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My Husband Refuses to Work on Our Marriage

How to single-handedly create the kind of connection and intimacy you’re craving

Some men go to marriage counseling willingly, but most who go do so grudgingly, and still more flat-out refuse.

These men won’t read a book about relationships and don’t seem interested in talking about the problems either.

It can be incredibly frustrating for a wife who knows that her marriage isn’t what it could be. After all, if he won’t work on things, isn’t it hopeless that they’ll ever improve?

That’s what I used to think, which is why I dragged my husband to marriage counseling.

But what if there’s a faster, more effective way to get what you really want from him—spontaneous love pats, heartfelt talks, romantic getaways—that you can implement yourself?

I’ll show you why his stubbornness not working on the relationship is actually a blessing in disguise and how you can get those swoon-worthy encounters without him even knowing what you’re up to.

I know it may sound impossible that you could make your relationship gratifying and delightful again. And I get that the person who needs to change the most is him—and he will. You can make that happen.

All you have to do is…

1. Do What You Did When You Fell in Love

Remember those glory days?

You stayed up too late talking, but you were still smiling the next day. You laughed a lot. In fact, let’s be honest—you were a little goofy. But nobody minded because it was really kind of adorable. And he couldn’t get enough of you back then. Those were good times.

But then life got serious. You’re older now. You have responsibilities and there just hasn’t been as much time for giddiness, between your job, bills, kids, and housework.

You’re strong, so you bucked up and did what needed to be done. But you haven’t been smiling as much. In fact, no disrespect, but you’ve been pretty cross lately.

In other words, you’ve changed.

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It’s almost like you’re a different person.

Yes, you’re productive, efficient and smart. But what happened to the Girl of Fun and Light?

The one your husband fell in love with?

What’s that? You don’t even remember her?

Well that explains a lot about why you’ve been so serious lately and why your marriage is not as playful and passionate as it once was.

I mean, you’re just not like you used to be.

When you changed, your husband started responding to you differently. He took his cues from you and got more businesslike too, so there was less playing and fewer butt pats. And that’s not all. It also seemed like he just wasn’t being cooperative when you told him how to be more efficient and logical.

But there’s more to the story.

He misses the Girl of Fun and Light, the one who used to take a running jump to hug him and engage in the occasional pillow fight or skinny dip. You were flirty and quick to laugh then.

That version of you was so…


You made him feel like a hero in those days because you were so happy.

But really, you were making yourself happy.

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2. Become the Girl of Fun and Light Again

So how can you be the Girl of Fun and Light?

Find the fun in the situation you’re in.

If you’re at a movie on opening night and the line is around the block, you can see it as an adventure and an opportunity to talk to him instead of lamenting about the long wait.

If you accidentally squirt yourself with the faucet, you can laugh at yourself and say “That was a good one” instead of having a fit.

The GOFL expresses her desires, and she is gracious.

For instance, if you were cold, hungry, tired, or wanted a break from an activity, you’d speak up in a direct way, without criticizing your husband’s choices, judgment, or his sense of fun.

So you would say “I’d love to warm up” instead of “Don’t you think it’s just a tad ridiculous to be outside in this weather?”

Or “It’s getting awfully late to eat dinner” becomes “I want to eat.”

See the difference?

The first phrase criticizes his judgment, while the second just states what would make you happy.

Instead of saying “This is boring,” “I’ve done this before,” or “This food is awful,” find the entertainment in your situation and focus on that.

2. Try It Even if–Especially if–You’re in a Bad Place

What about difficulties with in-laws, finances, or sex? What about the separation, the affair, or the pending divorce?

It may seem crazy to you right now, but finding the fun and making yourself happy is where it all starts to get better.

That’s how it started for me and for thousands of women all over the world who revitalized their broken relationships.

First, we made ourselves happy.

Then, our husbands found us safe, attractive and fun, just like we were in the beginning.

They found us irresistible.

They sought out our company.

They started bringing us chocolate or putting the kids to bed so we could relax. In other words, he changed.

From there, things fell into place.

The impossible became possible. We remembered why we fell in love in the first place.

You will too—just as soon as you decide to be happy again.

How will you show up as the Girl of Fun and Light today? I’d love to hear below.

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

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

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

102 replies on “My Husband Refuses to Work on Our Marriage”

Amber, I can relate to having changed so much I didn’t like myself! I didn’t even want to be around myself. Which was a problem, because I was around myself all the time. Then I had to listen to my shrill self. No bueno!

If I can go back to being the GOFL, you can too. Why not? It’s a lot more fun.

Sounds great, but I have an issue. I have given him 6 children and have gained over 150 lbs. I won’t let him see me without long pants and a at least a t-shirt. I won’t let him hug or touch me too much, no cuddling, b/c I don’t want him to feel all the fat and rolls. I know it’s sad but thats how it needs to be. I am now on a diet and have lost 35 lbs. The thing is that when/if I lose all of the extra weight I am pretty sure nothing will change b/c I will have extra saggy skin. I want to be happy, I desperately want to be intimate with him and try new things and be together every day. I love him. I just don’t remember how to be who I was before, and I don’t know how to let go anymore.

Amber, I’ve struggled with weight myself so I know how painful that can be. But the key in your post for me is that you won’t let him touch you. You’re the one blocking the intimacy! It’s not your weight, it’s not your husband, it’s you! You so have the key here. I get that it won’t be easy to receive physical affection from your husband, but I hear that you want to be happy and I don’t think you’d be writing to me if you wanted to stay where you are.

A little support might make all the difference. You can have a complimentary discovery call here:

I am a happy content individual who has found a guy who enjoys the Honeymoon phase, which you recommend fixes everything wrong in a relationship.
The problem is that it doesn’t work!!
To have a healthy love, both need to resolve conflict, not PRETEND.
You are so wrong and giving out bad advice. Are you even educated as a psychologist? I think not!!!

I’m really inspired by your really touch my heart..I love my husband but hes been away from me for 9 months now and we have a one year old baby together…the problem is tat we had some problems while he was away with communication..the last talk we ended in a argument he said rudely to me to work and he didn’t mention that when we got married..nothing stops me to work bt he was so rude he didn’t told me sorry all he does is text me goodmorning and sometimes ask for his son..most times I would apologize to keep peace..sometimes he says sorry…bt he doesn’t text often..I love him what can I do?

Delia, What if he doesn’t want to do any of what stuff? The stuff you did when you were falling in love? I bet he would like to if he thought he could make you happy.

Check to see what you’re bringing to the party and use your powers for keeping things fun. See what happens. What have you got to lose?

If you’re having trouble staying happy, you may want to have a complimentary discovery call for support:

How can you change things when you think he is depressed and won’t go see a Dr. He lost his job and gained 80lbs. I tried to encourage and reminds him he was thinking of changing jobs anyways. He did get another job but he didn’t change his unhealthy habits of diet and sedentary ways. He is either connected to TV or working in garage. He also drinks alot.

Ramona, I hear all about your husband in this post, but nothing about Ramona, which tells me…you may be focused on the person you can’t control instead of the person you can. That was how my marriage ended up in the ditch. It’s amazing what happens when you bring your attention back to your own happiness. You have more power in this relationship than you realize. Have you read The Empowered Wife yet? I think you’d find it really valuable. You can have the positive impact you want to have on your husband–just not by focusing on him. It’s so counterintuitive, I know! But really worth a try.

I really do understand the point in the article, but how can I change things if he no longer finds me attractive and looking at other women and then comparing me to them. All I want to do is scream to show him how he is offending me. What if also I think he is cheating on me?

ive been going to a counselor and shes been telling me can we stop talking about your husband, lets focus on you
at the same time though she would make me feel or agree how terrible my husband is or how he may never change

10 years together and all that u said is true, i had to be business like to get things going and done with 4 kids thrown in the mix….i barely smile let alone laugh….he hurt his ankle and he thought i was laughing at him…..its so bad he thinks like that…… fun? yeah goddess of fun and light when he is so cranky and angry…….this post is on point

Trixie, See why I want to kill those counselors?!? He may not be perfect but I bet he’s perfect for you. 10 years and 4 kids–it breaks my heart that she wouldn’t stand for your husband, stand for your union and show you how to bring out the best in you both. You can do it, Trixie. I’m sure of it. How about smiling at him daily as a baby step? It can’t hurt, right?

