Husband Not Affectionate
When I was at the lowest point in my marriage–feeling completely dejected and lonely because my husband was not affectionate–I kept reading advice from experts who insisted that the solution was to say, “I have a serious concern about your lack of affection.”
The underlying premise of this advice is that my husband just did not know that I liked affection.
Or maybe he didn’t realize that he did not show affection. He just somehow…forgot.
But telling him to be more affectionate never works, as I’m sure you already know from trying it yourself.
If anything, that drove my husband farther away.
Sometimes he’d leave tire marks in the driveway.
It wasn’t until I learned the 4 simple concepts below that I stopped feeling the urge to ask why my husband wouldn’t show affection.
That’s because the smooching, the pats on the butt, and the fireworks in the bedroom came back.
Here’s the cure for a non-affectionate man:
1. Stop Talking about It
Periodically reminding my husband that he was not affectionate was the surefire way to make him show affection. Everybody said so.
So I did that. Repeatedly. But whether I begged, cajoled, demanded or made friendly suggestions, it never worked.
Oh sure, there were times when he obediently hugged and kissed me, but that didn’t scratch my itch.
If anything, it made my pain and dejection more acute. Because the truth is, getting him to hug and kiss me wasn’t what I wanted; I wanted him to WANT to hug and kiss me.
I wanted to feel desired, just like the old days when he was always smooching me or patting my butt.
Since I had to order him to be affectionate, it was evident that he didn’t want to.
And that hurt. A lot.
Begging for kisses and hugs feels lousy–even if he complies.
Not only did I feel needy and undignified doing it, it only pushed him further away.
So step one for me was to stop listening to that terrible advice (which, to this day, makes me want to punch someone in the nose).
Instead, consider that he may not be feeling loved either, even if you are being affectionate with him.
Fortunately, rather than telling him what he should do, you can naturally restore the petting and flirting by being your best self again.
2. Employ the World’s Best Aphrodisiac for Men
What’s that? You didn’t know there was an aphrodisiac for men? And that it’s super effective, works fast, and is free?
Me, neither–for years. No one ever told me. Maybe no one has ever mentioned it to you either.
When someone finally did tell me, I had no idea what they were talking about.
I’ll spell it out (while you imagine Aretha singing it): R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Here’s the thing: if you’re anything like I was, you have no idea what that looks like. I thought I WAS being respectful even though I was disrespectful at least 27 times a day.
Hopefully you’re not as bad as I was ’cause there was a lot of eye-rolling, sighing, complaining about what he did and questioning his judgment going on around here. Like, tons. Not to mention constructive criticism, interrogation, accusation, and downright rude comments.
I thought of it as “being helpful,” or doing what the experts suggested by “expressing a concern.”
All of it seemed justified to me–and all of it ruined my chances that he was ever going to come in for a passionate kiss.
I had no idea that was why my husband didn’t show affection for me. But when I look at these pictures now, it seems pretty obvious:
Okay, so those aren’t me, but they are reasonable facsimiles of how I appear when I’m disrespectful versus respectful.
You know how you want him to see you as irresistible, beautiful and lovable? He wants you to see him as smart, capable and strong in the same way.
If you don’t, he won’t be affectionate.
When you start acting like he is smart, capable and strong (even if you don’t think so), that will go a long way toward bringing back the makeout sessions, snuggling and sex you’re craving.
3. Bring Back Emotional Safety
What is emotional safety?
It’s when you admit that you just threw a handful of M&Ms into the living room for your kids to find so you could talk on the phone without interruption for a few minutes, and your friend doesn’t judge you but says, “Wow, great idea!”
It’s when your husband tells you that he just lost a grip of money because the stocks he bought went down. Way down. And you say, “Oh well, it’s only money,” instead of telling him he should have checked with you first.
It’s knowing you won’t be ridiculed, humiliated, outcast, or criticized even when you sing a Katy Perry song that’s way out of your range.
It’s what you had early in your relationship, when he was affectionate and you felt desired and you admired him so much for who he was.
Familiarity really does breed contempt sometimes, but it doesn’t have to. You could decide to be as admiring now as you were back then.
Start by letting him talk and just listening by saying “Uh-huh” or “Mmmm.”
Letting him talk without correcting, suggesting, teaching, advising or freaking out is a very good start to restoring your magnetism.
4. Be the Goddess of Fun and Light
Remember that time you went camping and you and your friend couldn’t stop laughing for an hour?
Or the other day when you were doing your Zumba moves in the kitchen?
What about when you put cereal boxes and fake blood on your shirt for Halloween and called yourself a cereal killer?
Those are just a few examples of being the real you—the Goddess of Fun and Light (GOFL).
You are at your best when you’re the manifestation of Cyndi Lauper’s astute anthem “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
Yes, I am calling you a girl even though you’re well over 12 because every woman has an inner just-wanna-have-fun girl, and if you haven’t honored her in a while, it could be time to find your hula hoop, your lip gloss and some tunes that make you shimmy and twirl.
The GOFL is always looking for a good time and is open to that taking priority over doing the laundry.
She brings a sense of fun to every situation, even when it all goes wrong and the entire bag of Cheetos is dumped onto the white couch or she accidentally squirts herself with the hose or her husband walks on the freshly mopped floor with muddy boots.
The GOFL sees mishaps as punch lines in the slapstick comedy of life.
Granted, it’s not always easy when the kids are sick, you worked a 12-hour day, and the mortgage is late.
But if you can’t remember what you like to do and let yourself do it, you’re not showing much affection for yourself.
Fretting is not going to make your husband more affectionate. But dancing the Macarena at the grocery store? It definitely could.
After all, you were all smiles and laughter when he first put the moves on you.
And he will again when you start giving yourself what you really want: fun.
334 replies on “Husband Not Affectionate”
I am so.past even wanting him.to pay attention to me. We have agreed to disagree and live separately in the same house like brother and sister. It is SO lonely and its not fair to our kids to make them see a non affectionate compromise….but he loves himself enough for all of us….mother of 8.
Joyce, That does sound lonely and rough for your eight kids. So sorry to hear. I get that you’re mad at him, and underneath that anger is your hurt, and I’m sure that’s been painful to feel so hurt. It would be a huge gift to your kids to learn the 6 Intimacy Skills and try them out on your guy. You could get more help too, and model for them what a great relationship looks like.
Consider applying for a discovery call at the link below to uncover the best next move for your relationship. I don’t think it’s an accident that you’re here writing to me about this. I see your desire underneath the hurt and I can help you honor it.
Great advice to Joyce; I hope she takes it.
I spent years being frustrated at how my wife (now Ex-wife) seemed totally disinterested in being intimate with me after about 15 years of marriage. The longer it went on (or actually did not go on), the more distance (and animosity) built between the two of us. I thought I hid my marital unhappiness from my three sons. However, after they were grown and in their mid to late 20’s, they told me that their mother and I were terrible examples of what a mature, adult relationship should look like (and that we fell way short of modeling the type of behavior they needed to see to understand what a marital relationship should look like).
Accordingly, none of my sons are married today, and that is not likely to change any time soon even though 2 sons are in their early 30’s now.
Joyce and her husband owe it to themselves AND TO THEIR 8 KIDS to change their situation right now. And make no mistake about this: it is a choice (and yes, it takes effort and commitment to get things back on the right track). Just DO IT!!!
Great !!! Message for all Larry~ very glad you posted.
Love that you talk about self care. Honestly I don’t know what make me happy I’m so numb at times. Husband often tells me what should make me happy and criticizes what I’m choosing in the moment. Even in bed. I have made a practice of shutting down. He just told me he is thinking of divorcing me because my life style of working is keeping him from having the life he wants. He’s retired and wants to sell everything and travel and wander. He is also worried we don’t have enough money to make it even though he retired early. He drinks and gets high every night. He lives to make himself happy in the moment and says I’m the uptight problem. I decided that it’s time to figure out what makes me happy. Ive been focusing on him with poor results. When does one know it’s time to fish or cut bait? He tells me he’s giving me two more years. Then let’s see what happens. Rolling my eyes here. I am a year out from two boughts of cancer. Been doing a lot of soul searching. Fun. Joy. Thanks for the reminder.
Nancy, wow, it sounds like you’ve been through so much. I hear you’re feeling numb and shut down, especially from being criticized. I love that you’re taking the opportunity to do this soul searching and acknowledge you for seeking joy, even when that seems so removed. This could be the breakdown before the breakthrough. I remember how it felt not to know what made me happy. Now I’m in the habit of making every day joyful. I want that for you too! I’d love to see you get the 6 Intimacy Skills and experiment with them because I know you can turn things around. You can get them from my book/audiobook The Empowered Wife. You can read a free chapter here: http://getcherished.com
I am married for 32 yrs and just got better from a wernicke encephalitis episode due to medical negligence. Hospitalized for 50 days and 3 days (comatosed) under life support system.
I woke up from my bed ridden state (6 months ago) and my memory got back to 98% functionality. My gait affected and I can now make & hold my own mug of coffee.
I was shocked and saddened when my wife gave me a 30 mins scolding and lecture on being self sufficient. She said I am withdrawn and no longer self sufficient. She wanted me to be active once again …. like I was before. She claimed I am enjoying the added attention I am having. It grieved me so much. I have given her my life savings and my children are both taken care and working now (no problem with children).
I am willing to move on to live on my own … I have my monthly pension. Should I ?
Adri, I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. It sounds like that ordeal has put quite a strain on you and your marriage, and that it is taking some time for your wife to adjust. While I wish I could offer you more support, I work only with women in my mission to end world divorce. However, I have written a blog post for the many men seeking my support and hope you find some guidance there: http://lauradoyle.org/blog/how-to-get-your-wife-to-stop-nagging/. I wish you all the best as you continue to recuperate and your family continues to adjust.
Nancy I can feel your pain, I got out of a 27 year marriage and I thought it was mostly his fault that it failed, but as I have stepped back from that relationship and I am in a new one and having issues also, I decided there has to be something I can do, so I am focusing on me and what makes me happy, I am just starting, but I am not as tense and uptight and if he comes around and we can work it out great but if not I will be just fine, and I am doing some things I have wanted to do for years, and I have stopped trying to control him, he did just fine before me and I think he can do many things by himself like his laundry and cleaning, if I feel like it I will clean but if I am feeling used or taken advantage of then I do what I want to do, sometimes the dishes go a day or two without getting done, I don’t know all the answers for sure but I am trying something new.
I’m sick of doing all the work… why couldn’t he ever desire to make things work? Divorce is certain… I’m too tired and hurt to do even more… it’s not lost affection for me though…. he never had it to begin with…
….he never had it to begin with…oh how I can relate to this statement. As I read the blog post about how she wanted her husband to be affecting again like when they were dating and how all the kisses, etc. Came back, all I could think was how my relationship surely had no hope for affection because there is none to bring back to begin with.
I can relate to that 100% Amanda. It hurts when you truly invest your heart and soul, and your partner doesn’t know how to show up for you, and your lives together. I left after16 years…too hard to continue the toxic cycle. God knows I turned over every stone.
If you read the surrendered wife or empowered wife, like I did, then you’ll learn why your doing all the work (like I did) and learn to not help him so much and let him do it his way and encourage him too and applaud him even if it’s not how you’d mow the lawns or load the dishwasher, he’s doing a great job. And then if you start to care for yourself and do things you enjoy so that you feel happy and fulfilled, instead of tired and exhausted and resentful, everything will be ok. By the way ok is now one of my favourite words it makes you let go of the control reigns
Begging for attention doesn’t feel good neither does waiting and waiting. My husband has been back home since last October and we are living like roommates. I know there are other issues going on and he has told me I have been great and it isn’t my fault. I’m not ready to give up having a sex life at 49. He’s living with shame for the things he did and also has depression and anxiety. I have tried to follow Laura’s advice and though our relationship as far as communication is good there is still nothing happening in the bedroom. It makes me very sad. I feel like I am stuck on hold and don’t know when things will change.
Same boat… exactly… what a lonely life. Same age, etc. I am not done living and I am tired of waiting!
I am in the same place and I’m not even 40. I had a baby 15 months ago and the process to conceive was tough as my husband didn’t want to “perform” for the sake of my ovulation calendar. I’m sure many have been in that situation but it was horrible for me. We haven’t had sex or kissed (a real kiss) since I first found out I was pregnant so best part of 2 years now. He also stopped being affectionate, he used to be so very affectionate, constantly touching me or kissing me. I shared my feelings with him recently, I told him I feel like we are 2 friends living together and I need more than that. He was really mad about that and told me I was making him feel like he’s not good enough and that I should just wait!! I didn’t imply that he’s not good enough and how long am I supposed to wait and what am I waiting for??? This is crazy. I feel like I have to end this marriage as the feelings or resentment and sadness I have towards him now will soon become apparent to my son as they soak yo everything and I definitely don’t want that. I deserve a fulfilling marriage and this is not that.
Zandile , thank you for the advice, I am start to do better to my husband today.I always brag ,saying bad things to my husband even telling that his not that hot guy a met long time ago , say his like a grandpa now not knowing how he feels , not even knowing that I’m disrespecting him
Hello friend, my name is Lena. And I need some unique advice for a unique situation. My life.
I read the article and I agree, these attributes are very successful for any relationship, but my situation is unique. And I hope Im not too late, but I needed to try.
You see, I all these positive attributes come natural for me. My hubby calls me his perfect wife, his beautiful amazing wife. And it wonderful that he calls me these things. He has been married 3x before me, and he’s my first relationship.
We truly have a beautiful relationship, but….
And this is what makes my situation different.
It’s true, I am very, in fact extra! AFFECTIONATE with my husband. He loves it and soaks it up like a sponge. But unfortunately, he’s not as affectionate with me.
Now don’t get me wrong he’s a good man/ hubby and buys me jewelry and shows SOME affection. May I emphasize some?
Example, I’ll be rubbing his back for the longest time while he’s sitting up on the bed, and caress his head and face. And when he finally lays down, to snuggle, he rubs me a little bit. While his words are beautiful, but I have to make the first step towards making love.
I can walk by him while he’s sitting on the couch and stop for a few minutes to love up on him.
He will kiss me back, and everything, but it’s not the same when he walks by me and I’m sitting on the couch. I reach out to him, and he’ll touch my hand. Once in a while he’ll stop to kiss me, but the affection is no where near as much as I give to him.
What do I do? Stop ? Cuz I’ve tried that. And it’s extremely hard. Because most of the time, it’s the only time I can get some lovies in return, as I give to him. I just end up giving a lot more than what I receive.
And I don’t know what to do.
Lena, I think your problem is you’re setting expectations for him to express love to you by the exact way you do to him. Setting expectations for our significant others often leads to disappointment because often times human beings will disappoint us. We are all programmed differently so you can’t measure the “quantity” of his affection, but more the quality. Do other things that make you happy as Lara said and just learn to have fun in life. Don’t put all your happiness into your marriage alone. Find some stuff you enjoy. Girls just wanna have fun! (Cyndi Lauper)
A little bit of background on me and my husband. We are both 30. Have been married 8 years. We got married two weeks after knowing each other. When you know you know. We have two daughters, 6 and 3 months. He’s not near as affectionate as me but if I tell him “it feels so good when you hold me and kiss me. I really love it.” He will keep doing it. If I ask him “babe will you do (insert request)?” And he says no, I just say “okay” and then he will immediately do it. I never try to argue my point or beg I just say “okay babe” and it works 9 times out of 10 with just about anything. When they see that you appreciate them and respect them it works wonders. The other day I said to him “I think a Mustache would be sexy. You should totally get one.” He said “I’m really insecure about my chin. I don’t wanna do that.” I said “okay babe.” The next day I woke up and he had a mustache. I had the biggest smile and he’s kept it ever since because he knows it made me happy but I’ll be okay loving him with any choice he decides to make.
Not loving the advice on this one, physical touch is a basic human need, being rejected constantly when you are always being the good time girl, in the bedroom, in the kitchen creating fun and pandering on all the things you stated above in this article, and still not getting anything back, talking gently, praising and loving him in everyway possible, but still no thought to reach and touch a partner when they know you need it to survive to stay emotionally grounded. sounds to me like we have to give it all, and if we dont get it back we have to continue to look at our selves, giving internal strokes. well im sorry (not) that just isnt good enough. at some point a man has to be responsible for his partners needs. they are always ready to take take take,
20 years in and still trying to resolve this problem, trust me I have tried a thousand ways and yes I can list them all
Does this same advice apply to someone whose husband had an afair for 4 years, told wife he loved both her and the other woman, and has pushed away for 16 months now. We’ve been married 37 years and I feel so rejected and undesired. He also says things that make me feel ugly or undesirable. It’s so painful! I still love and desire him. I want our marriage restored and don’t want to give up, but I sometimes feel like I’m being played and there’s no hope.
I can see why you’re feeling so rejected and undesirable, and it’s heartbreaking. You shouldn’t have to hear such things from your husband! Or feel like you’re being played, which sounds scary and so painful.
Thousands of women have turned things around using this approach, even when there was an affair and he was in love with another woman. We can help you too! Here’s a free Roadmap of 6 simple steps that will help you fix your relationship: lauradoyle.org/rm1o
These are good suggestions and I can see how they may work with a non-toxic man. My husband has passive aggressive disorder and his usual response is a non-response. Our marriage was never a priority. But HE expects not to have to make any effort in the husband role. It can take years for the catering wife to figure out that nothing will ever change. I have been doing the work of both spouses for the past 26.5 years, along with working full time and raising two kids. Being room mates is a good description for my marriage also. He doesn’t care; he’s fine with not having to make any effort to meet my needs or even have a conversation with me. There is nothing to be done with a passive aggressive; they are not in reality and can’t be told anything, They especially refuse to do anything differently if they know it’s what their wife needs from them.
Beth, I don’t know who told you your husband is a passive aggressive, but I’d like to punch that person in the nose. Really. It’s that infuriating for me.
I’m sorry your marriage is so painful and has been for a long time. I feel for you because I made the same mistakes you describe here with catering to my husband instead of focusing on my own happiness, and getting stuck on a diagnosis of what was wrong with him. We landed in the same hell you’re in. There is a way back to happily-ever-after, and the fact that you posted here today tells me you haven’t given up looking for it. Why else would you reach out to me? So I’m calling you to take action on that hope, Beth. And step 1 will be to stop working so hard on your marriage, because you need a break. You sound exhausted.
I lay everything out step-by-step in this book: The Empowered Wife. You can read a free chapter here to start, but I can’t wait for you to read the whole thing. You’re going to feel like you have a new husband. Really!
You are sure a Pollyanna aren’t you? You seem to believe that all men are basically good and fixing each of these relationships is a good idea. Ain’t necessarily so, Polly. My father was a monster. My ex-husband was a self-centered, lazy drunkard. Both marriages ended, my parents’ after 20 years (too long), mine after 7 1/2. Not regretting either divorce, not for one damned second.
Why on earth would you be here reading all of this if you think it’s such terrible advice and she’s so off base? I don’t understand that part AT ALL.
She believes in saving as many marriages as possible. This group is for women who feel they want to try this after trying everything. If the skills aren’t working, we can still choose to end it. But it is much better to feel that we tried at least. Plus, for a future relationship we can start on much better grounds with the skills.
Pen, I love your stand for marriage. You sound like a coach!
If you’re interested in joining the mission to end world divorce, I invite you to my FREE masterclass on Purpose, Prosperity, and Intimacy: How to Have All 3 and Help Others Do the Same:
Hope to see you!
We just celebrated 10 years of marriage… oh how I want to be hugged or spooned or kissed before I go to sleep without demanding it ☺️
Hi Beth, these principles really do work. I didn’t find Laura’s book till well into second marriage. It’s a constant battle for me to do some of these things but when ever I’m strong and do them, they work every time. Buy her book!
Beth you have descirbed my life to a tee, same amount of years of marriage, The number of children, and demeanor of my husband as well. I feel I’m working on both sides as well. Laura it is very lonely.
Beth, I’m sorry to hear your marriage is feeling so lonely! I remember when I felt lonely in my marriage and it was awful. I thought my husband was a complete loser-face before. But then I learned a few things and my marriage is magical again. Now my marriage is amazing, and if I can do it, then you can do it too. I wrote it all out with very easy-to-follow instructions in The Empowered Wife. You can read a free chapter here:
Beth… I read your comment. It was like reading my own life on paper. My marriage of 28 years almost ended just 7 short months ago. My life was just as yours. I was a roommate, ignored, unappreciated, taken for granted, and super lonely. I raised two beautiful daughters pretty much alone.
Our disconnect became so much that he had a few (4) marital indiscretions (for lighter terms). I knew something was way wrong and got tired of trying. Then it snapped… I was done with it. I finally confronted him about seeing the texts he was sharing with an acquaintance of mine. I don’t know why I was so calm but I talked with such a peace and told him… “I love you so much that I will let you go… leave you so that you can have all the women you desire… with no ball and chain to hold you back. Yes, I love you that much that all I want is for you to be happy. If you want her, you can have her… but you just can no longer have us both.” And I left him. That night. I packed my bags while he showered and left him in a big cold empty house and went to my daughters home.
Was I hurt? YES! devastated. But I was sincere. I learned in the lifetime of our relationship that me screaming crying begging didn’t work… so I didn’t this time.
I had lost myself in the marriage… my true self. You know, the one who had dreams and goals and wanted to live life only to live for everyone else but me. That’s where he (my husband) lost interest in me. That’s where he lost respect for me.
“Thankfully” he responded. He was a very selfish, self-centered passive aggressive man. Very machista on top of it. He wanted me to come home. I said no. He said he didn’t want her or them… yup “them”. He said he wanted me. I still said no, that I had enough of his type of love. He asked me to give him another chance. I was tired, leery, hurt but I did give him 3 days to convince me why I should stay in this fruitless, loveless relationship any longer.
I gave him that chance… really gave him that opportunity to prove himself. I said it needed to be new or nothing. We mutually agreed. I thought I was giving him the chance… but I jumped on this time and I gave MYSELF that chance to be me again… the real me. You know, the one who had dreams and goals and wanted to live life… and that’s what I’m doing.
We date now! I do what I used to do… find every opportunity to compliment him on his accomplishments, on his looks, thank him for the smallest gestures. I invite him into my world… he invites me into his. We actually refer to our old selves as “ex’s”. We are enjoying learning each other all over again. I can laugh again.
Let me be clear… all these points Laura posted… I took and practiced. It worked. It really worked in my case. Not only did it help repair my failed marriage, but it helped me bring ME back!
Wow so inspirational! ❤
Thank you for sharing this, my situation sounds the same. My “want” and my “desire” is to not have to share or compete with other women either. I’m practicing the intimacy skills, but he seems to feel he can have it all. I like your calm respectful approach. We really are empowered, wives. Thank you.
I’m in the same situation Joyce.
Almost all the reactions are by women. I am not, and, on reading your four principles, I immediately felt: Yes, this is better than all the attempts (with guidance) to try and communicate. I have often said in sessions that I am trying to build a small beach head, and to try and expand on it. A beach head where it is safe and peaceful enough to be there and actually stay, and fall back. My wife just cannot cooperate with even the smallest attempt to simply be together for and hour or two doing something pleasant, without seizing the opportunity to bring up our problems and some grandiose problem/solution session, which marks the complete end of any small initiative to just get through an hour without grief. According to her she cannot be expected to go through with some exercise like this as if there’s nothing going on and everything will be honky dorry! This effectively means any contact is all about conflict and problems. When I am away, I like to provoke people to some banter about the issues of the day in the elevator or the bus, or to ask people at a business meeting what song we should sing to open, to play around a little, make things a little more interesting or less boring. With her I am just a sullen dead beat. I have more confidence in the day-to-day politeness and the good will of complete strangers! I have often tried to tell her that it is impossible to give something after someone has already demanded it, exactly like your point about ” wanting him to want”.
Anyway, our inability to cooperate and engage peacefully has devastated everybody involved, including our children. I don’t really see any hope amid the devastation. Just wanted to let you know that your common sense practical advice really resonated with not-a-woman.
Wow that sounds awful, I try to do what my man request of me hoping
It would cause him to make an attempt to do the same. It does not. We have fun. A lot of fun together. We laugh so hard it hurts about nonsense but it Is good and natural. But we do not make love. It seems the bad experiences we’ve had where we argued like teenagers and IVe over acted has ruiNed any future attempts at intimacy. I’ve become some crazy chick that complains bc he doesn’t want me. He says he does, yet does not act like it. If he wanted me he would have me.
I feel like it’s a vicious cycle. I get hurt bc he doesn’t touch me, and he doesn’t touch me bc of the way I
react to him not touching me.
I’m not the prettiest he’s been with. But I’m good looking, and active, and good enough to deserve affection,
How do I get what I need from him. We used to be together Sexually every day. Now it’s 3-5 times a month.
Try twice a year…if THAT. 31 years married.
Last year during the pandemic, he blurted out, out of nowhere….’I never remember ever being hugged by my mother’….My head wanted to explode! I came from a VERY affectionate family so it is seriously lacking. Affection was something I knew he wasn’t buig on and I thought it was a compromise I could make….until 31 years passed and at 61 I find myself NEEDING it. (When my Dad passed in 2014, I got “the buddy hug”….standing NEXT TO me and an arm around my shoulder with a shake as if to say ‘get over it’. THAT hurt. Got the same when my mom passed in 2020. When his parents passed, I cried….HE didn’t. So I understand he has issues, but why with ME? Sex used to be great and frequent….now, not but MAYBE twice a year if I beg. He has no problems performing or responding to stimulation…..
