Loss of Affection In Marriage: Love May Be Hidden, But It Never Left

Are you feeling distant from your husband because you have less, or no affection, in your marriage? What does it really mean when the intimacy in your marriage goes away?

  • Is your marriage unraveling?
  • Is your husband possibly having an affair?
  • Is it too late to turn your marriage around?
    This is the most important question!

Let’s begin with encouragement

When I worked directly with women who had this complaint I set very positive results as the expectation; and we met them.

Getting positive results are very reasonable. Why else would someone seek help?

Unlike many experts, I do not believe in spending a lot of time digging into what happened to the intimacy and connection, that now seems out of reach. Learning about past mistakes matters, of course. But only as a way to learn; not to feel guilt. Emphasis needs to be placed on what you will do. You need a positive plan moving forward.

Because most couples are unaware of these things, I insist on you looking at your marital dynamics, so the underlying fabric of your marriage can be repaired.

You will be shown proven methods and techniques that improve your communication and interactions; getting your marriage back on track for the rest of your life.; that is what we are after.

Presently, because I don’t meet with clients in person anymore, and after putting tremendous effort into systematizing my processes, wives can use one of my books as a guide, or use the online courses (better, of course, but not always needed) for the results they want.

There is one general ‘requirement’ one must meet for success. The couples, or wife on her own (half of our clients fly solo at first), need to be very committed.

You must be willing to put in the energy necessary to both learn, and practice, the marital arts we teach. Trying a tip or two you, like those found in an article, even mine, will not do the trick; that, I promise you!

Your marriage can, and usually will, shift faster than you think; but not instantly because the laws of momentum come into play. Your marriage cannot be heading in the wrong direction, and then snap, just like that, be heading in the right direction. But it is not an uphill battle, either. Things improve steadily, and forever.

You naturally first have to stop the current trend (not as hard as you may think), and then you can begin applying marriage building efforts marriages require at the foundational level. It is all laid out.

You can do this. lets look at intimacy, to understand it more deeply

my husband does not show affection
Intimacy Is A Part Of Good Marriage, Nor Just A Goal

Everyone knows intimacy is SUPPOSED to be an integral part of marriage! But most people have not considered how to see it as both a goal, and a barometer of how well your marriage is doing.

In effect, marriage itself is primarily, and mostly, the connection between two loving hearts.

The communication, interactions, sex, the times just being together; these are all there for you to use to increase your connection. We teach the ideals of using those times, and actions, to connect your souls. There is a good reason for the term “soulmates”.

Think of yourself as a soul. Imagining yourself as a large brightly shining globe of light, of love; this is you, a soul. Think of your husband the same way. But in between the two of you souls are your bodies, and your minds! Those are possessions of yours.

Both your body and mind that each of you have are doors to the soul; that is what they are. Because you have free will, unless you consciously open those doors, they don’t let the love in, or out; your connection is blocked.

When you get married, you are both supposed to open your doors to each other, and go further to express your love and devotion. You can, and should, turn the doors into bridges, using them to connect you… Did anyone ever explain this to you? No, of course not. But, still, if you think about this, it makes perfect sense.

The above defines a real marriage 

This philosophy is what everything I teach stems from. Marriage improvement is ALL ABOUT removing the blocks, and building bridges; it defines intimacy, and intimacy defines marriage.

You can change everything! It is about changing how you see your marriage, and doing what you need to do to knock down those doors, and build those bridges.

Sound simple?… don’t worry. It actually is. But you still have to learn more than the “headline” philosophy to make this your reality. But I wanted to give you a ‘picture’, a vision to move towards.

Consider your behaviors an example to your husband

Loss of Affection in Marriage: Wife Role as an Example to Husband
What is your role as a wife?

There is much to do about equality among the genders these days, but the kind of equality people fight for in the “real” world, has nothing to do with marriage equality. Certain concepts have no reality in happy marriages.

Although there are commonly held ideas, and many arguments, about the roles of men and women in marriage, there is something to “roles” that is much deeper than who does what.

As a woman, you are the “heart” of your marriage. As such, you, as a woman, have more of a leadership role in the intimacy department.

Being the heart is not imposed on you by anyone, nor is this a cultural or religious thing. Identifying you as the heart of your marriage stems from the hard-wired realities of biology. (These purely scientific concepts are not discussed anywhere else, or taught in schools, but just because they are not discussed does not lessen their value).

Purely because of biological realities, you are more connected to your heart. So you have a natural capacity for true love. For that reason, you also have a better understanding of what intimacy is.

Don’t you agree? I repeat, this is not political or religous; it is the logic of biology.

As the gender designated by nature makes you the designated mother, you are the one equipped with the right tools; both physically, mentally, and spiritually, to do the job better in the intimacy department.

With few exceptions, women are much more in touch with their feelings.

Most men, in fact, just think intimacy is sex; this is true. Not all men, of course, but most. Unfortunately, the “world” has also lowered the definition of intimacy by using the word to mean sex. But intimacy can exist without sex, and sex can exist without intimacy.

The reason you should take the leadership role in this area is not meant to be a burden. As a ‘partner’ in your marriage, you contribute your strengths, just as you expect your husband to contribute his.

In the intimacy department, where you are right at home with those deep feelings, you can be a shining example to your husband of what intimacy means in your marriage.

Unconditional love, security, happiness, and prosperity. Those are the ideals of marriage, and you can have those when you know how. Your marriage isn’t a political society, after all. Marriage is an “ultimate” human vehicle for happiness.

Loss of Affection in Marriage: Keep Your Expectations in Check
Are you keeping your expectations in check?

I hope to show you the synergistic way to get the intimacy you want, and gets him what he wants too; a win/win.

Setting the stage for intimacy in your marriage is the first step

Loss of Affection in Marriage: Setting the Stage for Intimacy in Your Marriage
How do you set the stage for intimacy?

If you want to reach your husband’s heart, it will happen much faster and with more ease, when you utilize 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.

Be sensitive to what makes your husband tick

Loss of Affection in Marriage: Be Sensitive to What Makes Your Husband Tick
Remember: Making your husband “tick” will only result in fight

 

Avoid deep conversations. Keep your expectations of your husband realistic. He is who he is. He wants to love you. But he needs to feel appreciated, first.

What about me, you may ask. That is a deep topic. I will just say that you can learn more about love in my books, or from my courses. You will be pleasantly educated, and gain so much. But know this; there  is never room for both selfishness and love. Selfishness in marriage, no matter how subtle, blocks intimacy.

If you try to make your husband understand you anyway, 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 “feel” each other; and THAT is not what a man does!

If you sought an article like this, the chances are pretty good you’re not married to the kind of “sensitive” man who does. Truly, you probably wouldn’t be happy with that kind of man.

Instead of hanging onto expectations of him, it is smarter to appreciate your husband for who and what he is.

Good men are natural protectors and fixers.

They are natural pleasers.

The trouble is

Most women shut their husbands down so much that their man gives up trying to please them. Click To Tweet

It’s true!

