Every relationship, old or new, has its highs and lows, while new couples strive to attain stability, the phenomenon can be a threat to the sparkle in long-term spouses.
As the novelty of marriage wears off and you settle into living as man and wife, one or two important things start to wane.
If care is not taken, they can even go out the window completely, one such thing is intimacy. You soon notice that the stuff that made you warm and giggle at the thought of your marriage is no longer there.
The sheer excitement that stemmed from spending time with your husband has faded, and what seemed like blissful, unending love feels draining, you might as well be roommates at this point.
You’ve tried all you can to restore the initial allure of your union, even put aside your ego to beg your spouse for his attention, but his affection just always seems out of reach. Obviously, your way hasn’t worked very well so far, so how about you use some of these tips on how to get your husband to be more affectionate?
While it is okay to let yourself be vulnerable with your significant other, never beg for attention from him or anyone for that matter. As you probably can already tell, not only does that approach enfeeble you mentally, it doesn’t work the way you want.
If he doesn’t comply, you feel hurt, and if he does, the knowledge deep down that he didn’t do it because he wanted to, is just as haunting. If you have to ask for his attention or love, it’s not enough to fill the void that loneliness has created in your heart, so why do it?
Start by reminding yourself that this person isn’t some angry god that you have to entreat. He is human and your partner, so begging love is needy and desperate, and if you're tired of doing that, he probably is too.
Having to hear your plea for attention repeatedly can quickly become as irritating for him as it is draining for you. Don’t beg for love, instead, you can let him know that two can play the game he started. Stop being overly available to someone who won’t put you first, and put yourself in the class you ought to be by becoming a better version of yourself.
People tend to value what they had to work for a bit more than what they get on a platter. He probably feels choked by all the attention you shower him and decides to tune you out rather than listen. So instead of wondering why your husband is so impervious, turn the table around and make him crave your affection for a change.
Understand you can’t change a person who isn’t ready to change, and any extra effort to that end can easily become counterproductive. Incessantly nagging, criticizing, and micromanaging your husband hasn’t gotten you where you want to be with him, so why not try something different?
I know it might be hard to let go and just let things play out, especially when you have kids, but being the bad cop all the time creates a dynamic that makes you less appealing to your hubby. Don’t be the kind of wife that makes her husband the butt of the joke at guys’ night out—a woman who makes the idea of coming home an unpleasant one for her spouse.
No one is asking you not to express your concern on decisions that might affect your relationship or family life, but try not to shoot your husband down at every point. Find a more constructive way to present your idea when his own isn’t the best, just don’t do it by telling him he’s the absolute worst.
It might help to trust that the man you married isn’t a complete idiot and control yourself whenever you feel the urge to cut him off while he’s talking. Perhaps the reason he stopped showing affection isn’t that he doesn’t love you anymore, rather because your being hard to please has caused him to grow a thick skin.
Eventually, everyone grows tired of hearing they are not good enough, especially from the woman that’s supposed to make them whole.
You shouldn’t beg, you’ve just learned that nagging and its relatives drive your spouse farther away from you instead of reigniting his affection, what then can you do? You can ask. Marriage isn’t a one-person thing, it takes effort from both parties involved to work.
Feeling neglected as a wife may be a reflection of how your husband also feels, but mirroring each other’s failures won’t get your relationship anywhere good. Things aren’t how they should be right now, but not for lack of effort on your end. Instead of playing games or appealing to your spouse’s ego by pleading with him to love you, you need to hear directly from the horse’s mouth.
Ask him what it is that he wants from you, and tell him yours as well, keep in mind that this discussion has to be different from those you might have had on the subject. You both need to focus on effectively communicating your needs and listening to the other person. According to Leon F Seltzer, Ph. D, to get your spouse to do better, you first have to find out why he became that way.
Did he stop caring because you don’t pay him attention or put his needs first? Is it your appearance he wants you to change? Is he having a hard time getting over something you did? Is your job affecting your family life more than you think? Not everything is as it seems, and you can learn a lot from open dialogue.
Your dialogue about the elephant in the room won’t immediately overturn the iciness in your relationship. What it can do is to set you, as a couple, on the right path if properly nurtured. After putting it all out, if he begins to make an effort to show you he cares, encourage and support him, even if you perceive it as awkward or inadequate.
As you learn to rein in your controlling ways, try to develop a positive attitude as well. Turning a blind eye when he is obviously going astray just to tell him ‘I told you so’ isn’t the way to get him to become more affectionate. If anything, it will harden his heart even more.
Your love languages may not be the same, but seeing his wife genuinely try to understand him, will prompt any sane man to reciprocate. Although Gary Chapman, the author of The 5 Love Languages, says words of affirmation are the most common, it is only one of five. Verbal approval isn’t the only way to communicate support, but it is one of the best ways to show a man you love and respect him.
More than your words, let your attitude match what you say, open yourself up to welcome your sweetheart back, and let him know you appreciate him trying. Bring back your friendship with him as well, play and flirt with him like the good old days.
More importantly, don’t stop being affectionate when you start getting some of the love you give back, remember, it takes two of you to make things work.
When you say your husband isn’t paying you attention, do you mean not at all or not enough? If it is the latter, you may need to be honest with yourself what enough attention means to you and if it is achievable based on your reality.
If your expectations of what affection should look like are shaped by some fairy tale or rom-com imagination, it might be hard for any real person to meet that standard. Maybe he managed to put you at the center of his world when you two started going out but hardly does that anymore.
Even without saying anything, people you put on a pedestal can break under the pressure of your expectations. Imagine what it’s like when you constantly beg for affection based on that tall order. When you shed your idealistic view of what intimacy should feel like in a relationship, your partner can feel it in the way you relate to him.
When you factor in reality (human limitations plus other things he has to do), instead of trying to reduce him to a fictitious character, he can feel that as well. Accepting him for who he is, not who you’ve made him up to be in your head, makes your affection for him feel real, in a way, you’d be giving what you hope to get from him.
As you get more comfortable in your marriage, there is something about knowing your partner is already yours that makes you care less about how you look. When the relationship first began, you could spend hours trying to look your best for an outing with this man, it didn’t matter what other people thought, you just wanted to be sexy and breath-taking enough to keep his eyes on you.
On days when your dates didn’t require you to dress up, you always put a picture-worthy effort into your no-makeup looks. However, these days, you just don’t see why, since he’s seen you at your worst. At first, it doesn’t seem significant, and maybe your husband has even told you once or twice that you look pretty regardless.
He’s promised to love you for better or worse, so what’s a little slouch? The things he said between the time he began wooing you and when your wedding vows were exchanged give you confidence that he loves you for more than your physique, and he probably meant it.
Here’s the thing, men like what they see, and more often than not, a woman’s body is part of the attraction package for them, like it or not. He may not love you less because you no longer look like the young lady that made his blood rush when you met, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to let him know you’ve still got it.
When you are physically attracted to someone, being affectionate towards that person comes naturally to you. So maybe instead of continually testing if he will still love you if you look your worst, shed the mom weight and look sexy for daddy. Seeing the person he fell in love with when he looks at you ought to do the trick or, at the very least, close the physical gap.
A lot of things can make someone who used to be all over you to stop being affectionate suddenly. He could be struggling with his work, health, or something else in his personal life that he doesn’t want to bother you, his wife, ever. One way to know for sure is to ask him yourself.
Being deprived of attention by someone who means the world to you is not a feeling many people can bear. As a woman or wife, if your partner suddenly withdraws from you and becomes distant, you might resort to begging if you think it’ll get his affection back. You should know, though, the attention isn’t right if you have to beg for it.
First, identify how you would like the attention to be expressed, then have a proper discussion with your husband about it. While communicating, try not to make your request come off as an attack or criticism. Just a wife telling her spouse how to be a better partner to her.
Effective communication is the best tool you can employ when dealing with an unaffectionate spouse. Express how his lack of affection makes you feel in an open conversation, and listen to his side of his story. Try not to accuse him, so you don’t put him in a position where he has to defend himself.
You know your marriage is over when there is no going back in your mind, even if your spouse suddenly starts working on what caused the strain. When the relationship becomes so tiring that the thought of living your life away from him excites you more than patching things up, then that’s a really bad sign.
‘To your own self, be true,’ this should be the bottom line of any situation you find yourself in. You know what you are going through better than anyone, if you feel like your marriage can be salvaged, by all means, apply these tips. Otherwise, please act accordingly. In the meantime, connect with women going through something similar in the comments and spread the word by sharing this post.