He comes home from work talking about every woman he works with (hotel industry so there are a lot, plus every female guest he runs across ) I finally said I have heard enough so now he scarcely speaks to me at all except to say we are out of dog food or milk or whatever.
I’m tired of crying to myself when I’m alone. He shuts down if I try to bring up the subject of ‘us’ so I don’t anymore. I reach out at night to just touch his hand, even, and he pulls away & rolls over.
I do have health issues (epilepsy and COPD) and haven’t worked in 2 1/2 years as I take care of a grandchild, which was mutually decided when the baby was born as the baby had health issues. The loss of my income did not affect our way of life as I inherited some money when my mother passed, so it’s not a financial thing. I also invested the majority of my inheritance so that my husband could retire early if he so desired. I have gained weight and am “chunky” but still turn the occasional head so I’m not completely disgusting, I feel. I keep myself clean and neat.
Not sure whether to end this sadness by leaving or if I’d be better off staying and learning to live without the affection. After 31 years I’m afraid I’ll never learn how.
Barbara, I’m sorry you’re going through this. It must have been scary to hear that comment out of the blue. It sounds so lonely to feel rejected after over 30 years of marriage. You shouldn’t have to beg! I can see why you’re on the fence. It’s so sad to think you’ll just have to learn to live without affection.
I remember when I was in the same place and how bad it felt, 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 lonely and hopeless, and start feeling desired, taken care of and special!
Hi Laura my name is Lara I hve amy engadged nd soon to be married but my man is cheating yet keeps on planning our wedding but the intimacy is gone nd I constantly tell him wat I want and how he should be in miss the kisses the spanking on the bum the cuddling in bed but now it’s all gone I dnt knw wat to do help please and we’re can I get ur book am from South Africa
Lara, that sounds devastating to have found out your fiancé is cheating. I admire your commitment to getting back the playful intimacy in your relationship. I remember how painful it was to have lost the intimacy early in my marriage. Practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills brought back my husband’s attention and affection so now it feels like we’re dating again. If I can do it, I know you can turn things around too! I recommend my latest book, The Empowered Wife, which is available at lauradoyle.org/store/the-books/. We ship anywhere. While you’re waiting for it to arrive, I invite you to my free upcoming webinar so you can start practicing the Skills right away: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life.
Wow! What is this? I get some of the points. But I am not going to be the goddess of fun and light if I am not getting any affection. It goes both ways. A two way street. But I am not going to be doing somersaults and cartwheels in order for this man to show some affection. I respect him but I also respect myself. 30yrs of marriage I must have been doing something right. We are in his mid-life crisis! My God it is a crisis! I have tried talking to him. He doesn’t want to talk clams up. So I just tell him I love him and try and hug a tree. My emotional piggy bank is no longer being filled. The cat gets his affection and thank God my boys still receive his affection but not his wife. Thirty years you would think would count for something. We have gone through some tough times but we always pulled through. But here is the sad part. The longer he withholds his love and affection the more insecure I become in our marriage. I feel alone. I am hurt. And the more guarded my heart becomes. It becomes harder for me to show affection when it is not reciprocated. I also become self conscience about everything I do. And I become very self aware about my physical flaws. Deep down I know this is not who I am. A man does not define who I am. But when you have loved someone. Shared your life, the ups and downs. And they just cut off the love. I do not care who you are or how strong you think you are. That does something to a person deep down. Down to their very soul. I pray he wakes up before he looses the best thing he ever had.
Anita, I’m sorry to hear how alone and hurt you feel since your husband has cut off his love. That sounds very painful. I really admire your commitment to your marriage and your vulnerability in coming here for support. You are the expert on your own life, and I hear that focusing on “being the real you–the Goddess of Fun and Light” when you’re not receiving affection does not fit for you. There are many other Intimacy Skills that would address this challenge. I remember when my husband seemed oblivious to the risk of losing me and nothing I did was helping. When I started practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills, however, things changed. Now he is more affectionate and I feel more secure than ever. I know you can get that back too. If you’re interested in learning more tools, please check out my free upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
You know I was thinking the exact thing… 7 years of marriage, 8 years together and since the beginning I’m the one doing all the above. My husband only works and I do all the rest along with our children still in to be doing all the above continuously? Marriage is both way… husbands love your wives as Christ love the church and gave himself for it. Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands and see that you respect him… Ephesians 5… so what more can I do?
Anita it’s like I wrote this myself .. I’m 30 years in ..My husband would literally do anything for me but hug or kiss me until prompted .. and sex well it’s been a year and I don’t think he even knows that .. ugh ..he’s a great guy but it’s so frustrating..
Exactly. I have waited now over two years something to change and tried all tricks and advices and stepped back. Nothing helps,it has gone worse. Maybe i have to start looking for affection from somewhere else. I gave jim affection daily,still do sometimes but i guess it does feel like nothing to him. If it would feel good,he would do the same thing for me. I don’t want even sex anymore and he is not asking or making any moves to it either. I didn’t get married to have a roommate.
Anita, living same script now minus the 30yrs of marriage! Truth be told it really hurts when you give your all to someone and the only thing you ask for or expect back is not met! Like you have to beg for it!
Am in a marriage of almost two yrs and expecting a child, my second born but only from my husband. He has 4kids from his previous marriage and one from a fling he had before I met him! That aside. My issue is my love tank is ever empty! My ll is physical touch and he never touches me unless I complain! If am lucky I get sex(can’t call it making love coz he’s selfish in that department) twice a month where am ever left unsatisfied! The last straw was this morning when I touched him wanting some love and he told me he wasn’t interested! That he won’t rise to the occasion even if I tried! That really hurt, I felt rejected and wondered why he married me in the first place! And again, there are so many ways of pleasuring a woman that does not entail penetration! Long story short, am so lonely in my marriage and with these comments I don’t know if it will ever get any better!! I’ve resulted to watching porn and musterbating!
Oh wow, you took the words right out of my mouth, infact I could not have said it better. That’s exactly how my life is. I have 2 kids and one on the way. Yes, the one on the way was made through wham bam thank you ma’am. This is a very lonely life!!!!
Tanya, I can see why you’re feeling lonely, having been left on your own with another baby on the way. I admire both your strength and your vulnerability in reaching out for support here.
I remember how alone I felt when my husband had retreated from me. The 6 Intimacy Skills attracted him back and gave me the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted.
You too can have the support and affection you deserve! I’ll show you how in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Joyce I must say I am in the same boat. The sad part is I beginning to hate him.
Sophia, that sounds so painful. I admire your honesty and vulnerability. I remember feeling the same way.
I was full of resentment toward my husband until I found the 6 Intimacy Skills. Now, I receive so much attention, affection and help from him and have the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted.
If I can do it, you can too! I’ll show you how in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I am past trying to coddle him. All I can see now is a spoiled child. I have tried everything. Even what you are suggesting here. I am tired and burned out. I have resentment towards him. Why? Because he is not willing to come half way. It takes two to make a marriage work.
Anita, I can certainly see why you don’t want to coddle your husband when he’s acting like a spoiled child, especially when you’re already feeling so tired and resentful. I’d be feeling the same way if my husband weren’t doing his part for our marriage. In sharing with your beautiful vulnerability here, I still see your commitment to your marriage, which I really admire.
I remember how resentful I felt when my husband was acting like a child and I felt like I had to do everything. I was overwhelmed and depleted and had nothing more to give. The 6 Intimacy Skills empowered me to focus on my own happiness, and a happy marriage followed.
If I can do it, you can have a playful, passionate marriage too. 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: https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching.
I have felt exactly the same way the past 4 years! Today I filed for divorce.
When I got with my now partner we were so in love holding hands kissing each other every chance we got watching TV cuddling on the sofa. He moved in with me for a yr and a half the relationship was really good then he changed on his part I still wanted to cuddle hold hands everything we used to do. He’d complain that he was tired unhappy with the weight he gained even though he looked like that when we started going out. When I want to make love he pushes me away and makes a joke at me or says his tummy doesn’t feel right as he had an operation couple yrs ago he had his gallbladder removed I am sick and tired of always making the first move giving his wks onvend to feel better I feel like I’m begging for his attention which makes me angry I want to hate him because of how he’s making me feel it’s not fair as iv been patient with him through his illness he tells me he loves me he buys me flowers takes me out tell his friends and family that he’s going to marry me I don’t believe him.. I’m confused something is missing and it’s making me feel so sad how can I believe he loves me when he doesn’t show me gifts don’t tell me he loves me actions speak louder than words
Respect? When he gave our money and the words only meant for his wife, to another woman? When I found out, I went ballistic and called her all kinds of names…he apologized to her for his wife’s behavior. HE HAS NEVER APOLOGIZED TO ME FOR HIS CHEATING. How do you learn to respect that man again?
This is how I feel. I’m 3 months away from an empty nest of three adult children. Loneliness is coming. There is no intimacy and if I mention it …even lovingly, it only gets worse. UGH
Becki, this sounds incredibly lonely. And so frustrating that when you try to make it better it only gets worse. I remember those days and how painful they were.
If you’re ready to turn this around, your timing is perfect. The 5-Day Adored Wife Challenge is about to start. You can join us for FREE at lauradoyle.org/challenge.
That’s all well and good but what am I meant to do when for the last 6 years I have constantly listened to him, not criticized, never once had an “I told you so attitude” with him, always respect his decisions and how hard he works, tell him I know he is more than capable, never make a big deal when he messes up, am affectionate, super loving and always complimenting him. Yet he continues to not show affection and only ever points out my flaws. He never ever compliments me and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t respect me. Yes I have pointed out how hurtful his lack of affection is and tried coaxing him to want to kiss and cuddle (which I now know I shouldn’t do) but I already do all the other things you suggest. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t really need my love anyway as he loves himself enough for the both of us. Is there something else left to try before I walk out of the front door for good?
Sarah, it sounds like something is going missing for sure. You shouldn’t have to go without affection, compliments or respect and be criticized on top of it all. No one deserves that.
I remember feeling stuck too and it was lousy, which is why my coaches and I have helped so many women fix their relationships. We can help you too!
So there is one more thing you can try before walking out, and it actually starts today: the 5-Day Adored Wife Challenge. I’d love to see you there so we can uncover how you can get the affection and love you deserve. You can join us for FREE at lauradoyle.org/challenge.
Your situation sounds similar to mine. I too feel lonely spending time in my bedroom. 50th anniversary we did not even celebrate it. Just another day of hurt and disappointment. My husband has prostate problems. No sex is not a problem. No affection such as an occassional love pat or a kiss on the cheek would reassure me I am loved but he says he doesn’t feel anything, therefore he never shows any affection. Talking, arguing, complaining gets us nowhere. He just doesn’t understand why this is problem. I do my makeup and my hair hoping to aleast get a compliment. I feel abandoned, wothless and unloved. My self esteem is 0. He will sit in a chair watching tv from morning till night while I do all the house work and laundry and not once offer to help. Im stubborn I will do it all myself and get energy from my anger before I ask for his help. The little he gives is not even worth asking for.
Jennifer, this sounds incredibly painful and lonely. No one deserves to feel that way.
I still remember how lonely and awful it was not getting the attention and help I needed. That’s why my coaches have helped so many women fix their relationships, even when things seemed hopeless.
We can help you too! Here’s a free Roadmap of 6 simple steps that have helped thousands of women turn things around so you can be next!
I feel your pain. Sounds exactly like my marriage. He even has his own bedroom, that he promptly retires to the minute he steps foot in the house. Shuts the door and doesn’t leave unless to use the restroom or leave again for work the next morning. On the weekends he stays in his bed (literally) all weekend. Atleast sometimes on the weekends he will leave the door open, but he shows little to No interest in anything I or my daughters have to say. Hell I can walk around the room naked and he doesn’t even look up from his phone.
AC, this sounds so lonely and painful. You shouldn’t be treated that way–that’s not right. I still remember thinking my marriage was hopeless and being scared to try, which is why my coaches and I have helped over 15,000 women fix their relationships. We can help you too!
Here’s a free Roadmap of 6 simple steps that have helped thousands of women turn things around so you can fix your relationship too! lauradoyle.org/rm1o
Great tips! Thanks for the reminder to allow myself to have fun in the midst of being “a grown up”. I can definitely see how it would make me more attractive to my mate. 🙂
This was on the money, but I have been pulling this train for a long time and I am so tired. Yes I want all those things in the section and I have tried all the things suggest along with being the worst of what a woman becomes when she is rejected and disregarded. But at what point do I get to move on and just love myself?
Angela Sorry to hear you’re feeling so lonely and exhausted in your relationship. I remember what that’s like. Sounds like you’re probably doing too much and you could use a break. So how about just focusing on self-care (aka loving yourself) right now, starting today while you’re in your relationship?
Pulling the train never worked for me either. But RIDING on the train, blowing bubbles and sipping lemonade with my girlfriends brought all the good stuff back.
My book, The Empowered Wife will make your head explode. In a good way. You can read about your birthright as a woman here:
Would not have believed it myself until read book and started practicing taking care of myself as well as stopped the pushing. The actions Laura says will happen are starting to happen.
Is it not possible that these men may be having affairs and that explains why their not affectionate to their Wives?
Lillian, Anything is possible. But if what you want is to repair and revitalize the relationship and preserve your family, why not focus on the things you want more of? What you focus on increases. We all get to choose what we focus on.
My husband is home all the time and there are no signs or nothing that says it. He says he loves me and spends time with me etc but he has said affection is “not his style”. Well,sad thing he said it a year after wedding. So i asked why he showed me affection before. “Because you wanted but I’m not into that”. So yes i feel betrayed. I would have never got married if i knew that.
I read a lot about “loving yourself” and “radical self-love” and I agree with the concept.
But I often think: What if I want to, as a part of loving myself, just sleep with other men who don’t have a problem with wanting and desiring me?
I live in a monogamous relationship – and it’s monogamous because of him. I have told him many times that I’d be okay with an open relationship (for both of us, of course) so that I could fulfill my needs with other people if he just doesn’t feel like it.
But of course, he doesn’t want that. Why? Because it would make him jealous.
So I totally agree to your approach of mutual respect, but I can’t help seeing a discrepancy between what women are willing to give and change about themselves – and how women are always working on themselves and doing all the work.
Do you know what I mean, especially in the context of my example of NOT going polyamorous, just because of him / for him?
I seriously don’t think he knows how lucky he is so far. I seriously think he appreciates me less than I appreciate him.
I think as soon as I love myself enough, I won’t be monogamous anymore, but just satisfy my needs with people who really want me – who I don’t have to manipulate or play games of “oh I’m already happy without you” with.
So in my relationship, the only 2 options I have are
A) accepting him the way he is and not having as much sex as I want to / not always being the one who initiates sex
= not having what I want for myself
B) leaving the relationship because he won’t accept that I sleep with others.
So there’s only me leaving or me accepting him. Him changing something about how he behaves towards me is totally not in the equation. And in my opinion, even though that approach makes sense because we can only control ourselves, it caters to male selfishness.
A man doesn’t allow a woman to be herself, but will not compromise anything for her.
Can you give me some feedback for this, please?
Cat, I hear that you’re frustrated and fed up with not getting the physical intimacy you want. I acknowledge you for reaching out for support before making a decision. It was so painful for me when my husband would rather watch TV (or do anything else) than make love to me. I’m thrilled at how things have turned around since I started practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills, as I now receive plenty of affection! I’d love to see you stop sacrificing so much too. You can be desired and get the sexual affection you crave. I’d love to see you get the 6 Intimacy Skills and experiment with them. You can get them from my book/audiobook First, Kill All the Marriage Counselors. I invite you to read a free chapter here: http://getcherished.com
I wish you would also write this exact same article for men to read when they feel like they want more sex from their wife. My man has always been so demanding and demeaning about his desire for sex and blames it on “my” whatever-he-calls-it (lack of imagination, asexuality, defect, broken libido, etc.) when really, it’s exactly the same things you mention in the article: lack of respect and emotional security. It’s SO hard for me to have any desire for him when he is so disrespectful, unkind, hurtful, and unsupportive in all the ways that count (verbally, emotionally, financially, etc.). How can a marriage have a healthy sexual aspect if all other aspects of the relationship are unhealthy and dysfunctional? I know your blog is aimed at women, but wow, the points you made in this article could be turned around and aimed at men as well. Because it really does go both ways.
Lisa, Sounds like a painful marriage! Sorry to hear. I remember feeling this way too and being really shocked to learn that so many of the problems were in my power to improve. Once I did, my husband went back to being the wonderful guy I married. I see a lot of potential in this post for you to make your marriage great again. Have you read, The Empowered Wife? You’d find it very valuable.
I can assure you that Laura’s words are just as applicable whichever side of the gender table you are on. Change the pronouns and that article cuts perfectly bothways.
The problem is when the marriage gets into a rut, and each side feel hurt, and builds contempt for the spouse (digging in one’s heals) rather than risking vulnerability and builds a bridge to rediscover why you loved that person in the first place.
Laura has great ideas on how to find what was lost, and restore what is missing without discarding what you have, destroying the intact family (if there are kids), and then moving on only to commit the same mistakes with the next person the next time around.
If both you and your husband can find a way to tear down those walls you both have built, stop pointing fingers at each other, and hit a “reset button” while following Laura’s play-book, you will be surprised at what can be done to rediscover happiness. And, your kids deserve that and they will notice!
I wish I had known about this blog so much earlier. Lisa, That is so hard to hear, I’m sorry. There should never be a point in a marriage where sex is demanded from either spouse. It’s so demeaning and just so wrong. Since this was years ago, I hope you were able to turn your situation around w/ your husband – or did you ultimately get a divorce? If you don’t mind, I would love to know, and hear your story for inspiration. Since I too went through a similar situation w/ my husband wanting to do more in bed with him and he would bring it up quite often to be more explorative in ways I’ve never really been comfortable with. But it’s mostly been with his lack of affection and emotion. It was so hard and hurtful, and I was sad and felt a little lonely in a way. He is slowly starting to come around, but it’s been some progress. Laura is right
I wish I had seen and known about this blog years ago. Lisa, I’m so sorry to read what you’ve gone through. It’s hard to read. Although, perhaps your situation with your husband has changed hopefully by now since all of this time has gone by. Reading your particular story hit close to home for me. My husband isn’t necessarily demanding with his desire with sex, however, he is rather demanding on exploring more ways to have sex lately in the past year. He tells me that it’s become boring, predictable and routine – I understand that changing up things in bed is beneficial, but he’s asking for methods I’m not comfortable with, and when I tell him I’m not, he gets upset and impatient. I just wish he and I were on the same page on other ways we can have sex without reenacting a porno film. And since it’s been going on a while, I feel so alienated – and my husband does too in a way.
This is SO good. I am loving this information!
We live in a society that is all about me, me, me. Everyone wants something for nothing. The Bible says “Give and it shall be given to you”. Once we learn to stop being selfish and just start giving out of love (give respect, honor, love, etc…), we will start receiving abundantly.
Thank you for the information. I am trying to get past the hurdle of two steps forward, ten back due to his doing something really stupid. I could list the things, but that would be a book. It’s his “victim” mentality that makes me the most crazy. The most sobering aspect of all this is knowing that if I show him more respect (and less disrespect to start with), he will feel more confident and do fewer things to cause problems. It’s also hard to suffer the consequences of others when you had nothing to do with the action. Keep writing your advice and I will keep holding myself accountable.
Michelle, You’ve got a deal. I can relate to the agony you describe–I was there too. A few small tweaks will make for some big improvements in your relationship for sure. It can happen fast, actually.
Here’s an idea for you: Instead of holding yourself accountable, how about you let this community lift you up? Come on in–the water’s fine!
You can apply for a complimentary discovery call here:
Yeah. My husband and I are just roommates. It’s hard for me to respect him when he never stands up for himself to others. He lets his ex and his girls walk all over him and hurt him and all he does is make excuses for them.
Jeanie, I remember those bad old days! Reminds me of us years ago. Things are a LOT better now. So they can be better for you too. Stands to reason, right? I’d love to see you get some support. Here’s where you can get a complimentary discovery call to uncover the best next move for your relationship. Everything you mention here is totally fixable.
I’m in love with your books Laura….My married life has changed sooo much. The intimacy is back. I would love to know if you’re ever planning to come to London to give a lectures or courses. That would be amazing!!!
Pearl, Thank you for the sweet note. Congratulations on your intimate marriage! Love that! When I visit London next I’ll be sure to let you know if you’re on my mailing list.
My husband has recently been diagnosed with anxiety of sex. up until the diagnosis I was probably not respecting him enough as I was extremely hurt with the lack of effect on he had towards me. Now that he got a diagnosis i try to change and help him get out of it . I have tried your 6 skills but doesn’t seem to help. Is there any hope for me?.
pnmh, there is so much hope for you! I know it’s probably been devastating to endure what you’ve been through, but I have just the thing for you to make it better. The passion will all come back if you use the Intimacy Skills, and consider getting a coach to help you with that. You can apply for a complimentary discovery call to find out about the best move you can make for your relationship here:
When your husband seems to fear every situation you think of for bringing in more money, when you can no longer pay the bills, when he continually throws in your face that because of him you have a roof over your head, and you are on food stamps, it’s hard to be playful. He misses any opportunity because he is always looking for what may go wrong in anything or everything. How do you act playful with this situation?
Charisse, Sounds very rough and I can see why you’re having a hard time being playful when things are so stressful. Good news though, this is a situation that can get a lot better with The 6 Intimacy Skills. They’re all laid out in The Empowered Wife. I know it doesn’t seem possible right now, but your marriage can be great again and you can feel playful and happy again. They two go together. Free chapter is here:
My husband & I met shortly after his 2nd wife died, like 3weeks after. He persued me, I went out on a few dates with him & making sure he knew just about everything about me! As I had already been married & divorced 3 times, he 2 marriages both wives died! Anyway I fell for him, I thought he fell for me. His daughters warned me not to marry him, he cheats, lies, & only wants a live in maid, DUH!!!! I should have listened, the day after we married nothing, no love from him at all. We have not had sex since then, he would rather watch porno by himself. I sleep at one end of the house, him at the other. The 4 cats we have come to adopt have more priority then I do!!!! I have come to HATE my husband, what can I do?
Lori, It’s pretty painful to feel less important than the cats. I can see why you’re feeling so hopeless. But since you’re reading a blog about how to get him to be more affectionate, I’m guessing you still have some hope, and that’s fair because there certainly is hope for your marriage. I know you hate him right now, and I can see why. If you decide to bring your feminine power to this marriage and make it amazing again it will rock your world and his. Consider applying for a discovery call to figure out the best next move for your relationship:
I’m not sure. We don’t talk unless it’s about nuts and bolts of life. I usually carry conversation because the silence is deafening. We went on a walk the other day and I stayed quiet. He didn’t speak at all. So how can I listen? I used to think everything would be better if we were still having sex. But now I’d just like to talk. Really talk. Oh and I wouldn’t mind sex.
Rose, Wow that does sound lonely–no sex and no talking! That’s rough. I know it seems impossible to imagine that your marriage can improve from here, but I’ve seen it too many times to doubt it. He still goes on walks with you, so that’s more than some women start with. You can have sex and talking again! Consider applying for a discovery call at the link below and also picking up either The Surrendered Wife or The Empowered Wife. You’re going to find them really valuable.
Laura, we have been roommates for a long time. There is a lot of anger (hurt) on both our parts. I am not sure what I feel for him anymore and not sure I want this to work. Not sure I love him anymore. Everyone says it is a choice to love but doesnt your heart have to be part of that choice? My heart is on empty. If I made the choice to try to love him and make this work it would just be going through the motions and nothing more.
Sammie, Sounds like you’ve been hurt a lot in this relationship so you’re fearful about risking your heart again. It is scary. Heartbreak is a terrible thing. I’ve found learning the skills I needed to save my marriage has been the most worthwhile, the most rewarding thing I ever decided to do. You made a choice to read this blog and respond to it, which tells me your heart isn’t done with this relationship. When you say, “going through the motions” what I think of is choosing my faith instead of my fear, or acting as if, or fake it till you make it. Those are the doorways to magic in my life.
For inspiration, consider reading The Empowered Wife. You can read a juicy chapter here:
Laura, thank you for the support you give! I read your book about the six intimacy skills and I am now reading the surrendered wife. It’s really opened my eyes to see how I’ve been disrespectful and controlling for nearly 36 years. I realize I have contributed a lot to the loneliness and sadness I feel in my marriage. But I recognize that every day I have a choice, and I want to respect and honor my husband because I love him very much. I know it will take time and practice, but I’m just not sure how to inspire him to want to be more affectionate and intimate with me. We have a camping trailer parked in our yard and for going on two months now he goes out there to sleep at night. I even wrote a note “I miss you” and put it on his pillow in the trailer over a week ago and still nothing. Every night when I hear him leaving to go sleep out there, I feel disappointed but I realize that’s his choice and I never say anything disrespectful or rude to him about him sleeping out there. There have been a few times when he will come and make love to me, and when we are done he goes out to sleep in the trailer. To me that’s not intimacy. It hurts my feelings. What can I do???
Colleen, I’m so happy to hear your beautiful accountability because that’s the key to being empowered to have a different experience. Sorry to hear about the lonely sleeping arrangements. I would not like that at all. You’re doing a lot of things right, and I’m glad to hear that you’re still physically intimate. And 36 years of marriage is very impressive to me! I admire that.
