If your husband no longer shows affection towards you in your marriage, be reassured that, though his love may be hidden, it hasn’t left.
You may feel that the two of you have become distant, feel as if your marriage is unraveling, or you may even ask yourself if your husband is having an affair, or wonder if it’s too late to turn your marriage around. When I worked one-on-one with wives who shared your concerns, I began by setting an expectation of achieving very positive results.
The only acceptable outcome when you seek help is a happier and more fulfilling marriage. Yet, I continue to see countless couples visit traditional therapists for months or years, digging into what happened, rather than focusing on what you can do today to rebuild your intimacy and connection.
There is one general ‘requirement’ for success. You must be very committed. You must be willing to put in the energy necessary to learn and practice the marital arts we teach. Trying a few tips from some random article you found online, even this one, will not do the trick; that I promise you!
The good news is that saving your marriage is not dependent on both you and your husband making an effort. Many of our clients are individuals who began the process of saving their marriage on their own and who were tremendously successful.
Your marriage can and usually will shift faster than you think, but not instantly. You must first stop the current, downward trend, then you can begin applying marriage building efforts at the foundational level. From there, your situation will improve steadily, and forever. Achieving a full recovery is not as hard as you might think.
What Is Intimacy?
When you got married you were hoping to live happily ever after, meaning that you thought the intimacy and love you shared would continue to grow and expand forever.
What most likely happened then is that a couple of years after the wedding, or maybe only months later, the affection, love, and intimacy diminished.
Probably you both subconsciously thought that now that you were married, your love and connection would grow automatically, without putting in any effort.
Intimacy is not a goal you achieve by getting married. Nor is it something that once you’ve attained it, it will automatically remain a permanent ingredient of your relationship.
It is the result of a conscious and constant loving effort on your part.
Intimacy is the connection between two loving hearts.
The time you spend together, your communication, and even sex, are all tools you can use to increase that connection.
And you can use intimacy as a gauge to determine the health of your marriage.
Whether you are religious or not, don’t think of yourself as just a bundle of cells getting high on a chemical cocktail we call love.
You are a conscious entity, a soul, and you own a body and a mind. All three are distinct aspects of your being. Eating is a function of the body. Thinking is a function of the mind. Expressing true love is a function of the soul. When you consciously choose to open your heart and connect with your spouse, you are making a connection between your souls. This is the true meaning behind the term ‘soulmate’.
If you don’t consciously open your heart, you won’t connect with your spouse, you won’t share any intimacy and neither of you will be affectionate with the other.
Marriage is an exact science. If you push this button, you get this result. If you don’t push it, you don’t get the result. No connection, no affection. Does that make sense?
When you got married, you were both supposed to open the doors of your hearts to each other and continually put in an effort to express your love and devotion.
Again, you can use the level of intimacy you experience with your husband as a gauge to determine how well your marriage is doing. If you aren’t experiencing the intimacy you crave, that should be a wakeup call that you need to do something different.
Think of how feeling hungry motivates you to eat. Just complaining about the hunger won’t make you feel satisfied and content. Likewise complaining to your husband about what he is or isn’t doing won’t fix the lack of intimacy. You need to change your behavior. The solution isn’t to just have more sex. The solution is to consciously open up your heart and learn how to truly love.
Be The Example For Your Husband
These days there are many people who want to believe that men and women are not only equal under the law, but that they are the same in every way.
However, in the real world of your day-to-day married life, you and your husband are completely different. You were attracted to him because of that difference. He has natural masculine power and other qualities you lack and find attractive. Independent of language, race, religion, or culture, nature dictated these differences at a biological level.
One biologically driven distinction is that few men have a connection to their hearts. Therefore most men think intimacy is just sex. Unfortunately, the world has reinforced that lowered definition through misunderstanding and spreading that ignorance through popular media.
As a woman, you know that intimacy can exist without sex, and sex can exist without intimacy. You are more connected to your heart, so you have a natural capacity for true love. Your husband was the Tin Man who didn’t even know he had a heart until just recently, whereas you’ve been conscious of yours since childhood.
Your open heart is why he married you. His heart was closed off until he married you and you helped him open it.
For that reason, you also have a better understanding of what intimacy is. You are the heart of your marriage. You are the expert in the realm of intimacy and love, and therefore you have a leadership role to play.
This duty isn’t imposed on you by others, culture, or religion, it’s imposed on you by biology, just as hunger is. However, fulfilling that role is still your choice.
Being equipped physically, mentally, and spiritually to become a mother, has made you more in touch with your heart and much better equipped to teach your husband about true intimacy. This shouldn’t be viewed as a burden.
As an equal partner in marriage, both of you contribute your strengths. Perhaps his are driving, lifting heavy items, physical protection, earning money, being a calm and centered pillar for you, and so on.
Your primary contribution to your marriage is showing him how to open his heart and connect it to yours.
Negativity Closes The Heart
It’s not enough to be loving some of the time. The moon is 1/400th the size of the sun yet can completely block it during a total solar eclipse.