Women marry men because they want a man. Then they read some dumb magazine article telling them how their husband should be more like them, 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 be like a girlfriend! So, stop imagining he will, and it will be a lot easier to get intimacy going in your marriage.

Let’s be practical about this topic, so you can enjoy positive results

Loss of Affection in Marriage: Don't Stop Doing The Things You Did While You Were Dating
Don’t Stop Doing The Things You Did While You Were Dating

The biggest problem are the smallest things. Living in a marriage is like anything else, in a way. We tend to slip into routines that are all about ourselves.

It’s like getting a new job.

We are initially excited, and go on and on about how lucky we are to land such a good job, making great pay, meeting new friends, and talk about how wonderful our new boss is. But then, over time, we slip into negative attitudes that reduces the fun we first had, and our job performance suffers.

Then our boss is sorry about hiring us, because we become lax and uninspired. Then we may get cranky, and that makes our boss appreciate us even less. Then we wonder; why we don’t get the appreciation we “deserve”?

The cycles of discontent and dissatisfaction become our whole life; complaining and getting bored.

It’s the little things that add up. Our negative behaviors are not BIG, but little things, that expresses our discontent, instead of appreciation; and that is what happens in our marriage.

In marriage, we stop doing the things we did while we were dating.

We used to smile all the time, compliment each other, and enjoy each moment. But after a while, instead of expressing love fifteen times a day, and texting little hearts and cute emojis, we start thinking more about ourselves, and less about what will make your husband happy.

Those “little” things we do, like complaining all the time, or ruining the atmosphere with little jabs instead of compliments, add up. Pretty soon the love seems gone. It isn’t, of course. But it is definitely hidden.

So, what happened to the loving expressions?

Because that’s what happened to the growing intimacy. It devolved into pettiness.

Then it gets worse and worse

Loss of Affection in Marriage: Here Come The Body Slams To Your Husband
Here Come The Body Slams To Your Husband

 

Look, maybe this isn’t what you wanted to hear, but I am telling you the truth. It’s not all your husband’s fault! From what I have seen, wives hit their husbands, harder and harder, with criticism, condemnation, and complaints. Then they wonder what happened.

Now, you need to not only stop what he sees as the attacks, but you have to proactively reinvigorate your marriage.

Sure, I get hate mail from women who think I’m only looking at this from a man’s point of view, but don’t you think your husband’s point of view is important?! Even a good and loyal dog will only take so much abuse before it turns on you.

 

Let’s start with sex

Loss of Affection in Marriage: Do you have to have sex every time he snaps his fingers?
Do you have to have sex every time he snaps his fingers?

 

I am sure you realize men are not biologically constructed to tap into their heart the way women do. Because of that lack of connection, men, and too many women also, use sex almost exclusively for physical pleasure. But that is like driving an airplane on the road, and never realizing it can fly!

Look, what you need to get going into intimacy is refocus your love making, and also patiently and lovingly guide your husband into heart oriented connection during sex. Then your marriage can be redirected onto the path of ever-expanding love.

His desire for you sexually is not an insult, as some women might twist things. His desire for sex is a desire for you! So, you can do this!

Sticking with sex for the moment

Never reject your husband’s advances. You must understand that your husband will not understand when you reject him due to bad timing; so always be receptive.

Does that mean you have to have sex every time he snaps his fingers?

NOOOO!!!

And don’t put words in my mouth! It only means you have to lovingly accept his advances as he makes them, and redirect them ONLY when you cannot possibly have sex at the moment. But be super loving, and be complimentary, and smile, and as you may postpone, make a promise you will keep.

So what’s the point?

It means you don’t have to strip off your cloths every time he has an urge, but if you remember to respond in a positive, 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 for a while. And those little things start to add up.

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; and grab his hand and kiss him. If the timing is ever off, tell him you will rattle his bones later. Keep the spark alive! It really is that simple.

Don’t try to change your husband

Instead, consider how you can be the best spouse possible, and he will show you more affection; just like when you dated. Ask yourself whether you expect too much of him or seek to inspire him.

We are not done.

Here are more questions to ask yourself:

Do your actions and words express love to him, from his point of view?

Most women think they express love to their husband by cooking, cleaning, and so forth.

But men are sensitive creatures who need constant reminding of their “usefulness.” They thrive on acknowledgement and compliments. Mostly, wives take their husband for granted, and undermine their marriage with criticism and complaints.

If you want your husband to show 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 another man, especially by his own wife. And nothing makes a man feel like a great husband more than a positive comparison to other men from his wife.

Your husband needs reminding of how much you appreciate him. Your husband is the finest man in the world and you need to satisfy his competitive nature.

Do you praise him to others?

If you do, tell him so he knows you take pride in him. If you don’t, it is time to refer to him in your conversations (while never revealing any private information). 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 you do it because you love him. Make sex into a special time of lovemaking, reducing the “pornographic” episodes. Go for the connection more 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 tell your husband you think positively of him.

So it all adds up to this.

Your marriage is like a container: the more sweetener you put into it, the sweeter the substance becomes. You are the one who holds all the cards in the intimacy department. If your husband does not show affection, it is best to get started by changing it. What’s stopping you in creating your dream marriage, anyway?

The Important points to always keep in mind

Intimacy is the goal; yes. But it is also the very nature of a healthy marriage. Therefore, you need to

  • Avoid anything, like arguing and criticizing, that derails happiness.
  • Consciously, and proactively, insert loving behaviors; smiling, complimenting etc. into your marriage.
  • Seek intimacy in all your interactions; not just your bedroom.

When marriages are operating as they should, because at least one of you knows what to do, and not to do, intimacy is there….you can do this.

Paul Friedman
Paul Friedman
Founder
Paul has written two books, produced several video programs, regularly speaks on marriage, and continues to guide the growth of The Marriage Foundation to help enrich the marriages of couples around the world.

79 thoughts on “Loss of Affection In Marriage: Love May Be Hidden, But It Never Left

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Don’t give up, but learn how to turn your marriage into a loving hive of happiness

      • TeriReply

        This opened up so much and spoke to my heart cause everything that was said I’m doing to my husband I need to be better so I can get back to where we were.

  1. Anna RyanReply

    My precious daughter has been married for over twelve years now to a very good man, they have only one child and have spent the last 9 years in a low to no intimacy mode. Everything she tries to talk to him or make any advances he says no, thus making her feel rejected and discusting. What can I do to help her, I’m afraid for their marriage and my precious Grandaughter

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Anna
      It is difficult to answer your question because there is no telling how receptive your daughter is to your suggestions, especially if they are second hand.
      All you can do is pray for her, as she will have to decide she wants to face her reality, and then decide she wants help. We pray with you.