Hi Laura, what do you do when you know you didn’t want to get married in the first place… when you worked out he wasn’t the one for you and you tried to back out but it all went wrong and you got married anyway? But there was no joy in the relationship from early on.
We have been friends for many years now. .. but I haven’t been that goddess of fun and light for him and I’d like the chance to be that for someone.

Andrea, I want you to know that almost every woman I work with does what I call “the relationship rewrite” where she rewrites her romance to be a mistake. It’s human nature to want to have an explanation for why it’s such a painful marriage, and deciding it was never right from the beginning is a logical way to reconcile that, but in my experience, you did marry him for a reason and even though you’ve forgotten what it is, those were valid reasons. I really thought I married the wrong man too…but the problem was I was the wrong wife. Once I became the me I really wanted to be, he got a lot more attractive and wonderful.

Your books have truly been a blessing to my life! When I was single, I read “The Surrendered Single” and I also shared it with my girlfriends. We all are now married with children and we’ve read “The Surrendered Wife” and also “The Empowered Wife.” I’ve been where all of the ladies above have been at some point in my marriage.

Ladies, I truly can say that although you feel your situations are helpless, you absolutely have way more power in YOUR marriage than you think you do. I used to complain that my husband was a mess, but guess what…he was MY mess. I chose him. By focusing on my own happiness and the happiness of my children, I became the woman God created me to be. I started my own business, I attracted friendships with other women who were like-minded and uplifting and, most importantly, I grew. My entire frame of mind changed for the better. My attitude was simple, “I matter. I deserve love. I am loveable. I will be good to myself.” When I changed, my children changed. My husband changed. My LIFE changed! I stopped having the desire to complain about how disrespectful my husband was and I focused on being thankful for all that I had and all that was happening in my life. My marriage was not transformed overnight but it didn’t take long. Ladies, you know that once we start working out, fixing our hair different, dressing nice, wearing a smile on our face and letting little things slide we become noticeable to everyone around us. The first thought in your man’s head will be, “What is going on with her?!” The principles in Laura’s book are like Weight Watchers. They work when you work the program. Laura wouldn’t say this, but I’m going to…don’t question the steps until you try them. Asking all of these “what if” scenarios is a waste of time. I’ve dealt with everything in my marriage and it still hasn’t ended. Why? Because I took BACK my power. YOU are POWERFUL. If you don’t like the atmosphere in your home and in your marriage, then change it! Stop looking for your man to make the first move because he won’t. Stop questioning the process. Take back your power. If you need encouragement and you’re afraid the steps won’t work, then I suggest you get in a quiet place and encourage yourself, fake it until you make it and most importantly KEEP IT MOVING. If things don’t improve right away and your man is still acting crazy and unresponsive SO WHAT?! Like my daddy always said, “One monkey won’t stop a show.” Your man will come around. To be honest, he’ll probably observe you at first to see if your new personality is a permanent change or just some type of temporary mood. The changes may make him nervous. Keep at it! You’re a WOMAN. You can do ANYTHING. And remember, you’re not going through your situation in your marriage just for the sake of going through it. You’re going through it so that one day, you can help another woman save her marriage one day. You don’t know how many other women are watching how you conduct yourself in your marriage because they are dealing with issues in their marriage and they need guidance. “Each one teach one.” If you want your marriage and you want to see a permanent change in your man, then try the skills. If you’re afraid to try the skills, then ask yourself why you are afraid and if needed, attempt them at another time when you are ready. But please don’t discredit the principles if you haven’t even given them a chance.

Be blessed!


Thank you for your thoughtful and complimentary comments regarding the power of a woman and Laura’s Six Intimacy Skills™!

I feel like we are Surrendered Sisters! Like you, I’m a huge fan of Laura’s work because of the incredible impact the skills have had in my own marriage over the last 14 years.

I am so inspired by your passion for the skills and the impact you’ve had in dating and now as a wife. Congratulations on your success and for being so courageous and for being willing to share your success here in Laura’s blog. Your post is so inspiring and will very likely help hundreds of thousands of women. I have goose bumps just thinking about the difference it makes when women share their success with the skills. Thank you!

I wonder if you’ve ever considered training to become one of Laura’s Certified Coaches? When I first saw results in my own marriage as a result of Laura’s skills, I just knew for me, the best way to keep the skills alive in my marriage was to support other women. You’d make a great coach because you have a vision and passion for what is possible when women decide to surrender by practicing the skills. Here’s where you can learn more about becoming a coach. should you want to learn more.

Thank you again for your heartwarming post and support of Laura’s work. Best, Kathy Murray, Surrendered Wife and Senior Relationship Coach, Laura Doyle Connect

Wow wow wow bizzeemomof4 thankyou for your post. It was just the motivation I needed today. Thankyou 🙂

Also, call a coach, get with [positive] GIRLfriends and/or pray if you need additional support.

I have been married for 16 years and have 3 special need boys 2 of which are teenagers. That in itself is very stressful. After my 2nd son was born I felt depressed and went to a dr and was diagnosed with major depression. That was 13 years ago and I have been on so many different medications and have tried therapy. My last counselor dropped me because I had to change my apt times. I told her from the start past therapists gave me issues on when I could meet. She said it wasn’t a problem. I guess she lied. Hard to make apts with 3 kids. Anyways, I thought I finally found the right meds. I was doing much better. Feeling more motivated. But lately it’s gotten worse. It’s like all the happiness has been sucked out of me. He knows I’m depressed but now says he’s at his limit with me. I told him I didn’t feel like talking. I felt I needed to cool down before I would say something I would regret. That’s how I get. I shut down. I feel it’s better than saying what’s on my mind at that time. But he said he’s had enough. I don’t like myself or how my life has turned out so far. I too have gained a lot of weight and thus health issues. He makes it seem that it’s all my fault and I’ve failed. I quit my job to do a computer program for him or with him. He was in agreement and we both went for the opportunity that it would create a more financial freedom for us. Yet today he says that it was never more than a hobby?!! I was so proud of learning a new language and putting my skills to use and get that thrown in my face. It hurts! He contradicts himself. I feel as tho no matter what I do is good enough. Even all three of my kids are very disrespectful to me. I have no friends. I have no outs. I really want things to change and told him that. I even apologized for my actions and what does that get me? Yes a hug at first because I “manned up”. I took the first step. And yet he hurts me again by sleeping in the basement. I’ve been crying pretty much non stop for 3 days. I don’t get it. I know I’m under stress for financial reasons as one thing and he is too, but I thought we took vows: for good times and bad. He sees me unhappy and so do my kids. Especially my youngest one who was so worried about me he told his counselor and she reached out to me. I wish I had a friend to confide in. I can talk to my parents or sister, but I’d rather have someone objective. Someone to hang out with do I’m not stuck inside 4 walls. I don’t know. I tried really hard today especially after talking to my parents to get the house in order for winter and was looking hopeful and feeling better until tonight. How do I get through this. It’s breaking me
Thank you

Sounds very stressful and painful. I do was diagnosed with depression, and I still remember how lousy that was. I found that the things I changed to save my marriage really helped lift me out of that and I no longer worry about depression at all.

Have you read The Empowered Wife? It would go a long way toward helping you straighten out the issues with your husband. You can get a completely different reaction from him with the skills in that book. It will give you some hope and some specific actions to try.

I get that it can’t replace a counselor and friends, but since the counseling wasn’t really lifting the depression anyway, maybe it’s time for a different approach. Maybe spend the counseling money on something frivolous that makes you happy–that was how I started out, and it really made a world of difference to focus on making myself happy like my life depended on it.

I’ve been on this path since July, when I finally put together that I didn’t recognize myself anymore, felt ugly inside and out, and resolved to be the best me that I could be. I didn’t even realize that my marriage was in trouble at the time, but then my admission of being in a personal rut led to one gut-punch after the next, when my husband admitted to having been unhappy the last two years, he said the dreaded “I’m not physically attracted” and “I love you but I’m not IN love with you,” I discovered an affair (sexting and emotional) with a 24 year old coworker (we are in our 40s), and then months of open wounds.

