The feeling is indescribable. Your stomach drops, and it’s suddenly difficult to breathe. Your mind races, thoughts and fears flying everywhere, but nothing makes sense. What just happened?
Your husband said he doesn’t love you anymore.
Or perhaps you’ve simply noticed the signs: he avoids coming home, he’s grown consistently impatient or critical with you, he doesn’t seem satisfied by your life together any longer.
But you’re not ready for your marriage to end. You want to fight for it – to save it – but you don’t know how.
Be assured that there is hope. Your marriage isn’t over yet, not by a long shot, and we want to help you fight for it. That’s why this post offers 5 tips to help you answer the question that might have brought you here: “How to get my husband to love me again?”
Tip #1: Love yourself first.
That seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? If you’re asking the question, “How to make my husband love me,” it seems like now might be the best time to put your husband’s needs and desires before your own – and it is, to a point.
But before you can love your husband in a healthy way, and invite him to love you, you have to first love yourself.
Read these statements aloud:
I am lovable.
I am worthy of respect.
I am valuable.
Are those statements easy to say? Are they easy for you to believe?
If you don’t believe they’re true, chances are you’re allowing other people, your husband included, to treat you as if they aren’t. You might even be unintentionally inviting others to disrespect and disvalue you by disrespecting yourself.
Heavy stuff, right?
But one thing you have to keep in mind, first and foremost, is that you are worthy of your husband’s love and respect.
You are worthy of being treated with love and respect.
If you feel like that’s not true, consider finding a friend or counselor with whom to talk through your feelings about yourself. How you feel about yourself is the foundation for how others feel about you, and that’s true in your marriage more than any other relationship.
Tip #2: Evaluate your circumstances.
Prolonged tension can cause serious damage to any relationship. Financial stress, long-term illness, and parenting difficulties – plus a host of other stressful circumstances – all cause strain between even the happiest couples.
Can you identify stress in your life that may have caused your husband to shut down or retreat? Has something happened to distance you from each other?
Understanding the cause of the lack of intimacy between you will help you know what steps to take. For example, “What practical steps can I take to alleviate financial stress in my marriage?” is a lot easier to answer than a panicked, “HOW DO I FIX THIS?!”
Panic is easy, but it doesn’t lead to positive results. That’s why it’s always good to take a step back, carefully evaluate your circumstances, and make calm decisions about how best to proceed.
Tip #3: Invite attention. Don’t demand it.
Though it’s number three on the list, this might be the most important tip to answer the question, “How do I get my husband to love me again?” In an emotionally fraught situation, it’s always tempting to demand the attention our hearts’ crave, though no one would describe their words and actions as such.
Demanding his attention looks like saying or doing something just to get a reaction from him, badgering or nagging for answers, and a number of other manipulative behaviors.
How can you invite his attention instead?
- Do something for yourself. Is there something that you want to do that you’ve been putting off? A skill you want to learn? A dream you want to pursue?
Now might not be the time to go from stay-at-home-mom to circus performer, but if there’s something you’ve been wanting to do but have found a million excuses to put it off – do it.
Photography, blogging, painting, jewelry making – the possibilities are endless. Take a class, find a hobby group, or start one with a friend. Do something to pursue an interest of your own.
Too often when a woman gets married, her social circle shrinks as her personal responsibilities grow. It’s easy for us to allow our husbands, children, and careers to become the boundaries of our lives, so that nothing outside of that gets our attention.
But the more we ignore or repress the greater desires of our hearts, the less we feel like a fully-developed character in our own story. We begin to feel – and others begin to see us – like Charlie Brown’s teacher: nameless, faceless, voiceless.
This is not you:
Take what’s unique about you – your dreams, your talents, and abilities – and make your voice heard in the world.
If you want your husband to take interest in you, YOU take an interest in you first.
- Do something that makes you feel good about you. Get a new haircut. Start working out. Buy a new face cream. Do whatever you can to value yourself.
One caveat: Do NOT do it just so your hubs will notice. It’s important to examine your motives and avoid manipulation. If you’re looking for your husband’s attention, and you’ll be hurt or offended if he doesn’t notice, don’t do it. A huge part of inviting his attention is diverting your attention away from him and onto other things.
- Get away. Not forever, not even for a long weekend. But don’t plan your whole life around your husband all the time. Plan a girl’s night out or go on a “friend date” with your bestie.
Again, you’re not doing this to manipulate your husband, but perhaps you’re doing it to manipulate yourself into remembering that you are fun, playful, and a joy to be around. People like you – you like you – and your husband needs to like you, too.
When you get so caught up in your relationship that you neglect yourself, your insecurities will make it difficult to remember why your husband loved you in the beginning.
Inviting attention does NOT mean you put your needs aside and only focus on what he wants from your relationship. However, it does mean temporarily taking the pressure off of him to fulfill those needs.
As mentioned above, you may be overwhelmed with questions and insecurities regarding your relationship, but now is not the time to demand answers for those questions.
Asking a hundred questions will only push him further away. One simple answer to the “how to make my husband love me again” question is this:
Give him the space he needs to process his own feelings.
Chances are that once he’s said the dreaded statement out loud – “I don’t love you anymore” – he’ll begin to think about how true the words are, if they’re true at all.
The more questions you ask, the more he’ll feel the need to defend his feelings rather than reconsider them.
So, what do you do in the meantime?
Tip #4: Focus your questions inward.
In other words, instead of asking him all the questions, ask yourself.
- What do I do that pushes my husband away?
- Do I do or say things that makes him feel unloved or unappreciated?
- Do I nag? Belittle him? Complain about everything?
Take an honest look at your actions and try to see them from his perspective.
Sometimes the very idea of doing so will make us feel defensive and angry. How is this my fault? Why am I the one who has to change?
While those feelings are valid, they’re also counterproductive. Anger, blame, and pride will not fix your broken relationship. What will? Love, honesty, and communication.
But what do we do when our husbands aren’t ready for us to be honest with them?
We get honest with ourselves. Ask the tough questions, and give yourself honest answers. Communicate clearly with yourself.
That means not denying the role you played in creating damage in your marriage.
It does NOT mean taking the full responsibility or feeling as though you have to change everything about yourself to win him back.
It DOES mean honestly evaluating your actions and changing the ones that push your husband away.
If you want to invite your husband back into a loving relationship, you have to create a safe place for him to step into. What can you do to create that safe space? That’s a question you’ll need to answer.
Tip #5: Find a marriage counselor.
There’s a good possibility that your husband isn’t ready for counseling. He might even have flat out said no to the idea, but that doesn’t mean it’s off the table completely.
According to savethemarriage.com, it’s possible for one person to save a marriage, even when the other partner isn’t interested. A counselor can help you by providing professional – and objective! – insight into the issues in your relationship.
A healthy outside perspective might be just the thing you need to help you important aspects of your relationship that you’re blind to when you’re too close to the situation.
I hope these tips have been helpful as you decide what your next steps are to save your marriage. Remember, it is not too late! You can invite your husband to love you again.
Have some thoughts? Share them in the comments!