    • PoshReply

      I have been married for 7 years now. I was taught that I should meet my husband’s sexual needs, which I try as much as I can. It becomes difficult to have sex with someone who does not seem to care about how the other person feels. He minimizes my feelings sometimes, chooses other things or people over me ( he would cancel on whatever plans we have, if something else comes up). Sometimes , I give in to sex while feeling broken inside. I feel like I am betraying myself over and over again. I tell him at times that he really hurts, but he acts like I am being petty or even negates my feelings. When I express that our marriage is not in a good place, he feels like there is nothing wrong with our marriage. He really takes me for granted.
      When I feel hurt by someone and try and be comforted by him, he will always try and justify the other person.
      I really do not know what to do, but I feel like giving into sex, teaches him that he can get his needs met and that mine do not really matter. I really feel used on so many levels.

      • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

        Dear Posh
        The feelings you have are so painful and difficult to live with. But you do not have to! One of the killers of marriage is over-familiarity, which manifests as taking for granted, so your conditions are pretty normal.

        The good news, and trust me, it is VERY good news, is that though it feels all wrong to you your marriage is not near a disaster as so many who come to us for help have waited much longer. But you do need to get “educated” so you can do the things that re-inspire the love. Please, read either of my books. You will find all the answers in there. And, the good news is you don’t need the course. I am sure you will be be able to turn everything around. With your sincerity and openness all its going to take is some direction.
        Let us know how it goes.

        • PoshReply

          Do you mean even when there is gas lighting, name calling , being shouted at and minimizing feelings, that can still work? My husband is a preacher, he cancelled our anniversary because ha was put on the calendar to preach. He had 2 weeks to find an alternative but he chose to sacrifice us. Unfortunately he does that all the time. When he gets home from work, he either sits in the bedroom or lounge sofa and have a bonding time with his phone. The only interaction, if there is at all is to shout or correct something that is been done wrong. Had a slap not so long ago. I really do not know…

          • Paul Friedman Post author

            I had to ask myself if he is this way to everyone, and the answer is an obvious no. He is a preacher, so he doesn’t fit in the category of unsavable.
            I then asked myself why he would avoid and reject you. That is an answer I cannot come up with. But you can.
            Then you can eliminate the behaviors that are offensive, because you have free will. Then, we can see if makes a difference.

  2. DebiReply

    You stated that if we, the women, aren’t affectionate and want sex with our man then it’s our fault that the men aren’t affectionate.
    That’s just plain bull. My husband of 43 years has been affectionate sometimes . He grew up in a household that showed no affection. Yes his parents never showed affection to their granddaughters. My parents were full of affection and always showed it . Now when I would like some kisses or mention that I look nice and yes sex there’s nothing. He says he will try harder but doesn’t.
    A couple of years ago he had an affair with a co worker but says nothing sexual took place . I’m not stupid. During this time he was affectionate , but also towards her . His fling went on for 2 years before I found out.
    I love my husband but I’m afraid he is not in love with me anymore. I’m not perfect I bring it up and ask him why. Nothing ! I get nothing. After all this I’m sick of being his housemaid .

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Debi
      I couldn’t find where I stated what you saw, so, please tell me where it is so I can re-word it, because I do not agree with the premise.
      However, I as I read your message I saw that you are not contentious, but really struggling. It is a shame, because you seem like a loving balanced woman with great intentions.
      If you do our program (and I hate sounding like a salesman!) your marriage is sure to come back in ways that are better than it ever has been. I am serious.

  3. jonie belleReply

    we have 4 years in relation and we had a baby … my problem is why he didnt propose … i am still waiting for that time to come … what might be wrong to us ??? and what should i do pls.. help .. i love him so much and his the only man i love … i always do my best and always show appreciation to him .. but why is that i cant read his mind

  4. Olivia AReply

    Thank you for your article. After realizing I am attempting to become indifferent entirely with my husband after only 2 months of being married I Googled “My husband is not affectionate” hoping to get some answers. I appreciate your advice and insight to this situation. I thought my husband was “weird” because of his seemingly extreme lack of physical affection. I blamed it on his level of self discipline due to the fact he was a 40 year old virgin when we got married. After our marriage I realized he truly does not know HOW to show physical affection. My “natural” displays of affection seemed to not have the impact I was expecting from him, which popped in my thoughts after reading your sentence “Keeping your expectations in check..”. I did feel a sense of conviction after reading your article. His vs Hers expressions of love is eye opening since I tend to only see my perspective on the relationship. He expresses his love in actions rather then affections so I am grateful for that #1 question you posed. Fact is unknowingly I did have expectations that were very high. I was aware I would have to be patient but hadn’t considered the reality of being the teacher in both sex and affection. I pray for wisdom, understanding and patience. Another article I read suggested creating a list of both of our needs, in other words…literally penciling it all out. Ie…#1 Hug and Kiss your wife and tell her you love her every morning etc. The combination of suggestions hopefully will be do the trick! Thank you again for the article.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Olivia,
      I am glad you are open to the situation you are in together. I would not, however,suggest such a list. I think as you open up to your husband, and slowly nudge his envelope, you will have deeper results. Moving from mind to heart is a process for the heart.
      Wishing you great joy.

  5. areareatzsReply

    This article suggests that it is the woman, who is not doing something she should do in her marriage. This article is about how women should change just because their men are unable to do so. This article also suggests to have sex and even more sex with a husband who is not affectionate in order to become so. Although I agree that it is sometimes more difficult for men to show their affection but I believe the above article is not only degrading the existence of women but also degrading to men, depicting them as dumb sexmachines, who can only be manipulated with the help of sex. Maybe the writer of this article would be happy being the subject of such manipulation but as for me, I neither wish it for my husband, nor would be more satisfied with the kind of affection more sex, manipulation generates. But of course, maybe “affection” means just sex for some people, but in my vocabulary, it is a very complex thing including love, and care and kindness, as well as deep understanding of the other person. Forcing out any affection from anyone with sex might sound a good idea at first but will it last? Besides, why does any men think, that it is a woman’s duty to willingly have sex, even with her husband, who cannot show deep enough emotions to initiate a most intimate and loving interaction a man and a woman can ever have? Based on the article I might as well go and change any men around into an affectionate loyal pet by only having sex with, regardless of the fact whether he has any affection for me or not. I think it is high time that men stop being lazy and careless about their relationship and finally GROW UP and CULTIVATE their marriage and relationship instead of just expecting to have enough food, beer, fun and sex.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Areareatzs
      Naturally you read into the article what you are having difficulties with. Your inability to close the gap between what works and your philosophies of what “should” be is not unusual. The truth of the matter is what is in the article are accurate from a psychophysiological point of view. I would suggest you get one of my books, which explains the nature very scientifically. You can be more in tune with what is realistic without condemning it, and be far better off.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Taralynn
      Our method of inspiring and teaching people is through our online programs. You will find real solutions there.

  6. AmyReply

    Our marriage has basically been horrible, we’ve been together for almost 50 Years! I won’t use the word married, because I’ve never really felt like its been a marriage. Since day one we’ve only had sex maybe a half dozen times. He told me that sex with me was disgusting, vile, smelly, messy to the point of throwing up. He wanted nothing more to do with sex intimacy or me. He then moved to our basement and started working the midnight shift, since then till this day he lives down stairs, we never talk to each other or interact. The only thing we share is our home. He doesn’t do porn or have a sweety on the side. So now that I’m older I just don’t care any more.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Amy
      I know what most people do not; that the lives of many are filled with so many various disappointments. But, I also know it is never too late to supplement our individual lives with meaningful activities; and move forward into the future with a sense of awe and adventure.

