How to Get Your Wife or Husband to Love You Again
A lot of people find this blog while looking for the answer to this question: how can I get my wife (or husband) to love me again? The answer is pretty much the same way it happened originally. But perhaps you were not so aware then as you are now.
For starters, you can stop doing anything that frightens your spouse. This often includes drinking too much, doing anything illegal or especially dangerous, letting your temper get out of control, using street drugs or legal drugs that turn you into someone unfamiliar, or staying in touch with someone you had an affair with. You won't get anywhere while his or her guard is up.
But let's say you're not doing any of those. What next? More kisses and hugs, if they are welcomed. More understanding and comforting touches. More hand holding, even if just for a moment to help your spouse out of a car or up from the floor. More compliments or praise. More thank you's. At least five pleasant interactions for every one unpleasant one.
Ready for the next level? Create more opportunities to laugh, relax, or say ahhhhh -- together. Make yourself available. Make the plans. Arrange the babysitter or picnic lunch or car rental. Invite your spouse, invitingly. Get out to a comedy club or a movie. Get into a hot tub or hammock. Go find yourselves a gorgeous spot in nature, a seat in a grand music hall, or a tour of an art museum. Love happens while you are sharing positive emotions.
Become more seductive, less demanding. If you're having sex only once a week or once a month, you have lots of time for some very slow foreplay. Put it to good use. Don't rush.
Listen for your mate's good news and amplify it. Show your enthusiasm, praise the efforts that led to it, skip the what-ifs. Let your good news or remembrances of past successes wait until you both have savored the latest good news in your spouse's life.
Notice what your husband or wife is good at. Create more opportunities to employ these strengths. Talk about the ways your life is enhanced as a result. Say thank you.
When you're talking, give your beloved your full attention. Put your phone away. Close your book. Turn off your computer monitor and television. Pay attention to his or her breathing and breathe together. Inconspicuously match your movements: lean in or sit back when your spouse does, return each smile with one of your own, uncross your arms or cross your legs in sync. Gaze gently into his or her eyes and hold it for a minute or two if your mate gazes back.
Avoid asking if it's over. It's not. Don't encourage your spouse to make a premature decision he or she might then feel obliged to stand by.
If your spouse is thinking of moving out, don't help with the packing or the expense. Instead of making you seem helpful, it makes you seem disinterested in restoring your relationship. Make it clear you want to start the second phase of your marriage, more aware and more willing to learn than you were in the first phase.
Don't involve your children. Don't use their wellbeing to guilt your spouse into staying. Don't use them to communicate with your spouse. Don't use them to get information about your spouse. You cannot sneak or bully your way back to love.
Don't enter into a competition with anyone your spouse may have turned to for sexual excitement or emotional comfort. You have a huge advantage as the person your mate chose to wed and promised to love. Focus on restoring your relationship and let anyone else fall by the wayside.
Know that faded passion for each other is normal. It is simply hedonic adaptation, the same very human condition that makes the eighth spoonful of ice cream a lot less enjoyable than the first one and makes lottery winners no happier after a year or two than before their big win. But passion is not gone forever. A big shakeup like you are experiencing can create enough change, enough surprise to restart it.
Two of your best tools for fanning the flames are taking the time to savor all the good moments and keeping surprise into your relationship by going new places and trying new things together. The third is patience. It takes time to let all the resentments out of a marriage and restore the healthy expectation of being pleasantly surprised by love.
Wishing you long-term success at encouraging your wife or husband to fall in love with you all over again.