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You Don’t Bring Me Flowers: What to Do if Your Husband (or Wife) Isn’t Romantic

Perhaps it’s odd to allude to Valentine’s Day immediately after July 4th.  (Perhaps fireworks are the common denominator)?

The subject of today’s blog is the proverbial complaint I’ve heard from almost every wife I’ve worked with: “My husband just isn’t romantic!”

What follows is almost always a statement like:

  • He was very romantic while we were dating, but now he’s not.”

Or:

  • When I complain, he’ll do it for awhile but then he slacks off.”

Or even the dreaded:

  • If he doesn’t care about romance, I shouldn’t have to care about sex.

Ladies, let’s get this last one out of the way right now so you can cross it off your list. To your man:

ROMANCE = SEX and SEX = ROMANCE

So, in his mind, if you are having sex and you’re having a good time, he’s been sufficiently romantic.

Make sense now?  Don’t ask why, just accept it and let’s move on.

(And, if you’re a guy and you’ve gotten this far because your WIFE is the one who’s lacking in the romance department, I applaud you but do understand that your frustration and sadness is just as real and just as legit.  Keep reading . . . and apply everything I will say to my girls to yourself).

What I suggest to every wife (and often to myself) is to work on broadening your concept of what is romantic to you.  I would even go so far as to say that if your only concept of “romance” is wine, candlelight, and roses with soft music playing in the background, your imagination is much too limited!

Before I started writing this article, I made a list of all the things I could think of that Mike has voluntarily done for me in the past week; a list which includes:

  • Making dinner and bringing it to me on the couch when I felt too tired to move
  • Taking my car to get gas so I wouldn’t have to
  • Cutting the tree branches off our porch roof and wedding the planting beds
  • Abandoning his favorite chair and joining me on the couch to watch TV
  • Taking our dogs for a run when I couldn’t make the time
  • Giving me a “happy first date anniversary” card (and I forgot!!)
  • Reminding me of the lovely time we had together on a recent vacation
  • Taking a surprise day off from work to catch up on the “honey-do” list
  • Helping me with tasks associated with our marriage recovery group at church
  • Leaving me the leftovers for lunch instead of taking them to work himself

And this morning, instead of rolling over and giving me the typical quick squeeze before hopping out of bed, he pulled me close, found my hand, and snuggled for a few minutes.  My favorite.  And so romantic!

Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, my husband/wife doesn’t do things like that!”, then stretch your mind to think of other things.  Unless they’re a complete slug, I’m confident that they DO do things for you; things you may be completely overlooking because they have come to be routine.

Another way of saying this is that the things your spouse may be doing for you are things you have come to expect, so they aren’t counted because they aren’t seen as new, different, or “romantic”!

Well, I’ll bet you’re arguing now, “S/he doesn’t do these things for me, and they HAVE to be done anyway.”  Yes, maybe they do, but the fact is that you would have to do them if they didn’t, and they truly believe they ARE doing some of these things for you.  (I know this because Mike led me outside to look at the porch roof and explained, in detail, how it would be a LONG time before I’d have to worry about this again).

One last thing we can’t get around is the question of whether or not YOU are using the Golden Rule when it comes to showing your husband what you’d like by doing things for HIM.

I’ll never forget the litany of complaints I was raising against Mike about all the things he wasn’t doing for me one day, when he stopped me and asked, “Not to turn this back on you (as he was about to), but when was the last time you did any of those things for me?”

It stopped me cold.  And he was RIGHT.

Girls, if you want your man to be more romantic – – whatever that means to you – – you may have to step up to the plate and:

  1. Be more outwardly thankful for what he IS doing for you, even if these things fall outside your personal definition of what is “romantic.”
  2. Start doing things for him that will take him by surprise and make him think twice.
  3. Choose things that fit HIS definition of romance, even if they don’t fit yours.

Focus on JUST these 3 things and see what happens.  You may be surprised at how very romantic your husband becomes!

 

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