Blog > Emotional Intimacy > My Husband Never Does Anything Special for Me

My Husband Never Does Anything Special for Me

Want a Red-Hot Romance like the Movies? You’re 4 Steps Away.

If your husband never does anything romantic, it’s a sad place to be.

You know he’s capable of being sweeter than he’s being. I mean, he turned on the charm to get that ring on you. Was that just to lure you in for the old bait and switch where you’re taken for granted while he lies around scratching his groin like Al Bundy?

Now that you’ve put in all the hard work to build a life together, it’s like he values you less, not more.

If you’re seeing the signs your husband doesn’t value you, it is so hurtful. It’s tempting to start feeling hopeless when your husband is not thoughtful.

And if you go to Google for the prognosis, forget about it. A lot of the so-called experts out there will steer you straight to divorce court.

That’s probably not your desired destination or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

If what you really want is to revive the romance and make it last, read on. Here are four concrete steps you can take today to start feeling desired, taken care of and special–pronto.

1) Create a Romance Plan of Action

keeper of relationship

As you well know, your husband is not a mind reader.

Maybe you’ve already tried to spell your needs out for him. If you’re anything like I was, it sounded something like this: “I need you to spend more time with me” or “I need you to be more romantic.”

The problem is, saying something like that comes across as a complaint. And a criticism.

Here’s a spoiler alert: Criticizing and complaining do not spur your man to action. They’re actually less attractive, not more–basically as repellant as two magnets facing the wrong way.

To flip those magnets around, try this instead. On second thought, if you flip both magnets, they’ll just repel one another again. But they will attract each other if you flip only one. So, to restore the magnetism by flipping just one spouse’s energy, have a conversation about how much you miss spending time with him.

For a really great conversation, say these three little words: “I miss you.”

And that’s it.

Not what you had in mind?

I know, I know. As women, we tend to have a lot more words than our men.

That’s part of why four of the most dreaded words in the male culture are “We need to talk.”

Having a state of the union address trying to find out where he stands or what he plans not only hurts the very intimacy you’re trying to cultivate, it’s selling yourself short.

As the woman, you are the keeper of your relationship. So it’s a lot less important what he wants than what you want.

And what you’re planning to do about it.

What if, instead of waiting around for him to woo you (and being disappointed when pigs don’t fly), you created a romance plan of action?

It’s easy to know what you don’t want. What is it that you do want?

Be specific. I’m not talking about instituting a “date night” either, which is actually one of the “3 Common Relationship Tips that Will Destroy Your Marriage.

Rather, if you could wave a magic wand, what would you be doing on that date? Trying the new Ethiopian restaurant? Taking a Sunday drive? Or a getaway to Aruba?

Now we’re getting somewhere!

Once you have a clear vision of exactly the outcome you want, express your desire in a way that inspires, like this: “I would love to try the new Ethiopian restaurant!”

Notice you’re not asking him for anything. There’s no expectation placed on him at all and no pouty face if he doesn’t hop to it. That would be controlling, which is as repellant as complaint and criticism.

Instead, you’re just putting your desire out there, sharing the excitement of being a woman who knows what she wants, kind of like a kid would exclaim “I want a new Iron Man Lego set!”

Beverly had that excitement when she expressed her desire to stay at an extravagant hotel. There was zero expectation attached because she was sure it would never happen; it was just way out of their ballpark financially.

Until, for her birthday, he drove her to this extravagant hotel.

Beverly felt like a princess. When they pulled up, her husband had a big, loving smile as he watched her face light up with surprise and delight. What he couldn’t see was her heart fit to burst with gratitude. This hero going to any lengths to fulfill her desires was the same man who, ten months earlier, wouldn’t even go out to dinner with her because he wanted nothing to do with her.

2) Set the Mood for Intimacy

husband not attracted to me

If your man won’t even make love to you, much less such grand gestures, again there’s no need to sit around twiddling your thumbs.

I’m not talking about telling him “We need to have sex” or pointing out how long it’s been since the last time (read: complaining). I tried those old go-to’s plenty of times, and trust me, they’re not sexy. At all.

Rather, make the first move by showing that you’re available for sex, allowing him to initiate.

What’s that–you’ve forgotten how to seduce your man?

Fortunately, you can bring back your feminine spirit, as I share in the podcast episode “How to Be Feminine and Be 10X More Attractive.

