustrating for me (even as I do my own thing—things that are good for me and bring me meaning. He has no problem with that. The issue is anytime there is an altercation as there will be in any relationship, it usually gets turned around as “my fault” even though I know it’s not or it clearly involves both. As a result fair fighting doesn’t happen and it takes 2 to fight in fair way to resolve altercations. I do think there is a personality disorder involved and is something that I can’t change. I have changed the things I need ti about me. Even then there is too much blaming, denigration, and disrespect coming from him. It would happen with whomever he is with—I realize that. Please di a section on personality-disordered men and how to know when to stay and when to go. There is no physical abuse but there is verbal and it is not coming from me. Feeks like gaslighting really. I wish you would address thus in one of your regular columns as I know many women deal with this. It’s more pervasive than we think.
Thanks very much.

Susan, thank you for sharing that my work resonates with you. I admire your commitment to creating a happy marriage given these challenges. I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing unfair fighting, being blamed and what feels like gas lighting. I know the fighting is no fun and remember the days when my husband and I could not get along, so I thought I had to leave him. Learning the 6 Intimacy Skills changed all that. Today we have a peaceful, playful and passionate marriage. I’d love to see you be able to be soft without having to walk on eggshells and to stop the fighting and blaming. I invite you to my free upcoming webinar that you will find so valuable. It’s called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here:

Thanks for your idea for a blog post. Have you read I hear that you’d like to see one on when to leave:

Laura, I just don’t know at this point…….what I want and what he wants are two different things…..separated for over a year…….I have written before. Very complicated. not just the fact we had problems. The house burned down and because he left during the crisis, it made things worse. He wants to split everything we own…..not build our home back. I am hanging on tight to the ins money for our home. Control? yes it is, but if I give him half the money, I won’t get my home built back. I know this is deeper than you answer and I am reading first kill all the marriage counselors. But the I hear you, and ouch scenarios don’t work with him. He is not the typical guy. Just feeling lost right now.

Tina, thank you for reaching out again. I can see why you’re feeling lost. I’m sorry to hear that your husband does not share your vision of rebuilding your home and marriage. I remember feeling afraid to surrender. I believed my husband was different and that there was no hope. I was frustrated when I would try out certain things and not get the response I wanted. I’m so grateful I persevered in practicing all of the Intimacy Skills because they brought back the man I married, the man who is so eager to make me happy. That’s what I want for you. I know it’s not too late to save your marriage and your home. I couldn’t do it alone and would love to see you get support. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see if working with a coach would fit for you. You can apply here:

Thank you Laura, I applied. I don’t know if you have ever dealt with such a messed up situation. My husband is one hard man. He wants to know why I want him so bad, why I can’t just let him go. Its because he is my life! Why can he let me go so easily?

Tina, kudos on applying for the discovery call! I admire your commitment to healing your marriage in the face of these challenges. I want you to know you are not alone. So many of the women who have sought my support feared their situation was beyond help. Yet again and again, I’ve seen the same outcome: practicing the Intimacy Skills has saved their relationships and brought back the man they married. I’m excited for you to see the possibilities that await you!

Just today, I asked my husband if we should separate or divorce since we dont see eye to eye on anything and have no intimacy in our relationship. Im working through a health issue and he is of no emotional support at all. I mentioned to him that I dont see how I can grow old with someone like him who obviously does not care about my well being. He cant go to doctor appointments with me but he makes it to all of his daughter’s sports games…I cant understand this double standard. He wont go to counseling and says that he has no intentions or changing..relationships should not be “work”. Feeling very stuck. I asked him where my copy of the pre-nup was so I could look at it. I really dont know what to do…I dont want to start over at 46. We have been together for 10 years and married for 6

Michelle, I can see why you feel stuck when your husband is not giving you emotional support, especially in the midst of your health issue. I hear that you don’t want to start over, and I admire you for reaching out for support. I once felt that my husband didn’t care about my well-being. It was so lonely and hopeless. All of that changed when I started surrendering. Now he is my #1 supporter. I was delighted to find that it actually didn’t take hard work to heal my marriage. It took being empowered with the 6 Intimacy Skills to make my marriage playful and passionate. I can’t wait for you to experience that possibility yourself and to have your husband want to be by your side in your challenges. I have a free webinar coming up that will help you: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it at

Thank you for reminding me again. I am not doing very well. I cry a lot. I am abandoned. Facebook is our only connection which is dimb. We are 65. Been together since age 19. He says he is a teenager now. He is in the town where he went to high school. He has a little club of 65 yr old ladies who were in his teenage church youth group. It is hard for me to expect the best. I plan to keep trying. But, this seems impossible.