I’d love to see you get some one-on-one support to get this marriage where you’ve always wanted it, and help you see any blind spots that may be getting in the way. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call, which you can do here:
I’m so tired of begging for any attention. I’m tired of laying out my feelings and putting my pride aside and getting stomped on. His pride is more important than any love he feels for me. I do my best and have had my hair done the way he likes, went over 3 months with wearing makeup every day and no sweats or hair in a pony and he didn’t even notice. Yet about half his instagram feed is made up of half dressed young women. I am in so much pain and I told him this. He knows all it takes is a hug and to tell me he loves me but he purposely won’t do it. I’m ready to give up. I’m tired of being the one that is always trying.
Janet, That does sound exhausting and painful. I don’t blame you for wanting to give up. I think you’ve been working really hard and I encourage you to do much less, actually. I know this is going to sounds strange, but you’ve been doing the wrong kind of work, based on my experience. Have you read this blog?
If that speaks to you, read The Empowered Wife and have the affection come back easily and quickly instead of exhaustingly and never. You’re just following the wrong recipe right now. Once you get the right information and apply it, he won’t be able to keep his hands off of you.
Lovely article. I especially like this sentence:
“Letting him talk without correcting, suggesting, teaching, advising or freaking out is a very good start.”
This is a key problem starter in my house and is almost impossible to follow all the time. But when i am successful in doing it, there is a lot of peace.
I’m in my 2 nd year of marriage, and I’ve noticed my husband has a problem with apologizing when he hurts my feelings…be it an angry outburst about something he claims he did and finds out later he didn’t, or dumping dinner I made for him in the trash without even tasting it …the list goes on and on. I find it hard to move on when he shows no remorse or acknowledge what he’s done. I am very upfront and will quickly own and apologize if I’m wrong. I’m constantly bottling up how I feel and it’s not healthy. He know how I feel but will not change. What do I do. It really bothers me.
Zita, That sounds frustrating and painful. That would bother me too. And I agree, it’s not healthy (or even possible, from my standpoint) to bottle up your hurt feelings about this treatment. That never works! Are you practicing The 6 Intimacy Skills already? I’d love to see you get some support around this issue as soon as possible so you don’t have to suffer one more day. You have a lot of power to influence this situation you describe–more than you probably realize. I invite you to have a complimentary discovery call to determine the best next move you can make for your relationship. You can apply at the link below.
I always forget to be the goddess of fun. Tonight I am writing it on my mirror so that it’s the first thing I see in the morning. Going to make that a priority again. I love your blogs. Thank you
Laura I am completely lost. My husband and I have a deep love for each other but he suffers with ED that has become worse due to the onset of diabetes. Along with the loss of sex came the loss of touching and affection. All of it leaves me feeling very cold and lonely. I have no idea how to make things better. Can you suggest any books that might help with this?
Cindy, Sorry to hear about the health challenges that have had such a negative impact on your sex life! The good news is that your sex life can come back and be as hot as ever even though I know it seems hopeless right now. I’ve seen situations just like yours where the physical intimacy is completely restored and it’s better than ever with the use of The Six Intimacy Skills. Have you read The Empowered Wife? That will help a lot. But I also suggest you consider a complimentary discovery call, which you can apply for here:
I recently learned that I am an anxious attacher and my partner is avoidant. So the more I cling, the more he withdraws, which in turn makes me feel more pain. I’m not sure how to stop the cycle, but I feel hopeless. I wish I had the strength to leave him, but I know he loves me and I love him. I just don’t know if he will ever be sweet and attentive again.
Sue, That sounds incredibly painful. I haven’t forgotten how lonely if feels to be hopeless and not getting affection. Good news though–you can completely turn it around. In fact, that whole “anxious attacher” and “avoidant” thing? I don’t care about that at all because it has nothing to do with anything. I’m happy to hear you don’t want to leave him and that you love each other! Why leave him when it’s totally solvable? The path back to feeling desired, cherished and adored is all outlined in my book, The Empowered Wife, and you can read a juicy chapter for free right here:
Sad all advice is how we can get what we need from our husbands by doing this and that. What about the truth many husbands are not living up to Gods commands of how to love and treat a wife. How do you tell a wife that is cheated on or beat to be respectful or fun? I’m sorry but this stuff is just enabling men to be slackers. Wished I had never read the article. How about suggesting men read A Man of the Kingdom from focus on the family? It is up to our husbands to set things right. We are to submit and respect but the man has duties in this process as well.
Melissa, Sounds like this article did not serve you, and I get that. I don’t support women staying in situations where they are not safe, such as with physical abusers or men who are not capable of being faithful. Safety comes first.
I know for me I desperately wanted my husband to change, and I wanted him to read certain books, but I could not make him read them, or do what they said. The only person I can change is myself, and when I do, he responds to me differently–and by differently I mean much much better. The changes I made were bout becoming a better woman and wife. Complaining about him never got me the kind of relationship I have now, where he cherishes me every day! I want that for all women everywhere.
I know there’s always room for more respect and gratitude, but when I make the effort, I don’t really get it back. Same with emotional safety. I don’t feel emotionally safe (never know when he’ll be defensive, dismissive or just not interested), so it’s hard to keep the fuzzy feelings toward him.
He’s a great father and a good person. It’s just hard to see a path to an intimate, exciting marriage (which he probably thinks we have now). How do you create that with a man who loves you, but doesn’t seem to believe in extending himself or making an effort?
(I have your Surrendered Wife book.)
Dana, What I hear you saying is that you get hurt in your marriage sometimes, and I know how awful that feels. I still get hurt in my marriage sometimes too, but rarely. It does get better with the use of the skills. I’m wondering if you’ve tried saying, “Ouch!” in that moment. You would really benefit from some personal support. Consider a complimentary discovery call to uncover the best next move for your relationship. You can do that here:
I have recently done a self discovery about how I have attachment issues (childhood neglect) and that is why I am not the “normal” person who can let go so easy and PRETEND! I have wondered why I can’t let go and need him to suffer and understand why I hurt so bad and for him to feel bad about it. That is why none of the “act more” feminine or stuff your feelings away and LIE to him work for me! I have 3 kids and I homeschool which means I never get alone time nor do I have anyone to help me with this “me time.” I want more US TIME screw me time. That is what HE does with his phone games, sports, tv, movies, games ect. I am NOT HIM! There is NO time for me during the day and then if I stay up late and get “me time” trying to escape my day I am told that he is jealous of me or that I shouldn’t. But yet when he is here he is NEVER “here.” I can not simply not express myself nor do I feel I want to allow him to go scotch free for his inability to be here for me and the kids. I have lived in a sexless/affectionless marriage for too many years and it is amazing that I even got pregnant with the last child! My husband has ED and low T so even if we managed a “need vs. desire” on his part nothing would actually happen the way that a normal couple would experience. Years ago after figuring out that he was looking at porn when nothing was happening in the bedroom I told him how much looking a porn hurts my feelings and that I didn’t want him to do it. I recently discovered that he was still doing it especially in the early mornings when he was alone (hard to come by in the house with kids and you have to wake up early and go to bed early). SO, I started sacrificing and getting up early (even if I only am getting 3-5 hours a night) so there is no time to look at porn on his part. I now make him breakfast every morning instead of sleeping in (he wouldn’t take the time if he was alone in the morning). SO, now I have to do more to get more respect. It’s driving me crazy! I am going on month 3 of this crap and I feel no closer and he resents me getting up and making him breakfast!!! Ridiculous! I can’t even talk to him at 4am because he doesn’t want to break his work flow…blah. I can’t even crack a smile around him and I tell him he doesn’t make me smile at all. It’s true. He complains that I am so nice to complete strangers, and I remind him how I am a nice person to those who are nice to me and who haven’t hurt me! HOW can ANYONE LIE to someone who has hurt you so much and doesn’t see the good in you? I just don’t believe in marriage anymore. Honestly if they all go about it like this, why do any of this. Honestly at this point I need just a bed mate just to satisfy that craving. Before him that was all I was into and his boring self destroyed my self confidence because he thought I was too forward. I do not feel like a woman anymore because of all the affection, sex for years, and a friend who wants to listen to me is gone! Honestly I don’t believe women with abandonment issues can move forword with your thoughts. They are good thoughts for women with no issues but for those who are so needy and who feel as if their men should PAY, yeah this isn’t the road.
Rena, I’m not sure how I can help you, or if you want any help. I get that you’re feeling unhappy, resentful and angry, and I know for me that wasn’t a fun place to be. But the truth is, I was the only one who could change that–not my husband. I’m wondering how it’s serving you to decide that The 6 Intimacy Skills won’t work for you before you’ve given them a try. They’ve worked for many thousands of women in 17 languages and 28 countries. Why not you? You can focus on how you’re terminally unique or you can get cracking on improving the only person you can: Yourself.
I found your blog searching for answers. We’ve been married 35 years and in the past 2 years my husband now tells me what a miserable 35 years it has been for him.
I never know what will set him off in a verbal rage (not physical yet) or how to react to his rage. We never had much physical intimacy, he said he had low testosterone. He refused to have any physical contact with me for 7 years, then we finally talked things through and we’ve started back having sex this past Dec. Since then it has been 8 times and 2 of those he insisted that it would only be him. He had ED the last two times (I think due to him secretly beginning to watch porn) and says that I got what I wanted and now he is done with me. That was Feb. 25th.
He keeps telling me to leave. We’ve never been to a Marriage Counselor.
Two years ago husband convinced our son (one and only) to move 1,000 miles away and he drove to visit him every month. I went at Christmas and Birthday, but was not “allowed” to go on other visits. This past October he told our son to move back home because he can’t live without him. (I walked in when they were talking)
Now they spend entire days together, my son is trying to start a lawn business (husband shut down his electrical company 2 years ago and no other job). They work, run errands–anything to be together. Our son is not allowed to have other friends and says the only friend or person in the world that cares about him is his Dad. I continue to love our son, do special things for him, but my husband says very insulting remarks about me when they are together (I heard when he pocket dialed me) and I can tell my son is starting to have ill feelings towards me.
Husband is extremely bitter against his 90 year old Mother and he has also shunned all members of both sides of our family. Our son follows his Dad’s example.
I do not control any of the family finances or other business. I am made to feel like I can’t have any friends and I don’t know where to turn.
Even though I have a very high tolerance, I am starting to get weary. I think I could have endured had husband not turned my son against me, but I need to take ACTION. I feel that I am lost, alone and an unloved live-in maid (but told daily how I fail in housekeeping). My question is what can I do? If one of your books will help, which one?
Beth, I’m sorry to hear about the rage and hurtful things your husband says to you and about you. I know how much that must hurt! Sounds very lonely too. I can see why you’re weary. The good news is that all of this is solvable, and I can’t wait for you to get the inspiration and the 6 Intimacy Skills that are in my book, The Empowered Wife. You’ll find it very valuable. You can read a free chapter here:
I know that there are two sides to every argument, but I think your advice to Beth (letter of April 19) may be a bit too optimistic. I am one who always looks for effort to keep the marriage together (which is not typical these days) but I am not sure Beth’s is worth saving (of course, that is just hearing Beth’s side of the dissertation).
I think you should have told her, in addition to doing some reading of your books, to start getting smart about her family finances. If you notice, she states that she is not allowed to be involved in those matters. It would behoove her to know what the marital assets are, and even though the husband has not worked for the last 2 years, there is his “legal capacity” there (assuming he did not quit for medical reasons should divorce be inevitable in her future.
As such, as you indicated, while continuing to work on the marriage, Beth should simultaneously plan for the possibility of a future equitable distribution of property in the event Mr. Grumpy shows no desire to transform into Mr. Charming.
Larry, I can see why you want to help protect Beth and have her be prepared in case of a divorce.
My experience is you can’t plan for a divorce and also create an intimate, passionate, peaceful relationship at the same time. Beth didn’t say she wants to end her marriage. I heard that she wants to end her pain, and I know of a some very specific, proven ways she can do exactly that. That’s why she wrote to me. If she wanted to know how to best end her marriage, I’m confident she would have written to someone else. It’s not hard to find someone to tell you how to be fearful. I’m supporting her choosing her faith instead of her fear, and changing the only person she can: Herself. When you change yourself, people respond to you very, very differently. And by differently I mean better. Even Mr. Grumpy.
If you could see all the transformations I witness every day for women who practice The 6 Intimacy Skills you’d be more optimistic too.
This is Beth that first wrote you back in April 19, 2016. As of today, November 4, 2017, I would like to tell you that YOU and YOUR advice helped ME to CHANGE and SAVE my marriage. It wasn’t easy and I thought at times impossible, but we fell in love again. Our LOVE for one another is strong. Are we perfect~~not yet, but we enjoy being together as friends and lovers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
Beth, I am thrilled to hear about your transformation and how the Intimacy Skills empowered you to save your marriage. Thank you so much for sharing your story of hope. I admire how you chose faith even when your vision seemed impossible. You sound like a coach! If you’re interested in how your remarkable experience can inspire other women to have their own transformation, check out https://lauradoyle.org/become-a-coach/
Larry, I appreciate you taking the time to make these suggestions on my post 4-19-16.
I want my marriage to work, especially for the sake of our son and how this is and will impact his life. I’ve dedicated the best years of my life to this man and I will not walk away just because he “orders” me to. I am going to try to work on me . . . . after all husband says “this is all my fault” and see if we can repair and heal our marriage.
You are correct that I need to become more knowledgeable and savvy about our finances. Believe it or not, when we first got married I was a whiz bang with money, budgets, etc., but my husband said that he was going to be in charge. Even though I will look at Laura’s book and “work on me”, I will also educate myself as to our assets.
Thank you, Larry for reaching out and caring enough to send me this warning wake up call.
Glad to hear you are going to get up to speed with your family’s finances under the “just in case” scenario. But take your time on that and focus your attention mainly to Laura’s books and advice.
I really admire your desire to try to make your marriage work. Too many people (and unfortunately 70% of all divorces today are initiated by women) throw in the towel far too quickly in our disposable society. And, like Laura indicated, if you are too consumed on your financial situation, you won’t be able to wrap yourself around working on you (which in turn, will work on the marriage). It is funny how the mind goes where the mind thinks. So, don’t just “look” at Laura’s books, consume them, assimilate them, and incorporate her suggestions into your life. If your husband wakes up and appreciates a “better you”, everyone wins. (Your husband is one lucky guy already: he just doesn’t know it.) If not, you will be able to move on and take that “better you” with you. And best of all, either way, your son will see that you gave it your all, and love you all the more for it.
Best of luck to you.
Laura, thank you. I will look at your book.
I really wish these issues were the problem! We both come from long marriages that needed in divorce (28 years for both) and we have been together 3.
The problem is that he has never been physically interested. I’m sure it’s from his previous relationship, but I need more and probably will never get it.
I’m in counseling, he refuses to go. He doesn’t see the problem.
I know he truly loves me, but I’m tired of trying!
Dana, That sounds very tough. Of course you’re tired of trying! That’s not what any woman wants to do. We want to feel desired and irresistible.
I don’t agree that you’ll probably never get what you’re wanting–I see situations like the one you describe turn around all the time when the wife gets the right information and training. Have you read The Empowered Wife? That would give you the detailed steps to having more affection in your marriage. You can read a free chapter here:
Im working on the skills for several months already…I am implementing these 4 steps too. My husband still refuses to hold my hand in public. And be affectionate in any way. It was all my fault i must admit it. Over the years of disrespect and control he endured from me and also couple of times i rejected his kiss in public( which he will never forget. That was about 2 years ago. ) he says he doesnt just want to hold my hand on my terms. Anything else i can do in this situation? It is so painful to be rejected. He even said yesterday- doesnt feel good to be on tge other side of it does it?
I have to add though that this past saturday i got a glimpse of what our relationship could be- he did hold my hand outside!!! I thought we were making a step forward but i was wrong!
What else could.you suggest Laura?
I did do my discovery call, but cant afford coaching although i would love to have it
NB, Sounds like you’re making good progress over there. Congratulations on practicing the skills. I know that takes courage and I admire that. Glad to hear you had a discovery call too. Sometimes it takes a while for our husbands to get the memo, so patience is part of the process. Have you seen this?
Thank you Laura!
I have watched the webinar. I want to watch it again.
Our 13th wedding annversary is on Monday the 25th. I know my husband is not going to give me a gift or a card or even say Happy Anniversary. He did exactly that on my birthday couple if weeks ago and thats how its been for years. He thinks we can buy whatever we want for ourselves and that he isnt comfortable saying happy birthday or whatever. It hurts. I do buy him presents and write out a card. I did it.again and will surprise him monday.
I did say yesterday “i would love to start exchanging gifts again”. And i left it at that. He didnt say anything. Was it ok to say? Im decided im going to try really hard not to be dissappointed and bitter on monday. After all i cant force him to any romantiv gestures towards me. I can only control what i do and i want to show mx appreciation and love for him, and i bought something for him to show it.
Eventhough i am a little sad about all of it.
NB, Happy Anniversary! 13 years! That’s great. I almost didn’t make it that long. I hear how sad you are about not getting presents from your husband, and that you want to give him something to show your appreciation and love but also to let go of any expectation that he’ll also get you something. The more receptive you are the more he’ll get the message and start giving again. I’d sure love to see you get some support around that! Maybe I’ll see you in my Surrendered Wife Empowered Woman Program one day.
Thank you Laura. I am defintely thinking about
Joining swew. I think that would be a great programm for me.
For tomorrow i go in with no expectations for my husband. And staying on my paper as far as my present and such goes.
I have to tell you Laura- your ideas are the only ones that clicked with me and made absolute sense. Im already through your Surrendered wife and First, The Empowered Wife books. I just ordered Surrendered Wives Empowered women one. Cant wait to read it!!!!
NB, Happy to hear that! I admire how much you’re working on yourself. That’s the key. You will love SWEW.
Hi, well my wife has filed for divorce we each have lawyers, she said that she does not love me anymore, she has moved out to a townhouse about 2 blocks away we have a 10year old son.
She is a therapist, we went to a marriage therapist (worthless) I went there to get help none was there. We have been like roommates for years (married for almost 16) it felt like her work and her family came first, holidays and vacations her mother was with us we never went on dates anymore, it got to be really lonely, no sex just cold. I felt very disrespected. I still care for her and love her but I don’t know if I can stick with trying to get her back.
Brad, I’m so sorry to hear. Sounds heartbreaking.
I love this article! I just have one question…every night that we lay next to each other and don’t have sex my energy just gets lower and lower. It makes me so sad! I have been on my best behavior and have been starting to do things for me again but, how do I change my energy around this? My energy is so low regarding sex and affection – I feel unwanted, unloved and unattractive. I don’t know how to change my energy. Thank you.
Nicole, That sounds very painful and lonely. I wouldn’t like that either. I love that you’re clear that you’re the one who can change this. Have you read The Empowered Wife? If not, you’ll find it very valuable. You can read a free chapter here:
This is all really good advice. I have felt discouraged in the past when I have tried to do this because it seemed that my husband would either get worse or would continue to ignore me.
This year has been rough on me because I have given up. All of my efforts have produced nothing at all and sometimes much worse situations.
It makes no sense to me. It is as if he wants out marriage to fail and doesn’t love me at all.
I have let myself go physically and as a result have gained 20 lbs. I feel like crap but he just continues to ignore me just the same while I long for affection and sex and closeness.
I dont know how to get myself back on track. I am so depressed and know that nothing I do will ever be good enough.
Ali, Sounds like you’ve been having a really rough time in your marriage! You must be exhausted. I know what it’s like to think your marriage is hopeless and your husband doesn’t love you–it’s awful! But it wasn’t hopeless when I got the right information. I’d love to see you get your hands on The Six Intimacy Skills, which I lay out step-by-step in my book/audiobook The Empowered Wife. You can read a free chapter here:
My husband told me on Friday evening that, after weeks and weeks of me begging for attention, it was too much pressure and that he just didn’t feel it for me anymore. We’ve been married for 16 years, together 20. He also said that he feels like we’ve grown apart. He’s recently taken up soccer, golf and marathons and I’ve sat at home waiting for his time. I’ve completely lost a sense of who I am. Immediately, I told him that I didn’t want a divorce and we agreed to really put in some work to make US a priority again. After 48 hours of pondering, I woke up with a sense of confidence. Not being able to be loved is one of my biggest fears, and I somehow survived. It felt like a gut punch, but I survived. I told him that I know I’m worthy of the same affection I give him. He agreed. Now the work begins…..This is the first article that I’ve read that truly makes me feel hope that our marriage can be repaired.
Teri, Wow, what a powerful spot to be in! That is a gut punch and I’m sure it felt lousy to hear, but I admire your clarity and commitment. You’re going to break through your worst fear in life and create the relationship of your dreams, and you have the power to do that. It’s exciting in a way.
I would love to see you get your hands on The Six Intimacy Skills, which I lay out step-by-step in the book/audiobook, The Empowered Wife. You can read a free chapter here:
Thank you for writing this article; I finally feel HOPEFUL!! Over the past 5 years I have read so much advice on marriage and all it has done has made things WORSE and NOT BETTER!!! I am going home today to try to start putting your advice to work. In a few weeks we will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary (23 years together) and I am so hopeful that this year is our year of HOPE & CHANGE! We have 4 kids (2 biological & 2 adopted), we run a business together and have been through MANY ups and downs over the past 23 years. Affection and romance is rarely seen in my house (atleast not initiated from my husband). I initiate ALMOST every hug, kiss, sex or I love you’s… He complies some of the time, but like you it doesn’t fulfill my needs. I want him to want to kiss, hug and make love to me. I want him to want to send me an “I love you” message during the day, just because he was thinking about me. I want him to come up from behind, while I’m doing the dishes and passionately kiss me. I don’t need roses and gifts, just kisses, touches and thoughts.
Anyway… I will take your advice… It will be hard, because I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I am not a patient person… BUT I AM GOING TO REALLY WORK HARD. Many thanks!!
Carrie, Hooray! So happy to hear you’re feeling inspired and empowered!
Hi Laura, I could desperately use some advice. My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have two kids. We have struggled since about 6 months into our marriage. He has never been the type of guy to be very affectionate or giving and it bothers me more and more every year that goes by. I do love him and I feel like he loves me but I’m not “In love” anymore. We have always tried to talk about our problems, okay I have always tried to talk to him about our problems. He is very passive and prefers to not talk about anything negative because in his words “we go on and on and there is never a resolution”.
I have always been an affectionate person, I enjoy sex with him (so rare) but I can’t explain to him how to be affectionate by talking to me and random hugs and kisses etc. I feel like I am Married to a Robot that only “performs” ways that he thinks I want him to. We found out about a year ago that he is alexithemic (not sure if I spelled it right). Which is someone who struggles with expressing themselves and also finds it hard to empathize with others.
As a woman who can look past all the daily struggles and at the end of the day just needs her man to hold her and kiss her and tell her that everything is okay, I don’t feel like I ask for much. Saldy, according to him… I’m asking for something he can’t give me. He says ‘he doesn’t know how to be what I want him to be’. All I want is the man that I thought I married.
I recently started a new career, thinking that maybe if I weren’t so available to him (working more) he might become the person he used to be and miss me when I’m busy or gone. Basically, it’s not bothered him at all me being so busy. He doesn’t care that we don’t talk or sleep beside each other some nights. I am totally heartbroken! We both come from broken homes and I really don’t want to put my kids through that… Frankly I’m scared to be alone. I’m in so much pain, and I know that something has to change. For the past few days I have tried to cry in private and act like it doesn’t bother me anymore. I even told him that I don’t care anymore and that I’d be happier alone. I have asked him if he stilled loves me and he says “yes” but I wish that he would say no so that I can move on with my life. I don’t want to ever be with anyone else but I can’t live like this. I don’t want to spend another day in this emotional hell. Please Help Me!
Natasha, Of course you need to be held and kissed and reassured at the end of the day–all women want that! I can remember feeling the way you do now in my marriage too, and feeling hopeless that my husband would ever get that I needed that. It was awful and lonely and I felt rejected every single day. I nearly got divorced. Today my husband is very emotionally and physically affectionate, and I hate to see anyone suffer the way I was because it’s not necessary. I have a free online workshop called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life that you would find very valuable. You can register for it here:
I can relate to your situation. my boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years and 2 children. In the beginning our relationship was awesome. we were intimate and affectionate often,he told me I was beautiful everyday.IF I need help or something done…it was taken care of before I even finished asking.now….we argue often I try to communicate rather then argue but I get the same he prefers to not talk about anything negative because in his words “we go on and on and there is never a resolution and I sound like a broken recorder!!
2 years ago I had to have emergency back surgery and since then I can no longer work because of the major issues and pain I have.his idea of helping….is”I make you a coffee every morning what else do you want?”he got his license taken away because he owes 1500 in child support…and he ref to fix it.so I do everything…kids appointments school groceries cleaning…you name it.!!!and with that said I do nothing right ever….I don’t cook the way he wants or he feels it should be,I always forget things we need he says”I cant remember anything!!He says I am always angry always and I have a problem with everything. He says he has to teach me how to do everything!!!!he is never affectionate…ever.unless we have sex…which no affection there really…if I were to ask him for a rub he says no. I could parade naked in the streets and he still wouldn’t care. I’ve always been affectionate with him….full body massages…other random things lol smacking his butt…buy him little things he likes…I haven’t gotten anything in years for valentine’s..mother’s day ..birthday or christmas.nothing like buying yourself gifts from him on Christmas to try to drown the tears.
