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Tired of Begging for Attention from Husband

You’re 5 Steps Away to a Happier, More Present and Loving Spouse

If you’re begging for attention in a relationship, it is so lonely, demoralizing and even demeaning.

You shouldn’t have to beg for attention from the man you married!

I remember the bad old days when my husband didn’t want to be around me, and they were lousy. Fortunately, I learned a thing or two to turn that around completely.

So if you’re tired of begging for attention from your husband, you are in the right place.

Maybe you’re so ready for the hurting to end that you’re trying to figure out how to stop wanting attention from your husband.

But that never works. Plus, who wants that, really? I sure didn’t like it.

So I’ll raise you.

Here’s how to get more attention from your husband in 5 simple steps.

1) Ditch Conventional “Wisdom”

manifestation in marriage

First of all, kudos to you for doing your research. Just by reading this, you’re well on your way to getting the attention and affection you deserve!

The problem is, much of the advice out there is more of the same. And doing the same old thing will get you, well, more of the same old thing.

Like when I used to do research to find out what was wrong with my husband and then pronounce him “emotionally unavailable.”

Yes, I’m embarrassed to say I actually did that! But I had it on good authority from articles I read that it would help somehow to give my husband a negative label, even though it made me feel even more hopeless. Since what you focus on increases, he only seemed less emotionally available with my “diagnosis.”

Then there were the times I tried to follow conventional wisdom by confronting him about his lack of tenderness, hoping to get a crumb of affection. It sounds like a terrible idea now, because who wants to beg for affection? It’s not very attractive, for one thing.

Around here, we call those “Spouse-Fulfilling Prophecies,” or “SFPs” for short. In my experience, women are powerful manifesters, and what we focus on increases. So focusing on the SFP that “He’s emotionally unavailable” or “He lacks tenderness” will get you more of the same lack of affection–or worse.

2) Say Your Piece–Vulnerably

affection in marriage

Ready for a quiz? Which of these statements do you think goes over best with a man?

A) “You completely ignore me when I talk.”
B) “I feel unheard when you use your phone during dinner.”
C) “Let’s make the dinner table a phone-free zone. I love hearing about your day.”

You probably spotted the problem with option A right away: Accusing him of ignoring you is loaded with criticism and blame, which aren’t very connecting but likely to push him further away.

Option B sounds better, right? After all, we always hear that “I” statements are the way to go.

Even the so-called “I” statement, however, is still criticizing him for using his phone and making you feel unheard.

Option C probably sounds the best because it’s so positive. But let’s take a closer look at “let’s.” Hmm, on second thought this is actually telling him what to do. You might as well say, “Quit using your phone and talk to me!” Which is pretty controlling. Which makes it just as disrespectful as the other two statements.

If your respect radar wasn’t so finely tuned to spot that inappropriate control, you’re in good company–mine wasn’t either. That’s why I was so puzzled as to why my husband kept retreating even further even though I was using all the “I” statements in the world.

Here’s what actually worked for me…

Getting vulnerable with a real “I” statement, as in “I miss you.”

There’s no control or criticism in sight with those three simple words. They are so powerful that students around here end up hearing the same words from him!

Here’s something else you won’t hear from some pandering experts, who counsel, “Remember that it isn’t you.”

If it’s not you and you’re just at the mercy of his whims, then that leaves you… a victim. Not much you can do about that. Now, what I’m about to say here may not be very palatable, but it is very empowering: It could be you, at least in part.

At least that’s what I and thousands of students here have found.

If your husband is withdrawn, keeps fighting with you, or there’s an all-out cold war, something else could be getting in the way of the affection and connection you want.

To pull out the big guns to end the war–and this one is big–try apologizing for being disrespectful. Shoot, this will melt not only a cold war but iciness in the bedroom too, as I share in “The Best Aphrodisiac for Men.”

Finally, it’s also vulnerable to express affection yourself. Maybe even a peck on the cheek before he leaves for work or a lingering touch when he pays you a compliment is outside your comfort zone and thus vulnerable.

Little things turn out to be big things–smiling more, sharing more hugs with your kids or others, hiding little notes for your husband about why you love him–in creating an aura of affection in your home.

3) Appreciate His Subtle Side

Gisel’s husband became distant, started talking divorce, and quit sleeping with her. He not only moved to the guest room, he barricaded the door.

