It can get very frustrating when you've become dissatisfied with your marriage, but are also very unhappy with your spouse's attempt to resolve it. His complacency can make you feel as if he is taking you (and the marriage) for granted.  You may get up your courage to tell him that this just isn't cutting it for you. This may fall on deaf ears, so many wives will try to just live with their marriage or change their own attitude.

When that doesn't work, they will once again urge their spouse to actually do something about the marriage. And they may be relieved once their spouse agrees to try to make some changes and improvements. But then nothing happens and the wives worry about being impatient. But they wait. And yet the changes still don't occur.

Someone might say: "I don't want to be unfair to my husband or to insinuate that he's a bad guy. He isn't. He's a decent person. He is just a bad husband. He takes me for granted. I do nice things for him, but he does not do nice things for me. He forgets things that are important to me. He would rather be with his loser friends than spend time with the family. He is irresponsible with money. At times, he lets down our children. When I bring these things up to him, he gets angry and says that I am nagging. He says that I make him feel as if I can't do anything right. But then, eventually he will get tired of fighting, admit that he doesn't want to lose me, and then he'll promise to 'do better.' I can count on one hand the times I have noticed him make any attempt. It makes me very angry. And it makes me feel that he doesn't love me enough to make the effort. I'm starting to think that he doesn't care about this marriage. And that makes me wonder if I should care. I love him. I wish that he loved me like I love him. Then we wouldn't have these problems. I don't want to give up my marriage. But I don't know what else to do."

Understand That Husbands Do Not Show Appreciation In The Same Ways As Wives. Men Do Not Understand Emotional Needs: I can sympathize with you. But in the whole conversation above, I think that there is one sentence that is vital that you understand. You said: "I wish he loved me like I love him." Many wives have the very same wish. And yet, most of us who have that wish are going to be disappointed. Why? Because we are women. And so the only way that we are going to have someone who loves us in the way that we love them is to have a relationship with a woman - typically friends and family members who are women. It's no wonder that our best friends are so close to us. They relate to us in the way that we relate to ourselves. Women understand emotional needs. Women are demonstrative and comfortable with showing their feelings. Men often are not. They don't show affection and caring in the same way. Asking them to do so is like asking a dog to meow.

I am not saying that you are working with a lost cause. You aren't. You can work with this. But I am trying to show you that if you are expecting your husband to love like you (a woman,) then you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. When a woman wants to show love, she will write cards and letters. She will buy gifts. She will do thoughtful things. She will give warm hugs. Men are different. They will get your oil changed. They will charge your phone. They might place their hand on your back in a protective way. This is how they show love. Is this necessarily fair? Not really. But it is just the way that it is. And it means that you may have to look a little more closely for their demonstrations of love.

Using The Approach That Will Get You (And Your Marriage) The Appreciation And Recognition That You Deserve: None of this means that you need to accept bad treatment or neglect of the kids. Some expectations are more than reasonable. However, in order to get some cooperation, you will sometimes have to be careful in how you approach it. Much of the time, a husband will take any constructive criticism as complaining or as nagging.

So you have to be a little crafty in how you approach this. Instead of focusing on what he's doing wrong, focus on what he is doing right. If he changes your oil, make a huge deal of it. Tell him how this makes you feel loved and pour on the affection. Yep, it may feel as if you are doing all of the accommodating, but watch when he can't do something else fast enough. Is this manipulation? Yes, I suppose. But in this way, everyone wins. You get what you want and he feels appreciated instead of criticized. You have to praise him until the new behaviors become a habit.

You've admitted that you love him and don't want to lose your marriage. So it makes sense to try different methods of positive reinforcement until you find his currency. Once that happens, the rest becomes much easier.

I know that you may be feeling as if you are the one doing all of the changing and the giving, but I learned the hard way, that sometimes, you have to find a "workaround" in order to get what you want.  This isn't always fair, but it gets you what you need.  And often, it's better to be happy than to be right.  Clinging to being right caused my husband and me to separate.  Choosing to be happy got us back together.  You can read more of that story on my blog at

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