Morgan, I hear a lot of pain in your relationship and I’m sorry you’re going through that. I remember feeling very hopeless about my relationship too, but when I learned and practiced the Six Intimacy Skills things turned around dramatically and now my husband is very affectionate and sweet. I want the same thing for you with your boyfriend! I’d love to see you get your hands on the Intimacy SKills. I’m offering a free webinar called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life that you will find very valuable. You can register here:
I feel like my husband and I are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the other’s needs. We have just got together after a separation and are trying to move forward. I have read so much on your site Laura, have watched videos and ordered books. I am desperately trying to show him the respect he craves but I feel like he is not filling my love tank. It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to cave in and show me love. Our first year of marriage was really good but things got bad the next year and really really bad the past 6 months, to a point of near divorce. I felt emotionally abused, alone, and so isolated. I have lost my voice and want to gain it back. I want to feel I can talk to him about anything and everything, wheras now I can’t. He has physically and emotionally distanced himself from me. We see each other rarely and not asking for attention makes him more used to it. I used to ask him to text me throughout the day and he did and it was nice, then it kind of dwindled, when I kept asking it seemed forced and now its not even there. When I don’t mention anything about it, seems he has just got used to it and doesn’t see the issue. I am trying my hardest to show him respect fully, but it’s so difficult to show someone respect when they are away most of the day and don’t want to talk/text. I regularly affirm him so much, to a point I feel like its becoming too fake or sickening for him? I tried to employ emotional safety but he doesn’t talk much and is very passive or indifferent and when he talks of issues/problems he had at work, I don’t want to say anything in case I appear controlling, but at the same time don’t want to say nothing either? I was the goddess of fun and light but the problems in my marriage made all that disappear. I have slowly tried to build my esteem and confidence back, but all it does is push him further away, its almost like he doesn’t like to see me happy or doing things with my life or having enjoyments and to be honest I really find it hard to do those frivolous fun things when things are how they are or when I feel he might be insecure/jealous/controlling(don’t do that activity, I don’t want you to-do I respect him and comply or what?) or whatever else he might be feeling?
I really feel kind of lost, alone, desperate in my marriage and feel like I’m the only one pushing for improvement or wanting things to get better and being the one to take the hit and sacrifice my needs for his, but its so hard when I feel unloved or unappreciated.
jtz, That sounds really painful and lonely. I still remember when my marriage felt that way and it was awful! I was so unhappy, and I too felt desperate and hopeless. I thought that I had married the wrong man. I admire that you’re doing all the reading and watching the videos to make things better at your house, and I can see it must be frustrating that it doesn’t seem like he’s responding better. Sometimes it takes a little while for our husbands to get the memo that we’re showing up differently. I hate to see anybody give up 5 minutes before the miracle, and I see a LOT of miracles around here when women like you get the Intimacy Skills and get some support from the SWEW community or a private coach or both. I’d love to see you get some support. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see if working with one of my coaches is right for you. You can make this relationship as magical as it was when you first fell in love!
This post or Laura’s advice is not just tricks to enable or get your spouse to fold.
Most men are attracted to the carefree, happy, loving girl they met. They respected the girl with aspiration and goals. They were enamored by her radiance and confidence.
It seems that once we marry… have children… we lose that. I DID! I lost myself in the struggle of trying to be the perfect wife, mom etc… I just let myself go and did the complete opposite of what attracted us together in the first place. And in the process lost my spouses respect, his attention and it completely disconnected us.
It wasn’t until I brought Sonia back (until I gave MYSELF that chance to be me again) that I saw positive changes. The real me… you know, the one who had dreams and goals and wanted to live life… and now that’s what I’m doing.
We date now! I do what I used to do when we first dated: flirt, find every opportunity to compliment him on his accomplishments, on his looks, thank him for the smallest gestures. I invite him into my world… he invites me into his. We actually refer to our old selves as “ex’s”. We are enjoying learning each other all over again. I can laugh again.
Let me be clear… all these points Laura posted… I took and practiced. It worked. It really worked in my case. Not only did it help repair my failed marriage, but it helped me bring ME back!
Sonia, I’m happy for you to be dating your husband again! It sounds like such a joyful adventure for Sonia to become further and further removed from her “ex”! Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story. I love your enthusiasm for the Intimacy Skills. Hmm, with your beautiful transformation, I wonder if you’ve ever considered becoming a coach? https://lauradoyle.org/become-a-coach/
Reading this article brought me to tears. I have tried so many ways to get my husband to be affectionate towards me, with very little success. What’s hard for me is to admit to myself that I am part of the problem. I know that I criticize everything he does, and I speak to him rudely and condescendingly everyday. I feel like there is so much bad blood between us now that I don’t know if we find that spark again. Before careers and children, we were so carefree. We never let the pettiness of everyday life weigh us down. We hardly every fought, and we treated each other with kindness and respect when we disagreed. I defended my husband without question if someone tried to criticize him. Now, I am his #1 critic. He often tells me how hard it is to be affectionate when I say mean things to him, and call him names. I just have gotten into such a rut, that don’t know what to do.
Lindsay, I can see why you’re hurting after years of not receiving affection. I am full of admiration for your awareness and accountability, and your courage in reaching out for support to change this dynamic. That tells me there is so much room for hope! I absolutely identify with the rut you describe. I was so lonely for my husband’s affection, but if I can get that back after years of criticizing and disrespecting him, I know you can too. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see if working with a coach would fit for you. You will gain so much clarity from this call. You can apply here: https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching.
I love your advise but I feel like we have gone so far in the bad because of his lack of affection and attention,caring and my built up anger and feeling rejected. we may not be able to turn back and the sad part is that the kids see it all. My two girls notice it and ask why this, why that, Which is making me more angry. All they see is a unhealthy relationship between momma and daddy, and my oldest son says he don’t wanna get married. All we do is fight about how unhappy/sad i I’m & how he make me feel invisible to him, he’s the same to our girls. we never kiss (EVER) I’m luck if I get a hug that week. We don’t talk at all, we can take a 30 min drive alone and not talk at all. he’s super selfish and belives he can’t be affectionate because he wasnt showed/raised that way and that’s not what his family does, that’s just how he is. Which isnt true because when we first met he was amazing and made me feel like I was on cloud 9. We have been together for 11 year married for 4 & I’m now dealing with depression and he can care less, up until two days ago he forgot I was be treated for it, that’s how uninvolved his is with me. All he does is work, comes home watches sports waits for me to finish dinner, falls asleep, and the whole time I’m try to talk or get him involved which leads to a fight. I have tryed being fun, mean, be nice, ultimatums, divorce, focusing on my self, losing weight,blame myself try to figure what Im doing wrong. But I haven’t figured it out? And things are getting bad.
Oh, Danielle, I’m sorry to hear things are getting bad. I can see why you feel angry and rejected, after you’ve tried so hard and nothing has worked. It sounds heartbreaking, especially with your children watching and with you not having his support as you struggle with depression on top of everything. I still remember feeling hopeless when all my husband seemed to want to do was watch TV when he got home while I tried to get him to pay attention to me. And the fighting. Then I found the 6 Intimacy Skills, which gave me the playful, passionate marriage I have today. I know you can have that too. It’s not too late! I have a free webinar coming up 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: https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
My husband and I have been married for 27 years. The last few years have been very stressful on our marriage, especially regarding disciplining issues over our three sons. The trouble in our marriage reached a climax a few months ago with fighting becoming incessant and heated. I then noticed how withdrawn my husband had become from me and that he ceased to make any advances towards me when previously he was making advances on a regular basis. I broke down and told him how sorry I was for fighting with him. This was a month ago, since then, we have spoken honestly about our feelings, we have gone away together, I have made a point of being supportive of him, and affectionate towards him. Still, something has changed. He no longers initiates lovemaking yet he is receptive if I initiate it. He doesn’t make the first move in showing affection (verbal and physical) yet he responds when I do. I feel like I am putting in all the effort and if I stop, then we just end up mere room-mates. I have discussed this with him and he maintains it’s not me, just him. I asked him if he is viewing pornography and he said no. Weekends, he stays up till the early hours and watch tv and work nights, he goes to bed early. I don’t know what else to do.
Rita, I hear you feel stuck being the one initiating sex and are unsure of what else to do. I admire your vulnerability in sharing your story and seeking support. I love how you’ve tried to clean up your side of the street. I remember how lonely it felt when my husband withdrew his affection and stopped initiating. I also remember how my efforts to pursue him ended up causing a loss of intimacy in the long run. The 6 Intimacy Skills have allowed me to reconnect with my feminine gifts to rekindle our sexual connection. I want to see you feeling desired again too! I know this rift can be healed and would love for you to get the tools that empower you to do that. You can get them in a free webinar that’s coming up: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
After 8 weeks of surrendering, my life has changed, I’m more relaxed and a better person – to myself, my children and my husband. My husband has been great around the house and taken over the finances…. but unfortunately he still avoids me at all costs and goes out drinking until 5.30am without his wedding ring on (the bars here shut at 2am). I’m losing the hope that I found when I first read the surrendered wife, and I feel like everyone else’s experiences have been much more positive than mine.
Ouch, Mich, I can see why you’re feeling hopeless with him avoiding you and going out despite all the changes you’ve made. I really admire your commitment–changing the culture in your home so dramatically in only 8 weeks!–and your vulnerability in reaching out for further support here. I too started seeing changes within weeks of practicing the Intimacy Skills, but some areas of my marriage still seemed hopeless. I needed more support to figure out how to apply the Skills to have the playful, passionate marriage I have today. Mich, I know that this area of your marriage can turn around as dramatically as the others already have. I’d love to give you more support and invite you to my upcoming free webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Hi, I can’t believe I’m doing this but I am tired of feeling rejected & need some advice. My fiancé & I have been together almost 3 yrs. We grew up together & then lost touch. As the same w everyone else everything was great in the beginning. I was going through a divorce & I have 3 kids – 2 w special needs. He wanted us to move in right away but I got my own place as I was worried about how he was going to be w my children (because of their special needs). I have 50/50 time sharing w my ex but I took it upon myself to take on most of the burden. This went on most of the time. I lost my job & he was ok w me staying home so I could help my children w their appts. I have stood up to my ex & not doing anything on his weeks anymore. My fiancé is great w the kids & does a lot for us. We still have sex a lot but no intimacy. I’ve tried talking to him about but now I am too much. I try so hard to be quite but a rush of anxiety comes over me & I can’t help it. He wants to be w me but I don’t understand what is so hard to compliment me every once & a while & kiss me. I have my own issues w self esteem & anxiety. I love him but I’m just tired of no kissing or affection but then feel selfish because of all he does that shows he loves me. I know for a long time he felt 2nd to my ex & feels our relationship was put on hold that whole time.
IITL, I can see why you feel rejected and get anxious when you’re not getting the intimacy you crave. I want to acknowledge you for having the courage and vulnerability to share what you’re going through. I love hearing your gratitude–it sounds like you have a good guy! I remember how hurtful it felt not to get the affection I wanted from my husband. Practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills opened the door not only for lots of compliments but plenty of affection to come my way. You, too, can get back to how it was with your fiancé in the beginning. I have a free webinar coming up that will help you do that. It’s called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here: https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I am more confused now after reading your article. As I understand, it is my fault that my husband is lacking in the romance dept. I am sure to myself that I’ve been a very good wife and a great mother to our kiddos. I support my husband in all his endeavors, may be not all of course, but I am a very understanding wife. I am even he’s satellite secretary when he needs office-related support. I may not look like a super model but I am confident that I look good. I just don’t get why he’s so lazy to show his love and care. He will say very rarely that he loves me more than his life..but that’s only when he is completely drunk, maybe twice a year. He has never praised me, ever, how good I look or how good I cook. I can see it in he’s eyes that he’s impressed but he will never voice it out. We’ve been together since 2000, and got married on 2008. I have no other problems with him except for this. Please help. Thanks so much.
Maria, that is painful not to be getting the romance or compliments it sounds like you deserve! I admire what a supportive, understanding wife you are. Before I discovered the 6 Intimacy Skills, I simply didn’t know how to have a good relationship, as I had not been given the tools to do that. Once I received those tools, I became empowered to have the playful, passionate marriage I have today. So to clarify, my article is not about finding fault or placing blame. Rather, my point is that, as the wonderful wife, you have the power to create more romance in your relationship! I’d love to give you some tools to support you in that department. I invite you to check out my new TV series, Empowered Wives, at https://goo.gl/iPPQZG. It’s FREE if you’re an Amazon Prime member or with a free 1-month trial of Prime. Episode 14, “Bonnie N.,” may interest you in particular because it’s about how to learn to be more intimate.
Thank you so much Laura for your advice. I’m from the Philippines by the way, and I will definitely look for your book here. I can’t wait to finish reading it from cover to cover and finally end this emotionally stressful dilemma in my married life and get back to a sincere loving relationship with my husband. Thanks sooo much!
You’re welcome, Maria! I love your vision of getting back to a sincere loving relationship with your husband and am standing for you! I hear your commitment and know that’s going to happen for you. Here is a free chapter of my latest book, The Empowered Wife: http://getcherished.com
I have only been married a year and there is no affection or intimacy. My husband is younger than me and I no longer even try anymore. It is sad it is that way.
I can see why you’re sad not to have any affection or intimacy as a newlywed. My marriage suffered a loss of affection and intimacy too, and I remember how lonely I felt. Learning the 6 Intimacy Skills turned that around, and today I feel cherished, desired and adored. If I can do it, I know that’s possible for you too! I invite you to check out my new TV series, Empowered Wives, at https://goo.gl/iPPQZG. It’s FREE if you’re an Amazon Prime member or with a free 1-month trial of Prime. Episode 14, “Bonnie N.,” is specifically about how to become more intimate.
These tips seem to place the burden of the marriage entirely upon the wife’s shoulders. Sometimes other issues such as depression play a tremendous role in the withholding of affection. Sometimes men are raised to be so masculine that the slightest display of anything softer would be perceived as weak and leaving himself too vulnerable.
I have been in a marriage where I have to place my husband’s arm around me if I want him to hold me while sitting on the sofa. I have to reach out and hold my husband’s hand if I want him to hold mine. I have to tell him ‘I love you first’ or else I won’t hear it at all from him.
I have to…
In such relationships that consist of depressive patterns, it leaves the other person open to becoming depressed as well. I hear a lot of people feeling alone in their marriages, where my own husband is perfectly content sleeping on the sofa if I tell him to. We never argue, so it makes me feel that his contentment is his way of telling me that I’m not worth the effort. If it were not for me coming out to get him last night, he would have no issue at all, carrying this out for another week.
Depression is a serious illness that cannot be cured by doing the Macarena in a grocery store aisle. To suggest to not talk about it is only contributing to the problem even further, because the silence adds even more distance in the marriage.
The spouse who is feeling rejected will eventually try to find her happiness elsewhere, and so I find this article to be a bit irresponsible. These spouses will flock to the compliments given on Facebook, the smiles from co-workers of the opposite sex, etc. until finally the marriage dissolves into divorce.
Therefore, seeking marital advice/counseling would be best, wouldn’t it? I have a friend who blames herself everyday for her husband’s suicide, because she thought if she could be more involved towards her husband or if she just carried on like the distance never bothered her, that he would come around again. She went through his phone and found photos containing phrases about how it hurt to be in love with someone who was silent toward them and going through life breathing but not alive. She read how he felt they had grown apart because he felt she had given up on him…
I sincerely suggest that any couple going through such a dry spell (where affection is concerned), seek help to find the root of the distance. Love is a two way street where no one should be expected to tow the spouse along the way. Eventually that car will break down and the journey for the both of them will end.
I hear you, Ann. Thank you for sharing your concerns and your experience so genuinely. I’m sorry to hear about your husband being so distant and unaffectionate and about the loss of your friend’s husband. What a burden to carry that guilt on top of the shocking blow of his loss. To clarify, I’m not suggesting that a man with depression not seek treatment. My husband has a mental issue as well, and I supported him in being diagnosed and treated. For me, practicing the Intimacy Skills has not burdened me or meant I’m towing along his weight. Rather, becoming my best self changed the culture in our marriage and allowed him to do the same. I invite you to witness how other women are practicing the Skills to become empowered. Episode 12 of my TV series Empowered Wives, for example, shows how a marriage counselor saved her marriage when her husband was cold, removed and distant. You can watch for FREE if you’re an Amazon Prime member, or with a free 1-month trial of Prime, at https://goo.gl/iPPQZG
What caught my attention in your article is that there is no mention of the husband taking responsibility for the situation. I as a wife have spent years working on my issues, since I have some like any person, so the husband needs to take ownership and work on his issues rather than expect the wife to cater for his ego & shortcomings. The way I perceived your suggestions is that women need to pamper the husband & tip toe around him & his emotional baggage, which in my opinion is unfair and uncalled for. Did I misunderstand your perspective? If so then please elaborate! Thanks.
JAT, thank you so much for seeking clarity on this. I love how receptive and openminded you are. I remember feeling so frustrated when my husband would not work on his issues. I thought divorce was the only option. Thank goodness I found the 6 Intimacy Skills, which meant I did not pamper him or tiptoe around him. Instead, he started showing more consideration for and pampering ME! Once I changed the culture in my marriage with these Skills, he changed as well. I know that can happen for you (and him) too! I invite you to see how other women are turning around their marriages, including their men’s issues–from his forgetfulness or ADD to lack of communication to being distant–on my TV series Empowered Wives. It’s FREE if you’re an Amazon Prime member or with a free 1-month trial of Prime: https://goo.gl/iPPQZG.
Laura, I keep coming back to this post again and again, and it always gives me a new light, something I’ve missed. I have been practicing my surrendering muscles for a couple of months now and am still waiting for my husband to woo me how he used to. One thing that really gets me down is his lack of affectionate texts/conversations verbally and as much as I let go and keep building spouse fulfilling prophecies, give him the space to talk/have control, I feel he is just ‘getting used to it’ and in some ways that is how it is becoming. He texts me less often,maybe once a day or not at all, and its just two words or a reply to me asking if he’s ok, how is day is.
There is a lot more in our relationship we need working on and that I want to change and creating that emotional safety is definitely one of them. I really want him to feel like he can come home and relax with me, tell me about his day, that I will support him in whatever he is going through (at this moment in time, he is in a low in his life and is more often depressed, or angry)
I have been watching your videos and they are amazing but honestly, one thought that keeps coming to me is that these wives are worried about the control in giving directions, or forgive me, but in my eyes really small things. The reason I say this is he views everything i do as an attempt to control, I feel like I cant even have a voice, so even me calling him, or honouring my desires (I’d love to go out and see the stars, I’d love to go somehwere to eat) when I honour my desires, I get verbal backlash, rude comments.
Your work is amazing Laura and I am trying really hard to build my spouse fulfilling prophecy to bring back the husband I had when I first got married, who would text me super cute things, spontaneously take me out, even write cute poems to me
My vulnerability that I show him when I need him for example, I miss you or I need your support in an appointment I need to go to, doesn’t always work.
ZT, I hear how dedicated you are to practicing the Intimacy Skills, so it must be frustrating not yet to have the response you would like. I can see why you’re feeling down given his lack of affection and tenderness, along with the verbal backlash. I love how committed you remain to restoring emotional safety. For me, it was hard to convince my husband I had changed my ways at first. The more I practiced the 6 Intimacy Skills, though, the safer he felt, the more time he wanted to spend with me, and the more affectionate he became. I’m standing for your vision of regaining how sweet things were when you were newlywed too! I know I needed support to practice all 6 Intimacy Skills effectively. I’d love to offer you that, so I invite you to my upcoming free webinar called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here: https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Great post, it really resonates so much with what my wife and I have been going through for so long and it feels like we are getting close to the end of our rope.
My wife and I have been together for 10 years (5 years married); no kids yet because of this recurring issue in our relationship. I always felt our relationship was great, and she feels the same way but there has always been a recurring issue of her not feeling loved/affection.
She use to joke and say I fooled her because she only got 5 good months of affection from me, which I don’t agree with her. The honeymoon phase of our relationship was great but it seems like she has discounted the other 9 1/2 years of our relationship that was also great too.
The way she puts it is, the way I show my love/affection towards her is not the way she needs to receive love/affection. However, I always felt like I have been affectionate with her; I’ll give her a hug and kiss her when she’s cooking dinner, I come by her when she’s on the couch and show her affection, I hold her hand, etc. but it feels like it’s never enough.
I’m a non-emotional guy; my family isn’t really verbal with saying “I love you” all the time. I feel like due to my upbringing I best show love/affection by “acts of service”, so I would rather do things for her to show her my love towards her. On the other hand, my wife’s family are very verbal with saying “I love you” and I feel her love is more of a “words of affirmation” type of love/affection…and therein lies the problem.
We have had this same discussion throughout our relationship, and I would make efforts to be more affectionate with her but as time would go by I would slip back into my natural way of showing love towards her. I would still be affectionate towards her but I guess it would not be the way she needs it. Meanwhile, I think the relationship is good again until I get blind sided by this same conversation.
Since we have gone through this cycle before, where I tell her I’ll be more affectionate than normal and then I end up slipping back to my natural ways, that I feel it has worn our relationship down. She no longer is as affectionate with me as she use to be, and I feel like she knows I won’t keep it up for long. And now when I make an effort to be more affectionate it, she’s not into it because she hates that she has to force me to act this way instead of WANTING to do it naturally.
Lately it feels like I can’t win, I try to do the things she needs which is out of my normal way of acting but because she feels like it’s not natural it doesn’t make her happy.
This recurring affection discussion I feel has ruined our relationship, we can’t move forward and it feels horrible being in the state we are in when we use to be so happy.
It saddens me to think that I’m not able to do these things for her to make her happy, but I also resent her for feeling like the love I do show her never measures up to her needs.
Lately she has been saying she feels “stuck” in our relationship, but I feel she has always felt “stuck”. I was always happy and content in our relationship, but it angers me that if she has felt this way for so long; why did she stick around with me for 10 years? If the way I showed my affectionate towards her did not make her feel loved, then why still be with me?
I hate the fact that she has always tried to change the way I show my love towards her, instead of appreciating/accepting all the other great qualities and things I do in our relationship. I don’t think anyone finds a 10 out of 10 perfect match and there are things I wish I could change about my wife but I accept her being a 7 out of 10 because I want to be with her regardless, but if feels like my wife is never able to accept my faults as a 7 out of 10 and is trying to turn me into a 10 out of 10.
A confused husband
Dennis, I really admire your vulnerability in sharing what you’re going through and reaching out for support here. It sounds painful to keep experiencing that same cycle after you make such an effort to change. I love how sensitive you are to your wife’s needs, how accountable you are and invested in preserving the intimacy in your marriage. I would love for her to be able to appreciate your efforts and the affection you so freely give her. I know that would happen if she were inspired to practice the Intimacy Skills. I invite you to read this blog article for men.
Thank you for your article and insightful words/books.
So I’m wondering what’s your advice when the situation is that the wife(me) is pretty darn good at self-care, doing all the things right- but the husband is absolutely horrible at them…?
So then basically he’s not available to even so much as notice whether I’m even here?
He’s got a pattern of overworking himself and getting into a burnout and then he’s just grumpy and tired ALL THE TIME.
I can’t take 100% of the reigns 100%of the time, and while I’m capable of being/making myself happy– it doesn’t change the flatline quality of our romantic life.
BTW– married 10 years, no children yet, been remodeling a house for the past 8yrs.
Leah, that sounds painful and lonely that your husband is barely around to even notice you and is grumpy when he is there. I acknowledge you for practicing self-care in spite of whether he has noticed. I admire your commitment to your marriage and your vulnerability in reaching out for support here. I remember how lonely it was when my husband seemed to prefer to do anything else but spend time with me. Since I started practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills, the culture in our home has changed so he expresses gratitude, shows respect and practices self-care too. Now, he wants to spend time with me so much that he’ll snuggle up next to me while I’m working on the sofa. If I can get my husband’s attention and the romance back, I know you can too! I needed support to learn how to practice the other Skills in conjunction with self-care and would love offer you more support. You will find my upcoming free webinar so valuable: “How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life.” You can register for it at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
What you are saying makes sense. I’ve tried talking to my husband about my needs, and he tries but it never seems to be enough for me. I was starting to feel I’m too much for him.
I’ve always have been careful about what I say, what I do. I was always scared of being judged by everyone even by my husband. So I tried to be everything everyone would want me to be. I never spoke my mind, always accommodate things I enjoyed or wanted to just make everyone happy. I was always a firm believer if everyone is happy I’m happy. But I was fooling myself. I’m not happy.
I’m now trying to find me, me who has been gone for so long. Its tough trying to relearn what you like because so many things I was doing was something I learned to like or liked because it made someone else happy. Im not saying making someone else happy is a bad thing. I, myself need to find a balance between the two and not always give up what I like.
Thank you so much for sharing.
C, I love your awareness! I hear how unhappy and afraid you’ve been always putting everyone else first and being so careful what you say and do. I admire you for seeking to reconnect with what you like after so many years of trying to make others happy. I used to be so invested in my husband’s happiness, what he was doing or wasn’t doing, that I neglected my own. Making myself ridiculously happy by practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills has in turn delighted my husband too, so now we both get to enjoy a playful, passionate marriage. I can’t wait for you to experience that. I’d love to give you more support to help you get there, so I invite you to my upcoming free webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Thank you for that Laura. I appreciate the support. I will check out the free seminar.
Im a wife 25yrs. Honeymoon nite sex 2times. Next day no sex no hug no affection. Next nite i try to touch i was push away ..i knew him one year before we had sex once a week he came by almost everynight..kiss me when he is leaving..very quiet man he is…i am married to him 25yrs i was choked push slap if i try to touch him..he would not touch me..i cry cry i wanted a child .once a month only on my fertile day he would have sex ..so i never taught he is “impotent” i believe his excuses to take away my pain i would work work .he wanted his own business i give up all my lauxury for him to get the money for his dream business. He is successful. He never had another woman . I always knew where he is . Never out at nights . 25yrs always home at 5pm..very silent man dont talk much..me in the business now he wornt allow me to make a decision. I being the good wife. Cook breakfast and lunch pack his bag … see about cleaning my house. Then head to work. Come home i get his dinner ready. I bury my head just not to see his hate his importence..today i am fedup. I have nowhere to run. He has gotten worst he sleeps on oneside of the bed i sleep on the other ..if my toe touch his he pulls his foot away . I am in this 25yrs .. what do i do? I have no sisters or brothers my parents have departed this world..i feel so lonely and so depress…its now an argument with myself… he dont answer he would just be like he not hearing a word i say….i am fed up….how do i deal with this.
Sharon, it breaks my heart to hear how lonely and depressed you’ve been. I admire your commitment to your marriage and your vulnerability in reaching out for support here. I remember how painful it was to move so quickly from the honeymoon phase to sleeping on opposite sides of the bed. I’d make sacrifices in the name of being a good wife then feel baffled that we were only becoming more distant. Practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills has revived our spark so now I feel cherished, desired and adored, like I did back when we were dating. If I can turn things around, you can too! I would love to give you the tools to feel heard and to receive his affection and attention. 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: https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Newly-wed here. I’ve been reading through a lot of these comments and see that most people have been married for decades, so I feel a little silly posting. But I did just want to take a moment and thank you, Laura. It’s been only a year and a half of marriage but I’ve let this lack of romance sink deep into our relationship already. I’m surrounded by peers who are going through divorces for similar reasons, and as a newlywed, it’s been frightening to watch because I can see their relationship problems in my own marriage. I don’t want a marriage void of intimacy. I already felt like I had exhausted every option. When I try and internalize this, it explodes in my subconscious. I have dreams, I wake up angry or guilty, and I take out my frustration on him for every little thing he does wrong. When I think about us two years from now, I’m afraid. When I think about us ten years from now, I wonder how we’ll make it. And of course I’ve told him all of this multiple times because that’s what I was taught to do. I’ve cried to him, yelled at him, begged him, politly reminded him, ignored him, and I came online to search for another method. And here I am. Finally, your method sounds so right, and it’s already such a relief.
So you want me to just start enjoying myself, and expressing love and respect to my husband? Don’t mind if I do. It seems so simple, and yet it’s the exact opposite of what I’ve been doing since he and I got engaged a couple years ago. My next step was going to be marital counseling (which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing in and of itself) but I do think that at this phase, it could have just been one more way of pointing the finger at him instead of taking action with my own happiness. I’ve already sent him a simple message just expressing how proud I am of him for a recent accomplishment. And guess what? My husband who never talks, never offers affection for me, and takes forever to respond, just sent a long heartfelt and intimate message back.
I am so willing to give this method a try. And I’m so grateful I came across this today.
Jess, I can see why you’re afraid of what might happen to your marriage if you were to continue down the same course. I really admire your vulnerability in posting as a newlywed, your awareness and your commitment to taking action to maintain the intimacy in your marriage rather than allowing years of the lack of romance to take a toll. I’m so excited you’re here too. And it sounds like your husband is as well!
You remind me of myself. When I got married, I had no idea how to preserve the intimacy, so I tried all the same tactics of crying, yelling and begging. I simply did not have the tools to have the kind of connection I craved–until I discovered the 6 Intimacy Skills. Today, my marriage is more playful and passionate than it has ever been.
I can’t wait for you to have that too. I’d love to support you and will give you the tools in my free upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Hi my live is a nightmare my husband told me he doesn’t love me anymore and he doesn’t fell any attraction or desire for me he is very distant and that’s making me crazy because he used to be a very affectionate husband and now he doesnt show me affection at ll I still love him and I would like to have the chance to save our marriage i sked to go to counseling
But he didn’t want to it hurts a lot all the things he told me we are sleeping separately right now no kids i will really appreciate any advice thank you
Val, I can see why you’re feeling crazy. That is devastating to have lost your husband’s affection and not see a commitment to working on the marriage. I admire you for your commitment and beautiful vulnerability. I remember how painful it was when my husband and I were like strangers living in the same house. It’s amazing how the 6 Intimacy Skills attracted him back to me to give me the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted. I want you to feel cherished, desired and adored too. I know you can turn things around! I invite you to my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Laura, I googled “how to get my husband to be more affectionate” and I found your post. This makes so much sense and I have been doing it all wrong with terrible results, of course. My question is, how do I introduce my new fun, happy self without my husband thinking I have a personality disorder or that this will be short-lived and I’ll be needy and complaining again tomorrow? Do I tell him that I’ve done some reflecting and am trying to makes some changes? Thank you!
Great question, Carla! I love your sense of humor. I know it’s no fun to have lost the affection in your marriage. I admire you for your awareness and your willingness to try something new for your marriage and yourself! When I started surrendering, my husband was so welcoming of the changes in me that he dared not raise any questions or objections. He did seem skeptical and tried to bait me into old behaviors until some time passed and he saw that his happy wife was here to stay. I’ve found the same patterns with the thousands of wives who have transformed their marriage with the 6 Intimacy Skills. I invite you to keep surrendering a secret at first to give yourself the space to experiment and make mistakes without comment from him. I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you as you attract his affection! For more tools to jumpstart getting his affection back, check out my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I’m 30 yrs and I’ve been married for almost 3 years and dated my husband for 5 years before we got married. I feel he was dishonest with me in the beginning of our relationship and was very affectionate, then as time went on the affection drastically reduced. He eventually said he wasn’t an affectionate person. I am. We tried cuddle Sundays and it always ends in arguments because he makes excuses why he cant. Now i try to compromise and wont ask for affection until I really need it about once a month and even then he refuses and it ends in an argument.
I never cheated in him before but once I did and that guy was super affectionate and it reminded me of what I’m missing. I’m not planning to do it again. But now I’m at a cross-roads. I want the relationship where I don’t feel like I have to cage a part of me up. I’ve tried all of your suggestions and he doesn’t care to make an effort.
We don’t have kids and I moved from a different country to be with him. So even my emotional base if not there. I feel completely drained from work and all I want is a good hug and I don’t get it. I want my marriage to work but I feel like ‘m giving up a huge chunk of me and I’ve already given enough.
I hear how painful it is to be deprived of the affection you desperately need. I would feel drained too! I love your vulnerability and commitment to having the kind of marriage you deserve. I remember when it seemed like I had tried everything, but my husband still wouldn’t give me the attention and affection I craved. With ongoing support, I’ve been able to apply all 6 Intimacy Skills effectively to have the playful, passionate marriage I always wanted. I hear you’ve tried the suggestions and aren’t yet seeing the results. I’d love to give you more support so you can feel cherished, desired and adored too. I invite you to my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
It is nice reading your advice. I have been married for 5 yrs with a 18 months little boy. After gave birth to my boy I was depressed. Started to critisize whatever my husband does. With all the frustration he received, he shows no affection to me. Not even a hug or kiss. And we seldomly have sex. He claims it is because all the pressure from work and our son (life is tough with a child while living in Hong Kong).
I was moved when I read thd concept that “try to been a funny girl we used to be”. I admit I have not lived for myself or do something make myself happy since my son was born. I just became a person that hate and blame everything, which sucks!
And my husband mentioned he miss the old me, the girl with goal and hope and sense of humor…..
I want my old self back but just do not know how…..
Virginia, I hear how painful it is to have lost your husband’s affection and lost yourself in the stress of becoming a mother! I love that you want to revive the girl you used to be, the one who attracted your husband.
I didn’t feel very dignified when the fun girl I once was turned into a critical nag. Learning how to put my own happiness first through the 6 Intimacy Skills helped me become my best self again and brought our newlywed days back.
If I can do it, I know you can too! I’ll show you how in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I’ve found your post really useful!
I’m currently engaged to be married next year to my wonderful partner of 5 years- we get on very well, have a laugh together and go out together with friends and have our own interests. Our only problem is intimacy! We are both in our late 20s early 30s and seem to be drifting with the stress of the wedding, saving the money etc.
My partner was brought up by his mum
whilst his father worked away and was never shown any affection and didn’t ever see his own parents being affectionate. My partner is more than capable of affection when instigating sex which can be so frustrating! I’m worried I’m going to be in a marriage that is affectionless if it’s already like this before we are married!
Our relationship is great otherwise and I have been known to be a perfectionist and seem to magnify small problems – when I speak to my other half about this he gets frustrated and saying I’m making something huge out of nothing and that we both work full time and we are intimate- just not as often as we maybe both would like…
It seems we are both not quite putting in the effort- myself with sex and him seemingly withholding affection in return!
Sarah Jane, congratulations on your engagement! And on finding a wonderful man! As good as your relationship otherwise is, I know it’s hard not to have the affection and intimacy you want. I admire your awareness and your commitment to making every part of your relationship as good as you can stand!
I remember how sad and lonely it was not having the affection I craved. The 6 Intimacy Skills got my affectionate husband back and smoothed things out in the bedroom. If I can do it, you can too! I’ll show you how in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I find myself in a marriage to a “good man” – I know he’s not a cheater, he is a great dad, he provides for us, etc but there is no spark. We seem to be nothing more than roommates that coparent. I have written him letters, told him verbally, my feelings and I get very little response. He will usually say oh well you treat me bad or if you don’t like it then find another man. It seems he is not willing to make any changes. I honest to God have not received a compliment from him in 5 years since our wedding day. I take very good are of myself and am in good shape, etc and never received not one compliment. After my babies I made a point to try and lose the baby weight right away in hopes her give one and nothing. I have brought this up that it hurts and no response and still no compliments. He seems totally content being in a non-intimate roommate, coparent ing situation. I love my children and wouldn’t divorce unless cheating or abuse were involved, but I just don’t want my kids to think this is what marriage is. I wish he looked at me the way he did before marriage or at least one tenth of the way. I wish he initiated intimacy…never does. It seems he is just happy being roommates that coparent. In very lonely and have tried so many things… Not nagging him…. Losing weight…dressing nice and I get nothing in return. What can I do? Thank you!
Cecelia, I hear how painful and lonely it is never receive a compliment or physical intimacy. I love your vulnerability and your commitment to your marriage and to being a good wife.
I remember what it was like to live under the same roof as roommates. I felt so lonely. Once I learned the 6 Intimacy Skills, I found I had the power to attract him back, and soon it was like we were dating again.
If I can do it, you too can get the affection and attention you deserve. I’ll show you how in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at lauradoyle.org/swewtraining
I have to say I was hopeful going into reading this because I too, asked for years…kindly for affection. Only to be met with “I don’t know how to do that” “I’m tired” he does work massive hours.
Every couple months I’d gently bring my needs up. Very straightforward. To only have him do what you said….run further away. I also told him every time that he didn’t try to meet my needs after these conversations that I would end up emotionally disconnecting. He would always nod.
It took me years but I’m here, completely emotionally disconnected.
Here’s the thing, I’ve done all the good things a wife should do and be. I learned to be a good wife. I even learned how to speak his language. I loved him the way he needed to be loved. I respected him, built up his ego, always words of affirmation, was fun, spontaneous, flashed him lots, gave him sex any time. Let him know when he was right. Made him feel smart.
I did all this for years while still asking for my needs to be met. Only to hear “Oh I don’t know how to do that.” Even tho I gently showed him all the small things…..I never got it.
Surprisingly he’s a good guy…I just don’t have it in me anymore. And I know he feels it. He tries to be extra nice by doing things for me. I’ve told him that’s not how I need to be loved, but its what he knows so he keeps doing it.
Laila, it sounds heartbreaking to have reached the point in your marriage where you’re so disconnected and don’t have it in you anymore to keep trying. I hear your remarkable commitment to being a good wife and how painful it is to still not have your needs met. You have done so much. I acknowledge you for all your effort and your beautiful vulnerability.
I totally relate. I did everything in my power to be a good wife, and it seemed it still wasn’t enough. My needs were definitely not being met–until I found the 6 Intimacy Skills. Then I was empowered to inspire him to want to please me, and my marriage became playful and passionate.
I’d love to see you have another chance to receive the kind of affection and attention you clearly deserve. I invite you to my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I have to admit it was cool to hear from a man about this issue, most won’t speak out about it, mine wouldn’t, not to me anyway. We had a short session with out Pastor a few years back about our relationship and I learned he wondered if he should stay with me through him telling our Pastor and never spoke to me about it. I too have givin up on asking him to hug and kiss me more he replied ” I don’t think about it. Man that hurts . I get one kiss a day. He said to me sorry I don’t take you anywhere. ????????♀️ I don’t get it. I watch movies and see a man going in for a kiss confessing his love and I cry because I want to feel Special, loved, important. I see post from men on Facebook saying how lucky they are to have their wives, I want that. So I don’t think about and carry on lonely and feeling as if I’m just a friend. I have played that broken record so many times for so many years and it seems worthless. I haven’t told him how I feel about the previous comments with the movies and Facebook because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. Go figure ????????♀️ I just don’t know anymore. I have purchased and am apart of your program Laura but full of lack of not trying anymore.
Mary, I can see why you’re feeling discouraged. I would feel so sad, hurt and lonely too. I admire you for all the efforts you have made to restore the intimacy in your marriage.
In my case, I needed support to know which Intimacy Skills to apply to what I was going through and how to apply them effectively. Many women who tried to do it on their own got their breakthrough once they showed your beautiful vulnerability and reached out for coaching. One not only had her husband come back home, but he started holding her all night, tighter than ever, and telling her he loves her many times a day, which had never happened.
I think your situation deserves a longer conversation. 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: https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching.
Your post makes a lot of sense! I will try it. If nothing else, it is a good way to live, give love and respect and receive the same back. If in the end, things don’t work out, you know you did the right thing. That is the sum of life really.
Jen, I love your openness and willingness, especially to show respect and receive graciously. I admire your commitment to staying on your side of the street. Fortunately, when I do that, things do tend to work out! That’s what I’ve seen happen for thousands of other women too.
If this post resonated with you, you’ll love my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. To jumpstart your surrendering practice so you become cherished, desired and adored, you can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Hello. I’m reading this, and a different perspective sounds refreshing. Many give advice, but it’s never to look at yourself. I continually wonder what I am doing to make my husband so unhappy and unaffectionate, unless I ask for it. Asking for it = me not wanting it. I withdraw. Lately a big source of conflict is his jealousy towards me doing g karate. I’m proud, I’ve worked hard, and am almost a black belt. My husband has never come to watch me, With the exception of one time where he accused me of cheating. I don’t know why I am seeking his approval so much.i desire his support so much. I was thinking of counseling.
Kellie, that is amazing that you’re almost a black belt! I can see why you’re hurting when your husband doesn’t support you but seems jealous instead, on top of being unhappy and unaffectionate. I admire your awareness and willingness to look at yourself to transform your marriage.
I did not feel supported at all until I found the 6 Intimacy Skills. Now my husband is my righthand man supporting me in my professional and personal life. Our affection level is back to our dating days!
I can’t wait for you to feel supported, adored and desired too. I’ll show you how in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Thank you so much for the help, I thought I was the only one feeling this way. I feel like you guys are looking at my life. Today I decided I will be moving out, but I will try this wholeheartedly to save our marriage. Thanks thanks thanks!
Tina, you’re not alone in feeling like I’m spying on you either! I’m sorry to hear that you’re moving out. It sounds like you’re in the right place, at just the right time. I love your wholehearted commitment to practicing the Skills to save your marriage.
I have so much hope for you to do exactly that. I’d love to empower you to jumpstart your practice of the Skills with my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
This is a really hard time, husband sayd a year ago he had had enough, but says he didn´t want it to end, but has no idea what to do, to get “it” back, so we have been up and down for a year mostly down, except for a few weeks in in mars, but suddenly he backed of again, and i got confused again, the thing is I have a really hard time believing he really wants to makes thinks work, when he does absolutely nothing, no kisses, no hugs no intimacy. On the other hand he says no he wants to be at home again, last year he didn´t even want to come home. But the thing is I really need the intimacy to come back, i really really need it, and i have no idea of how to get it, I have tried to talk and talk – and there happens nada – he just says he wants it to, but doesn´t know what to do and that it is the last thing no his mind??? I am starting to get really frustrating since I love him and I really want to make this work – but feel like I am totally alone in this – I will try being more loving (I actually have tried that many times, but sometimes it seems like he doesn´t care) – and there is no intimacy back – It doesn´t seem right to just kiss and hug him, while he is this backed up?? don´t know why I wrote this, just had to get it out – Am actually starting at a therapist next week – hopefully she can help me not push people away, (this is what he says I have been doing for years, not on purpose though) – just scared of loosing everything that is good to me??
LauraB, I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling so alone and not receiving any intimacy. What you’re going through is so hard, confusing and frustrating. I love how committed you are to becoming your best self and healing your marriage.
I remember how lonely it was to have no intimacy. I tried the talks with my husband, which didn’t work for me either. I tried therapy as well, to no avail. Then I found the 6 Intimacy Skills, which empowered me with concrete tools to attract my husband back. Finally, I learned how to get the intimacy and affection back!
I’d love to empower you to get your husband’s love and affection back too. I’ll show you how in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I read a quote….”If you can’t love me at my worst, then you certainly don’t deserve me at my best”.
I understand and agree with your 4 ways to get your spouses affection again….stop talking about it , Respect, be fun & light, as well as a few other things….and THEY WORK! I have tried them.
I am currently in a state of not doing as good as I could at applying these principles in our marriage, and our marriage is sufferring. I know if I choose to apply them again as I have in the past, it will work. What is stopping me is this, and I don’t know how to gethe past it:
How can I TRUST that he really truly loves me, if he can only show it when I am at my best??? Isn’t REAL love….”thick & thin….better or worse”? Isn’t real love when you can still love when your in your pajamas or when you don’t have make up on, or just the flaws and imperfections that make us human? I am actually preventing myself from doing what I know will work because I’m afraid when I have it, I will not trust it, because he couldn’t show me when I was not at my best.
Can anyone tell me the right mindset to have if I am thinking wrongly. That could help me. I love him unconditionally at his very worst. Shouldn’t I deserve the same? Why do we seem to have to be perfect to get the same love in return? I have a hard time really feeling loved when I had to be so perfect first and couldn’t just be loved for who I am. Thanks.
Kimberly, I can see why it’s hard to trust that your husband loves you when his loves seems contingent on you practicing the Intimacy Skills. It’s hurtful and a lot of pressure to feel you have to be perfect to be worthy of love.
I had a hard time trusting that my husband really loved me too. Today I see that he still loved me at my worst or he wouldn’t have stuck around. But I was so unhappy, disrespectful, controlling and ungrateful that my behavior got in the way of receiving his love. Now that I have the support to practice the 6 Intimacy Skills consistently, I know that is not who I am. While I still don’t always show it, I am a dignified, respectful woman. I’m grateful that the Intimacy Skills have empowered me to be my authentic self and that my husband loves me unconditionally even when I’m not my best self.
I admire your commitment to being loved for who you are and your willingness to practice the Intimacy Skills. If you want to jumpstart getting back to being your best, true self, I invite you to my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Hi I need answers I’ve noticed lately my husband hasn’t been affectionate with me and we haven’t had sex for a while too. He does says he loves me and he gives me kisses never wants to cuddle. We’ve sat down and talked and I asked him what’s wrong and he said it’s not me he still loves me and he still in love with me it’s just that he doesn’t like being affection anymore he doesn’t know why he said. He said he still finds me attractive but he doesn’t want to have sex sometimes so I don’t understand I feel like he doesn’t love me because he doesn’t give me attention so I don’t know what to do please help
Flavia, I’m sorry to hear you’ve lost your husband’s affection, attention and sexual intimacy. That is painful. I admire your commitment to intimacy and your vulnerability in sharing this and reaching out for support.
I remember how lonely and hurt I felt when I’d lost my husband’s affection and attention. Practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills inside the bedroom–and especially out–made our marriage playful and passionate again. It feels like our dating days again!
If I can do it, you can too! I’ll show you how in my upcoming Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
So why do men get to act like spoiled children and we have to be actual “goddesses” to keep them around? Why do men get to act like Workaholic Masters of the Universe and prioritise everything EXCEPT the one they’re supposed to love the most, under the guise of “contributing to the family” when all they’re really doing is serving their own ego? Why do men get to withdraw their love the moment their wife turns out to be *gasp* human and we have to bend over backwards being perfect?
I am just so, so fed up. We haven’t had sex in a year. He won’t even hug me. I have all the restrictions of marriage and none of the companionship or support. This is not what I signed up for. I am tired of being at his whim. I am tired of being the collateral damage of his premature midlife crisis.
Christine, I can see why you’re feeling tired. It is exhausting to feel like you have to be perfect to earn your husband’s love! Not to mention going without intimacy, affection or support.
That was so lonely for me, and I was sick of being a victim of my husband’s whims. The 6 Intimacy Skills empowered me to focus on my own happiness and, in the process, made him eager to give me affection and help–a win win!
I would love to show you how to get the companionship and support you deserve. I invite you to my upcoming Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Hi Laura. Read ur article. Its so promising. I m into 9 months of my marriage(arrange marriage) but unfortunately its on a rough patch now. The problem being negligence and ignorance from my husband. Before marriage I was a workaholic, independent women. But for him and his family I hv sacrificed that life. I now look at his family, family business and above all “him”. I hv sacrificed my passion n my job just for him. And in return he gives him his unaffectionate kind, which I must say Laura is very very hurtful. A lot infact.
I want him to realize that even I also hv sme dreams n desires. N its his responsibility to take care of my dreams as well. But dats not the case with his. I always say him dat in a marriage compromises should be done from both the ends. But here its me who has changed and adjusted herself a hell lot. Still there is no sign of acknowledgement from his side. He still thinks and say “U need to learn a lot more.” In a day I get his hugs and kisses only at night. Rest of the time he even doesn’t bother to give me a smile or hold my hand. I just feel that he needs me to satisfy his physical desires. Its so upsetting. I m still trying n do my best to fit into d role he wants me to fit in but somehow dat demands are neverending. Its just goes on n on. His cold n neglected behaviour is killing me from inside. Plese help Laura. Please help. I want my marriage to work out. Its only 9 months. N above all I love him. Please suggest a way.
I hear that you’re suffering from your husband’s demands, neglect and lack of affection after sacrificing your passion, with no acknowledgment from him. That is so hurtful and upsetting. I really admire your commitment to your marriage.
I remember how sad and lonely I felt when I sacrificed my happiness for the sake of my marriage. Not only did it not work for me, I ended up driving him further away too. The 6 Intimacy Skills empowered me to focus on my own happiness and inspired my husband to want to please me. Now I have the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted.
You too can get the affection, gratitude and happiness you deserve! I’ll show you how in my upcoming Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I’m learning not to talk about everything as much because he looks at it as he’s always doing something wrong. Im a shy person at heart and eventhough I can be myself around him, initiating things isn’t my strong suit. He’s admitted the same. He also hasn’t been an affectionate person from the beginning. We’ve been together 8 years and engaged for 2. when I mention I need more affection, he says he will try to show it more and does for a short period of time. I thrive on affection and it’s hard for me to not receive it, especially when I don’t get a lot of attention either. he gets his mind in certain projects around the house and it’s like I’m non existent. It hurts so much. But how do I “fix” this? I don’t ridicule him or anything. We both do our fair share of cooking, cleaning, etc. It’s literally just the affection lacking.
Mandy, that is painful not to receive the affection you crave. I admire you for having the vulnerability and commitment to reach out for support.
I remember how alone and sad I felt when the affection went missing from my marriage and everything I tried, including asking for it, only drove him farther away. Then I learned how to use the 6 Intimacy Skills to attract him and his affection back. Now it feels like when we were dating, and he can’t seem to stay away from me!
I would love to show you how to get the affection you deserve. I invite you to my upcoming Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I’ve been married for 35 years and find every time I feel comfortable in my marriage, it seems my husband throws up something about us that is making him unhappy. Now, it is me teasingly asking “where is my kiss?”. I ask it playfully, fully expecting some laughter and a simple kiss in return…nothing complicated. But, my husband is now insisting I ask for a kiss by saying “May I please have a kiss?” I tried it, and immediately felt I was begging for affection. I tried to explain my feelings and in return I got that he was tired of me “demanding” affection. What is really going on behind his request? How do I get to the heart of his issue?
Sandra, I hear that it does not feel dignified to have to beg for affection and that your attempt to show your vulnerability was met only with criticism. That sounds lonely. I admire your commitment to changing this dynamic.
I used to ask for my husband’s affection too. I couldn’t understand why it seemed to push him further away. Then I found the 6 Intimacy Skills and finally got the tools to attract his attention and affection–without having to ask for it!