So even if you are loving 99% of the time, even a small amount of bad behavior can shutdown your husband’s interest in being affectionate or intimate with you. And from his perspective the same counts for you. Negativity, criticism, complaints, condemnation, emotional reactions, and fighting have no place in your marriage. These are the first things we teach you how to eliminate in our Complete Marriage System because they undermine all of your positive efforts.
Here is an example cheat sheet of behaviors that you have to stop doing:
- Stop fighting, arguing, bickering, or being mean.
- Stop reacting negatively to what he says or does. (We teach you how to do that in our system if you need help.)
- Stop taking him for granted.
- Stop complaining, condemning, or criticizing.
- Stop trying to change or fix him.
- Be sensitive to your husband’s triggers (and your own).
- Stop having unreasonable expectations of him. (e.g. Forcing him to share his feelings before he’s ready)
You didn’t do any of these when you were dating, right? You get the point. Be a nice person that someone would want to be around, ALL of the time, regardless of whether he “deserves” it or not, or is a jerk or not.
“What about me?” you ask. Of course, he should not do any of these things either, but you are reading this article and we are talking to you. You are a loving mother to your children, even when they are selfish and rude, right? You can similarly rise above your husband’s immaturity and be loving instead of negative and reactive.
There is no room for both selfishness and love in marriage. Selfishness, no matter how subtle, blocks intimacy.
If you try to make your husband understand you, you’re never going to feel heard, or even listened to. Very few men have the capacity to understand women. Honestly, most women don’t understand other women either, but they “feel” each other; and that is NOT what a man does! Since you’re reading this article, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not married to the kind of “sensitive man” who could “feel” you, and you probably wouldn’t be happy with him anyway.
Instead of hanging onto expectations of him becoming something he’s not, it is wiser to appreciate your husband for who and what he is.
He wants to love you. But he needs to feel appreciated first. Good men are natural protectors and fixers. They are natural pleasers.
The trouble is that most women shut their husbands down so often that their man gives up trying to please them.
What I have seen over many years is that wives hit their husbands harder and harder with criticism, condemnation, and complaints. Then they wonder what happened.
Women marry men because they fell in love with a man. Then they read some dumb magazine article telling them how their husband should behave more like they do, and they become disenchanted. They complain to their husband, get frustrated with him for being a man, and end up pushing him away.
Your husband is not going to act like a girlfriend! Stop imagining that he will, and it will be a lot easier to experience intimacy in your marriage.
Are the problems in your marriage all your fault? Of course not. Are they all your husband’s fault? Absolutely not.
Both of you stopped doing all of the cutesy things you did when you were dating: smiling all the time, complimenting each other, and enjoying each moment. Instead of expressing your love fifteen times a day, and texting little hearts and emojis, you both started thinking more about yourselves, and less about what would make the other happy.
Then you guys started ruining the atmosphere with complaints, or jabs instead of compliments. Those little things added up and it didn’t take long for it to feel as if the love between you had dried up. It’s still there, of course, but it is definitely buried under layers of negativity.
Regardless of how you got here, the fact is that you’re in this situation. You both dug a hole and then fell into it. Now he’s sitting there wondering why you changed into such a mean person, and you’re wondering why he’s no longer interested in being affectionate with you anymore. Maybe you don’t think you are mean, but we’re talking from his perspective. Maybe you think you do all of these wonderful things for him, but they aren’t the things he truly desires.
The mistake traditional therapists make is that they focus on how you got here or who’s at fault. Unfortunately, that is completely, and totally irrelevant.
What is relevant is that you possess a ladder to help you both climb out of the hole and get your marriage back on track: a connection to your heart and an understanding of love and intimacy. Meanwhile, your husband doesn’t even know that such a ‘ladder’ exists.
So what are you going to do?
How To Set The Stage For Real Intimacy
Improving a marriage can only be done by first learning to understand and control emotional and instinctive reactions, then by removing the negative blocks, and finally by building bridges to connect your hearts.
Intimacy is basically the spiritual connection between two souls who chose each other and then choosing to build a connection, without letting little things undermine it. Sex is one such bridge, but far from the only one.
Now that you have a foundational understanding of what intimacy is, and have shifted your behavior towards being completely loving, let’s look at how to create an environment where you and your husband can nurture real intimacy and affection.
If you want to reach your husband’s heart, it will happen much faster and far more easily by utilizing sex as the platform for the intimacy you desire.
Sex is not intimacy, that is true.
But using sex as a vehicle for intimacy, at least in the beginning, creates a good start. If you follow this suggestion, he will slowly improve his attunement with your affection.
Hopefully, you now understand that men are not biologically constructed to tap into their hearts the way women are. Because of that, men, and unfortunately many women also, use sex almost exclusively for physical pleasure, which is like driving an airplane on the road, and never realizing it can fly!
To nurture your intimacy, you need to refocus your lovemaking.
First of all, realize that his desire for you sexually is not an insult, as some women imagine. His desire for sex is a desire for you!