I keep reminding myself that rediscovering my best self was MY plan all along, not a reaction to his betrayal/abandonment. And I’ve been motivated. Gave up sugar and joined a gym so at least I could walk up a hill and watch tv for an hour while my kids played in the member daycare (but I’ve gotten so much more out of it). Committed to getting better sleep and keeping the house in better shape without feeling the old resentments (“but I LIKE staying up late… It’s the only time I have for ME” or “why must I pick up everyone’s mess? I didn’t sign up for this!” etc). Resolved to stop feeling like a martyr and be open hearted and focus on gratitude, find joy, look to the future, rediscover my personal passions, etc. All of it has been positive for me personally–I’ve lost 50 pounds (more to go), feel better and stronger, am finding my vitality, etc.

BUT… what do I do when it seems my husband is still so stuck in his own sorrow. It’s like living with Eeyore. We are seeing a counselor (and he is seeing someone privately) but there is so little communication outside of the session. I smile at him and try to start conversations and am met with the emotional equivalent of a wet dish-rag. I have no idea where he is emotionally and it’s like he is unable or unwilling to give me any assurances that he is in this for the long haul. It’s such a difficult time. When friends in the know ask how I’m doing, I say that *I* am doing amazing, best I’ve been in a long while and the kids and I are fantastic… but *he & I* is tough to answer. I mean I know that I was apparently beastly to live with in some respects, and I’m working on that, but he has betrayed me on multiple levels and there hasn’t been an iota of work on his part to make amends or win me back or woo me of any of that. Will that ever come? Am I even on the right track?

I had spent the last two years neglecting myself for the sake of the kids (4 1/2 and just 3), and though I didn’t realize it, neglecting my marriage. I thought we were just in a toddler swamp and that in a few years the kids would be in school and we could catch a Tuesday matinee and be our old selves again. I hadn’t noticed how far he had drifted away, and I was feeling totally unlovable. But now I’m on a path to heal myself, to feel deserving again, to love myself as the first step to being loved fully by someone else (I still hold out hope that that someone is the man I married nearly 15 years ago who was my high school sweetheart). We have 24 years invested in this relationship; I’m not about to let it go without a fight.

My question, I guess, is am I on the right track? What about his deep wounds/pain/depression from his own feeling about me, about himself, about us? At what point does all of this switch from persistence to delusion? I know there isn’t a timeline, but…. ugh… how much longer can I wait until I see at least a glimmer of hope?

Greeneyed Girl, Congratulations on making such big, impressive changes in your life and your marriage. You sound like you’re on the right path. With that level of commitment, and the right skills, there’s no question that you will reach your vision of what your 24-year-relationship should be–playful, passionate and safe again. I’d say you could be seeing improvement in a couple of weeks from what you describe.

As far as being married to Eeyore–I think you probably have more influence than you realize there. You don’t mention using the Intimacy Skills specifically, but you certainly sound like you’ve had an awakening. I’m guessing you have NOT read The Empowered Wife, since you mention that you’re in marriage counseling. So I would read that ASAP. Marriage counseling is very likely part of the problem, ironically. It was for us and the majority of the women I’ve worked with.

Like you, trying to save my marriage was the key to becoming the best me, which I’m so grateful for every day. But saving your marriage is also possible and completely worthwhile. Don’t give up 5 minutes before the miracle.

I just wanted to tell you I got your book and started reading it two days ago. I also opened myself to my husband through text since at the time it was easier. He’s been sleeping in the basement since Friday night. I surprised him with a single red rose and a hug. But you now what!? He just took the rode and threw it on the table. So we set aside some time to talk today. I told him I wanted to work through this and make it much better so that someday we would look back and laugh about it. I told him several times I loved him. But in response he told me he no longer loves me. That there’s nothing that can be done to fix this. He wants a divorce and I would have to leave. He would get full custody of the kids because I don’t work full time. My heart is broken. I asked why we couldn’t work this out and he said because we don’t love ourselves we can’t love each other. I said that I feel like I’m hated and unwanted, a piece of trash. He said that’s not true but it sure feels that way. He said the only support he wants is for me to continue to be there for the kids. ???. I don’t understand. I want to change for the better. I told him that. I asked for his support and he said I have to help myself. My parents have been through so much worse and they are still married. I told him that. I am lost and totally heart broken

Christina, I’m so sorry to hear about the painful state of your marriage. Sounds really hard and discouraging.

But I wouldn’t give up on this marriage, even as dark as it sounds right now. There’s lots you can do to revitalize it, just like you expressed in the conversation with your husband.

I invite you to have a complimentary discovery call ASAP. You can do that here:

Hang in there, Christina! I love your vision that you’ll laugh about this someday. You can make that reality.


Hi Laura,
I’m reading your book The Empowered Wife and I need help because I have SEVERE ADHD & Depression from the negative effects that ADHD has had on our Marriage. We can’t communicate at all without fighting. I really don’t feel and have a problem with Not giving my opinions and thoughts on things. Especially when it comes to the 8 children we have. Is there anyway I can avoid my ADHD rollercoaster that we are on? I also feel he has ADHD and he’s not ready to get help. He says I use it as Crutch but I do have Real issues. Our marriage is better than it was, I’m recovering from a chronic verbal and sometimes physical abuse from him due to unmedicated impulsivity on my part. I am on medicine now but we are still fighting. I cannot let him disrespect me in front of my children and not tell him that it’s wrong. He also frequently fights in front of the children. Never physical just verbal and loud.
If his Actions are wrong, hurtful, or impulsive and out of control, I must stand up for myself. He’s otherwise an awesome husband and Father. He’s very helpful and does most of the workload because of my adhd and two in diapers one nursing. Would your skills work for us? He can be verbally abusive and critical and after years of blaming myself I can’t handle it anymore. I don’t want to be a doormat. Please advise and Thank you for helping put a positive side on marriage and saving marriages. God Bless

Kelley, Eight kids! Wow! That’s a lot! I totally support you not being a doormat. We don’t do doormat around here. We do surrendering, which is about accepting what we can’t change and changing what we can. One alternative to doormat is to be angry. But another one is to speak from vulnerability and call your husband to be more tender.

You sound like you could use some help implementing what you’re reading. Here’s where you can apply for a complimentary discovery call to figure out what would be the best next move for your relationship.

Hi Laura,

I read your books many years ago, and although whilst reading it I see your point, I am afraid to admit, I didn’t apply your suggestions. Fast forward 5 years later and a kid later, I feel i am at my wits with my husband.
First of all, our love language is very different – him act of service and I quality time. I feel he is more of a workaholic and who prefers to complete his work late into the evening whilst I also work full time I crave time and attention from him. I try to make sure i have time for him, but I dont feel the same way from him towards me.
When I ask for what I need, it comes across as a nag and that I dont understand how demanding his work is, and how I need to give him space, and how he feels suffocated by me.

I thought we passed this argument and yet a few months later, due to work commitments and exhaustion, we have not been intimate. It hurts me to discover he prefers going “solo” than to include me.

I want intimacy with him, I dont want to walk away from him, but I feel i deserve better from him. Feeling that i should “let go” and “not be in control”, daunts on me, because it makes me feel ‘will my needs (physical and emotional needs) be met???
I dont want to feel he owns me, or that I owe him.

Tina, sorry to hear you’re feeling so alone in your marriage–sounds painful. The good news is that it’s never too late to start using The Intimacy Skills to get back the connection and passion you crave and deserve. I think you would really benefit from some support. Consider a complimentary discovery call, which you can apply for here:

THe fear of letting go was huge for me too! But that’s also what brought me the ease and playfulness and intimacy I have now. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. If I can do it, you can too!

I need your help & advice! I’m currently halfway through your book (kill the marriage counselors) and I’m SOOOO incredibly inspired to start using these skills. However, here’s the issue. We’ve been separated for the last week – at his request. He said he wasn’t sure he loved me anymore and needed space to think about how he felt about me. That HURT more than anything ever has in my life. I’ve been devastated. But reading your book, I realized all the damage I’ve done being disrespectful, controlling and basically treating him as my 3rd kid. How can I start implementing these skills when I’ve living at my moms and he is at home, not willing to talk to me at all. He’s shut everyone out of his life (his mom, best friend, etc) and refuses to talk with anyone. I’m desperate to explain to him that I NOW understand what I’ve done & that we can work on this marriage. I’ve already expressed to him that I don’t want a divorce & that we can fix this. What’s my next steps??? I feel stuck and hopeless.