Well, Gisel is nobody’s victim, that’s for sure. She knew that respect had gone missing in her marriage, so she decided to boost her practice of that Skill by combining it with the most powerful Intimacy Skill™ of all: gratitude.

Still, she didn’t see much progress in her marriage, as her husband was still talking about getting his own apartment.

Gisel was surprised to find she didn’t fall into Needless Emotional Turmoil about it much. She felt genuinely grateful, and dignified. In fact, she felt so empowered about the way she was behaving with her husband that she observed, “I’m not so sure the Skills will save my marriage, but they are saving me!”

Then, in the middle of a devastatingly honest conversation, right as she was feeling their whole marriage falling apart and they sat in the painful silence that the marriage could be over, she did something unheard of.

She told him why she respected him. Talk about vulnerable.

The silence must have been unbearable, as he listened and didn’t say a word.

Then he came to her and made love to her. He even fell asleep in their bed that night and asked if she wanted him to sleep with her the night after that.

Now Gisel has changed her tune too: “I know the skills are saving me, and I’m astonished to say that they are saving my marriage too.”

Clearly, what she’s focusing on is increasing!

How could you applaud your husband’s unique love language? What strong points of his could you express gratitude for? Even if he hasn’t been showing you attention overtly, has he done so in subtle ways, such as picking up your dry cleaning even when you didn’t ask for it or doing the dishes when he knows you’ve had a hard day?

4) Give Him a Little Eye Candy

You should not have to jump through hoops to get your man’s attention.

I’m sure you didn’t have to when you first met. You probably didn’t have to make much effort back then at all because the gender contrast was already set to high, which is part of what made the attraction so intense and exciting.

When a woman shifts into controlling or pursuing her man, however, which is natural when he seems less interested and she gets scared, the gender contrast lessens and he tends to take less initiative sexually and even in general.

Because men and women are opposites, and heterosexual men are attracted to women, the higher the gender contrast, the more attraction there will be. Men are attracted to the feminine essence of a woman: her feminine shape, spirit, scent and sensuality.

If wearing something that makes you feel sexy helps you feel feminine, it’s easier for him to read your availability signals. Heck, he might not even notice that you tried a different hairstyle or eyeliner style, but if it helps you feel more sensual, that’s what counts.

And trust me, he will notice that.

5) Find Your Happy Place

Gisel knows a secret that goes a long way toward dialing up the gender contrast.

She was having the kind of day where it seems impossible to find your happy place. She had her hands extra full, with both her child and her dog sick, but she was determined to enjoy herself as much as she could. She found a way to enjoy taking care of her sick kid, she watched a movie with all of her kids and even built Legos.

When her husband came home, she easily could have unloaded on him, full of complaints about what a miserable day she’d had. Instead, she was genuinely happy to see him. He responded in kind, opening up to her about his work.

He had not touched her in days, but this is when something magical happened: He wanted to dance salsa with her. The touching didn’t stop with dancing either–he patted her butt and squeezed her boobs.

Delighted and sweaty, Gisel headed for the shower, but he still couldn’t seem to stay away from her. He came into the bathroom and brushed his teeth while she was showering. This is the same man who had been locking the bathroom door and when he wanted to come out and heard her on the stairs would close the door again and wait until she was gone.

Gisel turned that around through filling up on self-care, increasing her magnetism to the point that she is irresistible to her husband. She went to bed that night with even more self-care, listening to The Empowered Wife podcast, playing games on her phone and celebrating her wins with her Coach Training tribe.

How could you fill your self-care tank?

Would some meditation or yoga, reading or a long walk re-energize you?

For some vital social self-care, having your own tribe to turn to lets you come back to your marriage as your happiest self. If you don’t have a tribe yet, there’s one waiting for you in the Ridiculously Happy Wife program. Or, if you’re just getting started, you’ll find a terrific launch pad for the marriage-transforming journey ahead in my FREE Roadmap.

Having a group of like-minded women goes a long way toward rewiring your mindset when negative thoughts creep in too.

Now that you have these five simple steps to getting the attention you deserve, which will you try first?

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.

6 replies on “Tired of Begging for Attention from Husband”

Hi, I love your podcast, I have ordered the book and joined your online group. I tick all the boxes you have described to push my H away and as he said drove him to find someone else that could give him what I didn’t. He tells me over and I we again he doe doesn’t love me, but still lives at home in a different room. He just want to be friends! I am broken to the core, he was sweet and caring, although is not the first time he has an emotional affair (just online) this time went too far, it has lasted over 2.5 years and i don’t know where is heading. The never met, never I don’t think she lives I. India he is in Uk. So what is next for me how to I turn the wheel around? Can I save my marriage? I know God can, but I just can sit and hope he does the work, I guess God also want the to take some Ku d of action!