What about when he’s left recently and already living with someone else? I didn’t even have a chance to save our marriage. He chose her over our family.

Tamara, I can see why your situation feels hopeless. I’m so sorry you and your family are going through this pain. I acknowledge you for reaching out for support anyway. In my experience working with thousands of courageous women like you, it’s not too late to save your marriage, even when he has left for someone else. I’d love to see you experiment with the 6 Intimacy Skills so you can see how powerful they are in getting him back. You can get them from my book/audiobook The Empowered Wife. Here’s a free chapter:

I’m totally at the hopelessness place for the millionth time. We’ve been married for 43 years, and 9 kids, 6 married in spouses, and 16 grandchildren have added to our family. I’ve tried everything, gone for counseling alone several times (he refuses to go) read every book on marriage and how to be a good wife, all to no avail. I feel trapped and hopeless, but am not leaving the marriage, sticking to my vows. I’m exhausted, my health is in the toilet, so I have no ability to do some new program. I’m battling deep depression and suicidal thoughts as well.

Sandy, I am so sorry to hear you’re feeling so hopeless. I deeply admire you for your unshakable commitment to staying married. I still remember feeling exhausted and hopeless in my marriage. Today I’m amazed at the happy life and playful, passionate marriage I’ve gained by learning the 6 Intimacy Skills. I want to offer you support to turn things around so you can start feeling good again–about yourself and your marriage. I would love to lend you a compassionate ear. How would it fit to apply for a free discovery call to explore whether having a coach would work for you? You can apply here:

Oh dear Laura, if it was only that simple. Some men do not respond as expected. I did all of this. Became nonconfrontational, soft spoken, etc. But it didn’t take anything to set him off. And when he became angry, he would spew forth things like, “we never should have gotten married”, “we don’t mesh”, “you need to leave”, “I never have loved you because we don’t have a foundation”, etc etc etc. Yes, we were only married after knowing each other 6 weeks. In order to save my sanity, I am leaving. I have changed who I am in order to fit his moods and anger and that is not healthy!! Sometimes things cannot be changed and the healthiest thing for both people is to admit defeat and move on.

Karen, I hear your hurt and frustration. I can see why it’s costing you your sanity to get such nasty comments when you were making an effort to change. I admire your commitment to your marriage in making that effort. I respect your decision and trust that you are the expert on your own life. Receiving your comment also makes me wonder if you do have a morsel of hope left. For me, biting my tongue and being soft went a long way toward restoring intimacy, but it wasn’t enough either. I needed support to help me apply all of the Intimacy Skills to salvage my marriage. I remember how frustrating it was to “work on” my marriage and not get the response I was hoping for. As you must already know, I believe there is still hope for getting back the guy you fell in love with over those 6 weeks. If you want to explore that possibility before following through with your decision, I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see if working with a coach would fit for you:

Hi Laura,

We met over 4 years ago.

I just wanted you to know my man finally showed up at age 59! I am getting married to the man who is right for me! He’s not perfect but he is perfect for me.

I read all your emails and have printed out many of them and refer to them in my “relationship” file. I’ve done workshops and had coaching years ago.

He and I have great communication, friendship, playfulness and our love grows daily. I used many of the things I have learned from all of you ladies like daily appreciation for his wonderful cooking or fixing something or just for who he is. We ride bikes together go to the gym together but he also is cool if I want to go to yoga and he doesn’t.

He is 62 and this is his third marriage. We both agree that all the crap we have been through has brought us together for a better relationship that we could ever have based on what we have learned through our mistakes. Instead of making the past wrong, we affirm
that “everything that happened up to now has made our love and relationship stronger and the timing for us is perfect!” This helps with the monkey mind who wants to know why why why? on certain things.
(we met 3 years ago and broke up. He married someone else. He called me after they broke up telling me he made the biggest mistake and would I give him a second chance. At first I did my typical reaction “no you hurt me” but working with my coach I opened my heart and as I said above shifted my belief that what happened was perfect to bring him to me in full appreciation!”)