Brandi, So sorry to hear about the painful situation in your marriage. That does sound very hurtful. Ouch! It sounds like you’re feeling a mixture of heartbreak and hope with what you’ve recently learned in The Empowered Wife, and I have to say I’m pretty excited for you because you’re right where I was when my whole life changed and got so much better. You can definitely save your marriage and make it intimate and fun again, so this is just the breakdown before the breakthrough. I see you applied for a discovery call already, and that’s exactly what I recommend. Hang in there Brandi! You can still have a very happy ending to your story. Really.

Hi Laura,

My wife and I have been married for just over a year and we have been together for nearly 3 years. The moment we got engaged, everything changed. My wife became super controlling, bossy, and critical of me. She has thrown out all of my clothing, she looks through my phone and picks fights with me over benign photos or text messages, she is constantly giving me tasks and micromanaging me while I do them, and she criticizes everything from my driving to my sleeping. I feel embarrassed and ashamed to be writing all of this because I am the CEO of a company, a leader among my friends and family, and loved and respected by all that know me. Before our marriage, I felt dignified and powerful, and now I feel weak, unloved and depressed. I find myself reacting very poorly and I get angry at my wife and then I feel even worse about myself.

I am trying to save our marriage. I have begun by taking care of myself again (gym, work, friends and family) and setting boundaries with my wife that I will not engage with her when she crosses. With my wife’s “blessing” I have taken over our bills and finances, and my wife will consistently say things to me like “why aren’t you taking care of …? When are you going to …? I told you to … and you still haven’t …” to which I respond “Learn to trust me that I will do the right thing. I am responsible enough to do … you do not need to micro manage me. We will talk about … in one week, right now this is not a productive conversation”. I put together finance reports that I review with my wife every 2 weeks, and even though she sees everything moving in a better direction, it infuriates her when I don’t engage her controlling behavior. She will say things like “why can’t I just ask my husband a question? What kind of husband are you that you won’t let your wife talk to you?”

Now here is my problem. Last night I feel like my wife crossed a line. She started bad-mouthing a friend of mine and saying things that were factually wrong. When I corrected her, things escalated and we got into a fight. This friend is like a brother to me, we have been friends since the age of 3, and he has saved us by lending us money when we needed it. I would never put him before my wife, and he just got married so we haven’t even seen him much over the past few months. He has never done anything to my wife and I feel like she is trying to control me now by choosing my friends.

I am worn out, depressed, and I feel like my life is spinning out of control. I don’t want to get divorced. We have seen a counselor and I am working on myself and my wife has been working on herself. We have been taking one step forward and two steps back. I am starting to believe that I cannot fix our marriage no matter how much I fix myself. I just purchased your book hoping that it may give me some guidance. My wife is open to working on herself, but I fear that if I give her the book then she may not be as accepting of it. Should I just read your book myself? Should I share it with my wife? Is there something that I can do to save our marriage?

Thank you in advance,

Hey Marc, So sorry to hear about your situation with your wife micromanaging you. I can sure relate. I was even worse than what you describe. It was miserable for both of us, but I didn’t know what else to do at the time, and I bet your wife doesn’t either. I think if you give her The Surrendered Wife, that’s pretty hard for most wives to swallow, but she may be open to reading my new book, The Empowered Wife. It’s also on audio if that’s better. I’m happy to help in any way I can, but I agree that it’s all up to your wife to respect and trust you. I’m sure she would like to.

How do I go about being this goddess when my husband has moved out, has been unfaithful and tells me that he loves me like a sister??
We used to have an amazing marriage and I accept that I changed over the years, after becoming a (boring) mother. I want the fun again, I want him back (we have been together 24 years) I keep trying to be light hearted, showing my vulnerability and telling him I love him. Where am I going wrong???

Debbie, Sorry to hear about your husband moving out and being unfaithful. I can see why it’s challenging to use the skills right now. I remember feeling pretty hopeless in my marriage too, and that was a big energy drain. But I’ve seen situations like yours where the relationship is better than ever after the wife practices the Intimacy Skills. So there’s every reason to believe your marriage will be revitalized, too. I’d love to see you get some support. Consider a complimentary discovery call to uncover what your best move is in your relationship. You can apply for one here:

Hello Ladies, I wonder if you are able to offer me some valuable advice? I have had problems in my marriage for some time. Sure I neglected my husband when the children came along, sex and intimacy were at the bottom of my list. My husband had an affair, we sorted it out and for a while were closer than ever and very happy. Fast forward a few years and my husband gets a job overseas, coming home every couple of weeks. This worked at first but we realised it was putting a strain on us so my husband came home. 2 months later he moved out as we just couldn’t find our common ground. We separated, he repeated the pattern and got with someone else (not for long) his defence was that we were separated and I did not want him, so he went to someone that gave him attention. Anyway, I have been implementing the 6 intimacy skills, looking after myself and enjoying life (inside my heart was broken) he has now apologised, rings constantly, tells me he has made so many mistakes and wants to meet next week for dinner and talks. I think he wants to come back – thing is I am not sure what to do. Having found myself again I am happy, lonely, but happy. Do I trust him? Not sure, will he cut and run at the next problem? Not sure. What do I do ?. Continue with the intimacy skills and see. ANY advice, suggestions or prior experience would be greatly appreciated. Thank you x

Debbie, Sorry to hear about the heartbreak and struggle in your marriage. Sounds very painful. I don’t hear anything about your situation that makes me think this can’t be fixed. Your marriage can be better than ever, and you have the power to make it so. Now that you have the 6 Intimacy Skills, you know a lot more than you did when the breakdowns happened. I know it’s terrifying to risk your heart again when it’s been crushed like that, but from here I can see a very bright future for your marriage. Fortune favors the brave. If you’d like personalized support, consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to uncover the best next move for you and your family. You can do that here:

Laura, thank you for your response, I will arrange that complimentary discovery call. I have one further issue though. My children – my son, who is now 15 seems fine with the situation, however my daughter, now 17 does not want her Dad to return. She used to have a great relationship with her Dad, she was 12 when he had the affair, she is a wise girl and realised before I did what he was up to and confronted him. He was awful towards her after that and there was constant arguing and fighting between them. I did not know what was going on and could not understand why my sweet girl was constantly winding her dad up! Their relationship has never really recovered (it got really ugly at times) and she has said that she is scared of him and would rather he did not live here. I know she loves him, he adores her, but they are so awkward around each other. I feel I should put my daughter first. I know If he comes back I will be in the middle again.

Debbie, I can see why you’re concerned about your daughter in this situation, of course. I have a feeling she will cue off of you and how you treat your husband going forward, as you are still her role model, but I get that you might be witnessing some tension in your home. I’m so happy to hear you’re going to apply for your own discovery call. It’s going to be so valuable for you, for your husband, for your daughter and your son too. You have so much power in this situation and I’m happy you’ve got the 6 Intimacy Skills as your guide. I’d love to also see you get some support. Great things are in store on this path, in my experience!

Hello Laura, thank you for your advise and inspiration!
I feel as though I am caught in a hamster wheel, reading your emails helps enormously. My husband and I separated almost a year ago, we see each other most weekends and speak almost daily. This stops when he gets moody with me about something I said or did, then he cuts off contact and says we are better off apart, that he sees me as a friend and that it is me who wants more, not him. He wants to break free and start again. I find this so so hurtful. I start to think that he loves me and wants to come home, then he says these things and I think I have been a fool. I know he had a relationship when we initially split up (he said we were separated, so does not agree that he cheated). He came over the other day and asked if I would help him with some work. I was ironing, so asked him to wait until I had finished, I said it would only be 10 minutes (honouring what I was doing)?? Did I get it wrong?. He got really stroppy, did the work on his own and left without saying goodbye. He has since told me, again, that he is sick of going round in circles-we should move on and that he no longer wants the relationship. We have not spoken since. I am too scared to ring him as in my heart I feel he needs space, I did message him and remind him that I love him and would like him to come back home. My mind is now in turmoil, wondering if he got back in touch with the other woman. It’s so painful. I know the 6 intimacy skills and I try to practice them, but you know I think I carry some resentment and am terrified of letting go. I have been so hurt. Any of your wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. (Also my teenage daughter no longer likes her Dad and the atmosphere between the 2 when he is around is awful, this splits me in 2also)

Debbie, That sounds like a painful rollercoaster you’re on, and I can see why it’s eating you up. Sorry to hear it. I love your accountability about the resentment, and that you see your own fear of letting it go because you have been so hurt. I would love to see you get support with implementing the Intimacy Skills and get him back home once and for all and have the air cleared with your daughter as well. You have so much at stake, and you sound very self-aware, so there is every reason to be hopeful that your family will be restored as you become the best Debbie–the woman you long to be. You’re so close, and you just need a guide.

