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What Frustrates Husbands and Makes Wives Cry?
By Dr. Laura

Loving your spouse but not feeling loved...

These feelings may evolve from a variety of "symptoms",
yet the root of the problem is not feeling loved.

These feelings can occur as a relationship evolves and
changes in behavior and actions follow. When this
evolution happens and one or both spouses feel that
there are too many negative results, then it's time to
work on controlling that evolution.

Here are 3 steps that can be taken as relationships
evolve to ensure that the needs of both are met and the
evolutionary process is beneficial to the relationship.

Step #1 - Communication

There are many ways that we show our love to our
spouse, they include acts of service (making meals,
filling the gas tank in their car, doing one of "their
chores" etc.) We also show our love with gentle
touches, kind or encouraging words, a kiss or bedroom

However, have you ever considered that one of the best
ways to show your love is to engage in meaningful
conversations where you are actually paying attention?

There may be times in a marriage when one spouse or the
other is still in love, but doesn't feel like they are
loved in return.

It's essential in all relationships that people
communicate their needs and their perceptions of what
their spouse needs.

Let's say the favorite part of your newlywed years was
the leisurely Saturday mornings and a special brunch.
Now your Saturdays are spent racing from one children's
sporting event to the next. Or your spouse goes
golfing or playing tennis with friends.

It may be a real disappointment that your special time
with your spouse was lost. So it's important to
discuss how much you enjoyed that time and figure out a
way to create a new and improved special time.

Perhaps one spouse is feeling neglected as the other
spouse has had increased work responsibilities that
require them to be away from home more. Discussing
these concerns will help find a way to resolve these
feelings of neglect.

As far as feeling neglected goes, consider husbands and
the HUGE transition that takes place as children are
added to the equation. They know in their mind that
the have to come second now because these new little
babies can't do anything for themselves.

A new mothers life naturally becomes consumed with new
responsibilities and needs and it's natural to put
their husbands needs second. (I'll discuss the
importance of solving this problem quickly in Step #3)

By communicating these feelings a discussion can follow
where dad can become more involved with these

The wonderful thing about this evolution is Dad wins!
He is blessed with developing a stronger relationship
with their new baby, and his wife not only has more
time for him, she feels a deeper love as he has made an
extra effort to strengthen their marriage by taking
some of her load.

Solving all of these issues requires communicating your
needs and concerns.

Step #2 - Time Alone

This step easily follows the preceding step of
communication because if you have regular time alone,
then you are better able to communicate.

You need to have alone time with your spouse on a daily
basis. Even if you have to make an appointment to meet
every night at 9:10 p.m., then do it.

This daily time allows you to keep in touch with the
joys and sorrows of the day, and deepens your love,
commitment and ability to help one another.

In addition to daily time alone, you also need weekly
time alone. You've heard me recommend on a regular
basis the value and importance of having a weekly date
night. Well, then do it!

My husband and I have faithfully had weekly date nights
and I'm convinced that is one of the wisest habits we
ever developed.

Let me specify that these weekly date nights can be
with others, just no kids. However, it is still
important to be sure that at least once a month the
date night is other couples. That's when
you can really strengthen your marriage relationship.

Step 3 - Daily Affirmations

I think one of the most concise articles I've read
about showing love or daily affirmations to your spouse
is the article "The Daily Dozen of Marriage", by Dee W.
Hadley, a family counselor. (Dee W. Hadley, "The Daily
Dozen of Marriage," Ensign, March 1990, 35)

Here's just a few:

Spending 5 minutes a day thinking positive thoughts
about your spouse; pay a genuine compliment; do an act
of service; give a gesture of love; be courteous to all
family members; forgive daily.

If you only did these 6, imagine the impact it would
have on relieving frustration in your marriage. You
certainly wouldn't feel unloved!

As I mentioned earlier, there are times when a spouse
may feel neglected. These daily affirmations will all
but cure that issue.

As a side note on neglect. There are marriages where a
spouse or the marriage relationship as a whole is
neglected in favor of meeting every need of their
children. This mainly occurs becuase of the false
belief that this will grow happy, well developed

Guess what, there is study after study now that shows
the best way to grow healthy, well adapted children is
to have a healthy, well adapted marriage.

A strong marriage relationship where the parents
relationship comes BEFORE that of the needs of the
children will automatically trickle down to meeting the
needs of the children in an appropriate way.

Think about it, if little Johnny sees a strong marriage
relationship where love is expressed freely, service is
offered regularly and he knows without a doubt that his
mom loves his dad...won't the natural conclusion be
that they love him too, that two lives can be made as
one and the one is much better? What better message
could we send to our children?

A couple's love and service for each other will affect
their children more positively than any other thing
they could do for their children.

So daily affirmations of your love to your spouse gives
you a double payday. One with your spouse and one with
your kids.

Don't wait, take a look today at where your marriage
relationship is and where you would like it to evolve
to. Just start now to apply these 3 simple steps and
you'll be headed in the right direction.

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