You should not have to jump through hoops to be attractive to your husband. You didn’t have to when you attracted him in the first place.

A lingering kiss, stroking his thigh, or telling him how excited you’re feeling is all it takes.

If you’re thinking “Yeah right. You don’t know my man,” you’re not alone.

Toni would wait for her husband in her skimpiest negligeé, but when he walked through the door and saw her, she might as well have been wearing the garbage man’s uniform.

If that’s your sexual situation too, there’s probably something else getting in the way of the intimacy you deserve, something no amount of lingerie can fix.

Chances are, what’s gone missing is the biggest aphrodisiac for men.

Nope, it does not require ginseng or pheromone perfume, oysters or asparagus (pew!).

The biggest aphrodisiac for men is actually respect.

And there’s a simple way to restore it if it has gone missing, using the seven words I share in “How to Deal With Disrespect in Marriage.” Those are the words Toni tried out, and now all it takes to get steamy is a kiss. Seriously.

If you go that route, there is a serious side effect, however: you might feel like you are wearing pheromone perfume (one that actually works)!

3) Give It Time

control in marriage

Speaking of disrespect, trying out a plan like this one can be loaded with expectations that your husband become Mr. Darcy. Overnight.

It may take more than batting your eyelashes to get him to come hither. After all, your man is not a puppet. And it may not happen on your timeline.

But around here, women typically see results in two weeks.

If your expression of desires and vulnerability and even gratitude don’t cause the about-face you’re looking for, it’s possible that more control is coming across than vulnerability.

That’s because another key ingredient is probably missing, and it’s the indispensable first step to intimacy: taking care of yourself. Self-care increases your attractiveness like no beauty cream ever could.

What would it take to get your happy on?

I recommend scheduling three self-care activities per day–yes, per day–whether it’s picking up the phone to catch up with a girlfriend, getting out the old paintbrushes, cloud gazing, or trying the hip hop Zumba class sure to make you laugh (at yourself).

If the dishes don’t get washed because you’re prioritizing watching cat videos, so be it. Your relationship will thank you.

And if you’re too busy for self-care, that’s a good sign you might need it even more. Channel your inner Gandhi, who was not one to skimp on his self-care. As he said in the midst of his busy schedule as a lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, political ethicist, leader of the resistance for India’s independence, and inspirer of civil rights movements and freedom around the world, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”

Maybe it’s not meditation that makes you feel really good but reading celebrity gossip pages, having a rich dessert with coffee, or engaging in retail therapy. If it makes you feel a little guilty too, then you’re on the right track. When it comes to happiness-inducing activities, the more luxurious the better!

4) Change Your Perspectacles

expressing gratitude in marriage

As Gandhi-like as you may be elsewhere, it can be so easy to see the glass half empty in your relationship. All the evidence of him not caring enough to make an effort or take you into consideration piles up until it’s hard to see anything else.

The more you collect such evidence, the more it snowballs. That’s because you are a powerful manifester, and what you focus on increases.

What if you were to focus on all that he’s doing right?

Woah, woah. All? From where you’re standing it may be hard to find a single thing.

Hmm… Does he go to work to provide for the family? Change the AC filter so you have clean air to breathe? Romp with the kids at the end of the day?

Even in those cases, your empty-glass alarms may be sounding. He works so much he barely has time for us! He waits two months to change the filter! He gets the kids all riled up right at bedtime!

If you could hear the heart message behind his gestures, however clumsy and imperfect they may be, all of them would be acts of love.

So next time he does the dishes when you’re tired or takes the kids to the park so you can enjoy a quiet afternoon at home, it’s exciting because now you have the opportunity to catch him doing something good.

Expressing your gratitude not only gives you a powerful new set of perspectacles, it inspires him to want to do more when he sees that he can add to your happiness.

Now that you’re sporting fancy new perspectacles, it’s time for a toast because glasses are fuller everywhere, until your cup is overflowing. You might even find that what you have now is even better than the excitement of your honeymoon phase because it’s a mature and lasting love.

The good news is that, with these steps, you don’t have to choose–you can have both peace and passion! Which step will you experiment with first to rekindle the romance at your house?

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.