You can apply for a complimentary discovery call to connect with one of my coaches here:

Hello Debbie
Thankyou for sharing your story. I too have a similar situation. 5 months ago my husband told me he was done with trying. He didn’t love me had no feelings for me anymore and moved into the spare room. He constantly fought and was verbally abusive to every little thing the kids did. My daughter (14) sensed something and over a course of a month we discovered he had crossed the line with a friend and they were planning on being together. My daughter confronted the other women’s teenage daughter and told her mother to back off away from her dad. It became very tense in our house hold and my husband told my teenage daughter that she had betrayed him and stomped on his soul. And that he had lost his best friend over this. The other women rang in tears and told my husband that what they had an emotional affair had too stop for the sake of both families and that they hoped to continue as friends. This hurt terribly. I have since implemented the 6 skills and am seeing some progress. It is a daily struggle not knowing what to do next what to do self care wise. How to act and what to say to my husband. Be the goddess of fun ( Its hard when I used to be so down and have lost who I was)
But the relationship between father and daughter is broken. I guess my daughter will come to respond to how I treat her dad. It’s all matter of time.

Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear about the other woman, the conflict with your husband and your daughter and your daily struggle! It sounds very challenging. I hear you longing to speak to other women in your situation for encouragement and direction, and I want you to have that too. That’s been so key for me–having like-minded women for support and inspiration. You absolutely can make this breakdown into the breakthrough you’re wanting, and having other women around you who are on the same path will help tremendously. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see if working with one of our coaches, and becoming part of our private forums, would be right for you. You can apply here:

Hello Sarah,
I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I completely understand how you feel, your loyalties feel divided and you just don’t know how to fix the situation. For my part, I have continued to remind my daughter of how much her Dad loves her, that he is a good man (not that I always feel this) and that he never meant to hurt her. I have also come to realise that I cannot change the way she feels about her Dad and that it is up to him to put things right between them. And up to my daughter to accept or reject him. As Laura says, stay on your own paper, because you will get caught in the crossfire and no-one wants that. I have tried implementing the 6 intimacy skills, and have seen positive results, but still feel torn as my daughter does not want her Dad back in the house, he makes her very uncomfortable, but, being older and wiser I know she loves her Dad and is hurt. If you want to save your marriage practice those 6 skills, daily. Look after yourself and put your happiness above everything else. Your daughter will follow your lead and in years to come all this will be a distant memory and your daughter will be part of a happy family unit. I wish you the best of luck. Debbie.

I’ve actually come to many of the same conclusions that you did and have been trying to find ways to make myself happy. Its nice to hear you corroborate the concept but I have to say, I’m not sure it is going to work in my case. The healthier and happier I get seems to be inspiring him to leave me even faster. It’s like I let him know I’m going to be ok without him. How do I now turn it back around and let him know that, Yes I can do it alone but I don’t want to?

Staci, Sorry to hear you’re facing the threat of losing your relationship. That’s very scary. It’s true that making yourself happy will be key in your situation, but so will letting him see your vulnerability. When you use all of the 6 Intimacy Skills together, it’s a very winning combo even in a crisis like this one. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to find out about getting some additional support. It can be a little tricky to implement all by yourself. You can apply here:

I am happy and fun and “me” when I am working and around people but when I am home I am different, exhausted, doing everything myself with no help from my spouse. I feel selfish doing things for me, my daughter has CF and my husband is a type 1 diabetic with horrid mood swings. He is an introvery while I am the opposite. We never do things together anymore since he stopped going to church. I try and be positive and do things without him but I am lonely and I get depressed seeing other couples together. He says I need to go to counseling but there is nothing for him to work on so he won’t go. I want to be happy but I feel hopeless and defeated most days.

Dina, That sounds hard and I can see why you feel so hopeless. Sounds like work is a relief compared to home, and I can see why. But I have good news for you–you can turn this marriage around single-handedly. And when you do, your husband will respond to you in a much better way. You can have fun together again, even though he’s an introvert and you’re an extrovert. In fact, you can make it just like it was when you first fell in love. I’d love to see you get your hands on The Six Intimacy Skills. They’re all in my book The Empowered Wife, which you can read a free chapter of here:

So what if I’ve done all that & still get nothing? Your right, he loves it when I am all of those things & he is let off the hook & gives nothing. At what point does he have a responsibility to the relationship? I am sorry but it can not always be one sided. Both partners have to be givers to the marriage. So now what?

Regina, It’s very frustrating when your husband won’t move a muscle to work on the relationship and you know there’s so much he could do to make it better! I remember that feeling and it was awful. The good news is that when you change, he will respond to you in a much better way. One of the shocking things I learned on the road to fixing my marriage was just how much influence and power I had to make it either distant and tense or else playful and passionate. I just needed the right information.

I’d love to see you get your hands on The Six Intimacy Skills, which are presented step-by-step in my book The Empowered Wife. You can read a free chapter here:

Hi Laura, I am so glad I stumbled on your blog. My husband and i have been together almost 15 years, married 7 two young kids later he told me he is tired of getting frustrated with me. He wants me happy but can’t seem to ever do the right thing. When i asked him to work on our marriage together he said he didn’t want to. I am crushed and heartbroken and fear divorce. I know i need to work on me but its so hard when i see “D” as the end result. I am heartbroken and don’t know what to do.

Justine, That sounds exhausting and scary. Fortunately, you can absolutely revitalize your marriage all on your own without him “working on it.” He will change too because he will respond to you better when you learn and practice The Six Intimacy Skills that I used to save my marriage. I lay them out step-by-step in my book, First The Empowered Wife. You can listen to the audio book if that’s easier with two little people at your house. Read a free chapter here:
There is plenty of reason to be hopeful once you learn the Intimacy Skills!

And if he says he no longer has feelings for you? Says you no longer bring him joy or happiness like you once did? Will not touch or acknowledge you in public except in rare occasions and while he will still have sex it’s clearly very different and far from What it once was. He says the stress and life changes have changed him, and he no longer values the same things or believes the same things and really isn’t sure he wants to be married but is just “coasting”…. Not ready to make any decision.

He has lost all Faith.

He refuses date nights or weekend getaways. Doesn’t bring you to work functions as his work has caused a huge divider in your lives. He won’t give up on work or his employees but sees no reason that walking away from a marriage is wrong….no one goes into marriage thinking they’ll get divorced but things change. His words. He cares for you as the mother of his kids but nothing more and when he looks back on the twenty years, there are fond memories but nothing that tugs the heartstrings enough to stay Unhappily married or work to fix it.

What then? Over a year of hearing those words, of seeing the lack of effort to help mend things. What then?

Countless books read by you, the wife. Defined efforts to change and grow, become a better you, for you not him and he sees the changes yet still continues with the same mantra. WHAT THEN?

Sara, I read countless books too, trying to save my marriage. But none of them contained the magic that finally restored my marriage from being distant, hostile and lonely. In fact, most of them made things worse, and so did couples counseling. It was incredibly painful. I would love to see you get your hands on the information in The Empowered Wife, which outlines The Six Intimacy Skills that can turn your marriage around and have your husband respond to you much better. He doesn’t need to work to fix it because you have the key. It blew my mind at first, but now that I have the marriage I dreamed of when I said, “I do,” I see that it’s completely true. You can read a free chapter of The Empowered Wife here:

I’m lost and not sure what to do. My husband and I got married just over 6 months ago and I’m already debating a divorce. I don’t want one but I do because I dont feel like we will ever be able to communicate with one another. I suffer from anxiety and depression, and he doesnt understand that. He always says I’m overreacting, or its nothing to get upset about. We are struggling financially and I have never had any problems. I grew up saving and bought my own home (now our home), but he does not contribute very much, and I have spent all of my savings trying to pay off his debt, or his bills that he cant afford to pay. He doesnt see it that way at all and gets defensive every time I bring up finances. We started going to counseling a couple months ago, due to my anger issues and our lack of communication but it doesnt seem to be helping. I try to implement things we learn in our sessions but he doesnt think any of it is a priority. Any time im upset or angry he says I need to change bc he is tired of me getting mad at nothing all the time. He honestly thinks that my medication for anxiety/depression should take it all away. That I can take a pill and it will ” fix” it. Anytime I’m upset he just says he is not fighting with me, ignores it, and then acts like everything is fine the next day, when to me its not. Nothing is ever talked about bc he thinks it is fighting. I even leave the room and text him so we arent yelling at one another but he still ignores it and says he isnt fighting about it. Ive told him multiple times I want a divorce, and he just says then get one. He doesnt seem to want to try and solve anything, but thinks everything is my fault or im overreacting. In my eyes if your wife says she wants a divorce or that she is having suicidal thoughts you come home and talk about it, but instead he says he is going to call my mom, and ignores everything for 4 days. I feel like I’m not allowed to feel the way I do, that he dismisses my thoughts and feelings, and I dont know if we will every be able to communicate. I’m lost I dont know what to do.

Morgan, that sounds painful to feel lost and not get the support you sorely need from your husband, especially so early in your marriage. I admire you for being so vulnerable and courageous in reaching out for support. I remember what it was like not to be able to communicate with my husband or to get his support when I so desperately wanted it. Once I turned to the 6 Intimacy Skills, I found that he really did want to support me, if I just knew how to inspire him. Now I feel not only heard but cherished, desired and adored. I know that’s possible for you too. I’d love to see you get some tools to reopen the lines of communication and get back the man you fell in love with. I have a free webinar that will help you turn things around. It’s called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here:

Hi Laura,

I can’t thank you enough for writing this article, it is EXACTLY what I need, in fact it’s probably life-changing! It’s spot on in identifying why my husband won’t respond to anything I try… because I have become this grouchy, naggy, tired, dull (oh the list is endless) wife, who is asking for change… And I have felt so powerless because he won’t talk, or try a date night with me to get the spark back. Now that I see how I have changed, I wouldn’t want a date with myself either.

Just 20 minutes ago I was sobbing and feeling like there was nothing I could do to save our marriage, with everything hinging on him not talking or communicating with me, and that I had no control. Then I found your article on Google and… Phew, what a relief! I know I can get my power back by changing the person who needs to change – me! An eye-opening, simple, sensible, and achievable solution!

I’ll be printing off this article and then ordering your book 🙂

Thank you so much,


You’re welcome, Rachel! I am blown away by your awareness and admire your vulnerability and commitment. I hear how powerless, sad and hopeless you’ve been feeling–and how grateful to find hope. I wouldn’t have wanted to date me either when I’d become that nagging wife. I share your gratitude for finding the 6 Intimacy Skills because they have been life changing. I don’t have to ask for date nights anymore because my husband loves to spend time with me and make me happy. I can’t wait for you to have that back too! While you’re waiting for your copy of The Empowered Wife to arrive, I invite you to check out my upcoming webinar so you can start feeling more empowered right away! It’s called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life:

I have read all these comments and maybe I am getting too jaded but doesn’t this mean we are letting the men walk all over us? I have tried everything with my husband… including this approach. He used it against me… tells me I have a motive and must want something. He is so brainwashed by how his Mom and Dad related to each other and that whole family is passive aggressive. He brings all this to the table.

I work hard, own my own company, I could be on my own. We only have one kid left at home. I just don’t think kissing up to him will work.

My husband won’t say he’s sorry, ever.

What about men who might use this approach against you.

Cynthia, I’m sorry to hear it seems nothing has worked with your husband yet. I admire your awareness and your commitment to your marriage. My husband was skeptical and reactive when I started practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills. Especially when my motive was indeed to change him! But the longer I practiced them, the more genuine they became, until I was actually doing it for myself because it felt so empowering. He no longer questioned because he welcomed the change in me and in our marriage, which became playful and passionate. So many women who come to me believe their husband is different and that the Skills won’t work for them and that they’ll become a doormat. But I see the same result again and again–that those who persevere with the Skills become cherished, desired and empowered. (And apologized to.) If we can do it, you can 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

I am with you here. I don’t think it fair to think that I am not allowed to change and grow, or to not expect him too as well. My problem with my spouse is he has not grown up, so all of the life struggle stress is on me. I am not very much fun- but that is directly tied to him not growing up. How can it be my job to be the grownup, and the relationship mender? A lot of our negative things in life are directly tied to him not maturing. It is hard enough for me to consider forgiving him of this, but to expect me to fix the problems by me changing, when the changes have not all been my fault or wanted by me, is not fair.

I WANT there to be a solution- badly- but none of this feels like what I signed up for in marriage, because while I signed up for in sickness and health, rich and poor etc- I also signed up for a partner, not a slacker.

Marie, I hear you! It sounds so stressful and exhausting for you to be the only grown up in your house. I love your vulnerability in sharing your struggle here.

I used to maintain that I’d quit acting like my husband’s mother if only he’d stop acting like a child. I was depleted having to do everything myself. With the 6 Intimacy Skills, he started taking initiative and helping me. It has been so empowering to find that I had the power to inspire him to become responsible and mature.

I want you to be allowed to change and grow–and for him to do the same! I’ll show you how to get him to grow up in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at

This makes so much sense when thinking of myself! My Husband however never changed. No choosing family before fun. No growing serious and becoming mature. He always wants to be around excitement and fun. I am envious of his freedom and ability to never “grow up”. We both work. I come home and take care of all the responsibilities and he stops by friend’s houses before coming home late looking for a hot meal and clean bed to crash in. He is a social person and loves his friends. He drinks and will party most nights if I didn’t give him a hard time about it. He sees it as me taking his manhood. I see it as childish and reckless behavior that needs corrected. In my opinion he has given me all the work and none of the play. He works construction and there are long periods of no work or income coming from him. This ends up being a heavier burden on me to provide. He will then leave when I get home to go have him time. The house will be a disaster and there I am doing it all alone again. When we are home together he starts arguments and blames me for all the stressful things in life. Then when I defend myself He blames his actions and attitude on depression and inability to provide and make me happy. He has recently threatened divorce. We have admitted to being verbally and emotionally abusive towards each other and I have been working to stop verbal lashback. It usual comes in forms of silence because of fear I will insult him. He thinks its wasted effort and I think 15 years and 3 children is worth fighting for. I am at a loss! Any advice will be very much appreciated!

Ashley, I’m sorry to hear that your husband is threatening divorce. I can see why you’re feeling envious of his freedom. Having to do everything yourself, not to mention all the arguing and blame, sound exhausting! I admire your commitment to replacing the emotional and verbal abuse with respect. I love your desire to fight for your marriage and keep your family together.

I remember how overwhelmed I felt when it seemed I was the only grownup in my house. The 6 Intimacy Skills got my husband to grow up and show up for me. Now he is so helpful and eager to please me that I feel truly supported. And the screaming matches are gone for good!

If I can do it, I know you can have the peaceful, passionate marriage you deserve too. I invite you to my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills.

This is terrible advice. I don’t agree with placing all of the burden on the woman. This is ridiculous. I will never buy or suggest your product.

Hi Laura. My hubby and are are separated right now and I’m just moving into my new permanent home. We have been together 23 years. Neither one if us were meeting each other’s needs in the marriage and it broke down over the years until finally this fall my hubby made the break for both our sakes. We are getting along great as we have 2 busy kids. Today for the first time since our 3 months apart he wNted to talk about why he felt our marriage broke down. We were both to blame I see that but spent a long time blaming myself and being resentful and unable to give and receive love. I had clinical hypnotherapy, counselling. Lots of yoga, talk therapy and journaling and it’s changed my life completely. People are noticing a positive energy about me and a radiance I have never had. I am able to give and receive love like never before. My husband says he is happy for me, he really is but cannot see the new me, when he sees me he sees the old me still. Is it just a matter of staying connected through our kids and time? I really want a second opportunity to try and make our marriage work, who knows we both may have changed during this time and no longer compatible but after 23 years I want to show our kids we are willing to at least try and who knows we can have a brand new relationship!!!! What can I do?

