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My Husband Disappoints Me All the Time

5 Ways to Inspire Him to Be a Better Man

Being constantly disappointed in your marriage can wear you down and make you hopeless about the future.

Maybe your husband disappoints you when it comes to celebrations–he forgets your anniversary, gets you a present that has nothing to do with what you like, or acts like it’s just another Wednesday.

Or, let’s say he complains when you’re sick because you aren’t doing the things you normally do. The demoralizing message is that you’re not that important except for what you contribute, not to mention his lack of compassion when you just want to be taken care of!

Or he may be a disappointment in a bigger sense, like not showing up to be the dad your kids deserve.

Either way, you don’t have to just suck it up and continue to hurt endlessly.

Here are 5 ways you can inspire your man to treat you better.

1. Catch Him Doing Something Good

Although your husband seems to be letting you down a lot, that’s not his intention. No husband wants to disappoint his wife–quite the opposite. He married you with the intention of making you happy, not crushing your hopes and dreams till death do you part.

That desire to delight you is still in him, even if you haven’t seen it for a while. One way to fan the flames of that desire is to wait for him to do something that you like–even if it’s something small–and pounce on him about it. In a good way.

You could say, “I noticed you made the bed this morning, and that made me so happy! I just love that you were so thoughtful and made the bedroom look so beautiful for me. Thank you, sweet husband!”

Sure, there are lots of things he’s doing that are letting you down, but he did this one thing right and by focusing on that, you let him know that he can succeed in making you happy. Once he feels like a success, he’s likely to look around for more ways to delight you.

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2. Express Your Desire in a Way that Inspires

Every year, Belinda complained that her husband let her down on her birthday. He never got a present or planned anything special, which left her feeling unimportant.

“I just want him to do something special for me,” she told me. “I don’t know what, but you’d think he could figure it out.”

When I asked what would make her happy on her birthday, at first Belinda was confused. “The whole point is that I want him to surprise me,” she said. “If I have to figure it out myself then what’s the point?”

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Still, she conceded that there was a new restaurant she wanted to try and that she always enjoyed going for a walk on the pier on a balmy night. She expressed her pure desires to her husband by saying, “I would love to try out that new Mexican place and go for a walk on the pier.”

Sure enough, her husband took the whole family out to the new Mexican place for her birthday. After dinner he announced, “Now we’re going for a walk on the pier.”

You might argue that it wasn’t very imaginative on his part to do exactly what she’d said she wanted, but it was the best birthday she could remember having in years. Which, of course, she told him now that she had multiple opportunities to catch him doing something good.

She was amazed that when she said how much she enjoyed the birthday activities he had planned for her, he grew a foot taller and beamed.

3. Let Him Know How Happy He Makes You

This leads to one of the most powerful ways to stop getting disappointed by your husband: telling him how happy what he’s doing is making you.

I’m not suggesting that you lie, but I am suggesting that it can be powerful to change your focus to what he does do instead of focusing on what he doesn’t do that you wish he would.

One woman told her husband how much she appreciated him working hard to support the family even though she didn’t think that would be a big deal to him. She was surprised that he got something in his eyes right then.

When you find the specific things that he does contribute to your life and get happy about them, they will multiply.

4. Talk to a Friend

But what do you do with those disappointed feelings that keep popping up?

Telling your husband how disappointed you are, again, is just going to make him defensive. It will never inspire him to stop disappointing you. Even though it seems that’s how it should work, it never does.

If you decide you want to preserve the intimacy in your marriage but you also need to process how disappointed you are that he doesn’t like to spend time with your family, you could talk to a neutral party, like a friend.

Like the time my husband walked on the new rug with his freshly polished black shoes and wrecked the rug.

Sigh. I just needed to talk to someone about it, but he already felt bad enough, so I didn’t want to talk to him about it.

My BFFs gave me the empathy I needed so I didn’t create a marital problem in addition to the problem with the new rug.

5. Fill Yourself Up

Sometimes my husband disappoints me because I’m already in an agitated state. I’m tired or hangry or sick, and the world doesn’t look right.

I recently had a cold and wanted him to take care of me by bringing me soup.

But he didn’t know that. In fact, when he asked if I was hungry I said I wasn’t, and then I was disappointed that he didn’t try to force nourishment on me.

Being sick will cause lapses in logic like that, in my experience.

John would like the record to show that he did go get me soup after I said I wanted it.

Most of the time I’m pretty good at figuring out what I want and expressing that or giving it to myself so I don’t get resentful toward him for not reading my mind.

The more happy and fulfilled I am, the less chance I have to feel disappointed about anything my husband does because I can more easily hold on to the perspective that the man just wants to make me happy.

Which of these five tips will you focus on this week? Will you share more gratitude? Express your desires? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

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

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

20 replies on “My Husband Disappoints Me All the Time”

My husband is emotionally abusive an now I caught him into pornography he’s been doing it for years. I’m extremely mad and hurt an emotionally drained. I don’t know if I can recover

I encourage you to give it a chance. My partner of 26 years was a porn addict and has fully recovered. Turns out there was a lot of sexual abuse in his childhood and it took him years to reveal it and then several years to get past it. It was rough for awhile, but now totally worth it.

Sherry, congratulations on turning this around. I admire your commitment to your marriage!

