Your marriage has fallen into a predictable routine and you wonder where the love has gone. You may lament that your husband never brings you flowers anymore or that he doesn't surprise you by taking you special places like he used to when you were first in love. How do you go about getting those things back in your life again?
The way you express yourself makes all the difference. Here are some ineffective ways to attempt to get your needs met:
Criticism/comparison: "You never do anything romantic anymore; why can't you be more like Ana's husband?" Hints: "Sarah's husband took her to their favorite restaurant this weekend and they danced until the place closed."
Complaints: "You never bring me flowers anymore." Nagging: "I've asked you over and over to do something romantic with me and you never do."
Threatening/punishing: "If you don't remember my birthday this year I won't have sex with you for a month."
If you look at these statements, they are all attempts to get your husband to change his present behavior by cajoling him, directly or indirectly. If he were to talk to you in this manner you would not respond with positive, loving feelings. You would feel resentful and defensive. If you want to get your needs met and create good feelings in the process, use another approach.
Instead of hinting, be direct. If you want to go out dancing, tell your husband what you want. Offer to find a place to go and set a date. But, you say, that's not romantic. You want him to initiate. If you have been direct and he has not initiated, plan your romantic outing and stop whining about it. If he is willing and you are able to tell him that you would love to be surprised, that's wonderful. You are indeed fortunate. But expecting him to read your mind and create a surprise will leave you disappointed. Tell him that you want him to surprise you, then wait for it. If you want your distracted husband to remember your birthday, you may need to do some planning, rather than expecting him to remember. Put it on his calendar; write him reminders; plan a date with him.
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