Husband Says I Don't Appreciate Him: How A Wife Should Treat Her Husband

"Appreciation" is the recognition of the value of someone or something.

"Depreciation" is the decrease in value of an asset.

When you think of your partner, are you oriented toward appreciation or depreciation?

Annette and Sarah were part of a businesswomen's group that met monthly. The discussions were focused on business networking, discussion of economic trends, and sharing of community resources. Once the official meeting was over, Annette and Sarah often found themselves continuing in conversation. This time the conversation turned to partners and relationships.

Annette and Sarah had very different attitudes toward their relationships. Annette was perpetually negative. Her descriptions of Sandy's behavior were always focused on whatever was disappointing or deficient. Sandy hadn't done this right or done that enough or had done it too often. It was a litany of how Sandy had started out being so delightful and impressive but had year after year become less worth having around. Sandy was no longer as slender as when they'd gotten together. Sandy wasn't as athletic or energetic. Sandy wasn't as spontaneous; etc. The list was endless. Annette never seemed to tire of listing Sandy's many ways of disappointing her. It wasn't that talking about all these negatives and disappointments made her happy. It obviously didn't. She just seemed to be stuck in a negative way of thinking about their relationship.

Sarah had been married to Jack for almost the exact same amount of time that Annette and Sandy had been together. She however had a very different attitude toward him and toward their relationship. Sarah always seemed to see the best in Jack. Sarah enjoyed sharing Jack's latest romantic or considerate gesture. He was thoughtful about this, he was kind about that, he was attentive and responsive.

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Annette asked Sarah once how she'd found a man who was so exceptional. Sarah had laughed and explained that Jack had grown every year to be a better partner; and she valued him more every year.

Annette asked Sarah if Jack didn't sometimes disappoint her. Didn't she wish he were just the way he was when they met?

Sarah laughed again and said, "Oh heavens no. He's not perfect but he's a much more sensitive and aware partner now than he was back then. And I've come to appreciate qualities in Jack that I didn't know about or value way back when. I had no idea back then how kind he could be to a total stranger or how very patient he can be both with the very young and the very old. His ability to persevere through a very tough time wasn't even visible back when everything was so easy. No, I value Jack more now than I ever did when I first fell in love with him."

Annette frowned. "But didn't you tell me that Jack's losing his hair and that he's working at losing 30 pounds?"

Sarah was the one frowning now. "Well, yeah. Surely you're not suggesting that I value my husband based on his hairline and his weight?" When Annette didn't answer right away, Sarah's eyes got wide as she realized that Annette was so truly stuck in the negatives about Sandy that she really couldn't see her way out.

"Babe, you have things all backward. You're looking at Sandy only in terms of what's imperfect or less than before. What about the things about Sandy as a partner that are good, maybe some things that are even better than before?"

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Annette furrowed her brow. This was an unfamiliar direction for her thoughts. But it was so clear to her that Sarah was happier in her relationship and that wasn't just because Jack was a great guy. Sarah was focused on appreciating the good things about Jack as a person and Jack as a partner.

Astute businesswoman that she was, Annette was all about pitching the best aspects of a product or service. Couldn't she do the same to herself? Couldn't she refocus her attention on Sandy's good qualities, on the ways that Sandy was even more valuable to her than when they'd first gotten together?

Annette found herself excited by the prospect. She'd been stuck in the negative for so long, always focused on Sandy's imperfections. But this was the one she'd fallen head over heels in love with in the first place. She'd been so keenly aware of everything that made Sandy so desirable. Could she turn her attitude around? Could she prioritize thinking about what was good and positive about Sandy?

One of the things that made Annette so successful in business was that she was quick to run with a good idea. She looked at Sarah and said, with a smile, "Sandy is the most honest person I know. I sure didn't know 20 years ago how important that would be in a relationship. You're right, I value Sandy more now than when I first fell in love with her."

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Many couples already understand that listening to each other is critical to building and maintaining a good relationship. On the other hand, too often they equate "listening" with simply remaining quiet while the other person speaks. In their own head they might be thinking, "Oh, I've heard all this before." Maybe they're busy thinking of the best response before their partner is even done talking. For that matter, their mind might be wandering to plans for a round of golf this weekend. That doesn't make someone a bad person, but if their partner is genuinely trying to convey something that's important to them, or to the relationship - it's a lost opportunity to understand a problem or concern that a partner or spouse really wants to convey. They appear to be listening, but instead they're analyzing, strategizing, or simply hoping whatever concern or frustration they're partner is verbalizing will go away.

So what does it mean to really listen?

- It helps, for starters, to put the shoe on the other foot. When you're talking about something that's on your mind, wouldn't you want to know your partner was truly paying attention to your words, especially if you're expressing a true need, a meaningful thought or just wanting them to understand you a little better? Some people complain that their partner "never talks to them" and fear they never really know what their partner is thinking. If yours wants to talk, try not to take that for granted.

- If the reason you find yourself tuning out is because you feel your partner is being self-absorbed and does not reciprocate by showing interest in your needs, share that thought-but do so carefully and respectfully. Try saying things like, "I really want to hear how you're feeling, but in truth, I'm having a hard time right now too. I want to make sure I have a chance to talk as well." Strike a deal, as silly as it might sound, that you'll take equal turns expressing your thoughts.

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- Ask a lot of questions. It not only shows that you're interested, it helps you understand what the other person is really trying to say. Few of us are born as gifted communicators, and asking questions can help your partner clarify their thoughts while helping you understand better. A common therapy tip is to ask your partner if you've heard correctly what they're trying to communicate: "What I think I hear you saying is... " We're not all born as gifted listeners, either, and many misconceptions arise out of simply misunderstanding what the other person is saying. When you repeat back what you think you're hearing, it gives your partner the opportunity to clear up those misconceptions, which can be critical: Maybe you think you're being falsely accused of something, or that your partner has expectations you're not meeting. It's important that you understand exactly what your partner is asking for. Anything less undermines the point of communicating in the first place.

- Try not to "top the story." If your partner needs to talk about a hurtful experience at work or wherever it might be, telling them you've been in similar situations often helps-but sometimes it doesn't. Sensitivity is key. There's a difference between empathy, as in "You know, I felt that way once when... " and dismissal, as in "That happens to everybody (and you should get over it)."

Understand that your partner is experiencing a fresh hurt, frustration or moment of self-doubt. The worst thing you can do is give your partner the impression that his or her problems are "nothing" compared to those of others, including your own.

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- Ask what you can do to help. This might be the most important advice I can give. Don't make assumptions. Your partner might not want any help at all; some tend to assume that when someone vents about a problem, it means they're asking for advice, which might not be the case. They just want to share what they're going through.

On the other hand, if the problem involves the relationship itself, you need to listen and respond with as much clarity as possible. Are they expressing something specific they'd like to change about the relationship? Is this something you're willing to do? If not, why? What compromises can you reach?

Don't get me wrong: listening can be hard work, no matter how much we love our partner or spouse. But following these tips can help clarify the discussions and ultimately benefit the relationship in unexpected ways.

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If you want to get better at understanding men, chances are it's because you want to figure out what goes on in his head when he lays his eyes on someone attractive at work or in public. It's always unsettling, especially when he comes home from work and talks about so and so. You can't help but feel a pang of jealousy. It's not always fair, since he probably doesn't spend as much time with you when he's always at work. My wife had the same problem and to make sure I only had eyes for her, she did these three things to me.

1. Put In The Effort

This is always the simplest thing to do. However, since it isn't the easiest thing to do, women often find that every day, their man drifts further and further away from them. It all starts with an emotional relationship with another woman and gets worse from then on.

Some women prevent themselves from getting complacent. For example, some of my friends listened to my advice, which was to throw out their track pants. They had to fit into jeans, so I told them to just exercise regularly. Not easy, but they're still happily married to their man.

2. Don't Show It

There are a lot of things that are communicated unconsciously when you show jealousy. The obvious thing is that you're insecure. It also unconsciously makes the man more likely to cheat on you.

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If it makes it any easier for you, you can do the same thing to him for men that you meet at work or in public. By talking about it, it actually builds up your own relationship together, since you're more open about these little things.

3. Ask Him What He Wants You To Do

This doesn't have to be anything sexual. It can be something as innocent as something you're wearing. By asking him what he wants you to wear for example, it makes him focus on you and your body.

If you ask him what he wants from you when you guys go out, he'll focus on how he has fun with you. Keep the focus on you and he will focus on you. Us guys tend to waver like that.

If you want to get better at understanding men and deepening your relationship with us, make sure that you keep on putting in the effort in yourself so that we continue finding you attractive, don't show your jealousy and give us reasons to keep our eyes on you to make sure they're less likely to wander to view another woman's derriere.

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In today's world, seminars occupy an important place not only in business and government but in other fields as well. So, it is not surprising that marriage seminars have become popular with many people. In some regions of the world, attending a marriage seminar should precede a formal wedding. This practice has probably stemmed from the expectation that attending such a seminar will help the couple understand various aspects of married life, the problems they are likely to face and the possible ways of resolving them. So, it does appear that people can benefit from marriage seminars. If you have been toying with the idea of attending one such seminar, an insight into such seminars will be of great help to you.

There are two types of seminars on marriages. One is academic, conducted by professionals, those who are specialists in the subject by studying the subject exhaustively for a long period. These seminars will be well designed with well structured modules, interesting exercises, stories etc. and he participants will definitely enjoy the experience. Moreover, attending these kinds of marriage seminars enables the couple to fulfill the mandatory requirement for a church wedding. Whether people participating in these seminars are able to solve the problems they face in their married life and save their marriages is a moot question. We need to compile some statistics to study the effectiveness of this type of seminars.

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The second type of seminars is conducted for those who are already married. These seminars may or may not have a religious bias. The focus of these seminars is on the practical issues faced by married couples and how they can be solved. These marriage seminars provide an open platform for the married couple to discuss their problems threadbare. One advantage is that while an open discussion of the differences by itself will go a long way in minimizing them, the inputs and the feedback from the other couples present will help everyone to look at the issues in different perspectives, leading to better understanding and reconciliation. These seminars can be very effective, if the couples participating are willing to open up their minds. If you are shy of talking out your differences with your partner in the open, you may not be comfortable with these seminars. But the chances are that since there will at least be a few people willing to discuss their problems openly, their initiative will prop up the inhibited people also to speak out their minds.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.


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