  7. crystalReply

    I think that this article should be applied to men and women in its entirety. I think love is a two way street. The same questions you ask about praising your man and him being the finest man in the world, are also true to women. Women have just as much if not more insecurity in these areas as men do, and men tend to do these things less often than women. I believe men are very capable of taking this article and applying it to themselves as well. If both men and women make these kinds of efforts together, the relationship can in fact be rekindled. No one gets a free pass on neglecting their duties to their relationship, you both will get out what you put in. Its called “reciprocation”. Love the article, just think it really does go both ways. Thanks for the read.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You are right Crystal…men need to treat their wife with all the love of their heart mind and sol..but this article was written only for women. Though I have never gotten an email from a man telling me their wife was on porn sites…men and women are not the same.
      In fact our programs are written to each gender separately.

  8. wyneReply

    I have been married 35 yrs. For the first 17 yrs. I was the one who would be the first one to be affectionate and the one to start sex the most. As a woman I needed the touch but honestly I didn’t feel like a woman,, I felt like I was having a marriage with myself. So I stopped, now nothing. I think he is so selfish cause he know I need this. I think he is content cause he now doesn’t have to be bothered.

    I don’t agree with this article. After many councelors and self help books, I have learned that women are responders,,, it is the husbands duty to romance, touch and start sex most of the time, if they don’t a womens just feels dead inside…. i’m done……

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Clearly all the self help books and counselors you have sought help from have failed you. Yet, you declare that my advice is wrong?
      Your marriage is not working, otherwise your sex life would be working, as the sexual relationship is one of the flowers to be harvested in a healthy marriage. I suggest you read one of my books, or use our program, so you have all your issues resolved.

  9. MrsCPReply

    Men need to feel needed/useful in a relationship, and from the sounds of it, most women (I know and here) seem to get that. So why is it most men can’t understand the simple fact that women need to feel desired/appreciated to be happy?! It’s soooooo simple! It takes two to tango and women can’t always be doing all the work and caving in. I mean, you can repeat the same things day/night on what you need to hear/feel, what they need to hear/feel, and use “I” and not “you”, but it’s pointless most of the time ’cause after a week or so, you’re back to square one. Then, because you’re only human, you get to a point where you’re fed up, give up trying and start ignoring them…suddenly, the light turns on upstairs. Why does it have to be so hard?! Why is it so “complicated” for most men to make their lady feel special, beautiful, sexy, desired, appreciated, etc on a daily? If we could manage, so can they – doesn’t take a degree.

    As far as expectations go, if you set low expectations from your spouse, then who should you expect high ones from?! I’m sorry, but, I expect my husband to be wonderful in every way and he expects the same from me. I wouldn’t want my husband to only put in 80% into the relationship. I expect 100% as I give my 100% too. Which is why wishy washy affection annoys me.

    On the sex front, I’m pretty certain I speak for most women when I say that it’s very hard to get turned on (like flicking on a light switch) and have sex when we feel under-appreciated, undesired and unattractive. It ain’t gonna happen, and if it happens, it definitely feels unnatural and was the furthest thing from our minds (’cause the underlying issue is still present, and deep down, we’re not happy and we know sex doesn’t resolve anything).

    The recipe is so simple…*sigh*

  10. Sara PaineReply

    My husband and I have been together for 5 yrs. The whole I did not get what I gave. I treat him like he’s the finest, the only, and the best. I give what him what he wants, serve him, and make most of the money. I’ve had to earn his trust. In the past year I have had to take in my sister with cp, lost my mother and my grandmother, and I still dont get any affection or consideration. He gives my sister more. I know he Loves me. He was a bachelor for 36 yrs till me. So what else can i do to get him to stop hurting me, and want to make me smile?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Sara
      You supplied a lot of back story, but back stories only create more confusion than anything else. Your marriage is not working, and it needs to be looked at against the pattern of a good marriage. Please get one of my books, so you can see where your efforts are falling short, and you can have some idea of what you should be shooting for.

  11. MarieReply

    Been married 43 years. I love my husband, and take very good care of him. The problem I have is I’m tired of being told during sex that he needs something that turns him on to make him affectionate. He enjoys sex but it is all about him. Tells me other than sex he can’t touch me it doesn’t please him. I’m over weight, wear a size 16 clothes which at 60 isn’t too bad I don’t think.I try to talk to him and his answer is fine, I will leave you alone. That’s not what I want. I would just like for him to caress me, kiss me, hold my hand and tell me he loves me. It is horrible when your trying to make love to hear you need to lose your weight, or I can’t stand to touch you it turns me off. I can’t make love to you because I can’t stand to look at you. I’m tired and feeling very unworthy. I give this man everything I can. This has been going on for about 7 years and I’m not getting any younger. I’m afraid I will give up soon.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      It is true your husband is insensitive to you, and the reasons he gives you for holding you at arms length are not truthful. But the truth is hidden to him, as well as you.
      No matter how long some couples are married, unless you worked on developing a true connection your relationship is shallow, as yours is.
      It does not have to remain so, and because you know each other so well you have quite a head start. But to develop what you wish, which would give you the foundation for what you express you want, you need to consciously do what it takes to build love in your marriage.

  12. John MorganReply

    Every site I read puts the male as the one that is unaffectionate, well I want to let you know , like in my marriage, the women is the culprit who shows no affection and says it’s not important. It’s just that most men won’t complain as much as women.
    John morgab

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Lets not confuse affection with sexuality … the problem is that our society is not a good teacher about love. So we equate sex with affection. They are NOT the same thing… read Lessons for a Happy Marriage, or Breaking The Cycle, which I wrote, and then get back to me. I think you will learn a lot!!

  13. John MorganReply

    Paul, That is an insult. Don’t prejudge my mentaI ability to seperate genuine affection and sexualty . I am a medical practitioner with a minor in psychology and I know the archaic difference you speak of between sexuality and affection although without affection there can never be genuine sexuality unless you are an animal.
    In the past I had dated women who could have benefited from what you mention because as long as I had sex with them everything was good but as soon as I wanted to hug, cuddle, have an heart felt conversation or spend quality time with them and enjoy just being with them they thought I was a freak.
    Why do people think ALL men equate sex with affection when some women also don’t get it and a lot of men are hurting as a result slso but our ignorant society try to tell men to hide their feelings and that is a severe disservice and major psychological malpractice.
    Give men a little more credit than you do for being able to have real and genuine affectionate feelings for their wife without needing sex to follow. That ignorant. I taking about just sittings together, holding hands no a spontaneous hug or two initiated from her. All with no intention of sexual consequence. As a matter of fact, if my wife can’t figure out that affection(not just sex) is a major component of any real relationship I will be forced to leave and hope to find a women who appreciates genuine affection from the heart.
    John

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      John
      I allowed your email to post because it is a great example of what happens when the mind is triggered and drags you, or any of us, down the reactive rat hole… your comment is immediately defensive, not inquisitive. Had you not been triggered your reaction would have been to seek an understanding; not make sure you were not “insulted”.
      Why would I want to insult you?? I’m here to help people, not put anyone down!
      Your summation of sexuality and affection is incorrect, John. But instead of suggesting Lessons For a Happy Marriage to you I think you would find Breaking The Cycle more useful, because of your education.