12 replies on “My Husband Never Does Anything Special for Me”

Sounds very hopeful I would say it’s the first time I have read something that makes me feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel (bearing in mind I’m not sure if this applies wife’s with Asperger husbands because that is much more challenging.Can you please let me know if you experience with men on the spectrum.

Mandy, I know you just want to be a happy wife moving toward that light at the end of the tunnel, but how are you supposed to do that when you can’t even see it most of the time? That’s stressful! You shouldn’t have to feel hopeless because of your husband’s diagnosis. I still remember thinking my marriage was hopeless because of my husband’s diagnosis, which is why my coaches and I have helped thousands of women fix their relationships. We can help you too! Get a coach so you can stop feeling hopeless and start feeling desired, taken care of and special. You can join the waitlist for the Ridiculously Happy Wife coaching program here:

“…basically as repellant as two magnets facing the wrong way. To flip those magnets around…”
Uh, an error and a missed opportunity. If you flip both magnets, they’ll repel one another again. However, if you flip only one, they’ll attract one another. Which is really a metaphor for the Laura Doyle method, isn’t it? That the magnetism can be restored by flipping just one spouse’s energy.

I feel like I am going to be doing again….. I feel tired of always putting out the effort. Is it always going to be like this?

KB, I can see why you’re tired. Your relationship shouldn’t have to be hard work! I remember when I was the one doing all the work and how lonely and exhausting that was. It was such a relief when I found the tools to inspire him to step up and do his part. I want that for you too!

If you’re ready to jumpstart your transformation, your timing is perfect. You can join me for the FREE 5-Day Adored Wife Challenge at

This is awful advice! It puts the onus on the wife to fix everything! To do the emotional work and make everything perfect and ideal conditions for a man to feel safe! NO NO NO. Most men don’t change with this advice, they end up expecting the wife to keep doing most of the work to keep the spark alive. I’m appalled at this advice.

OK, so I read this whole thing.
1. I acknowledge, both internally and externally to him that I appreciate how hard he works and what a good dad he is. I always tell him how much I appreciate his hard work and him spending time with the kids. So he knows.

2. Why do I have to be the one to make the effort to decide/find that fancy restaurant or awesome hotel? Why can’t he google stuff or pay more attention to his surroundings and think to himself “hmm maybe Maddi would like to go there?”.

3. If he takes the kids out or washes up, I genuinely show my thanks to him. I kiss him and acknowledge his efforts. But he hardly acknowledges mine. For example, i took the kids out today, by myself to give him time to himself. But I didn’t receive appreciation- intact he is now playing xbox while I am in here trying to work out how to get him to realise what he is doing to me and our relationship.

When it comes to being intimate, he is up for it asap. It’s me who doesn’t do it much because he doesn’t make the effort. If I make the effort to be intimate, he is all for it, but that’s about it.

We have conversations, i tell him my feelings and he instantly gets defensive and we end up arguing.
How can I get him to be more thoughtful?

Maddi, you shouldn’t have to be the one always making the effort! He should pay attention and be considerate of you. Especially after all your efforts, you shouldn’t go unacknowledged and unappreciated either. That’s not right. And is so lonely.

Sounds like you want support in getting him to be more thoughtful. We can help you with that! Here’s a free Roadmap of 6 simple steps that have helped thousands of women turn things around so you can too:

The whole point is for him to make the effort and show that he cares and he wants to appreciate you. Why would i do it for him? Wouldn’t that just be me trying to make myself happy? It should be his idea and his initiative. I don’t like this article personally.

I hear you, Haylee. I was so frustrated when I couldn’t get my husband to make the effort. But when I showed up differently he responded so much better, including taking the initiative I always wished he would! Of course, only you know what’s best for your situation and what works for you.

Yeah, uh no. This has been my roadmap for 26 years….and I’m still doing it. Still hoping that he will acknowledge some special occasion at least. Just act like I matter. Doesn’t work. I’’ve changed myself, the way I interact with him the way I do just about everything. It just doesn’t matter. He says he loves me but that’s as far as it goes. So, I’m not really very impressed with this advice.

Joyce, this sounds so painful. It’s like you’ve practically twisted yourself into a pretzel trying to please him, only to be made to feel like you don’t even matter. For decades! That’s not right. No one should be treated that way.

Sounds like something is missing. I’m standing for you to find an approach that does work for you. Here’s an alternative if you’re interested.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *