4 Ways to Bring Back the Man He Used to Be
Women often wonder: What are the top unhappy marriage signs?
Well, if your husband is always negative and angry, I don’t need to tell you what a drag that is.
It is painful when your husband is unhappy with you. Or negative about everything! It’s so lonely and disheartening too. I mean, is this even the same man you said “I do” to?
Even if that fun, sweet man has become unrecognizable, the good news is that you can bring him back.
If you’re suffering from Miserable Husband Syndrome, here are four ways to get back the man who attracted you.
1) Say These Three Sweet Words
It’s natural to want to help your spouse, especially when he’s struggling.
That’s what I thought a good wife was supposed to do. Then I actually did it for a while, helping my husband with his career, his money, his wardrobe, his diet, and so on. I was brilliant at diagnosing exactly what the problem was and troubleshooting to find solutions for him.
He wasn’t exactly brilliant at taking my suggestions though, so nothing changed. Worse yet, before long he didn’t want to be intimate or be around me much, period. It seemed that the sofa was now sexier than I was.
I had no idea that “helpful” in wife language means “controlling” in husband language. I was acting like his mom. No wonder he didn’t want to have sex with me! (Men are not attracted to their mothers, FYI.)
How have you tried to “help” your man, and how has it served you?
How would it fit to try something different? Like letting go of trying to get him to talk to you about what’s wrong? Letting go of making him “wrong” in the first place? Or the next time he is venting, letting go of fix-it mode and just listening instead?
A powerful tool for showing that you respect what he’s saying, whether you agree or disagree, consists of three sweet little words…
“I hear you.”
The more he hears those magic words, the safer he’ll feel opening up and sharing more with you. Which gives him the opportunity to diagnose exactly what he needs.
That doesn’t mean you have to sit there and take whatever he dishes out. Saying “I hear you” and honoring what you want to do is a great out if the negativity is weighing you down and listening to one more word will leave you angry, hurt, or resentful.
After lots of I hear you’s over here, now I can’t be on the sofa, even if I’m trying to work on my laptop, without my husband scooching up to be close to me.
That’s what happens when you give him the breathing room to figure things out, leaving him to his own thinking and being there for him when he is ready to talk.
2) Be Patient but Proactive
When someone is feeling down, any judgment or criticism can come across as kicking him while he’s down.
When it’s the hardest to catch him doing something good, that’s when he could most use such affirmation.
When was the last time you told your man what you love about him? Whether it’s how he provides for the family, his handyman skills, or the goofy way he plays with the kids, what are his strong points?
This may sound like a tall order right now. Why should you have to kiss up to him when he’s so glaringly out of line?
At least, that’s how Cecilia felt. She had completely lost sight of her husband’s finer points because he was in a serious funk. He was depressed, drinking a lot, and spiraling.
Naturally, she was all over him, telling him what to do and what not to do, especially when it came to his drinking.
Nothing helped. It got so bad, she thought he was going to die. At one point, he actually ended up in the hospital, pre-diabetic and at risk of having a stroke.
It was scary. Something clearly needed to change. But, frustratingly, none of her efforts to make it change were working. So Cecilia revised her approach and did something radical: She relinquished control. No more telling him what to do or not to do.
She also quit focusing on all the evidence of how unhealthy he was, including checking his blood work (which was a terrifying read anyway).
She went a step further and started seeking evidence that he was healthy. The evidence was so scarce, she scrambled to find any. Aha! He was drinking water–that was a start.
She even spoke her affirmation aloud, telling him “I love seeing you so healthy!” If she sounded like a crazy person, so be it. She was willing to take that risk on the chance that this experiment might turn things around.
And turn things around, she did.
The following year, Cecilia shared that her husband had just celebrated one year of sobriety in recovery from alcoholism. He’d also lost 75 pounds!
His confidence was through the roof, and the intimacy was so good–“super fun,” in her words.
They were counting their macronutrients together. Who was this man?! He was a man who brought home information on a trainer because he wanted to start going to the gym too.
Cecilia is not unique in being a powerful manifester. It’s the law of attraction: What you focus on increases.
What have you been focusing on and inadvertently increasing?
How could you flip this focus into the reality you want to experience?
Now get ready to find out just what a powerful manifester you are. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
3) Find Your Happy Place
It can be really hard to show up happy yourself with Eeyore around. Maybe you’re just fine–until he walks in the door. Which makes sense. How are you supposed to act happy-go-lucky with a dark cloud looming under your own roof?
The problem is, as the woman, you are the keeper of the relationship.
In my book, that’s a great “problem” to have because it means that you have all the power to create the culture you want.
Betty’s husband was struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues.
She knew she couldn’t fix his unhappiness for him, but she could become responsible for her own happiness.
It was hard to make time for self-care with her rigorous work schedule though. She found a way to quit working summers and to work less during the school year too. This freed up time for long motorcycle rides, spending time in nature, playing with her dogs, and devotional self-care.
These may sound like very frivolous reasons to sacrifice her work. But here’s what happened when she put her self-care first…
She discovered how shiny and magnetic she was to her husband when she was happy. He started calling her throughout the day, just to say hi, and coming home earlier. He’d take long weekends and other time off and plan vacations and fun adventures for the two of them.
And he got himself the support he needed to let go of the burdens he had been carrying.
It proved highly respectful–and highly attractive–to focus on her own happiness and leave his happiness to him.
Just as Cecilia had quit broadcasting her own anxiety and seeing it reflected back to her, Betty quit broadcasting stress and overwhelm. When she started broadcasting happiness instead, her husband got the message that he was safe opening up to her (thanks also to those magic words in step #1).
How could you stock up on your own happiness points? What self-care would make you feel better–physically and emotionally, spiritually and socially–so you can mirror exactly what you want to see reflected back to you?
4) Call in a Professional
For yourself, that is.
I know this seems backwards. Most “experts” will tell you to have him seek professional help. Maybe you’ve already tried. If so, you know that you can’t make him get help because you cannot control another person, only yourself.
You could give him an ultimatum, sure. Something like, “Either get help or I’m done.”
Maybe you’ve reached the point of being able to say that and mean it. Only you know for sure because you are the expert on your life.
If what you really want is to save your marriage and attract back the fun man you married though, trying to control him, including with an ultimatum, will cost you the connection and contentment you really want.
Men do not like being controlled and will retreat further away.
If you see a need for professional help, why not set the pace by reaching out for such support yourself? A good relationship coach or marital support group, like the free Adored Wife Facebook group, is invaluable.
You should not have to go it alone at a time when you could most use the support.
If your marriage feels like it’s falling apart, you might think it’s too late to apply this checklist to bring back your happy guy. But when women on our campus find the courage to experiment even when they think it’s completely hopeless, to paraphrase Thomas Wolfe, miracles not only happen–they happen all the time.
Hi! I’m Laura.
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.