Kyla, it sounds so frustrating that your husband can’t see the changes in you that are so obvious to everyone else. I really admire you for everything you have done to transform yourself! And for being so committed to your marriage.

I remember how discouraged I felt when my husband kept baiting me to test whether the new me was real. The 6 Intimacy Skills gave me the tools to help him see the new me–and that she was here to stay! As a result, I got the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted.

I can’t wait for you to have that with your husband too! I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

I have read all your books, read your blog religiously and have been trying to implement your six skills since May. At the beginning, it was going well. But recently, i feel like he is still constantly critical of me and the way I do things, tiny things like leave food out uncovered that bugs can get in. I feel like I can’t catch a break. I try to stay positive. But it doesn’t feel like this is working. 🙁 now what?

Joanne, I hear that the Skills don’t seem to be working for you right now. That is so discouraging when you are so committed! I really appreciate your authenticity.

I got very frustrated at times thinking this wasn’t working for me either. Looking back, I see how my husband started baiting me more–testing whether the changes in me were real–precisely when the transformation was happening. It’s like in childbirth, when the mother says she can’t bear one more minute, that’s the signal that the birth is imminent.

I invite you not to leave five minutes before your miracle happens. If you are willing to choose faith over fear again today, check out my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

My husband and I have been together for 7 years on and off, married for 3, and have 3 children. He is an alcoholic, and has recently cheated. After he was caught, he asked to keep him family, and I agreed to reconcile. It’s been 4 months. I’ve been the only one trying. I get so angry and upset, scream, cry. He has now decided he wants a divorce. He claims it will not work, and he wants his freedom. He said he doesn’t want to be told what he can and can’t do, what he can and can’t buy, how many beer he can drink, he wants to come and go as he pleases, and he wants to buy whatever he wants. I was told to not give up on my marriage. He now stays gone, and says he will be home a certain time. He never shows at that time, comes in late. But I’m wore down. He doesn’t love me, and he will not give in to our marriage and try. How do you find yourself through all of that? How do you even stay in that situation? I am beyond miserable. I just want to be happy and I want my kids to be happy.

I’m married to a man who had an abusive alcoholic father. Whenever we talk about anything ” grown up” we get into an argument.

He is irresponsible with money and has spent all of my retirement funds which he promised to pay back but now refuses to do so. He can’t seem to file taxes on time and without my knowledge, applied for and maxed out six credit cards. He makes a good living but can’t seem to hold a job for more than two years.

Here’s extremely bright. He started his own business five years ago but he makes very risky decisions which have forced him to work another job and place his business on hold.
He says he doesn’t mind working hard but he won’t do so without owing a fancy car. We can’t afford it right now because if his debt. We even have tax debt now because he just can’t stop the chaotic habits. He’s overweight, pre- diabetic and can’t seem to take care of himself. He plans nothing, sticks to nothing and this is making me physically ill.
Here’s their use into bankruptcy and takes tantrums constantly. I’m always the strong one but lately I’m losing it and I’ve become ill. It seems I can’t look forward to anything as he continues to squander the excellent income we bring in.
I’m at my wits end. We’ve been to counselors. I’ve become nagging and passive aggressive. He is both aggressive and passive aggressive. He also withholds information often.

Two years ago he secretly didn’t pay the mortgage for two months- the house is in my name. Instead, he bought Christmas gifts. We make good money but never have enough for anything. He spends everything in my savings as well.. especially when I was in the hospital. I now have a private account that he constantly chastises me about.
Meanwhile, he has a motorcycle he never rides that is not paid for and I had to demand that he sell his Corvette which we couldn’t afford. It’s absolute chaos.

When we fight he’s loud and slams things. He peels out of our driveway making a scene for all the neighbors to see. He acts insane.

He has two children, now grown, from a previous marriage. He disrespects me in front of them and we have a strained relationship as a result. We hardly see them and we’re either not welcome at their events. His ex wife constantly keeps them from us by arranging for vacations in Father’s day and others holidays. We spend holidays alone while he sulks but does nothing to change it. He can’t plan anything, so I do. I do it all!! I’m tired.

Most of my family members have passed away. I feel very alone and trapped. I have the burden of financial responsibility and my doctor bills don’t get paid.
He eats out constantly and is addicted to food in my opinion.

He has no respect for me and lies. He is very insecure and makes bad decisions. I’m ill, and I’m starting counseling as well. I’m not going to take this anymore.
I’m not sure I can make this marriage work. I love with a man who never grew up.
Your books look interesting. I’m going to read two I’ve seen in this thread.
I’m not able to work right now due to illness. I have no more retirement money and if I leave him I’ll be destitute.
What to do?

Yes, ladies… once again we are responsible for doing all the mental and emotional work of marriage. It’s always dumped on us and we keep
telling ourselves “well, SOMEONE’S got to do it”. I’ve been the one doing it for 17 years and I’m done.
These big babies… they want everything and give less than the bare minimum back to you until you feel like an empty husk.

I once shared your frustration. Bottom line? If you think your man is a big baby, he’ll act like one. Read Laura Doyle’s books or get her videos. You hold all the keys to your relationship and your marriage. Women have a great deal of power, but we’ve been told lots of lies. Laura’s books and videos will be the best this you ever do for yourself guaranteed.

This article is great. It’s not sexist at all as someone mentions.

If you’re doing everything and enabling everyone around you to do nothing, who is making that choice? You are!

It’s about time that women learn the truth about the power they possess. Laura’s books are amazing as is her online program. They will change your life.

You have the power to create a beautiful life and family. Laura’s books are the best thing you can do for yourself.

How do you get your husband to love you again? He continues to lie to you. And pushes you to the side and doubles up on his work? How do yout get him to understand you? To respect you? To cherish his vows to you?

Laura, I read the Empowered Wife, and the Surrendered Wife, and watched one of your Webinars, and made the effort to change and practice your skills, and my husband laughed at me – once, I said ‘I would love for you….’ and he said, ‘Just ask me directly, why are you suddenly being so polite…’, he seemed to prefer the nagging, begging option.
I took the advice on the finances side – he ended up letting bills pile up, and I had to end up chasing after him because we started getting penalty letters.
I tried the self-care approach, and he made me feel like I was being selfish.
He is a smart man, narcissistic and has a natural way of turning everything on me.
I will persist, and continue to try the methods, and hope and pray eventually, there is a positive change.

Laura’s books are wonderful and can help you at any stage of your marriage. I highly recommend them and as a wedding officiant I always share Laura’s name and how she helped me. I love you Laura thank you so much for all you do I always love your newsletters and updates!

I am a surrendered wife!

I been with my husband 28 yrs . Now he dorsbt care about the marriage he doesnt want to try at all he says he dont care. He is having an affair I think for the past year I think he is in love with her now. They dated when they were 14 or 15. We got together at 18. We have 3 kids and our youngest is 18. I never had to work and I at a point I got health issues where I neglected him. So I understand the affair. Now that I list 151 pounds and my some of my health issues are controlled now he says it’s too late. That I had chances. He never talked to me when he started to feel the way he did. I felt he should of came to me and discuss it before it went this far. He really wants a divorce. We still live together but I ask what can I do make a differance he said when he comes home to leave him alone and not talk to him would help. Well nothing can workout like that. Is it over? Is it too far gone now? I told him there was s so much help for us and he says he hates when I say that. He says there is days he hates hearing my voice he hates seeing me. We are still having sex a couple times a week but he claims it’s just an act dont mean anything to him. Just about a month ago he said he has been trying to convience himself it’s over but now he says it is. I dont want to be in denial I’m starting to lose hope but I still in love with him. Like I said I never had to work outside the home so I can’t imagine a life without him

So what you’re saying is it’s MY fault he wouldn’t communicate with me and had an emotional affair because HE felt disconnected because he refused to ever create connection with me – it’s MY fault he won’t help make improvements because he refuses to grow as a human? because relationships change as life changes and I am no longer the carefree ‘goddess’ of pre-child, pre-marriage, pre-serious ADULT life. I am not the same person I was at age 32 as I am now at 46 because Life has changed me, HIS inaction and disconnect has changed me, motherhood has changed me, because his lack of ability to ADULT has changed me – I’m supposed to be the one to revert to my age 32 self to make things better? Learned helplessness was learned through other women – mother, girlfriends, roommates, previous wife, PERSONAL CHOICES – allowing him to slack off on life chores and relationship work and I’M the one the needs to make the changes?!? He has has no accountability??? SCREW that, he ABSOLUTELY has accountability in relationships, if HE can’t be bothered to make an effort, I’m supposed to shoulder ALL the responsibility?? Oh HELL NO.

