Ladies, part of me hates to ask you to do one more thing. (In my defense, no one ever said marriage would be easy.) However, learning to recognize the following danger signals can help you turn things completely around in your marriage.
1) He stops wanting your attention.
Part of you may be thinking, “Oh, goody. I’m relieved he doesn’t want my attention. He is a grown-up and can take care of himself. I’ve got too many demands on me as it is.” Everybody needs attention – especially your husband. If he wants you to watch his favorite TV show with him, he may see that as spending time with him and paying attention. If he has stopped expecting any attention from you, you need to start looking for ways to show him he is important. Laugh at his jokes, hold his hand, and maybe get him a drink once in awhile.
2) He feels like there is no middle ground.
If he feels like he has to go to your parents’ every Sunday, for example, he may give up trying to get out of it, but he could be resentful because he feels forced to either go or have a big fight. No middle ground. If you suspect this could be the case in your marriage, start asking “Is that ok with you?” and allow him to say no.
3) He feels like he is a failure in your eyes and/or you will never forgive him.
If your husband has done something dreadful I do not want to be insensitive. There are different stages involved in healing when something awful has happened. I am not trying to put pressure on you to fix anything. However, if you are trying to repair your marriage, let him know when he gets it “right”. Even if there is a lot more work to be done, acknowledge his efforts. If you are not trying to repair your marriage, keep it strong by letting him know you admire him, depend on him, and appreciate him for himself and for what he does for you and your family. This does not make you a weak, simpering, manipulative female! You are giving him what he may not be able to ask for, but what means more to him coming from you than from anyone else in the world. You are giving him a gift which only you can give, and which will return to you many times over.