I am glad I let him back in because he is a better man now than he was 3 years ago.

He is kind and funny and a gentle soul. He is very masculine, loves kids and dogs and a hard worker but not rich financially at all. In the past this was important to me but in the work I have done that became less important as I have plenty to share and he is hard working and a professional computer guy – just gave it all away in his first divorce. Oh well. I know our love together is the strongest thing we have and as we join finances there is more than enough. His kids are grown and I don’t have any. He has 3 grandkids under 3 so I get to enjoy that aspect of life without giving birth!!!

Many of my friends my age look for a rich man. I tell them to find a good man and not to make the money a priority – that together you can make money but you miss out on connecting with many good guys if you make money a priority. Look instead for good qualities of being like respect, honesty, someone who is grounded emotionally and sober and kind. And a man who adores you. Those are the qualities that sustain a relationship.

We went shopping for rings last weekend. Before we went we set a budget. I found a gorgeous Vera Wang engagement ring and he can’t buy it until June as he is a cash man and has some other big things that need to be handled and does not do credit cards. I respect and admire him so much for his honesty and the way he handles finances as I would put it on the credit card! Instant gratification! Not him! So we picked it out and when he is ready he will buy it and do the “official” proposal. I just love how he handles things and wants to please me but stays within integrity within himself and has no debt!

Anyway just wanted you to know. Now I just need to keep following my own self care and keep me happy which I know keeps our love alive. I have learned so much the last 21 years since I’ve been divorced. I kissed hundreds of toads. I kept the faith as I knew the burning in my heart to meet my “one” would manifest one day. And last August 22 was the day he recontacted me.

We are planning a very small destination wedding in Grenada
(West Indies) I cover the Caribbean for work and my last trade show is Oct 10-13 in Grenada so we are going to stay and get married on Oct 14 and spend a week relaxing in the region that I sell but never fully enjoy! I sell advertising for magazines and websites that go to travel agents and the Caribbean is part of my territory. Neither of us have been to Grenada so decided it was the perfect spot.

I am a testimonial for older women. Oh and sexual chemistry is alive and well – just not a daily occurrence! Things change when you get older! He is part Swedish (I’m Italian) and he says the Swedes make dates to make love. So Saturday or Sunday afternoon is our love making time. Too funny. Never thought I would be on a schedule but honestly it really works!!!

Barbara, congratulations on your engagement! I’m thrilled to hear your toad-kissing days are over! And that you’re enjoying such intimacy. I love how you chose faith over fear all those years until your Mr. Right showed up. Thank you for sharing your experience. You have such a beautiful and inspiring story. I would love to have you as a coach! I invite you to check out the opportunity at

Thanks Laura
I appreciate a lot your blog because i was thinking how to sve my marriage now.
He is with anger and he decided to separate.i dont feel very worry just thinking in how to save my marriage.
I was a little nagging to him and he couldnt with that.sometimew i would like to stop speaking in some situations but i continúe asking and asking.i know that it not just my guilty but i need to work in myself
I would like to read and to study your book empowered wife because the others i have snd they are very good.
How i can get it?
Dp you think there is hope for my marriage? For now he has not communication with me no phone emails but i only pray and think in how to save my marriage
My goal is to save my marriage and to help others to do the same.
Thanks Laura.i know my marriage now is a big challenge separated no communication he bipolar and anger me nagging a little…but i continúe having hope.
Do you think Laurs is there is hope for me?
Thanks for your answer

Oh, Mercedes, thank you for your beautiful vulnerability. I also admire your desire to save your marriage, your hopefulness and your accountability. I was a professional nag. Practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills empowered me to leave my nagging days behind me, along with the loneliness and raging. Today my marriage is peaceful and passionate. I know there is hope for you and your marriage! I’m excited for you to see how that happens when you experiment with the Intimacy Skills in The Empowered Wife. The book is available here:

I will practice patience!
I will work on controlling my emotions so that an ant hill remains an ant hill and not turning it into a mountain. Ive noticed i escalate things because im quick to lose my temper.

Being more trusting of my fiancée and that he can navigate his affairs now that he has been communicating with and slept with another woman .

I need to work on my side of the street and making myself happy. I am going to try and do one thing for me each day. What am I grateful for.

Shelby, I love your approach! Can’t wait to hear how it serves you.

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