Amparo, that sounds so heartbreaking. I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. I remember the days when I needed a miracle to fix my marriage. To paraphrase Thomas Wolfe, miracles not only happen around here, they happen all the time!

I love that you’re ready to take action. As the wife, you have enormous power to save your relationship, in my experience. Get a coach so you can stop feeling broken and start feeling desired, taken care of and confident in your marriage!

I really appreciate your practical wisdom, Laura. Today I’m feeling like I really need help.

I’ve been sensitive and anxious about my appearance my whole life, but everyone always told me not to worry because my husband would think I was beautiful no matter what. Last night my husband told me that his relationship with me really was never based on physical attraction to me, but rather spiritual and emotional attraction. He says that physical attraction came later, but now I just feel like I’m drowning in evidence that he has never really been attracted to me. I have always been the one to initiate sex, and we’ve definitely fought about that, but I guess I just assumed it was his low testosterone and the fact that he is older. Now I feel like he was never attracted to me at all. He has always really struggled to give me compliments, specifically telling me that I’m beautiful, but he’s always said this was because of his own emotional hangups and I should just trust that he thinks these things even if he doesn’t say them. Now I’m thinking he’s just never found me beautiful at all.

We’ve definitely had fights about my romantic, emotional, and sexual needs not being met, but they always made things worse. Right now I’m wondering if my years of complaining have poisoned our marriage to the point where my husband will never develop real attraction to me. My husband is truly compassionate and faithful, and I believe he has tried to make me happy, but I’m worried that I’ve hurt him as much as he’s hurt me, and both of us have wounds that may not fully heal.

I’m also wondering if I can really die to my needs. I’m committed to my husband no matter what, but I will need for the Lord to remove my need for romantic pursuit. I don’t know how to begin that process. One of my core beliefs was that a wife has a right to be pursued and made to feel beautiful, and I need to give up this belief if I want to live peacefully with my husband and truly respect him.

Please give me advice. I really need help.

Rose, that must have hurt so much to hear! You shouldn’t have to hear words like that from your man. You also shouldn’t have to give up your need for romantic pursuit to honor your commitment to your husband! What a painful choice. I remember when my husband was no longer attracted to me and how hurt and afraid I felt. So I know there is hope for you to be respectful AND pursued.

I would love to give you the support for your beautiful vision, and your timing is perfect. The 5-Day Adored Wife Challenge is about to begin so you can fix your marriage. You can join us for FREE at

I am enjoying your site. It is giving a new and different perspective. However, I just don’t know where to begin with it all. My husband tells me he loves me all the time and I have no reason not to believe him. However, feeling that he loves and is attracted to me is a different story. I can’t remember the last time he said I looked nice much less that I was in any way attractive but it has been many years. While we have sex at least a couple of times a week affection outside the bedroom is non existent unless it is to imediatly lead to a sexual encounter. It is so bad that about two years ago he put his arm around my shoulders once and I commented later that it made me feel good. He promptly told me he only did because his arm hurt and that propped it up. He doesn’t hold my hand and often if we are going out to eat with a group or some setting he will start to sit by someone else until he sees the look of shock and embarrassment on my face and then he will switch seats which at that point is meaningless. We have been married over 30 years and I want a deeper, closer connection with him, and is it wrong that I want to feel loved not just hear and to feel he is attracted to me and affectionate. Am I just asking and expecting more than I should. If not where do I start. My head is swimming with all the steps and advice out there. I love him more than anything and want him to feel loved and fullfilled and I don’t think he is either. How do you give from an empty cup.

Thanks, Karol. Glad you’re enjoying the site and your new perspective! It can be a lot though. Not knowing where to begin sounds overwhelming.

You shouldn’t have to go for years without the compliments you crave! Or go without affection, especially after 30+ years of marriage. Or feel like you have to give anything from an empty cup.

I still remember when I had nothing left to give and how hopeless I felt. That’s why my coaches and I have helped thousands of women just like you turn things around. I would love to get you some coaching so you can be the next to feel desired, cherished and adored.

You deserve to feel loved and fulfilled.

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