This is so disturbing to me that’s can hardly comment. Change yourself so you can secretly change your husband, wow internalized sexism much? What if your not the one who isn’t fun anymore? What trick then? What about straight forwardness and honesty in a relationship, what about how your husband should want to meet your needs and you deserve that?

My husband and I have been married going on 7 years. We had 1 kid before our first anniversary and another a year later. As per my husband it happened gradually but he changed overnight to me (I saw signs of his changes and being withdrawn-just didn’t know it was going to escalate to what it is now). He seemed very depressed, as per the MD he might just have situational depression but to me he has always been depressed about something. Usually it was work but he found a job that he absolutely loves and now his job, to me, is his number 1 priority. He has withdrawn from me, when he comes home he hardly smiles or speaks with me. He engages with our 2 children, but sometimes I have to remind him to do stuff with them as when he is home he likes to just sit in front of the TV. He says he loves me but needs his space so he has been sleeping alone for about 2 weeks now. He says he just doesn’t have the desire to make an effort to change…so im not sure what that means. He has been drinking and smoking (not cigarettes) a lot more so to me he is self medicating. I have admitted and apologized for my part in why we may have reached this point. My expectations were high (too high where he felt he could not ever meet my expectations), I was nagging, I know I may have belittled him, made him feel bad about himself and none of that was my intension. I was just always tired and cranky and taking care of my two kids. He would help but it wasn’t enough or maybe it wasn’t the way I wanted. Either way I owned up to my mistakes and I have been making a change to try and not be that way. I do slip and I feel like sometimes we just keep talking about the same stuff over and over and that is what is keeping us in this cycle. He keeps saying he needs space (this started after a recent work trip that he took where he went away for 4 days with barely any contact with his family- a work trip that I stated that I was not happy about him going but he made the decision to go on his own). After that he’s been talking about space, slept out one night and then after that I told him that he will have to make an effort first in our relationship if he wants me to be ok with space (I don’t know if that is not a good thing or not) but that is why he started to sleep on his own so that was my way of giving him space. Plus we hardly see each other during the week and only on weekends do we really see each other. We are going to see a therapist but I don’t want to dwell on the past but move forward. I have not read the book yet so I think I will get it asap to read it. Just wasn’t sure what you recommended. Thank you!

What if he still wont respond?I love him so much but he literally walks around with a cloud on him and showers it on my family. He has zero accountability and with every response will not acknowledge my points and instead will attack me with some irrelevant thing I did wrong reacting to him in an old fight. I have five kids and im tired. I have to do everything myself and still take care of myself. I try and be happy but he is always so negative with the kids…me.. Anytime he opebs his mouth. So naturally im nothing like i used to be. How do I become me again when i am so overwhelmed doing the majority (all is a lie) by myself?

Hi Laura! Excellent advice on becoming the women you were when your husband fell in love with you. Our responsibilities change over time and we forget to be that fun person we were before marriage.

I enjoyed your article and agree that focusing on yourself first is the way to go. What if you’ve achieved your Goddess of Light happiness but he still doesn’t budge. In fact, he doesn’t respond at all (to be fair, he’s managing a division of a growing company, being an active father, focused on his health, and finishing a degree full-time). I realize he is busy but feel some attention on his part to our marriage is only fair to us both.
I try to remain patient and hopeful about our future but it’s beginning to feel naive and perhaps were just in denial that yes, we have changed, but perhaps we’ve changed for the better and it’s just caused us to grow apart?
I want nothing more than to keep our family together with the exception of letting us all be in a situation where we feel we can grow and be happy.

D, I hear how much you want to keep your family together and I admire that! But first you have to fix your relationship so you can be happy and right now it feels like you’re growing apart. You shouldn’t have to feel like you’re competing with his growing company, his school work, health and father duties. That’s not right. I still remember how bad it felt when my husband didn’t have any time for me, and that’s why my coaches and I have helped over 15,000 women fix their relationships. We can help you too! Get a coach so you can stop feeling lonely, disappointed and hopeless and start feeling desired, taken care of and special. Apply for a complimentary call with one of my dedicated team members to explore what you can expect to accomplish with a private coach here:

Hi I just came across your website and have been reading all the comments.

What do you do when your husband says he’s not attracted to me anymore. He doesn’t have the special feelings there for me anymore. 4 months ago I found out he was talking to another girl and he wanted a divorce things were really bad but his attitude has changed. He is still friends with her and refuses to not be. He says he wants it to work with us just not right now. He says he needs some time. We have 3 kids and that he doesn’t want to rip their lives apart either but I don’t think he gets that if he doesn’t try to fix us then that’s what’s going to happen. It’s like what they will go through isn’t important to him. It’s all about him right now. Yet he still has no hope in us. He don’t believe in counseling or reading books together. He says if we can’t fix it on our own then we need to go our separate ways. Yet I’m the one who is trying to fix it and he isn’t because he don’t want to right now.

Things change. Women have kids, we grow older, we have chronic health conditions. We need a partner and spouse who is supportive and not a little boy that can’t deal with a full, wonderful, complex and enriching life. This is why I am getting divorced. I’ve tried reading your “tips” but they didn’t work for me.

But my husband wants a divorce and he’s already wanting to see other people. I made so many mistakes but he says he’s closed off and doesn’t want this anymore. I believe he’s too far gone. I’ve been trying everything the last three months. I don’t know what else I should do.

Jessica, That sounds scary and heartbreaking. I know you just want to be a happy wife, but first, you have to fix your relationship and right now it feels like it’s falling apart. I know how devastating that is, which is why my coaches and I have helped over 15,000 women fix their relationships. We can help you too. Get a coach so you can stop feeling sad, alone and afraid and start feeling desired, taken care of and special. Apply for a call with one of my dedicated team members here:

This is completely blaming the woman. If anything, he inspired me to be a better person, and everyone around us agrees. I’m a lot more rational, understanding, empathetic, and less explosive. He didn’t like when I was like that, but he loved more about me than he hated. Now that I am mature and more independent, he despises me. HE is the one who changed. He used to love people and now he rots in his own cynicism all day talking about how everyone on earth is trash but him. He thinks he is a blessing to be around. He was a normal guy, and became a textbook narcissist once our twins were born. I calmed down after being an aggressive and angry person my whole life, and he took that negative energy of who I was and amplified it. I’ve embraced all of the qualities he loves about me and made them who I am not only because he loved them about me, but because I loved them about myself. It is odd to me that this article thinks that the shift is due to the woman losing her “spark” when while yes people change over time, some people improve and some worsen and sometimes it is the man, the woman, or both. This article was very unhelpful, I’m already the sunshine I never was, I don’t know what else to do.

I guess I’ll have to put myself nude online because he doesn’t see me having fun with his family because he hides away on his phone.

I have been working on making myself a better person ever since my husband told me he wanted to leave me a few weeks ago. He told me he felt that he could never do anything right, that all I did was nag about everything he does. He felt defeated. I am definitely not the same person as I was 10 years ago when we got married. Older, more tired and stressed, and complacent. He doesn’t talk that much, and when I think things are going good/better, I ask him if he’s still thinking about leaving. All I get is “I don’t know”. He gives me nothing. I feel like I need some kind of progress report of where his head is. We talk about other stuff, and are intimate almost every night. He tells me to just relax and enjoy the moment. Does that mean he’s still contemplating? I ‘m so lost.

What do you do when he refuses to try? He has refused for 17 years. He says he loves me but his actions tell me he hates me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to get a divorce but I am sick of hurting and being unhappy. How do you figure out if the person actually wants and loves you or is just abusive?

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