      This public forum is great for me to help many people because I can select certain questions whose answer fits the needs of many. But your needs are personal, and you will do better asking one of our counselors through our contact-us link

  14. Babs SmithReply

    I am in love with, what I would have called a year ago, my best friend. We met online almost 5 years ago and have been in each others lives ever since. We fell in love when we first met, but due to the distance from each other (I lived in Canada, he in the States),and due to him not wanting to induce me to move away from my children (both are adults now) he broke off our initial romance. Two years ago, when my paperwork came through so I would be able to move down here, he rekindled our romance. I moved in 6 months later when I arrived in the States. We are engaged. We love each other. We work at shared goals. He has gotten custody of his daughter and we work together at raising her. I praise him. He praises me, although not quite as much as I need. The HUGE issue is his lack of affection AND his unwillingness to have sex more than a handful of times per year. He will admit he needs to physically show me more often what he verbally says (I love you). I have NEVER refused any sexual advance he has made. I don’t dare. It will be weeks or months before I get another chance. I sought out this article because I truly need to understand why showing affection to me is so hard for a man who truly loves me. He seems much happier for me to act as his buddy who he occasionally has sex with. Unfortunately, this is causing true resentment for me. If we could compromise, and incorporate more affection and DEFINATELY more sex into our relationship, then it would be pretty much perfect. When we go out as a couple he is attentive and affectionate but not at home. I am going to continue to try to get answers from him hopefully without making him feel like I am attacking him as I really need us to sort this out, but some professional thoughts would be very helpful. Thank you, Babs

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Babs
      These kinds of questions are usually answered in private, when people reach out to us. But we have seen enough similar questions to get me to answer yours publicly. So a lot of women are going to be grateful to you!

      The answer is pretty simple, actually; I think. Because you may have already tried this… The word that sums up what I suggest is “seduction”; you know? Dressing and moving provocatively, setting the stage.. even “attacking him” while wearing nice scents and cloths..

      If you have not tried it, which means taking a direct approach, another thing you might try is massaging him into the mood (in the right spot) while you are slipping into sleep mode, or waking up in the morning…

      Let me know if that has been tried, or how it works if you haven’t tried it

  15. JenReply

    After scrolling through the intro and getting to the intention of this article, I was so pleasantly surprised and eagerly challenged by the raw philosophy presented on this subject!

    But then I was disappointed… over and over again.

    The author acknowledges the demographic of this article’s average reader as being women who are dissatisfied with the state of their marriage….

    Paul Friedman: I removed 5 pages of “argument” because my heart was breaking for Jenny. She was searching for advice because affection is missing from her marriage, yet she took the time to write a 1500 word essay challenging the points she came across; instead of just moving on.

    Of course I recognize the principles I share are controversial! But after 100 years of psychology based approaches to helping marriage all we have to show for it is a high divorce rate and a low approval rate for most marriages… You are NOT alone! Most marriages are what I call subsistence marriages.

    All it takes is a shift to achieve the most incredible marriage possible. My job is to show you how to make that happen, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    I pray for you, Jenny.

    …But in the end, a worthwhile read!

  16. Okafor maryReply

    I appreciate your wisdom and understand toward addressing marriage issues. I have been married for two years now. My husband don’t express his emotion in any way. For example he bluntly told me that he doesn’t Like kissing.i have tried talking to him about it but he refuse. He fines it hard to appreciate me. Please i need your help.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      This is not the kind of thing I can speak about in a public forum. Please send your questions to our counselors. It is free, and they will help you in any way they can.

  17. Mrs. Very TiredReply

    He read the article and I appreciate the advise but I get tired of always feeling guilty about everything. I also have to come up with stuff and its life draining because as a woman I have kids, career, home, and other things going on. I do every thing in my marriage and the only thing that excites my husband is the tv. Yes he works and pay bills, but He rather seat up all night watching tv instead of turning the tv off some days and spend time with me. I will not continue draining myself trying to please a man that doesn’t even try. I see if he would try but he dont care so I’m just here…

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I’m certain you didn’t try everything, or your marriage would be a hive of happiness.
      I know you think you have, but my guidance will change things for you. Read one of my books. But it may be past that. Try the course. There is a five day free trial.

  18. Mrs LonelyReply

    Thank you for the article, it’s interesting. However, if “Let’s start with sex” is the only way to start, I’d get lost. My husband is not interested in making lovewith me. I’m not happy that he no longer desire me sexually. I want lovemaking with him but I get rejected most of the time and it hurts me a lot. He uses every excuse to avoid it. I finally stopped asking to protect myself. It’s humiliating for a woman to ask/initiate lovemaking and get rejected. Now we are in a sexless marriage and it seems to be fine with him. So I can’t use this method.

    I don’t think he is involved in a relationship with another woman, but simply he’s not interested in me anymore. He wanted to sleep alone so we separated bedrooms. He spend most of the time at home to computer games and don’t want to be bothered by me. He gets irritated when I talk to him so I’ve been trying to talk to him as less as possible. I feel lonely but things had never changed whatever I tried.

    We are both 47, married 22 years. We used to have sex every other day for the first 7 years until I got pregnant, so I don’t think he is “asexual”.
    What should I do if sex isn’t an option? Can I still have a hope?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear One
      There may be some issues around your sexual interactions, but its doubtful that is the underlying problem. What you describe is a stagnant marriage, and often times, no matter how long its been that way, you can learn enough foundationally from one of my books. But if things have gotten past that point I suggest you watch this video I just put up on youtube that explains the system I use in our courses. My hope is that Breaking The Cycle would be enough for you.

  19. PaulReply

    Dear Paul, thank you for this article. Although it might sound strange, in our case my wife is the one who has been showing very little and close to no affection in the last 5 years or so. We have been married for 15 years. She will not use affectionate words, touching and has no interest in sex. She will only respond to us making love if I initiate it and only out of duty, same for all romantic gestures. I have told her that I cannot take it anymore, and if we both don’t do all that is necesarry I will divorce her. Now she is telling me that this is her way of loving me, in a cold type of way, that she doesn’t need more from me and neither should I expect more from her. She is very happy with me this way. I take care of all the needs of the house, spend time with her and the kids, treat her nice, and so she is quite happy. What can I do? I am a christian and I know that divorce is a bad thing, but on the other hand I feel like there is no point in our marriage as love has gone out of the window and will not come back. We have discussed and I told her that if we divorce I will provide for all her future material needs, even continue to spend time with her ‘as friends only’ and move in walking distance from our house so that I am always there for our kids (8 and 3 years old). I have read this article several times already, even asked her to read it, but she wouldn’t bother even with this. Waiting for your kind answer. Thank you, Paul

  20. Paul Friedman Post authorReply

    Dear Paul
    A lot of people, both men and women, will relate to your well articulated response. Unfortunately, both you and your wife are “stuck” in a paradigm that is all too normal, because of the generally accepted misinformation about what marriage is. But you can still learn how to receive the benefits that are yours for the taking… when you understand.