Never reject your husband’s advances. Realize that when you refuse sex, your husband will not understand that he is being rejected because of bad timing; so always be receptive.
Does that mean you have to have sex every time he snaps his fingers?
Don’t put words in my mouth! It means you have to lovingly accept his advances as he makes them, and redirect them ONLY when you cannot possibly have sex at that moment. But be super loving, complimentary, and smile. Explore other alternatives to intercourse, or when you must postpone, then make it a promise you will keep.
The point is that you don’t have to strip off your clothes every time he has an urge, but if you respond in a positive and loving way, you will not emasculate him.
Remember this: Do not say “no” in a way that shuts him down. If you do, he may feel discouraged and those little rejections start to add up until he stops trying.
Smile when he wants sex; be flattered, not burdened. Tell him how much he turns you on; tell him you get excited by his advances. Grab his hand and kiss him. If the timing is off, tell him you will rattle his bones later, then do it. Keep the spark alive! It really is that simple.
Next, when you do have sex, patiently and lovingly guide your husband into sharing a heart-oriented connection. Help him to lift your connection from the genitals to the heart. Encourage going slower, saying sweet things, making eye contact, caressing each other, but most importantly keeping your attention in the center of your chest. Focus on opening and connecting your hearts together. Use your free hands to caress up to his sternum or the same area on his upper spine to help him keep his attention and energy there. We talk more about intimacy in our program, but this should give you plenty to work with. The point is, you must show him the way.
Cultivate Intimacy Outside Of The Bedroom
In this article, I emphasize sex as the primary tool with which to cultivate intimacy, but you can and should be nurturing the connection between your hearts all day long, outside of the bedroom. Here are some questions to ask yourself to ensure you are on the right track:
Do your actions and words express love to him, from his point of view?
Most women think they express love towards their husband by cooking, cleaning, and so forth.
But men are sensitive creatures who need constant reminding of their “usefulness.” They thrive on acknowledgment and compliments, especially about things they have done or provided for your family. Far too often wives take their husbands for granted and undermine their marriage with criticism and complaints.
If you want your husband to show you affection, you need to prepare the groundwork with loving expressions. If you are mean or cutting to your husband, you will lose him.
Do you treat your man like the finest man in the world?
Nothing hurts a man more than being compared poorly to other men, especially by his own wife. And nothing makes a man feel like a great husband more than a positive comparison to other men coming from his wife.
Your husband needs reminding of how much you appreciate him. Your husband is the finest man in your world and you need to satisfy his competitive nature.
Do you praise him to others?
If you do, tell him, so that he knows you take pride in him. Or speak highly of him to others when he’s present. Start praising him to others, while never revealing private information, and make sure he knows about it. REMEMBER: He needs the ego boost.
Do you make sex special?
Sex is important and a great way to show affection, but it will be “just sex” if he doesn’t see that you do it because you love him. Make sex into a special time of lovemaking. Reduce the pornographic aspect of it and aim for the heart connection rather than just the orgasm.
Do you smile at him just because you love him?
One reason he married you is because of your sweet and gentle nature. A loving smile will show your husband that you think positively of him.
The Bottom Line
Your marriage is like a container. The more sweetness you put into it, the sweeter it becomes for you both to enjoy.
You are the one who holds all the cards in the intimacy department. If your husband does not show affection, the solution is for you to start making the changes I’ve outlined above. And why wouldn’t you? What’s stopping you from creating your dream marriage, anyway?
Intimacy is the goal, but it is also your measuring stick to determine the health of your marriage.
So always keep these points in mind:
- Avoid anything that derails happiness, like arguing and criticizing.
- Consciously and proactively insert loving behaviors into your marriage: smiling, complimenting, etc.
- Seek intimacy—the connection between your hearts—through all of your interactions, and not just in the bedroom.
When marriages are operating as they should, because at least one of you knows what to do and not do, intimacy expands naturally. You can do this!
And if you want our help, we’re here for you.
I have introduced a ton of new ideas and steps for you to take: from controlling your own negative emotional reactions, to changing your habits, to opening your heart and expressing love through all of your actions, words, and thoughts. It’s a lot to remember and take in all at once.
Many women feel like they need more of a helping hand to guide them step by step through the process. So I created an online video course that walks you through the entire methodology that I taught my clients when I worked one on one with them. You will learn from me personally as I guide you through each aspect of marriage in my Complete Marriage System.
To support your efforts at rebuilding your marriage, I’ve also trained and certified counselors who can answer your questions as you are working through the program. Feel free to reach out to them now if you have a question about your marriage.
Unconditional love, security, happiness, and prosperity can manifest in your marriage once you learn how to manage it properly. Marriage is the ultimate vehicle for achieving happiness when used correctly.
Please check out the free trial of my marriage system and start experimenting with your own marriage. We even offer a 90-day guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. You can change everything and regain the lost intimacy and affection both you and your husband crave. So start taking positive steps today!