If I can do it, you can too. I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
I hope someone can put my mind at ease…. I live with my partner and at the begining it was so beautiful and so romantic and sexy, after a year and a half its gone from having sex 2 to 3 tines a week to once a fortnight or even 3 weeks. He got divirced previously cause he cheated online and told me he learnt his lesson but my mind is going crazy and it frustrates him everytime i cry or ask why he does not pay attention to me like he used to. I feel like im not sexy, hot or even attractive for him anymkre and this leaces me feeling worthless . I always dress lovey, have a wonderful personality but now im always quiet and thoughtful. Everyday i feel like i could cry as he does not even tell me that i look nice or smell nice anymore, he just wants to play online games and be on his own. He has tokd ne that cause he is a bit okder, his sex drive is not as big as mine but i dont know if i believe this… Maybe he finds me boring now since we live together. Please help! What can i do to get that spark back as he told me that at the begining there is always a spark then naturally it fades away but does not mean tge love is any less, i akways feel like i have to tell him to be affectionate, he walks past ne bot spanking my bum anymore or anything. 🙁
Chantelle, I can see why you’re going crazy wondering what he might be up to since your sex life has declined and he’s retreating from you. That is so hurtful and lonely. I admire you for being so vulnerable and committed to your relationship.
You are not alone. Other clients have reported their older men made similar comments about their waning sex drives. One client still felt there was something wrong with her when her husband quit wanting to have sex with her or be with her. She practiced the 6 Intimacy Skills, and now he keeps saying he loves her, kissing her passionately and grabbing her bottom when she walks by, even seeing a doctor to ensure his sexual function.
If she can reignite the spark, you can too! I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/.
I’ve also been struggling with feeling loved. But we are still young. I’m 23 and my husband is 24. He is my best friend but sometimes I feel like that’s all we are because there is no romance. I thought telling him what I need more of and reminding him almost daily would fix things. It’s so hard being young and newly married and feeling this way. I often just wonder if he can’t give me the affection I need:( we have a daughter together. She’s 3 months old..and I desperately want to fix things for her. Our sex life is almost non existent. During my pregnancy we went 6 months without being intimate (I was too scared to make the move for the fear of being rejected). Now that we’ve had our daughter we have sex about once maybe twice a month. He knows that I want to be more intimate but never makes the move and instead wants to watch tv and fall asleep. Last night I finally decided to just make the move..and we’ll i was rejected 🙁 and I’m just so hurt because I want to live a happy life full of love. I want my husband to desire me. I will definitely try not to nag him anymore about wanting affection. But I don’t know what to do to heal and just feel loved..
Rose, that’s painful to have lost the romance so early in your marriage and to be rejected when you make yourself vulnerable. I hear your commitment to healing your marriage and your family, which I really admire.
I remember how hurt I was when my husband preferred watching TV to making love with me. The 6 Intimacy Skills attracted him back to me and gave me the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted.
I’d love to give you the tools to get the love you deserve! I invite you to my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/.
I am remarried 3 yrs now. Known my husband for 6 yrs. At the beginning we dated for 8 months and I broke It off because of lack of affection. A few years later we got back together and he came at me with a vengeance. I was like ouuu I like this side. Some things just don’t stay the same. It has been a rollercoaster for me. The day i moved into his house everything changed. I have spent numerous minutes trying to discuss with him what i need, and want since our wedding day. In the mist of all those discussions we have had some life changing events occur. My son had cancer and a year of treatment, he was 15, we had to do some fast redesigning of our house for him to come home. Now my daughter is back home pregnant and she left abruptly with this guy she met right after she turned 18. He has daughter’s to who never could seem to deal with the fact their father remarried, never come over, never try to be part of the family. I didn’t change i still wanted to makelove and feel loved despite all that was going on. Our lovemaking got further and further apart and i couldn’t understand why. It was me going to him always and then I discovered he was on porn sites. Well i can’t tell ya how hard that has hit me considering that is why me and my first husband divorced. He admitted it to me reluctantly, and i just stopped right then giving a care for any time with him. I’m sorry men have so many excuses as to why they do this stuff. His big excuse he didnt feel appreciated and i was unreliable because one time i didnt pay the electric and it shut off. Not like i jad so very much going on. I was the one going to him waking him up to have sex and it was great for him he just went through the motions and went back to sleep. Ya it helped my craving for sex until i foumd out why he didnt, but now I could care less. It’s all about him, he dont make sure it works for me. Today i tried to make a sexual foreplay comment and totally got shot down. I feel like i dont even want to be here but am stuck. Things have not been the same for me since I discovered the porn. My trust is broken, i feel like i just exist here. It kills me knowing that in the mist of hurt and stress I have been having with my kids , instead of comforting me he ignored me and was watching porn. I dont look at my marriage the same anymore. I read all these ideas you have on here. I. Don’t feel like i care enough anymore to again lower myself to make all good for him and he’ll with me. I can’t handle rejection anymore, so it’s just easier to avoid it all. I dont feel empowered, i dont know what i feel, some days I feel like having an affair, just to get my confidence back. Any advice ???
Sheila, I’m very sorry to hear about all the challenges with your children and stepchildren, on top of going through the pain of a porn habit and loss of intimacy all over again. I can see why you’re feeling stuck. And yet I hear your commitment in reaching out for support, which I so admire.
I remember when telling my husband my needs was like hitting my head against the wall. With the 6 Intimacy Skills, I finally got the tools to have the affection and attention I’d always craved, along with my confidence. Now my husband is eager to please me in every way.
If I can do it, you can too! I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/.
Well I have to say 3 months have gone by and my method worked better. I was trying to have a convo with him because I was having a bad day and just needed to be held. I got an off handed remark from him so I said “I expect that from an immature boy!” Do you know what he did? He came into the room I was in (yeah we weren’t even in the same rooms!) and stood there for 2hrs past his bedtime just to talk to me. He turned his attitude around. Now I’ve never belittled him ever. And I never plan on making that my go to….never ever. But explain why the past 3 months he’s been golden? He’s interested in what I have to say. Shows my tons of affection. Caring. Thoughtful. The husband all women want.
Laila, I’m glad to hear that your way is working for you. I love that you have what all women want! I admire your commitment to being respectful, as I hear you had never before belittled your husband. You’re way ahead of where I was!
For me, shaming and controlling my husband got me what I wanted for a while. Unfortunately, longterm it pushed him away and made him not want to be around me. Then I found the tools to be desired, cherished and adored now and in the long run too!
If you want to try an approach in line with your respectful values, I invite you to try the 5-Day Get Cherished Challenge at http://getcherished.com.
You are the expert on your life, so whatever works for you!
Laura, I bought your book over a year ago. It was challenging to practice. However, EVERYTIME I practice it, I get the Husband back that shows his true affection for me. It takes patience and practice. Daily reminders throughout the day before it becomes second nature response. Having friends to talk to if ever my feathers get ruffled and opening your book or reading your social media posts always puts me back in my best most loving and respectful place towards my Husband.
Unfortunately, I fell off the wagon a couple months ago and am having to get back on the wagon just this past week and I must say in just that short amount of time I can already see our relationship getting back on track again.
I will say it was not a happy last couple of months. We were in separate bedrooms and the verge of divorce because I became selfish (in an innocent way). However it’s not attractive.
I sincerely thank you for sharing your work and wisdom. My Husband and I are going on 10 years and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together. He’s the love of my life! I’m in love with him more today and attracted to him more today than I’ve ever been. The love grows stronger no matter our ups and downs.
Your leadership advice ensures we have more up’s in our daily lives and I thank you for that wholeheartedly.
Jenn, thank you for sharing your experience. Your story is inspiring. I’m excited to hear you’re back on track! Your surrendering sounds powerful, and I’m eager to hear how your marriage continues to grow.
My man is pretty much shut down emotionally. The thing is I can’t tell if that’s because he’s just scared of intimacy (he’s like this with his own family but never his friends) or if he’s sick of me. He says he loves me. He’s a good man and really awesome to his friends but seriously the moment he walks in the door at home he’s just GRUMPY. Many days during the week I get no eye contact, a grumpy hello, some grunts, a kiss good night and that’s that. EVERYONE I know wants me to give up because he’s hurt me so much. We live together (his idea) and are building a house (nearly finished) but apart from that you would think we had just met! We don’t share finances, dreams, much time together and he doesn’t tell me anything about his life unless I specifically ask. You would honestly think he totally dislikes me. And yet…under all that, at times, he shows glimpses of the old boyfriend I knew. The one who was soft, kind, smiled at me and so on. I feel like my partner is a lost cause and different to all the others on here because he can’t do intimacy even with his family. So maybe, he will just NEVER open up to me. I guess all I can do is try your steps. Why not? Everyone is sick of me being hurt and wants me to leave but I don’t. I hate giving up. I just desperately want him to be happy with me like he was in the beginning. I have to own my mistakes here – when I was unhappy with him I got mad, blaming, threatening and so on….I don’t know if I’ve shut him down, or he doesn’t like me much or it’s just him….so confusing!!! I’m tired, but a part of me hasn’t given up.
Mandy, I would feel hurt and confused too if my man were always grumpy and shut down. I admire your commitment to your relationship, your hope and your willingness to try something new.
I remember how painful it was to feel alone and unloved. The 6 Intimacy Skills attracted back the man I’d married and inspired him to be his best self.
I would love to support you so you can get back the man you fell in love with. I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/.
Don’t feel alone. You are of many women who struggle with the same marriage challenges. I too can relate to you on many levels. I read Laura’s article, we all did, because we can relate to the feeling of lack of intimacy and/or emotional connection we crave.
I must ask… have you read her book on 6 Intamacy Skills? If not, you must! She provides thorough suggestions on nearly every challenge a marriage will face, as well as how to overcome them with a JOYFUL heart towards yourself as well as your husband.
I will say… it is a journey and it does take daily practice.
It is so worth it though.
To note… I do not work for Laura. I’m a normal woman working on my professional career, self and working WITH my Husband and children.
I wish you all the best everyday!
I’ve been with my husband for 14 years now I have three beautiful children but we can’t seem to communicate to tell each other how’re really feeling we don’t have sex anymore I tried and tried and tried to get him to there’s no affection I just don’t know what to do anymore he doesn’t even sleep in our bed I feel so lonely so rejected I cry all the time I think I even cried myself to sleep last night I don’t know what to do I just want some love and attention is that too much to ask I don’t know if it’s because he’s not attracted to me anymore or what’s going on I just wish I knew how to talk to him about it feel like giving up but I know I can’t because I can’t stay in this marriage just for him I have 3 kids to think about it’s really hard and lonely and it hurts so much
My boyfriend can go weeks without kissing or touching me. Sometimes if I try to kiss him he won’t kiss me back. I’ve tried talking complaining and ignoring it. I constantly tell him he’s amazing and I’m totally respectful to him. Everything in our life and relationship is perfect besides the lack of affection and sex. When we drink he is like a different person, i wish he could be like that all the time. Sober he acts like sex is a chore and i never get foreplay but he always does and I do almost all the work. It definitely wasn’t always like this. I want the spark back. I want him to want me.
I took on a husband with 5 step-kids and he’s so in love with his kids that I’m completely ignored. I moved cities, retook the bar, and had to take steps back in my career, and he doesn’t even appreciate it. We have one son together, who I completely adore. I feel like he gave me the bate and switch as soon as we got married. I can only stand one of my step-kids, so I just do the best I can with the rest. I feel like they are all entitled spoiled brats. He’s so soft on them and he can’t see them for what they are. They have way to much control over him, and it’s a turnoff. We have no sex, no time together. I’m tired, angry, and resentful, and I want a divorce. This is my second marriage with no attention, so he knows what I need, but is refusing to give it to me. I’m open to separation to see what we can fix, but I feel like I need to get out. I’m extremely lonely and abstinent in my marriage and I’m just over it.
I’m only 24 & affection is nonexistent in my marriage. I’m so lost & feel so extremely lonely. I’ve asked, I’ve begged, I’ve went out of my comfort zone to please him & still nothing. Kisses, hugs, cuddling only come if I initiate. This is killing me, I really just want to give up, all hope is gone, I’m just wasting away at an early age… (sigh)
Stay at home mom of 3
Don’t give up… read her book Six Intmacy Skills. Really read it. Most importantly PRACTICE IT!!! EVERYDAY.
It’s no joke.
It’s hard I know. We need to stop self pity and give love…. to everyone, even the “mean” ones.
Once we can overcome our own needs and give to others, we can be more free.
This is hard to understand. However with reading, knowledge and practice… you will grow and you will understand the significance it brings to your own internal health.
Trust. Love. Learn. Practice.
Laura, I read your comments but I really do not believe a spouse can change the basics of another spouse just by changing themselves. UNLESS the individual wants to change themselves, nothing will change in that marriage. I have never believed in divorce but after almost 26 years of marriage, I am not so sure anymore. It comes down to this, either you accept the individual or you leave the individual. I have been seeking counseling for my marriage on and off for almost 10 years on the same issue….lack of sexual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy. The first 9 years, I tried to fix myself and become a better wife and mother. I begged my husband to attend counseling with me but he was always too busy with work and life. This last year, I have spent preparing for divorce. He finally understands I am ready to end the marriage, so now he is going to counseling with me. Unfortunately, I have lost hope in the marriage. Counseling has shown that his passive aggressive behavior has proven what I always thought was the situation, he holds years of resentment towards me. His family NEVER discussed problems or confrontations, typical pastor family. My family outwardly discussed personal problems, worked out the concerns, and “forgave and forgot” the issues. We have been living like brother and sisters most of our marriage. He refused sexual intimacy throughout our entire marriage. And we haven’t had sex for over 3 years. I have personally tried to keep my weight down to a size 2 or 4 but that doesn’t matter to him. If I didn’t have a 14 year old, 12 year old, and 11 year old and if I wasn’t a Christian, I would divorce him for all the hurt he has caused me. But I stay until my kids are in college. As I said, I do not believe that some marriages can be turned around because it takes each individual to leave the past behind.
Hi Laura. I must say this is some of the best advice I’ve read so far with the intimacy gap between my husband and myself. I am a very passionate and physically affectionate person, but he’s quite reserved in this area. We’ve been together for 15 years, and married for 6 years. I have started to think that my husband is just a selfish lover, and am not sure how much more of his conservative-ness I can take. We have a good life together, but he never holds my hand, never is the one to initiate a hug, never even kisses me with an open mouth, and having an orgasm is a coin toss. I’ve been seriously considering counseling, because I am very worried that he doesn’t love me the way he thinks he does. I am affectionate towards him, and noticed that when I stop initiating physical contact he seems to be fine with going without. I told him I’d like to build our intimacy as part of my New Years Resolution, and over the weekend would like to find ways to express our love for each other without actually saying those 3 little words that he says constantly to me. I know he’s been like this since the beginning, but when we spoke about it many years ago he said it was due to a bad breakup. Flash forward 15 years, and when I asked again he said that wasn’t the reason why he doesn’t express himself romantically. He said he “just didn’t think about it.” Yes, this caused heartbreak. I feel that I’ve been fooled.
Laura- I thankfully stumbled on your article tonight, after googling: “what to do when your husband doesn’t love you anymore.” Our marriage has never been easy. I had chronic illness for the first ten years, until I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which put a burden on my husband. He is a workaholic and has had heart disease/heart surgery. Our oldest son has given us unbelievable challenges. He was diagnosed with autism & ODD at the age of 14. At some point in the past 20 years; I pulled away without realizing it. My husband says he tried to connect with me to no avail for quite awhile. I know I was overwhelmed and overburdened. He was hardly around because he works 12-14 hour days, so I felt abandoned. Now he says he doesn’t love me anymore because he had to go numb to keep going from day to day. He doesn’t want to leave me or the boys, but he’s totally checked out. I feel heartbroken, lonely, undesirable and overwhelmed. I’ve apologized for my past mistakes and asked him to go to counseling with me, but he won’t go. Says he’s too overwhelmed at work with the number of projects he’s taken on.
My question to you is; how do I get my balance back so I can be fun? How do I get to a point where I like what I see in the mirror and feel fulfilled enough in my life that I don’t look to him? I just think the only way our marriage will heal, is if I don’t need him and don’t feel ripped off when he’s never available, because right now I’m a burden, not a blessing. And he’s a burden for me because he doesn’t engage in our home life, but expects me to do everything and be a parent for both of us. It’s a vicious cycle.
Laura I read the empowered wife and the tips in the book are helping me. I don’t think my marriage is failing but it does get stressful at times. My husband is in the military and is gone a lot. We have two kids. My daughter was born while he was deployed. I was also in the navy at the time. He didn’t meet her until she was six months old. I feel this book is missing the marriages with children. There is a whole other set of issues that comes with kids such as each of you have different discipline styles. Also my husband has always from the beginning taken care of all the finances. I have my own account and he transfers me money as needed. This has always worked and we have never once had a disagreement about money. Some other parts of the book were odd to me as well such as I have never told my husband what to wear lol. I feel I already do a lot of these tips but with children there is so many other issues I didn’t find in your book. Just by using your tips I now have my husband doing things around the house. He has sleep apnea and sleeps with a mask and also low testosterone. Medical issues are definitely a real thing when it comes to sex. I can say that part of our marriage doesn’t have much.
Married 50 years and my husband never wanted sex with me or any other female. We did have sex a couple of times but he really wasn’t interested and he said is that it! He worked midnights for years and choose to sleep down in a bed room down stairs. I asked him if we should see a professional with our problem with intimacy. We did and he layed his thoughts all out, I was shocked he said that I was boring and had no imagination, also he had no interest in sex on a regular basis with anyone. When he did he pleasured himself, with his imagination or porn. I wish I would have left him but no were still together, and I have lost all desire for intimacy and him. Were in our 70s now and we stay away from each other and our own thing.
I have read quite a few things about marriage and how to make it good, but this book is the best by far! I am not even finished with it, but I put a few things in practice and I already can see result. Just listening and not saying anything except a ‘I hear you’ or ‘ah ha’ is enough (he told me many many many times he just want me to listen, but…. 😉 )I had to control myself and in my mind many replies popped up but I managed to keep quiet. I will read and re-read this book till it is ingrained in my mind 🙂 Thanks for writing this amazing book!
This is the greatest article.. I wish I read this a year ago.
This is great advice and I’m glad I found it! I feel EXACTLY as described above. Lacking affection and asking for it, getting it but feeling worse because I want him to WANT TO give it to me. And lately he has been getting stressed because he feels I’m smothering him with affection and the desire for it. And that my response to his “I just wanna relax” is never “ok that’s fine.” Which is true, I do get frustrated. But it’s becauase I feel rejected and like he doesn’t even TRY. He KNOWS I need or want affection. Esp during that time of the month, I can’t help but feel like I need it more! And the more distant he gets, the more I cling. I really don’t want him to feel smothered but at the same time I want him to TRY!
My man is my king, my everything. He’s not naturally super affectionate, though, and I crave affection constantly. I’m not sure what to do in this situation. He does show affection at times and definitely makes an effort to show it more than he would be naturally inclined to and it makes the whole world light up for me. But when he doesn’t I feel like the sun won’t come up again. I try and focus on the positives and remember that if he didn’t care he wouldn’t be affectionate at all. I also focus on the fact that his instinct is to be affectionate and protective. At night whenever he’s asleep and I go to get up he pulls me back and holds me and goes right back to sleep. He doesn’t like to cuddle at night while he’s trying to fall asleep but he does the thing I mentioned above and he also wants me to go to bed at the same time as him, which I take to mean he likes having me near him. Should I just be grateful for what I have and work on myself and figuring out why I need an unlimited shower of affection 24/7? I have a strong feeling that the issue is within me and that the level of affection that he shows should be enough for a healthy woman. I’m probably looking for an unreasonable level of physical affection at this point and the solution is probably for me to adjust and work on myself, but I don’t know where to start. Any suggestions would be welcome!
What if hed rather watch pirn than have sex with you or he has to watch it to have sex with you or even to let you give him oral. What if he quit showing all affection and love and knows he did says he did but says that hes just never been affectionate when he has he was. What if he comes in and kisses the dog rubs the dog fpr hpurs acts like the dog is gis wife and not you. What if while youre at wprk hes online the whole time talking to exes and watching porn playing games and facebook then 10 mins before you pull up he runs out door to do yardwork and says he dont have time to spend with you hes got to get stuff done but hes on disability and does the same thing everyday while you bust your ass. And what if hes always to tired for you. Mind you he was born with no fingers and has lived his whole life without them. He can shoot a gun he can build anything he can put pools and liners in he can do anything a normal man can so he isnt on disabilty for something new or painful or fatal hes not depressed and he has 8 + hours a day to do what he wants plus he sleeps 10 hours a day so what then. What if you dont complain but you do end up begging for him to put the phone down and do something with you but he cant hes worked hard all day and needs to relax. What if you get home have to do all the housework and he wants you to cut grass with the push mower and weedeat while he uses the riding mower and pull weeds but he is always to busy with yard work for time with you we dont even have an acre of land people. What do i do then how do i get his affection and attention then i only weigh 120 so its not my weight im in shape and i try to have sex with him im the one whi gets rejected. And yes i know there are typos in this but im writing through years here. Help please
Is there hope for a marriage between two who are polar opposites? It seems we can’t even agree to disagree. I am frustrated because I feel like it is his way or the highway. I join him in sitting together to watch tv or listen to music but feel like he monopolizes what we watch or listen to. If I request we listen to something different he will tease me for my preference of music and that it’s old and outdated like me(I am slightly older than him). He will never offer to watch other programs on tv that I like and if I request we watch something different he will make fun of the shows I enjoy. I try really hard to look in the mirror and see what I could be doing to be causing strain in the relationship because I am desperate to make things better. I love this man with all my heart. I too have complained about the lack of affection and you are right it does nothing to improve the situation. I know I am not perfect, but I am so frustrated and really not sure what I could be doing wrong. We don’t know how to communicate with each other. If I do try to talk to him I feel like I am just complaining because he becomes angry with me. Maybe my approach is all wrong and I wish he would just talk to me and tell me if that is the case. I don’t know what to fix if I don’t know what I am doing to be hurting the relationship. He jokes that I am never happy and that hurts tremendously to hear because I want more than anything TO be happy. I have struggled enough in my younger years and am so over it. I have had some recent health issues which has not helped my outlook, which I think is completely understandable. I wish more than anything he would just come and embrace me and tell me he is there for me like I do for him when he is struggling. I just don’t know, but it hurts. This is a second marriage for us both. We are newlyweds after having both been single(meaning not ‘married’) for 10+ years before meeting one another.
And they say women are the high maintenance ones ? lol I’ve been struggling with my husbands lack of affection for months now. The thing is, I brushed it off in the beginning and forced myself to act unscathed and resilient when he began to push away. I welcomed him with his favorite meals, put off plans to allow him to rest, let him be whenever he wanted to relax and refrained from asking for help with the baby or home. I followed along with big decisions even signing off on a new car despite not being on board. He failed to see how overwhelmed and tired I was caring for our sleepless child and home. He traded our dinner talks for tv and facebook. Our date nights ceased. We no longer have intimacy and have not done so for almost a year. His excuses are numerous and nonsensical. It is very depressing for me as sometimes he’s sometimes visibly bothered by any physical affection on my part. We’ve only recently begun to sleep in the same room and bed at my insistence. Over time, I’ve lost my patience and am convinced that perhaps we’re not meant for each other. I changed my method and began to speak up only to make matters worse. It’s depressing being a new mom and wife with no one to count on emotionally or for anything else for that matter. I no longer touch him or even know how to act when he spontaneously holds my hand which is not often to begin with. He’s no longer the person I married.
Hi, I think this is great advice But I feel like my situation is slightly different In the sense that He is super affectionate with our kids, but can hardly be bothered to touch me. However when he is ready for sex he is all hands on. It makes me feel Like a piece of meat. But I know that he loves me and he works hard for me and our family. I just need more affection and validation from him in the regular day-to-day. But despite my requests over the years, he just can’t do it. It makes me feel depressed And worthless.
Hi, I’ve been married for the past two years and I’m very lost. We have a one year old and I’m not quite ready to break my marriage. But I feel exhausted. My husband never kisses me, never initiates sex, we never touch. I too feel like I’ve become a roommate. I feel so sad that everything makes me cry. The rejection has completely moved me off my center. I really tried but my husband doesn’t find me attractive since I’ve gained weight. It really breaks my heart. There are times where I have tried to talk after begging to kiss or make love and he turns it into a big attack on things that are not great about me. I feel betrayed. And a part of me has started to hate him. I’m very worried about how my child will grow up in this home. He’s very very affectionate with our baby. Sometimes I feel so lonely I hug him with my eyes closed telling my self it’s ok at least it’s a body to hold and not a wall. That I’ll just pretend he’s holding me instead. I’m so tired. It hurts too much. I don’t know what to do. I have developed a bad habit of complaining and criticizing. He says I’m never happy and all I do is complain. But all he does is reject me. Like it’s normal. Like he’s normal and I’m needy.
My husband and I stayed together after his betrayal . Been married long time, children grown.I always did the most always took care of family home. He betrayed and lied, he says it’s dead it was a mistake but it was not one time!The women were nasty needy lonely, and used him . His ego was stroked and he carried ion until I caught him after a while. We stayed together, that was almost 3 years ago. He’s retired and home busying himself here doing what he should have done years ago. I am attentive always was, We do things and are always together . He treats me like a buddy yet he Says he loves me, but I cannot get past his betrayal and even today he stares at every woman STARES! I feel so small and at times I tell him so, then he says I’m lying. I am attractive funny smart and do as much as 5 people, I treat him well , cook clean am very good to him. I’m sad . Yet he chose nasty over me
Ohh.. this is really sad. Same thing is happening with me. I can’t see any urge or insecurity or will in him to resolve this situation . And that is the most painful part. For me living life alone is far better than living such kind of life with him in sorrow and depression. Because this is ruining my mental health as well as physical. i cant even concentrate on my career. We have a long life to live ahead. 2-3 years lived with sorrow hardly matter. Best wishes and hugs to you Paramita!