    Although I must compliment you on a creative approach that appears to satisfy both your paternal and familial obligations, I am sure it will not work in “real” life for a number of reasons (too extensive for this response)… so, what to do?

    Although you are a Christian, which means I could point out some dogmatic “directives”, it is not my way to tell people what to do.
    I experience God as our father and mother. My experience is they prefer to show us how to be happy though right behavior. In other words, I see all His commandments as ‘rules for happiness, rather than discipline; for which we are rewarded.
    So, accordingly, there is a very big element missing in your strategy; happiness.
    Sure, in your mind your strategy appears to remove conditions of suffering, but not the true cause of your suffering. The real cause of your suffering is the absence of unconditional love; on YOUR part!

    As a child you received unconditional love from your parent(s). But nobody told you it was so you could learn to give it to your wife, when the time comes. So, I’mt telling you that now.

    Until you learn how to override the drives, the mind, the habits, and instincts, and give love, to your wife, with all your heart, mind, and soul, you cannot experience the love that brings ever increasing joy. That love is what is missing, and it is not your wife’s fault.

    Now my pitch; you may be able to gain what you need in terms of education from one of my books, which many do when they are not as far gone as you seem to be. But my gut tells me you need the hand holding progressive steps that are in the courses. I suggest you get it for yourself, and don’t worry about your wife. Lets just work on you. Let’s see if it does the trick. Because you are clearly noble and deep thinking, I am pretty sure your life, and your marriage, will become amazing.

    And, feel free to write to our counselors. They can help you just as well as I…. God bless.

  21. Nicole JefferyReply

    l just want to say that as a woman and a wife reading this has been the best thing l have read everything is so true what you’ve written and being in a struggling marriage you have opened my eyes thank you so much l hope that my marriage will get better as l try to take your great advice I’m not sure why any woman would get mad at you for your great words probably because like myself at first l didn’t want to admit that iv turned him away but please pray for me and my husband in this struggling time❤️

  22. Van JReply

    I disagree, and believe, that it is Societal construct that says women are more intimate than men, and that they naturally understand the thing if the heart better. In the secular world when men are having affairs at supposed serial levels. I recall it take two to tango.
    As an anecdotal but of evidence to my claim, isn’t it interesting the vast amount of the great romantic stories, beautiful love songs, poetry are the creation of men. Biblical even, the story stand true.
    Women’s addictions to pornography is also on a rapid rise, contemplate that fact.
    By the way, I believe men will take an interested loving and intimate woman over “just any woman “10 to 1.
    The Church taking cues from the world is a primary distortion of the true nature of men.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Van
      I’m as far from being a dogmatist as is humanely possible. I use hard science for everything I do, from deciphering human schematics to structuring the courses and books I’ve produced to help marriages. The biological influences I reference are not unknown. All I have done is given them context in marriage, without embellishment.

      Men seek unconditional love, just like women. It’s not the intimacy they need, but intimacy is just one of the flowers.

      If you need some help with your marriage I offer to you that arguing with people like myself, who have developed legitimate programs that will guide you, is a distraction from your real mission. Feel free to write in to our counselors. It may be all you need is one of my books. But if you are already googling you are past the point of a little tip helping you.

  23. FranReply

    Some good advice, but I never heard a biological difference in genders makes females have more heart. What are you trying to say? What study are you referring to?
    I believe men are less able to be vulnerable and tender is because so many have been raised to think it’s not okay to show this side – then we marry them and wonder why they can’t be gentle and soft and show affection. I think it starts with raising boys that know it’s okay to be ‘emotional’ and shift our culture away from toxic masculinity.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Fran
      I hope you use the advice to your husband’s and your increased love and devotion. If that is what you got, then I have done a good job for you, and I’m pleased.
      As far as science and studies go what I present is basic to biology and psychophysiology, not really controversial. I tried to explain as simply yet coherently as possible. However, the genesis of the gender differences is irrelevant compared with recognizing that your husband does not think and feel like you do, and it is not an individual problem, but a “species” difference, if you will. I bring this up to curtail resentment or taking his behavior personally.

  24. PoshReply

    His father is a preacher, and has a history of physical abuse towards his mother. He is also very angry, and seems to shout a lot when things do not go his way. So I don’t really know. My husband does not want to go for counselling. He says, our marriage is ok , so as I am the one who is not satisfied, it is my responsibility to come up with suggestions, on how to make it work.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I wouldn’t use the word “responsibility”, but I WOULD read either one of my books. It basically sounds like you are both good people, but don’t know how to benefit from your marriage… start there, with a book. I show marriage as a framework for happiness and discuss how to make it so. You will be fine.

  25. LindseyReply

    Wow! This hit the nail on the head! My husband isn’t my girlfriend he is my husband! I know what I need to do now to get the intimacy back that was lost getting wrapped up in routine with work and the kids! Thank you!

  26. HeatherReply

    I’m glad I’m not alone in these feelings of loneliness and loss of intimacy my husband has towards me. He doesn’t like to wear his wedding ring and when I ask him to put it on he seems irritated and we have had arguments over it because he doesn’t know why he doesn’t like wearing it and he barely kisses me, I get a little peck on the lips every once in a while but anything more than that is like pulling teeth. To me he is perfect and I wouldn’t change anything about him but he seems to have a list of stuff he’d change about me and one major thing is my butt which I don’t have and he loves big butts, I am willing to have implants just to make him happy but he can’t do something as simple as wearing a ring without me reminding him of it. He also just lays there while I please him during sex, he hardly has any interaction with me at all, he does return the favor but only after he gets off. I feel I have tried to please him so much that I am now just his doll. We have three children together and 90% of his time is spent with on his cell phone, I think he is just tired of his reality and will want something different, I don’t know what to do, I keep trying to please him but I am getting wore out

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Heather,
      You are not the only one who does not know how to please your husband, as you are clearly failing at this sweet endeavor, he doesn’t know either what you need to do.

      The fact is we don’t know ourselves or each other. There is no training in schools, or anywhere else for that matter. I, we, are trying to change all that, but for now, I suggest instead of being mad at your husband and feeling discouraged you get one of my books so you can start to see how much you don’t know. Your situation is so easy to fix that you will be pleasantly surprised.