I love this-it’s great to see advice that doesn’t involve tricky mind games. Just be direct but mindful of manners – express your desires in a calm and positive way. I love surprises but my husband doesn’t therefore he can’t see why I might. It is far more fulfilling to see how happy he is to give me something I genuinely want or need, than feel his anguish when something falls flat

I’m gonna be a detective this week to find all the things I can that he’s doing right that make me happy!

I will share more gratitude. I have a hard time expressing my true desires because it still comes off as controlling/demanding. I need to work on that one, but I’m not sure how.

This sounds helpful, but Laura I’ve got to the point that I can not expres my self any more what it upsetting me he knows what I like and what I don’t like ,he does not want to change anything about it he steel said that he loves me I know I love him too may I am attached to much with my heard I don’t know why , now I am at the point that I cant communicate with him and he wants w to talk with a madiator heating for divorce it kills me just the idea of not Beach with him we are together for 12 years , the button line I am not happy but I don’t like the idea of advice please ,Laura short one ,I would appreciate it any advice from the people is welcome

Hi Laura, thanks for the info, yes your right focus on the good not the bad , you no im struggling with the fact that i feel alone and un wanted and insignificant, now seperated of 10 months, my biggest struggle is that love never comes first, but his extreme passion for cars, which he is very good at.There is never anytime for me. us together. I often make a cake and take down a cuppa for moring or afternoon tea, just to have some communication, is is pleasant, until, garantee his mate turns up every single time we have that precious few minutes together. then i dont get a look in. and the friend is so rude and interrupts into our conversations.

ON a very rare occasion, after trying to explain how i feel he, lovingly grabbed my hand and went for a long walk together{ he hates walking] . when we returned i told him how special it was that he did that and said how happy i would be if we could do that regularly , and I thanked him. that was the first and last, so that stratergey didnt work. when he talks about cars i listening intently and say ‘I hear You’ ask questions etc, and it goes on and on and on. wheni finally say something of interest to me, there is no reciprocation at all, ill say, im talking to you. all i get is yes i heard you. no, about my general interest not, critising or judgeing. He wants connection so do i but, i dont feel connected when he doesnt ackowledge that im talking to him. He has to have it all about him all the time. Im not a door mat.

Laura, every new post is a encouragement for me to keep going. I have been working on gratitude and expressing my desires in a more inspiring way. But it’s so hard too way. It’s so hard to be patient. My husband keep emotionally close. He cares for me, but we are like roommates, as you describe so many times on your book. I still believe that the intimacy skills will bring me results and I read post after post about happy endings, husbands feeling so in love again… I just wish that happening to me as well.

I love this post. I consider myself a very grateful person. I am appreciative and thankful. I have three young adult daughters who have also learned to express gratitude on a regular basis. They even write thank you notes still. When it comes to my husband, however, he has actually said that he does not like being thanked for things, especially when they are normal things that he is doing. He says he feels manipulated by the appreciation, like a child being rewarded. Ugg.

My husband and I will be married 20 years in October, he has suffered a job loss for the past 3 months and exclaimed that he thinks he does not love me anymore. I’m devastated but going to read your book in hopes of turning this around.

Really? Most of these options are “treat him better” and he’ll treat y0u better. This is why women are so far behind, because we accept less for ourselves! Just tell him what I want and then he will do it? No thanks. If I have to tell him what to do I might as well save myself the trouble, do it for myself, and be single.

Have a look at Laura’s video. No one is settling for less; it is just the opposite. With that said, there is nothing wrong with telling anyone what you would like. Watch her free video to understand what we are talking about. It is a brilliant way to gain control over the outcomes in your relationship.

I will try doing all the five…. Thank you for the enlightenment. All point really made a lot of sense. God bless your intellect.

Sorry, but I think this is bullsh*t. My husband treats me like crap, and your advice is to lie to him by telling him he makes me happy when he doesn’t? Or kiss his butt for helping with a chore like making the bed when he should always be helping with things like that? No.

This was so helpful, thank you. It’s easy to focus on the few “small” things I need but am not getting, and forget all the wonderful ways he treats me.

I found out my husband was cheating on me & he’s been booking hotels & flights with this girl. He always apologies & say he is no longer doing that. I recently found out he’s bee lying to me he never stopped they are promising each other to never loose each other but he is emotionally & verbally abusive. I want to leave but every time he begs me to stay. I am tired emotionally, psychologically & spiritualy because I feel I’m the only one rebuilding the mess he did. What are your thoughts what can I do?

Relationships are hard. Both people have to work together to make it successful. From a women’s perspective the suggestions will help if the man is really reciprocal. What if he is take it all, and never give?

My husband is over 60 and I am expected to praise him as though he were an 8 year old learning a new skill? Sorry, no. I guess I am so disappointed because I expect much more from a grown man. I wish the disappointment were as shallow as not getting the right birthday gift or helping around the house.

How about not being available to help in a stressful time, not being able to watch his own kid when I’m at work, or not earning enough to support his family, or claiming he’s ill when something needs to be done or bringing COVID home so we all suffered through our sickness.

My real disappointment is in myself that I never divorced him because I believe all men will be disappointing so why not stay with the devil you know.


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

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

I know it seems hopeless right now, but when you get the right structure and support, there’s every reason to be hopeful. I invite you to put your name on the waitlist for my Ridiculously Happy Wife program.

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