Hi . I’ve been married 18 years. The first 10 were good then it became all about bills, kids. Last year I was hospitalized for flu, pneumonia and ended up in a coma. I suffer from the side effects of encephalitis. I had to retire early. But I’m okay.
My husband shows no affection. He works a lot because of the lost in income. But when he is home he sits in his man cave 24-7 and watches tv mainly sports. I am so lonely. We have only had sex 2 times this year! I recently found out he pleases himself by watching porn on his phone. I feel like he doesn’t want me like that anymore. I have gained 40 pounds being home for a year. I don’t know what to do. He loves me. He has taken care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself. What can I do to get us back on track. Intimacy is so important to me.
I have been trying to apply some of the suggestions in your book, particularly those related to not correcting or criticising my husband, and I have a question about a specific situation that happened recently. We take care of our 3 yr old Grandson often and have a carseat for him in our car–I used to be the one who put him in but he’ gotten to heavy so my husband has started doing it. Recently my husband put him in the carseat and buckled it but one of the shoulder straps was not over his shoulder–it was under his arm! This was totally unsafe and I just could not put my husband’s fragile ego above my Grandson’s safety so I had to say something. I kept it light, and it went okay but later the VERY same day, my husband put him in again and put the straps in the right place but did not snug the whole thing down so it was way too loose! Again, I really could not let this slide. What are your thoughts about this? Clearly he is not paying enough attention or placing enough value on doing this right and now I’m nervous about letting him go somewhere (by car) without me there to check. You say that men will learn from their mistakes but this is a mistake I cannot let him make! Your example of letting the man put the kids PJs on backward is great but a lot of things are much more important than that and you don’t seem to address this. Please advise what you suggest. I should tell you that my husband is a perfectly intelligent person who is fully capable of understanding how carseats are supposed to be used but he just doesn’t seem to understand how important it is.
I’m so sad inside from the lack of affection my husband gives to me. I’m always asking for hugs or kisses and we haven’t made love for 2 years.I always tell him he’s amazing and give him affection and get none in return. He’s not a bad guy, I just want real love, I’m finished…
I do all these things. I gave in and said something and other than pecks and a few hugs I get nothing else. Sitting next to him on the couch I wait for anything. A hand on my thigh? Nothing. So I put my legs over him and he will sigh as if I annoyed him. He will flirt innuendos all day and tell me that we will have sex that night. But come bed time he gives me a quick kiss goodnight and rolls over to fall asleep. All while I have spent so much time and effort to be ready for him. It gets to the point where I beg and it makes it worse. I give so much and I feel like I will nrvrr get anything back. He seems to want to give me affection when he wants something. Not because he wants to give it to me.
I am 37 and have been with my current partner for almost 7 years. He has not introduced me to his family. We now live together and his son stays with us half of the week and the other half with his son’s mom. If it wasn’t for that fact that we moved into together, I don’t think I would have met his son. He keeps me separate from everything. He told me that he has never had a great relationship with his family and is just not interested in introducing me to them. My boyfriend is not affectionate at all unless he is extremely happy about something a promotion at work, extra money etc… and then comes the kisses and hugs and I love you’s but outside of that there is nothing. I work 10-12 hour days. When I come home there is no, “how was your day bae?” I don’t get any texts during the day asking how I am doing. It’s just nothing. I at times feel like we are roommates. His mother passed away recently and of course no invite to the funeral and things have just gotten worse. He is cold as ice. No emotions at all. I have two children of my own and he does make it a point for us to do things together as a family like going to dinner and having different outing and he is great with my children and they love him to death but I feel so lonely. There are times where I just want a hug or to be held. I am screaming in the inside please touch me!!!! and nothing. I have spoken to him several times about this and he apologizes and tries for two days but then it’s back to normal. I am so frustrated.
My wife, keeps telling me that she’s not sure im in love with her, but i feel the same about her. She keeps telling me i’m not as intimate as she would like, in every sense of the word. What can i do to help my marriage work. She’s already threatened divorce once already.
I get that have to have more respect for my husband but how is it fair to put out that respect if i dont feel appreciated by him? We both work and we have a 1 year old which i handle most of her responsibilities. I want more affection from my husband, he is never interested in sex and is always sleeping. Its hard to try these methods and get past the feeling of not being appreciated by him. Oh and he is very defensive about everything instead of trying to understand how his lack of affection hurts my feelings.
Dear Laura, Please give me the advice I need to save a 20 year marriage. My husband and I have a strong basis of a long friendship and many good times, with periods of trouble followed by periods of moving forward, and we have had over a decade of couples counseling and marriage workshops. I think we are both committed, but in the past to years, my husband has grown increasingly distant, although his general personality is cool, not warm. But, I can barely stand this relationship any more, despite wanting badly to stay married, and wanting to be a good role model for our children. My husband barely talks to me, never kisses or hugs me, even if something big or exciting has happened that would deserve a congratulations. Lately, he doesn’t even look at me, even if I am talking directly to him or if I try to show him something. He sleeps in a different room and spends a lot of his time out of the house, or in another room, or busy doing something. If I ask him if there is another person, he gets so mad and says I’m seeking drama that doesn’t exist. If I ask him if he is interested in staying together or would he rather split up, he says something like, “We’re going here now? Really?” and leaves the room. I am often embarrassed and sad about how he treats me in front of my children. When we have friends over, he is his old charming, lovely self, to them, and I can’t help but feel so hurt to see how well he treats others. My friends used to advise me to stick around because he’s a great guy, but now if I ask them, they say, ‘figure out what makes you happy’ or ‘you could be fine without him’. I want to be married, but I want to be married to the nicer version of my husband, not this version. I have tried so many things, from treating him like a king, to refusing to accept criticism that I feel is just venting. Nothing seems to work and I’m worried that the demise of the family is coming. I welcome your advice. Thank you.
I’m at a loss for words and what to do. I have been married for nearly 12 years. We have 2 lovely young children. But for literally years now we have bickered faught and argued over small and big things. My husband has had debt issues, gambling issues, over drinking or binge drinking issues, anger, passive aggressive. He shows me absolutely no love at all. He never makes eye contact. When I try and speak to him he ignores me. He has let me down so many times after I have explained how I feel. I am so angry now. I can’t contain my anger. I am fed up being treated this way, being ignored. I’m falling into a depressive state. I’m in a vicious cycle. I comfort eat. I don’t take care of myself – because I don’t see the point. We haven’t had sex since Sept 2014. Over 4 years. I feel like he’s either cheating on me or has cheated on me. He was at a strip club and sent me a photo of himself there – when I questioned where he was. I really do not feel like I can continue in this relationship but he won’t set me free. He’s holding on for the mere fact it looks good on him in front of all his family. I really don’t love him enough to try the 6 steps. It’s been going on too many years but he won’t let me go. I can’t live like this anymore. I have some of my own issues at the moment, I want to work on them. With him around this feels impossible.
I’m going to try some of these. I’m at the end of my tether- I’m so scared. Been with my partner for 5 1/2 years now, he proposed about a year and a half ago- we are getting married in July (long engagement I know but that’s to save up ).
Problem is we haven’t had sex in over a year now. As in nothing- no fooling around either. I waited for a while (6months) before I mentioned it because I didn’t want to make it worse. But I’ve mentioned it was worrying me, and he just said y’know “stresses/tired right now- it’s not you I promise”. But now it’s over a year. And it makes me stressed and unhappy. And I’m marrying him in July!! Should I really be marrying someone who doesn’t want me physically? I mean I do want children soon (as in the next couple of years) he knows that- and you can’t have babies without any of that ey!
The scarier thing is this happened to me before in my last relationship. Was with the bloke for 4 1/2 Years, no sex in the last year and a half of that, and amongst other things it eventually got too much and I left him. But I don’t have that option now because I’m set to marry my fiancé in July! The fact it has happened twice means it must be me. I don’t know what to do.
And y’know i’m Not a physically unattractive person, I’m slim and, y’know, don’t crack mirrors or anything! Years ago I had an eating disorder, and whenever this no sex thing/ being turned away from trying to be affectionate again all it makes me want to do is starve myself near to death again. But I don’t cause let’s face it I can’t do that either, I’m an adult I’ve got bills to pay.
Sorry just needed to vent. I read some of these posts and they were like “haven’t had sex in 1-2 months” and I was like, I wouldn’t even mind that right now.
My husband wants sex all the time but I feel like that’s it. Every touch is a grope and comments are all sexual.
I am so frustrated that he shows little interest in the kids and what’s going on in their lives. He goes to their sporting events but points out their mistakes and never acknowledges their assets.
He’s always on his phone and usually doesn’t even hear our conversations happening right in front of him.
He us quick to criticize and point out flaws but never compliments and mocks others who do compliment.
He has been gone on work trips and doesn’t tell the kids bye or ask how they are during or when he returns.
He isn’t an awful dad/husband but he is just not interested in our lives. I often feel he is just selfish.
I have tried to discuss some of these things and he just doesn’t hold conversations with me. Especially relating to personal feelings.
Just so frustrated!
What is it about getting married? I told him it changes everything and man how I predicted that correctly! I do all the work around the house and yard, plus my full time job of teaching! That alone is a stress mess. He isn’t physical or romantic or anything. No touching, besides the occasional hug in the morning. I literally took his hands yesterday, our 6th year anniversary, and placed them on me and said how did that feel. He response, “nothing”.
Months go by, this is a guy who wouldn’t leave me alone to rest is now not responsive. No gifts, well I did get face wash for my birthday?, no flowers, nothing. No affection no response, nothing. I am a little person, fit, and I do take time for me everyday, so what’s the reasoning? He was fun, danced, was goofy, would try things, and it was all fake to get a little misses in the house. I have quit mentioning it to him because he doesn’t respond, it is hopeless and we are now in a roommate situation. I have thought of just having a “side person” to fill that touch need but know that is wrong, but it is also wrong to not fulfill your husbandly duties. And the answer is????….
Okay, so I’m seeing a seriously sexist scale-tipping here. Why is it always the woman who has to give affection? Why is it always the woman who has to compromise her feelings, her emotions, her thoughts, her opinions, or herself to make the marriage work? At what point do we as women, put our foot down, and start holding these husbands accountable, for THEIR part in a crumbling marriage or marriage in crisis?!?! I get it, nobody likes a Debbie Downer, obviously, but why should the woman sacrifice everything to make her husband happy, if he’s unwilling to do the same for her? What if all this subservient “giving” does nothing more than support or encourage his bad behavior? What if you literally have spent every waking minute of your marriage trying to love, honor, and support him, only for him to just keep on taking without giving back in return? What then?
My husband is very bad at showing affection. We have only been married one year and it is already pretty lacking from our relationship. He can go days without messaging me if he is away with work and when we are together, spends a lot of time doing hobbies so may not get home til 10/11 pm during weekdays. When I ask for affection, he gets irritated. When I do what you say u should do, he thinks it’s a validation that actually it’s fine not to be affectionate- I.e not bringing it up, being respectful and caring makes him feel there are no issues in our marriage so therefore it’s ok for him to just carry on.
I know that from his upbringing he was taught that public displays of affection are distasteful (even a kiss on the cheek) so he has obviously been brought up this way, but it makes me wonder if he actually loves me or find me attractive.
Sometimes when I initiate something, he will say ‘what’s wrong with you’. It really hurts my feelings and I really don’t know how to deal with the constant rejection.
Hi Julia, your story touches my heart. I have been with my husband for 3 years and married for a year and a half. For the last year it seems like he has lost total sexual intimacy in me. No more passionate kisses or sex. When we do have sex I’m always the one initiating it and usually we end up doing it because I ‘begged’ him and he feels guilty.
I am so confused. I know it’s not a medical problem because he can get aroused. But he just brushes off my attempts. He’s so kind and likes to be adorable with me when we’re at home. We started off great minus the times I told him it was okay for us to be intimate in public (like holding hands, kiss, or just being close together). We were very passionate. But after we got married it seems like his sexual desire towards me dwindles daily. Every time I bring it up he makes it seems like I’m just over sexual. Or he was smoking and don’t want to kiss me on the mouth. I even ask if my breath smelled and told him he could be honest (we are very close and this is something I know he would be honest about).
I know my situation isn’t exactly like yours but I feel some of the things you say. I’m so confused because I know he loves me but I don’t think he’s actually sexually attracted to me anymore. I’m really not sure how to deal with this. At this point I think I’m trying too hard to make it happen in bed or anywhere in the house again. I feel like I just want to give up. I don’t even make an attempt in the bedroom any more. So much I want to say about our relationship. I wish I had someone to talk to about this freely without being judge. I’ll try to ask him about it in the morning after breakfast. I’m just scared of the answer he might give me, if any.
I share the same sentiment as many of you. I am married for 25 yrs. My husband provides for his family, makes sure we are confortable etc but is not affectionate in bed. We both work and I understand at times we are tired but he never touches me; no hugs, kisses, sex. He gets upset when I mention it and blames me for petty things. Our marriage is emotionally drained. He us not even intetested in having a date night. I am one leg out the door.
My husband really loves it when I completely lose myself in order to serve him. For 3 years we’ve only listened to the music he likes, we only do the activities he likes, he chooses how I express myself, he decides when I start and stop talking during “conversations”, he decides how everything is done in bed, in short he gets his way all the time and is actually pretty happy. I used to be considered the most fun person in the room by all my friends and I used to have a very vibrant colorful personality with a lot of hobbies, I was proposed to by almost 10 good men and now I’m wondering if I picked the wrong one. I feel lifeless, tired and neglected and if I try to do even one thing I used to like, it turns into an explosion. If I go out by myself he gets gealous, if I ask or try something I like in bed he yells at me for not remembering how he likes it, if I pick up an old hobby, he gets pissed that I’m not doing the dishes or cleaning around the house. He’s a really good person otherwise and this makes him sound aweful when he’s got other amazing qualities. The point is I feel like I’ve lost myself and he prefers it that way and I’m deeply unhappy. I don’t know how much longer I can pretend to be someone I’m not to live in his fairytale.
I am currently at the same phase… I was feeling lonely, neglected, taken for granted, unappreciated, unloved, and disrespected. I have lost the affection and respect of my husband. I have tried many times to communicate about my feelings and about the problem I see in our marriage. But he’s not interested to talk about it. It’s very sad and painful that he even stopped telling me “I love you”. It was so frustrating and I feel so drained and fed up as I feel like I was the only one who values our marriage. The saddest part also is, how easy for him to just bad mouth me when I was just trying to communicate? I want to save our marriage but I’m in the verge now of giving up. ?
This sounds entirely too catering to the male ego for me to take seriously. Goddess of fun and light? Seriously? How about men meet half way and make an effort to understand that women are three dimensional beings, not cheerleaders for hire.
I’ve been married about 7 months and am 5 months pregnant with my first. My husband hasn’t been very affectionate since the week after our honeymoon.
And really wasn’t very affectionate for a year before we got married..
i caught him a few times watching porn about a month into being married… I haven’t caught him since and try not to question or accuse but I feel like it my heart he’s still lusting after women.. and not me.
The thing is… Yes I have made the mistake of suggesting and requesting and even begging for any intimacy.. makes me feel like a fool.
But I read these suggestions and feel defeated because I do do all these things. I take great care of myself and have goals and live my own life and love to laugh and have fun. I also listen to him talk for hours and am interested and I cook dinners and I clean and I do surprised for him and compliment him. We are only 25… I feel lonely and like he’s just completely self-absorbed. I haven’t been withholding my intamcy but I’m starting to feel resentful and wanting to closed off. What am I supposed to do
We been fighting a lot lately. He said he is hurt from things I have said. I admit I wasn’t nice and maybe even disrespectful. I felt that he changed because of another woman. Yet it’s always been professional and he hasn’t cheated. He told me he loved me for months and how he didn’t want to get a divorce or live without me and I would ignore. Now the tables have turned. He says I’m going to eat my words. He warned me never to bring up the d word but I did. He told me he loves me but isn’t inlove with me because he is hurting. He said we are done. The more I cried, pleaded and begged he got angry and told me to leave him alone. Is it too late? Are we really over?
I believe I am beyond and past this, I have done all this and more. I think it’s over for us. The affection is gone has been for 6 years. I read all of your advise and none of it applies to my situation. I keep hoping something will and I can apply something anything..
I would say most of the time I am a respectful wife. Sometimes my husband even tells me i’m perfect. When I ask what I can change, he sometimes will say I cant think of one thing.
Anyway, there is still a huge disconnect between us though. I can still tell some of my ways must not speak respect to him due to how he responds, I do my best to piece them together because I know all men are different but it’s hard when he doesn’t directly know how to tell me how something I did made him feel or how it was disrespectful.
Anyway, my huge complaint in marriage is sex. It’s boring. He doesn’t seem to try. Not a lot of foreplay whatsoever. weeks can go by without initiation on his part. If I try top be flirty, he doesn’t catch on. He just seems clueless and to be honest I don’t feel wanted.
The problem, he cuddles me, tells me he loves me, gives me compliments, smacks my butt, leaves me love notes.. But none of these are for sex. He does not initiate.
So I know he loves me but where is this need for him?
We have fought over the years about sex and I know I have brought it up at bad times. I have told him I was really unhappy and probably chipped away at his manhood sometimes by putting him down in this area, but I’ve tried to get better at that.
He does occasionally watch porn and we have fought over this too and it’s not something he wants to do, but I have given that over to God. I just want him to desire me. I want to feel wanted and pursued. Not like hey look away from the TV over here at me!
I guess maybe he feels a bit of pressure to preform?
It’s just hard for me to hear all my friends say how much their husbands want it but then sometimes I feel like my husband doesn’t think twice about me in that way.
It’s so frusterating and causes me to think differently about him and question a lot and just feel less feminine and then causing me to probably act less feminine and less respectful 🙁
Where can I find advice on this.
I am on your waiting list and have your books.
My husband and I have been married 1 1/2 years and together 6 years. We did pre-marital counseling and learned about each other’s love languages. His is acts of service and mine are affection and quality time. He also is happiest when the house is clean. I feel as if I break my back to do things for him and maintain a clean home but I do not feel he works at my needs. He may try for a day or two to be affectionate and then it dies. Every now and then I think there could be someone out there with the same love language who could fulfill my need but I would rather separate or divorce before cheating on him. I am grateful to have someone who works hard for me and our kids and loves to buy me nice things when we can afford it, but I am lonely and frankly I don’t have the energy to bring up my love needs anymore. Lately I have been having dreams of being passionate (not sex) with someone else (not anyone I know) and it hurts when I wake up and that feeling goes away.
I read your article and the part about being the GOLF to get the old him back. I will admit that I do worry about things getting done and will point out if he’s doing something in a less effective way. How do I let things go and not worry about things falling apart?
I feel like I’m in a good relationship but not a loving relationship and I don’t see how it’s possible to be the GOLF when I’m filling his love tank and mine is below E.
How do I be my old self when my old self is practically gone?
Any help you could give me would be much appreciated.
Please can I get this email updates. thanks
Hi Laura. I would desperately appreciate it if you would pls indicate as to whether there is only ever real benefit & need to separate ??
Or Is it sometimes a better outcome to separate /divorce.?.?
Because- please correct me if I misunderstand this – I feel as though Any given relationship can be salvaged and made fantastic ..
(With pretty much a One sided effort ??
Have I got this wrong .?
There is no abuse in my marriage etc! Thank God.!!
It is a case of everything that’s talked about above- a real, serious lack of emotional intimacy.. (I feel from the husband. He’s very well aware of how I feel yet doesn’t appear to get it & show interest to.. 🙁
Pls advise me.
I feel that really I am better to separate from him…
Helen, That sounds very lonely, and I can see why you’d feel separating is the best thing for you. I know how hard that is because I felt the SAME way. So it was shocking to find out that the man of my dreams returned with the Connection Framework including practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills. I’m so grateful that I decided to stay because I have a dreamy marriage now, and I love how I’ve changed as a result. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I hate to see you suffer in your relationship when there is a proven way to regain the emotional intimacy you’re seeking. Get a coach so you can fix your marriage and become a happy wife. Start here: https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/ The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll see his face light up when he sees you, and have deep conversations and feel desired and special.
Y’know, there is a female version of this. I dunno how many men follow your work, but you might consider doing an article about what a lady should do when she realizes she has lost her personal desire to show affection to her husband in order to get it back. I know this sort of thing happens due to disagreements, sympathy fatigue and sometimes even because the wife is no longer attracted to her husband due to age or weight issues. The ways in which our culture emphasizes looks, personal entitlement and revenge when we feel someone has wronged us these days all plays into these relationship problems. I’d be very curious to hear what your solutions would be to some of these types of problems. Thanks and keep up the good work! \ ‘ u ‘
I think this advice is great don’t get me wrong but why should women always have to be the one to be more mature and fix the relationship. Why do we have to turn a blind eye to his BS and respect someone who isn’t respectful nor responsible. My husband and I haven’t even been married 4 years yet and almost our whole relationship he has gradually slipped further and further downhill with the dumbest crap. Yet I’m the one that has to respect him so I can have sex and affection again? No thank you, he needs to make an effort too.
OK, let me get this straight. You are not willing to do what you can to improve your relationship or to improve yourself, but you think he should be? You are not making sense. This is not about you doing ALL of the work, but, at the very least, be willing to do your own work. Because that is really all that you CAN control. You can’t control him, but you CAN control yourself. If the energies shift and he ‘comes around’, then great! If they don’t and he doesn’t? Well then at least you will know that you did ALL that YOU could do.
So many comments and so many hurt women. I’ve read what you have written and I feel how they all could work. I have been doing everything that you suggested since forever, except one…respect! I mean I do generally respect who he is but I am too hurt and heart broken to tell anything good anymore. His affection to me started declining the day we had our first daughter. At the same time he also started emotionally torturing me, hopefully without knowing. My past 8 years went on hearing what a big looser I am, how I am not getting anything right, how I would not be able to live if it wasn’t for him, even it is not the case. It has been lasting so long that the other day, when I decided to wear something and asked my daughter 3 times if she really liked the way how it looked on me, her answer was “mom, really, it is beautiful, you are just too used to being disliked by my dad” – she is only 10 and I never shared any of my feelings with her, she figured it all out by herself. His affection has so much dropped that we did not have any intimacy at all in 2,5 years. With several serious arguments, his bad comments have almost come to a stop. We now are at the stage of performing an amazing show of being a happy and healthy couple towards our two daughters. However, on the inside I feel truly hurt, neglected, alone and valueless. When you look from the outside today, he is a great father taking care of the kids, helping with the chores, chatting with me about his day, laughing together from day to day, however I could do all of these with a good friend. I feel that a partner should be something else. I seriously don’t know what to do. I am too hurt and tired to try to fix anything but on the other hand I feel like I owe it to my kids to keep the mariage together. I am also not sure if I should settle with the idea of having good roommate. I myself am not into intimacy that much -at least not after being neglected for so many years- however this does not help my hurt feelings. Too many mixed feelings. Sorry 🙁
I’ve been in a marriage for 11 years this month. My husband is English, he is not affectionate or yearns for me or sex. I’ve tried everything, I’ve told him what I need for this marriage to survive, I have torn myself apart over the years because of how he makes me feel about me. Which I literally have zero confidence in who I am anymore. Just last night I told him I want a divorce. We have what is called a sexless marriage. Saddest part is that he is a great man. I just think he is not my great man, that we are not meant for each other.
He wouldn’t dance with me at our wedding. That should tell you how it began, how worse it got.
I just can’t do this anymore and it’s time to think about me and start to heal.
I am a combination of many of the responses above, but possibly most similar to Joyce. I’ve been married 24 yrs, and perhaps my husband and I were never meant to be together? I truly believe when you get in your late 20’s, there is a societal pressure of going on to the next step…marriage and children. My husband is a nice person, fantastic father, but has difficulty being a friend, and not just to me, he doesn’t have any friends and not sure it is important to him? He is comfortable coming home from work and jumping right into his “todo list.” I would love to go on a bike ride, walk possibly sit and talk, and have expressed this to him, and he will try, but the entire time his mind is moving a hundred miles a minute on the task he needs to complete when he gets home. He struggles with being “present in the moment.” Laura, we have four kids, ages ranging from 22 to 9 and know we have been a terrible example, makes me so sad. We never argue, we are just living separate lives…as one person above noted, we are roommates. I am guilty of being critical and distant and hate myself for it but have so much resentment. Since the very beginning of our relationship, I have always been the one to take on his interests; I wanted to spend time with him, so would join him on any and all of the activities he enjoyed, the problem was he never took an interest in the hobbies I enjoyed. He never discouraged me, actually supported me but never took an interest, never came along or tried to take part as I did with his interest, and after years of sacrificing for his attention, I became angry and resentful. An additional issue that has been difficult is he struggles with OCD and years of living with him and OCD, I have genuinely lost my patience and have a very low tolerance for his quirks. My husband is a kind man and fantastic provider, but we have grown apart both mentally and physically. The attraction has gone on both our parts. We have just drifted so far and are not the same people we were 24 (+) yrs ago. Laura, when do you know when a relationship has run its course, as I believe ours has and I am so scared to take the next step, mainly for my children. I see successful marriages and do wonder how they make it and the #1 answer I come up with is they are FRIENDS and when I do realize that, I realize me and my husband will never be able to attain that level of success because we never were 🙁
This was so helpful! I enjoy the way you write, it’s fun but full of great information. Thank you!