  27. Kari MReply

    Dear Paul,

    I have been married for 4 months together going on 2 years now. I admitted I had “lied” about some things regarding myself to impress him when we we’re first getting to know each other. It wasn’t to hurt him. However, it did hurt him deeply and he has become so distant. In the last week, he hardly speaks to me, looks at me. He has shown absolutely zero affection yet, he tells me he still loves me but doesn’t know how he can move on. I am hurt and disappointed in myself. My husband is my world and his actions towards me are shattering me inside. The kids can see and feel the change too. Is my marriage over? Please help!

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Kari
      You seem like a good-hearted soul and wanted to please your husband by “coming clean”. Others come clean out of guilt, erroneously thinking they will feel better and it will improve their marriage because they will be appreciated for their honesty.

      Everything you do in your marriage should be done with the marriage and your spouse in mind. One should ask themselves whether their idea will create a beneficial or detrimental effect before the action. The only exceptions are also for the sake of the other and the marriage. Like, is coming clean going to help them not be infected by a disease you picked up or is coming clean going to make them feel better about choosing you as their lifemate?

      The first thing is always to stop digging when you find yourself in a hole. You need to learn the “rules” for happiness in marriage. You need to learn how to make every moment a joy for your husband, and for you.

      When you begin to learn and learn also how to change your habits you will see the past bad feelings slip away because the new habits you devleop will change you into a marriage lover; in the higher sense.

      Get searching for the right path to get on with your efforts and stick with it. Your marriage will be fine if you change those things that need it. You have a good heart.

  28. Lynn HReply

    My husband has emotionally checked out and has built resentment from past choices i made what do i do? Um still loving towards him even though he shots me down is this the right thing to do?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      The term “emotionally checked out” I understand but is not really relevant, Lynn. I think what you mean to say is that he is not showing you anything that indicates he loves or desires you.

      You know a bee will head towards a fake flower but ignore it when he realizes it has no nectar. Similarly, a man who seeks love but finds his wife is not there for him usually moves on. It is good your husband is not seeking other flowers.

      You can read my other articles, but it would be better for you to read one of my books. I don’t think you need our course, but you may have understated the disconnect.

      Start there. I think you will be pleasantly surprised to discover how simple it is to rekindle the love in your marriage.

  29. Carolyn SReply

    This is exactly what my husband told me last night as I was complaining about not getting affection from him. We’ve been together 5 years and only married 2 he told me he’s just not really feeling affectionate and if I want it I have to take it he said once you start taking it maybe it will come out of me and I’ll start doing it. But how do I take it? What are different ways? Other than laying next to him and start the “cuddling” or start kissing him, or start sex what are other ways I can “take it” I need help because honestly as a woman sadly it’s not my strongest suit I’m used to him coming to me

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      It’s not what he said that matters as much as that he needed to say it, and you don’t understand him.
      Obviously, without meaning to be offensive, you do not understand him, men. I suggest you get either one of my books so you can rebuild your connection with confidence and depth. You won’t need our program because, hopefully, he has not lost interest to that point, but the book will change your life and connection just fine.

  30. Hannah SeleneReply

    I tried to read this whole article with an open mind, but for the first time after reading a marriage article, I was left in disbelief. I am fine with accepting that everything is my fault in my marriage or that it’s up to me to fix my marriage (I’m not saying you said that), so the issue isn’t that I can’t accept things. I’ll accept difficult things because I just want my marriage to thrive. However, If I feel completely unloved and as a result, depressed, how can I force myself to partake in sexual activities? I’ve tried and as a result I end up crying afterwards because I forced myself to do something extremely sacred that I did not want to do! It feels degrading and so awful to lay there and try not to cry the whole time. You end up just feeling used, as if your husband never shows you attention or love unless it’s for sex. Women need to feel loved and wanted in order to want to have sex. Sex should only be with your spouse out of love! We shouldn’t have to force ourselves to partake in sexual activity with the hope that our husbands fulfill our love language. Our husbands should try to fulfill our love language (obviously after we tell them how to since they can’t read minds, sadly) and as a result we feel loved and want to have sex! This isn’t a mindset you should be teaching women. I appreciate you trying to help, and parts of this article are true. Such as building your husband up instead of focusing on what he does wrong.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You missed the point!!!
      The ideals of marriage are deep, not surface, not about sex at all.
      Read the article again. Or get one of my books so you can go deeper into this wonderful and uplifting philosophy about marriage. There is nothing of the sort that would imply what you took away from the article.

  31. DonnaReply

    I have the best sex ever but no other physical intimacy, been kissed 5 times in 4 years. I cheated once and a year later he started his emotional affair where it was somewhat physical that lasted about 7months but they continued to talk for years and he wrote her a love letter a year later days after moving out. During this time my mom committed suicide. I’ve waited for him and worked on self improvements to better me for us yet there is no affection just wonderful passionate sex. I still go on an on about topics that stress me out though I show appreciation. His number one complaint is she the other woman he fell in love with Listened to him and I didn’t. In my defense I was sick and bipolar and not treated well with medication and have gotten lots of help since but he still says I struggle with listening. So ladies listen to them. We still don’t live together but haven’t moved on, loves is tricky but he’s not wrong here. These are the things my partner wants and expresses to me. He’s a good man and has treated me well. I pushed him to the edge with abuse and cheating. I was extremely bipolar and suffering from psychosis and PTSD, he was not getting any support from others or and emotional support from me even though he reached out for 7 long years. We have build some with some of this though is still can not get loving affection except with sex and in that there is lots of Love. Taking that away would do a lot of damage though.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Donna
      Sex is shallow and your husband made that point to you. Unfortunately, your psychological struggles have allowed you to excuse yourself from being a committed soulmate, a real partner. The rest of the “stuff” is incidental. I’m not sure if your husband is going to wait for you to wake up, so I would suggest the course for you. If you are sincere it will 100% work. But it requires work on your end,

  32. Falling apartReply

    I recently told my husband that I had been propositioned at a work conference a couple of years ago, but that I rejected the advance. Even though, I didn’t encourage the advance, I was afraid he might question it, and more afraid he may want to retaliate against the other person. He is very hurt that I didn’t tell him and has been very distant ever since. I’m trying to stay positive, and actually our sex life is thriving, but I still feel so distant. There is never any affection our words of love outside of the bedroom like their used to be. The bedroom, however, still feels intimate with passion and all, and does not feel one-sided, but outside of the bedroom is still so lonely. Is this just going to take time?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      As you must now realize unless your husband needs to know as would be the case if there were sexual harassment or you were stalked etc, it only causes his mind to question your real interactions. It is how minds work when your marriage is not properly functioning.

      Having a good sex life when everything else is terrible means your marriage is terrible. So, what should you do?
      Because only you can judge the severity of the disconnect it is hard for me to suggest the course, which might be in order. You could try reading one of my books and using what you learn. But, and this is a strong caution; if you are not able to dramatically shift your marriage based on what you learn in as little time as a couple of weeks you will need the course.

  33. FaithReply

    I have been married for three years now, got married in 2015 November,after marriage my hubby had to go back to work in another country,he left me pregnant and I had our baby in july 2016 without him near, he came back for the first time when my baby was around 1yr 5months,stayed for a while then he went back to work, the problem is the distance, its really been hard for me n sometimes I feel like quitting this marriage,I realized things have not been the same as when we were still courting,when he comes back its not always smooth, coz I see some behaviors that he never had before like staying out most of the time drinking,coming home late, I feel so lonely even when he z around for vacation coz his affection towards me has completely gone and its like he only notices me when he wants sex, in the house he is always on youtube,its like he doesn’t even notice me, I feel totally drained, my baby was diagnosed with autism and ADH so its not been easy for me, he resently came back for vacation in October 8th,the last time he was here was in November 2017, so I have been alone with my girl ever since, please what should I do inorder to make him show affection and notice me, how do I stop him from being on youtube throughout? He seems totally addicted

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Your circumstances are very difficult for a number of reasons and I am hopeful the conditions don’t worsen. In order to have “hope”, it’s important for you to gain some more knowledge about what marriage should look like and function like. I think you can get more help from reading one of our books than just reading articles or getting advice because you will have more context from the book. Either one will do, Breaking The Cycle or Lessons For a Happy Marriage.

  34. KellyReply

    My husband and I have been married for 8 months. We have been happy mostly however i get very frustrated because i am always the one initiating affection. I have said to him when we see eachother after work to greet eachother with a hello and kiss and most of the time we do but sometimes it feels forced. He mostly works away for a week at a time and comes home for a few days in between each. When it comes to him leaving to go away i want to give him a big hug and enjoy the moment and he gives me a “half hug” with distance, when he does this i ask him whats wrong and he gets angry with me because i act like what he gives is not good enough but i just dont understand why he doesnt feel the need to connect with me when im not going to see him for a week. It makes me not feel loved. There is barely any nice touch or random hug or kiss from him ever unless i go to him. We are still only early in our marriage and i know he isnt the most affectionate person but i dont understand if u love someone thats the best way to show it and easiest way in my opinion. Ive told him thats what i need to feel loved and sometimes he will xome around but it doeant last that long and mostly he just gets frustrated when i say anything but its the only way i feel properly loved.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Kelly
      It is still early enough in your marriage for you to benefit from our sister organization’s premarital training. It would be very unwise to ignore its existence. But basically, your question has no basis in the realities of marriage! You truly need a deep understanding of marriage in order to have success.
      The URL is https://premaritaledu.org/
      Please have a look.

  35. CinderellaReply

    So I have been married for 4 years, together for 6. Have 2 Beautiful babies, 3&5, but going on 2 years now, my husband has stopped helping me clean the house and helping with the kids. Such as brushing their teeth, giving them baths, helping them with homework, putting them to bed early and he blames it on me by saying I no longer show him the affection he wants to see. To me that is not a valid reason to neglect things that need to be done. Those things are part of life. In the end they and I will suffer. They will suffer by not having clean hygiene, and a well balanced diet, while I am at work and I will suffer by having to fix everything by myself. He complains when I come home from work at only ask him to take the trash out when he could have done it while I was at work but instead he was on his phone.
    He too just left me and is now staying at his aunt’s. I believe we are getting a divorce. I feel so bad for our children having to go through all of this. But all I can do is let them know they will always have me to love them. I too tell him this but because I am not as intimate with him as I use to be due to him not wanting to show any constitant effort unless he is rewarded with sex he shows that he doesnt care and acts rude. I recommended therapy but our appt is in 3 weeks and it does not seem like he is going to wait that long. He has family who is on his side and I do not. What should I do?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      I am so glad you asked what you should do!
      I’ll begin by informing you that your ideas about what your children need are being used by you to justify an insensitivity about what your husband needs, and then when you realize, as you are writing, that you did that and you got defensive and justified it and THEN you went into holier-than-thou mode and then martyr mode.
      I could tell you that you are sacrificing your children, and they will suffer, as your marriage ends, and you all will suffer, just because you won’t show affection and have sex… but you almost know that, and it makes you look trite and makes it look like I did not fully understand the depth of your hurt feelings. So I am not going to tell you that. Because if all you did was resign yourself to have sex with your husband your marriage would be shallow and pathetic, like most marriages in the world these days and would end anyway. So, I am going to tell you what is really missing and tell you exactly what you should do, then pray you do it for all your sakes.
      What is missing is the love. There is zero effort on your part to express uncondtional love, or much of any love, towards your husband. You drained him.
      What you can and should do is get our course for women and take it seriously, like your lives depend on it.
      What will happen if you take my advice is your marriage will come back together, be fulfilling, and your children will be better off than most of their peers. As a side benefit you will be happy like you never have been in your life.
      If you want a deeper explantaion for the above you aren’t listening. You do not have so much time to waste at this point.

  36. DonReply

    I’m the husband and my wife is the one not being intimate. We’ve been married for over 24 years and together for 27. The last few years have been sexless and lackluster. I’ve started working out and have gained my stamina back. But she’s still not interested. She would rather go out with her friends for a night on the town than be intimate with me. I prefer a quiet night at home over the clubs. She was “sexting” other men with her fantasies and I found out. She claims to have stopped but I don’t know. We have started counseling and it helps but still intimacy is rare. I did read a text that she was talking to another man about the kissing they did when they met at a bar. She swears that is all they did and has never cheated on me, although I think emotional cheating is still cheating. She claims it’s just words and fantasy and doesn’t mean anything. I don’t understand it. She is also depressed and on medication for it. One of the side effects is low libido. But I don’t know how long I can wait for her to be with me as my wife. I am patient and willing to work with her, but I also need sex. What do I do? She controls the sex as I’m not forcing it. I would rather leave her than do that. And I certainly do not want to be played for a fool. If she is cheating she can go now. I want to make it work but I don’t know how.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Don,
      I am not going to take you off the hook, and I think you must realize that had you been the ‘man she married’ she would not have strayed, and she did stray. But it may not be too late, but buffing out is not the answer, as you found out already.
      The answer is to reach her heart. You have not done so (neither has she reached yours) and it is is never too late for that. But what I write is pretty meaningless to you because our society lacks any context. So, the best thing for you to do, which is the best I can offer, is for you to read one of my books, or if you want to do some self-work, take the course for men.
      And, by the way, you are wasting your time and money with counseling. If it was working it would have worked, not just improved a little.
      If I were you I would take the course because you have all these years invested. It is worth trying.

  37. VANESSAReply

    I appreciate your perspective on this ; however my scenario on how to tackle intimacy is different. My husband doesn’t seem intact with wanting to have sex ,he says he loves me and is attracted to me but he struggles with even wanting to have sex so my issue is how do I increase intimacy in my relationship if my husband doesn’t really look to me for sex. What would my approach look like?

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Vanessa
      The same advice applies, perhaps even more so. Your husband’s needs revolve around his need for unconditional love, as do yours. The temptation to substitute sex for intimacy is constant, especially in our societal times, but you will never be fulfilled by sex. Develop yourself into a living heart that spouts love in every moment, in every situation. Do the inner work that will bring you there. Then all will be good… I promise!

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