At least I’m not alone. But after 35 yrs of marriage & 60 yrs old, I feel like I’m just done..tired. Kids are in their 30’s, successful, not married either. I feel like I was this kind, fun, always laughing, joking, hopeful person before marriage & now the years of neglect have found me empty, bitter, angry. I am a perfectionist. And I did everything out of need to have everything done & done right. The house, the children, the yard work, gardening, landscaping, laundry, bills, etc, investments, large social gatherings, we both have big families, extra curricular kids activities. We even had horses, livestock….all me. I only needed him for occasional, mostly selfish sex, & money. It did not start out like that but my husband was this spoiled, argumentive brat! To keep peace in the family, for years I kept my mouth shut, except to say nice, complementive stuff to my husband & show him he was appreciated but it was never, ever returned. I constantly worked out & kept myself & my house spotless. My own sister joked & called me a “stepford wife”. And to make matters worse my mother-in-law was worse than Cinderella’s step-mother. My husband has worked out of state for the last 15 yrs or so & his mother passed & both I look at as a blessing. Now with his retirement on the horizon. I feel dread at him being here all the time. I feel nothing for him anymore. I really don’t know if I can ever feel the same for him as I once did. I stay because of age, money & insurance. Horrible to admit. Now, when we are around each other all we do is argue because my suffering silence is no more!! I don’t know if your books can help me or not. Thanks for your time. I have no one to talk to….ever.
We’ve been married four short years. From the start all affection has been initiated by me, otherwise it doesn’t happen. He initiated sex, but without words or affection . He just reaches over for whatever body part he might run into . For a while it was completely ok. I’ve always been confident and didn’t care that if I wanted affection I had to initiate it. But I’ve become exhausted over it and every ounce of confidence has been worn away. I’m so lonely… i miss him and he’s right here… and I know he’s hurting too… please help me
I heard about your amazing program from a Rabbi teaching a class. I happen to be a man going thru the same things the women are going through. I’m married to an amazing woman for 18 years now, blessed with daughters. But I’m the one with zero needs met, affection or love. I take my wife on multiple vacations per year, I drive kids around town, cook dinners, and participate in the every day life of our family. I bring flowers home before the sabbath. And my wife has ZERO Interest in me. My question is : have you had couples where the roles are reversed? I really am the woman, and she the man. She has zero interest in physical or emotional intimacy of any kind whatsoever. And I’m at a loss as staying in this marriage is my only alternative as I love my wife and daughters too much.
Me and my husband have been married for 5 years and we have two kids. We lost our apartment and he said he wants a divorce. I’ve been asking to get back together and I admit it, I have been nagging him. He has be an diagnosed with depression and anxiety. The kids are with me and he just moved in with his sister. I feel like a single parent. He only sees the kids once a month if that. And they are hurt hes not around. He’s so stubborn which I love about him but it’s also frustrating. I was reading the book and trying the skills. But got discouraged because he was giving me the cold shoulder and ignoring me
After 16 years of from little to absolute no affection or intimacy and unhappiness. I called it quits. Best thing I ever did. Never even realized how emotionally destroyed I was until I left. We have no kids thankfully , but we would also need intimacy and affection to have them lol
I met a great guy, and dating. Who is naturally affectionate and I am so happy
What about an engaged couple? We haven’t even gotten MARRIED yet. In 4 months we will. But the affection has gone so downhill… he won’t touch me anymore. We have sex but it’s so quick, just for his pleasure it seems like, and that’s it. I get nothing. I beg. I’ve asked nicely. I cry about it. Nothing works. I don’t know what to do. We’re very open (at least, I am…) I’m so worried if this is us engaged… what about Year’s from now? IF we can make it that far?
While I understand respect is important how do you get over the resentment that husband has abused his authority and taken you for granted. Whenever I try to put him first he seems to take advantage and expect even more from me. He is very much old school in that he believes a wife exists to serve a man. I want to respect him more but am frightened that this might result in me being even more resentful. Would love to get past this.
I identify with a lot of the women posting here, and particularly with Jessica T, even down to the number of children (4) and Holly. My husband is a wonderful man in many ways – smart, charming, energetic, hard working – but he is not a partner. I don’t feel like he gives any consideration to how his actions affect me. Like Jessica, I have, since the start of our relationship, gone along with most of his ideas and interests, but he hasn’t reciprocated. He often invalidates my ideas and opinions – I give, but do not receive, emotional safety. After 18+ years of this, I’m angry and resentful – and I used to be fun!
Laura, I understand the concepts you present are intended to return a relationship to its initial, passionate stage, when a man and a woman are able to simply enjoy each other without any baggage. A common theme I see in the postings here is the presence of children. Once a woman becomes a mother, she wants a partner, not a forever boyfriend. When a woman is faced with a husband who is used to getting his own way, it’s hard. This is a major source of conflict for me and I think many other couples. The resentment makes it hard to get to a place of affection, care and consideration. Laura please advise on how women can navigate this!
Joyce, I have bee with my guy for almost 12 years now that beginning was good, okay, and then just got worse. We have 4 beautiful kids together. He has cheated lied and again back with us as a family. I just feel so emotionally damaged I can’t even describe it in these comments. He has used and abused me as sure as my kids cause they see MoMA hurting so are they. He feels entitled to “stay together for the kid” and I’m selfish & that no one will ever love me.. he has put me thru so much but here I am crying.. alone in my bed.. him in the other room. I clean cook care for the ods and do EVERYTHING I possibly can for us but it’s just never EVER gets noticed.. we haven’t slept in he same bed for over 4 years. And we don’t even hug or connect on a emotional level. Always been opposites. I’m feeling so empty so unloved I give my all to this person and my all I mean, heart, mind body and soul, and tie affection, everything! But I ask for a back rub or foot rub and it’s always later or just no answer…I’m fed up and want love and what I deserve . I feel a if it’s over for us & I’m just hurting myself over and over again. He’s the same self centered guy I’ve always knew just thought he would change for me but nope no improvement no effort..
Such great, concise advice! Those 4 strategies will work, and I loved reading about them. Who wouldn’t want to hug the woman who wrote this. What she describes is a highly attractive mindset, that no partner could resist.
I’m taking her advice and turning it around. In other words, rather than wanting my wife to do these strategies, I am more excited about applying them more in the way I act toward her.
The respect item is huge. Some of the best memories of my marriage were times when I found out from friends that my wife had told them some positive things about me, sort of boasting about me. Makes a person feel respected, loved, and safe. What more can a person want.
Loved this article.
I don’t remember a happy time anymore. life is bogged down with expectation, responsiblity, and lonliness in a house full of people. My husband is now only home 2 days a week. He comes home and yells, nothing is right, nothing is good enough. He has had second relationships on the side but continues to say i love you. when i challenge that he replies you should know i do because i come back home and work to pay the bills. I am so hopeless. the saddest part is i only care about this because it is ruining my childrens outlook on relationships. I fear for them. I throw myself into raising the kids, its all I have. What you said makes sense and other people have in the past said respect him. how??? I do not know where to begin. He controls all the money, keeps me home to tend to the kids and house. every dime and time is accounted for. I feel trapped. there is no way out or forward. I am lost, no direction, no future. I cant even tell you the last time i had a dream, a hope, or a smile. Someday these kids will be grown and i will have nothing left. it just felt good to finally tell someone.
How universal is this? My boyfriend is high functioning autistic and therefore presents this challenges simply due to that. But he tells me he needs me to tell him what he’s doing right and wrong and that he doesn’t want me to be passive or sugar coat things, which seems to go against a lot of this. He says he needs me to literally remind or ask him for attention, I tell him I want him to want to do it and he says he does but he gets too focused on one thing due to ADD and needs the reminder.
Dear Laura, my husband and I have been together for 7 years and got married almost 2 years ago and ever since then it’s been really hard. He graduates as a paramedic in May. He has work, school and fire department which I understand is very stressful for him. There is no intimacy anymore and we are constantly arguing. A lot lately I have found myself being very insecure and calling him a cheater. I have tried talking and not saying anything at all and he is still distant. Which causes me to think the worst. How can we fix things to go back to how they were before? The butterfly feeling is going away and it terrifys me:(
I understand very well everything that explains. Sometimes we become complaining and criticizing. I accept that I can be a nuisance. But in my case, the only thing I get from my husband, in addition to medical insurance and that my daughters’ university pays, is that he complains about me until I open a jam without realizing that there was an open one, even if he has A great dinner at your table waiting for you every day and yet, I am just a person who just by opening his mouth to say something, sends me to shut up or says that I am screaming when I have not even said anything.
It is true, to praise them, treat them like trained puppies that if they do something right you say “good boy” is fine. But what about our compliments? What happens to our I love you in the morning and breakfast? Or an impromptu and passionate kiss just because he wanted to, just as it was before? What about a “let’s have dinner with you and me” and talk and laugh a lot as we were before? because if you don’t praise them and tell them how smart they are every second then you don’t have their affection?
It is hard to understand, it is as if we must always be striving to be perfect for them and we are never good enough.
Thank you so much for this! I am so glad I found this article today. For me, it is a sign that there is still hope that my husband and I can stay together and be happy. I have no issue with taking responsibility for my own actions, I just wasn’t sure what those actions were. Reading this has helped me to see that my relationship with my husband is not as complicated as I had thought.
It is perfectly understandable that when my energies changed from: my husband is funny, attractive, smart and I love him, to: my husband is only interested in himself, he doesn’t care for me, he is not smart, he is not meeting my needs, he is an a**hole, he is emotionally stunted, etc.
This shift in energies made him feel unwanted, disrespected, unloved and inadequate. I am not saying that it is all my fault. At this point, ‘fault’ is irrelevant. I am saying that instead of expecting him to do all of the changing and improving, as I felt victimized and blameless, I have instead decided to recognize what I can do to improve the situation. As my energy shifts in the relationship, it stands to reason that his will too.
I know some are thinking, ‘Why do I have to do all the work, while he does nothing?’ To them, I would say: You’re not doing ALL of the work to improve your relationship, you are doing ‘your’ work. You can’t control what he does or does not do within your relationship. But you CAN control what YOU do within your relationship, and it is your responsibility to do it. After all, if you are not willing to take some responsibility and do what you can to improve your relationship, how can you continually insist that he should? The main point here: Do what you can to change your own behavior to help the situation and take your focus away from trying to change your husband’s behavior. Because surely you realize by now that your efforts to change him are not working but are actually deepening the wedge between you.
Thanks again, Laura, this was life changing for me!
Oh jeez! Thank you for this! Finally a new approach! Hopefully this will work! He kinda stopped all his relationship roles the minute we were married. Felt like a different guy. I’ll try this. If this doesn’t improve things, I’ll be booking counseling as soon as lockdown is over!
My husband of 34 years has not been very affectionate. After the first 14 years he left me to do some soul searching for 2 weeks. When he came back, he told me he didn’t love me and he only married me because he thought I would make a good partner! He told me I should find someone else that could give me the affection I needed. At the time I was 35, no children and he knew I wanted children, as did he. I told him I was to old to start over and that my clock was ticking, So he decided that the grass was not greener on the other side. We decided or should I say, he decided to get me pregnant. We had a child and here it is 20 years later and he has left, yet again. During those 20 years, he was attentive to me for the most part, but I still had to initiate everything. It was almost like he was afraid to. I could see it in his eyes, but he would never just grab me or kiss me or take control, so I basically gave up and let him be. He has since moved out of our marital home and has been living on his own for 5 months. He says he’s trying to be independent, WOW! to me he is being selfish. He has given up his family, his friends and his life as he knew it and I have no idea why? He has always been independent, he was self-employed, he recently took a job and gave up his own business and this was the start of the downfall to our marriage and his attentiveness. He was more focused on this new job than anything else and now I have no idea how to bring him back.
Really great advice. My husband and I have been married for 8 years. Ever since we had kids, we show less and less affection for each other. Deep down, we really care for each other. He makes me food whenever he can; and I try to give him neck, back, and foot massages almost every other night. But I crave for his affection. I want him to come over an kiss me out of the blue; he doesn’t. I want him to look at me in the eye and tell me how much he love me; he doesn’t. I want him to come and hugs me when he runs into me in the house; he doesn’t. He just walks pass me. All I knew was that men don’t get what you want unless you tell them. So, I’ve been reminding him over and over again how he needs to show more affection towards me and be crazy for me. I feel sad having to remind him all the time recently. I feel that I am begging for his love; which I hate because I feel that I have no more dignity. On the other hand, if I don’t tell him, how would he know that I wanted more affection. I was just about to have another conversation with him. But I am so happy that I have found your article. I will skip “the talk” tonight and hopefully forever. I will try all the things you have mentioned. THANK YOU!
My husband and I have been together ever since I was 20 years old, and he was 34 years old. Today I’m 26 and he is 40. In some weird way, I feel like he refuses to hug, kiss or just show affection in any way. Sometimes it’s more than 6-8 weeks between any action in the bedroom. Although, I do get a kiss/hug every once a week or so (if it’s a good week). I feel like he tries to hold this against me, because he knows I need physical affection, and he could just live fine without it.. Most of the times, I go to my friends and family to get a hug, just to charge up my batteries a little. Luckily for us, we don’t have kids, and I know they wouldn’t save this marriage even if we did. But I literally don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I’ve tried everything.. Please please help me..
My husband and I married in February this year. We did not get a honeymoon or really have a special wedding. We are both 48 and have known each other since high school. We had a long distance relationship for 4 years and had vacationed together in India several times before we decided he should move to Switzerland and marry. He has no interest in affection – this did not bother me too much over the years but now that we are married and together all the time, I find it difficult to understand. He won’t hold my hand in public and he neither kisses or hugs me, not even at home. We have slept together once since we got married and then only because he got rather tipsy. He also won’t talk about sex, says simply he just isn’t interested and does not even think about it. I feel I am living with a flat mate and have a hard time not blaming myself. I love him and being with him but it feels like he is my friend. It is sad and lonely for me but he doesn’t want to change anything.
Wow I found this extremely helpful because there were things I didnt even realize I was doing. But I feel like this is actually a mixture of both my husband and I and I was hoping for some advice. Turns out I am guilty of some of these things but my husband is guilty too. Right now he only shows me love and affection when he feels in the mood. Any attempt I make leads to rejection if I try. I felt like my husband is the one that is not giving me emotional safety. I am so tired of hurting. He says he loves me and our life together but it doesn’t really even feel like he wants to be around me.
I need help. I want my husband to not hate me. I am unhappy.
My issue is kinda different. We have been married 21 yrs . We have a great marriage still. Sex life is very active an good we experiment alot..(keeps sex exciting) we laugh all the time . We spend so much time together since kids moved out. My issue is . Affection. I get maybe 2 kisses a day . During sex not much kissing either. Now he had to get dentures 2yrs ago maybe that is issue . I’ve talked to him about that an reassured him it doesn’t phase me a bit his teeth. I need advice . We have talked about it but no change . We hold hands in public still . Just won’t kiss me why why ??? I don’t treat him like a child we are equal in everything.. so what do I do . I already do what you say to do in your story…
I’m actually in a different boat. I’m the unaffectionate one. I’m trying the best I can but sometimes it just doesn’t click. I think making his favorite dessert or doing small things from out past helps with the affection but when it comes to kissing or sex.. I don’t. I. l don’t know why either. I’m 25 and married 7 years yet I feel like I’m ancient. I think the worst part is that the constant reminders of my no affectionate self and how I have ice for a heart. I don’t mean to but I’m tired I work full time, college full time (he’s also in college after separating from the military) I am the one caring for our child the most as I do online school and my husband goes in person. I’m the only one who cooks and cleans. That’s not exaggerating either. I do everything and I think I just get too tired and too upset that he doesn’t understand. But I am the problem as I don’t show affection.. I don’t know what to do or how to change. It makes me hate myself.
I am 61 my husband is 73… we have been married 2 1/2 years. I had left the area.. he was (is still) missing his 1st deceased wife and 2nd divorced wife. I ended up quitting my job because of a disability, he basically “cared” for me as a friend and thought love would grow.. he asked me to marry him.. I felt I loved him so we got married. He is a recovering alcoholic(9 years) controlling and obsessive compulsive.. loved sex. He does everything, cooks, cleans, shops,, laundry, buys me things. I feel like a real loser, because he will literally get mad if I do anything.. I cannot work. Cannot hang a picture in the house, can’t support myself. He never kisses me, hugs me or never says he loves me unless I say it first. We have said mean things to each other. He doesn’t respect me… etc. I don’t know what to do.. no place to go. I feel so lonely. HELP! Please?
Do you ever think that it is beyond fixing? After reading your article I have realized that I have lost myself these 17 years. It is my fault and I know doing your six steps will not help so on that note I would have maybe I can’t save my marriage. I don’t even know how to start to find myself. I don’t know how to make me happy so then I can do the steps. I believe that he has always been irritated with how I use to be when we got together. I believe he only stayed with me because I got pregnant with our 2nd child. I know I don’t want a divorce but I don’t even know what to do with your advice when I can’t find me again.
My husband and I have been married for 15 years. Our chemistry has dwindled to nothing for a long time. He just told me that he sees me as a friend and is missing passion in his life. He is considering divorce. We have two young boys and I don’t want to divorce him. If he doesn’t want to touch me because he sees me as a friend how to I rekindle our marriage?
Hi, think my 2nd hubby just lazy? We live on farm i baught. Will dress up every day, even while working on farm i’ll look good, unless i clean the chicken coop. He is a good man but not to me. Does not help on farm, is very messy, does not even speak back to me if i make conversation and not affectionate at all even if i move closer in bed. And he mocks me. I tried the respect thing even if it’s fals to me. And i am very bubbely with him.
This was so relatable to my current situation with my husband! I’m 28, he’s 27 but we’ll been together 12 years already. I’m a super affectionate person, so was he in the beginning ???? I began to notice the distance about 4 or 5 years ago. I’m a very direct person so I would constantly tell him/nag him on what I wanted him to do (I don’t always want a church hug and a peck on the cheek)…even though it sucks having to tell your husband how to love you. I always thought that was the way to go, being open and communicating but it DID seem to drive him further away. I’m definitely going to try these tips! B/c I literally could’ve written this article myself word for word. I’m so glad I found it. Wish me luck!
My husband and I will be married for 25 years in October. 2 years ago I found out that he was cheating on me for 6 months. He said that it wasn’t sexual and only emotional. He apologized and said that he loved me and wanted to stay married. Well we are still together. I keep looking for signs that he is cheating on me. I realize that I missed the signs when he was before. Is there something wrong with me?
I guess that tit doesn’t help that he isn’t affectionate. I have told him this and he doesn’t change. Any advice? Please help.
OMG! The beginning of this post is so ME!
For the past few months I’ve been telling my husband that I wanted him to be more affectionate towards me, put me first, grab my butt, etc.
He shut down completely and we keep having the same arguments over and over about how he prioritizes our marriage (and me) less and less as the years go by.
Being vocal about it and trying to “talk” to him is NOT working at all! I’d like to hear more on what you think we should do.
I’m extremely passionate towards my husband and like to be intimate multiple times a day, but I am the one who makes the moves. He never initiates anything. I am hoping your advice doesn’t involve me treating him the way I’d like to be treated. Been there done that. Still doesn’t work.
Thanks for sharing what’s going on. That sounds hard. I admire your vulnerability and hear your desire around wanting transformation.
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This post is all about how a woman attracts a man. A marriage should be about two people wanting to be together and wanting intimacy as is that not one of the main things that differentiates a marriage from a strong friendship? Married people should try to give each other what they need or compromise when these needs conflict (this is/was my case, he needs space, I love laughter and company). Also married people need to work together through issues/conflicts.
I cannot proclaim to any have this, but I have to face that my marriage is on it’s last leg, which is likely to give way any moment. I just want to say that yes women should do their part but if it is to a stubborn cold man, there is little point. I have lost 20 years waiting for my man to kiss me in public, have sex more than once every 3 months, from outset. We did not make love on our wedding night or honeymoon. I should have left then.
All I want to say is, please ladies look out for the signals, some men do not need intimacy with a woman.
My husband changed after getting the covid vax. His warmth is gone and he’s almost robotic. It feels like that spark that made him who he was is gone. Now he recoils from my touch. He doesn’t seek out my affection or kisses and seems repulsed by me at times. He used to always say “I love you” in texts with a kissy face emoji but he doesn’t do that anymore even if I say “I love you” first. He prefers to sleep on the couch. He doesn’t go out of his way to help me with things and seems annoyed if I ask. I have a memory of us shortly before him getting vaccinated. We were walking hand in hand after having spent the whole day together and I made note of his warmth, the glow in his eyes when he looked at me, his tenderness and connection we had.
It’s all gone now. I miss him.
You shouldn’t have to miss your man and his warmth. That’s heartbreaking. It is so sad and scary when you no longer recognize the man you married. I remember feeling the same way. That’s why I created a roadmap of 6 simple steps that have helped thousands of women turn things around. Here’s the free roadmap to fix your relationship.
This is all great advice but why is it ALWAYS on the woman to put the work in to make it better?
I hear you, Kellie. You shouldn’t have to do all the work! I totally agree and would love to get you the support to be taken care of and see your man become his best self–without hard work! I’ll share a more fun, relaxing approach in the upcoming 5-Day Adored Wife Challenge. You can join us for FREE at lauradoyle.org/challenge.
I’m done always begging for affection and encouragement. I offer him constant encouragement and get little in return. I want good sex, from someone who desires me rather than a dead, obligatory sex life. If I didn’t have 4 children with him I don’t know if I would stay. I’ve talked in circles and tried to improve but my depression and his poor attempts are driving me mad. I’ve lost a lot of desire for him and have to think of other things now just to get excited about our love life. Dead bedroom, dead marriage.
I can see why you’re done begging and are on the fence about your marriage. This does sound crazy making. I remember those days and how lonely and discouraged I felt.
I love your vision of being desired and having a good sex life! And I would love to give you the support to get there. If you’re ready for an approach that works, your timing is perfect, as the 5-Day Adored Wife Challenge is coming up.
You can join us for FREE at lauradoyle.org/challenge.
i have been married for 6 years! we fell madly in. love and although I was hesitant at the beginning having come out of a 16 year marriage I could help but fall in love. He immediately wanted to start trying for a baby. When I fell pregnant which was a tough journey as my partner discovered he had a fertility issue. Whilst pregnant I started to feel disconnected from him. He wasn’t affectionate and he blamed it on stress if work. 3 years on and there is zero affection from him not even a cuddle. We have spoken on many occasions and he just says he is in love with me but doesn’t really know why he can’t be affectionate. I am at the end of my patience after 3 years of trying.
Chel, it must be so lonely to go without your husband’s affection and to feel disconnected. I can see why you’re at the end of your patience after years of trying!
I still remember how alone I felt when I was disconnected from my husband, and it was lousy! That’s why my coaches and I have helped over 15,000 women fix their relationships. We can help you too.
Here’s the free Roadmap of 6 simple steps that have helped so many women turn things around: lauradoyle.org/rm1o
We’ve been married for 10 years and have 3 little girls, ages 3, 5 and 8. My husband is constantly telling them how beautiful they are, hugging them, kissing them, holding them, cuddling, and rocking them to sleep. They shriek with joy when he gets home, and the first thing he does is play with them, love them, and give them all his attention. What do I get? Nothing. I’m lucky if he asks me how my day went. There’s no hugging, kissing, touching, or anything sexual with me. He’s a great father and provider, but he acts like I don’t exist. I know it’s pathetic to be jealous of my daughters, but I am. I know I’m moody and not the most pleasant person to be around even before we had kids. But I can’t live this way. If we split up I know the girls would want to be with him and I’d be alone. I don’t know what to do.
Sandra, I really admire your authenticity and vulnerability sharing how it feels to see him lavish your daughters with love while you get nothing. This sounds so painful. You shouldn’t be made to feel like you don’t exist. No one deserves to live that way. But the idea of splitting up and being alone is scary.
I still remember the days of no intimacy and feeling jealous of my husband’s attention to others. It was so lonely and painful. That’s why my coaches and I have helped thousands of women fix their relationships. We can help you too.
I’d love to get you some coaching support so you can stop feeling jealous and start being adored yourself! You can join the waitlist for The Ridiculously Happy Wife coaching program right here:
My husband and I are in an alright place. Could be better, although I chalk that up to two imperfect (neurodiverse) people from two different backgrounds still learning less than two years later how to communicate more effectively. We came into our marriage absolutely determined to stay committed (I honestly think that in a lot of cases where it’s not a matter of abuse/neglect, thinking of divorce as an “easy” option makes a marriage expendable. My parents never had any expectation other than forever, and my husband and I are the same). I think I am a little scared though, because three of my siblings have been/are going through divorce (one of them for the second time), two of which started since my husband and I were married. My sister is so bitter that I was watching a fairytale movie with her kids one night and she came in and basically ripped the movie apart saying things like there is no such thing as love at first site and that the heroine’s character always bugged her because she seems flaky and her intentions are built around marrying the prince. How can I worry less and just be the “GOFL” that my husband married?
Kristen, I can see why you’re scared. It must be painful to see your siblings go through divorces and such bitterness. I admire your commitment to marriage and to being the fun and light girl who attracted your husband. Sounds like you could use some support with that. I’d love to gift you a roadmap of 6 simple steps that have empowered thousands of women to do just that. Here’s your free roadmap: https://lauradoyle.org/rm1o