As you enjoy your morning cup of coffee, you begin scrolling through your Facebook timeline and notice that your girlfriend just posted a cute picture from the night before. Her man posed by sink doing all the dishes from the exquisite candle-lit dinner he prepared for her after a long day of work. Did I mention with a big beautiful smile on his face? Captioned under the photo;
"He worked all day and still thought of me. #blessed #hegotmeflowerstoo #happywife."
You "like" the picture, because c'mon, how sweet is that? Yet, the thought pops in your mind...
"Why doesn't MY husband do that!?"
You begin mulling over it all day long, until your man returns home from a physically grueling twelve hour shift at work. He brought home your favorite chocolate and wine. Sweaty, achy, and still in his work clothes, he sits down at the table to the dinner YOU prepared.
It finally comes down to those damn dishes. You glare at him as he finishes up, watching his every move. He looks at you curiously wondering why you look so irritated. You play coy, because after all, it's the moment of truth! You will finally see if he will prove his reckless and abandoned love for you. He gets up and simply puts his plate in the sink.
That's it! You finally pop.
The night carries on with a downward, spiraling argument about the dishes and how they somehow equate to why you feel unloved, and insist how that proves he doesn't do enough to show it.
He defensively reminds of you the wine and chocolate he brought home for you but didn't even notice. The night ends with you feeling disappointed and with him feeling like a failure for apparently not doing enough. What started out as simply admiring a friends photo of her publicly praising her man... turned into a CIA type manipulation tactic and a toddler like tantrum.
Has anything like happened to anyone else?
A woman's need for romance is pretty much a bottomless tank that will never, ever be filled on this earth. Yet, it's still something husbands are responsible to do when they've been entrusted with a womans heart. Some men can often be left so confused on what the term romance actually means, and perhaps, we don't even have it accurately defined ourselves.
WHEN HE DOESN'T EVEN TRY.
Maybe, he hasn't been putting in the effort lately and needs to be reminded. Yes, sometimes they really do need the reminder. They can get distracted with the weight of finances and their job. A lot of us tend to paint romance with a broad brush stroke and never clearly define it to them. Thus, they are never able to execute something they fully don't understand. If you can honestly be retrospective enough to determine what you interpret romance to be to you, communicate that to your husband.
Sadly, there are plenty of cases where the man doesn't even try at all. He may just be lazy as hell in the romance department and taking you and your marriage for granted. Don't sweep it under the rug, make excuses, and let that resentment fester, as many wives tend to do. Feeling lonely in a marriage is painful. That just opens the door for bitterness and jealousy. It's the perfect set up to start looking for romantic fulfillment or emotional availability elsewhere.
Don't wait to have the conversation when you're already at a breaking point...that's too late. You can't expect him to sort through all your disappointments, tears, and rage. Sit down with him when you are both in a good place and just have a honest conversation.
If your communication falls on deaf ears and he continues to not listen to you or seem to care, please don't ignore it and put yourself on the back burner and expect things to get better. Seek counseling and a trusted third party to help break through to him in way he can actually hear. There may a bigger underlying issue than romance. A man who genuinely loves you will eventually hear you. Listen, he won't get it perfectly because you don't either. But a good man will have a heart to try to show you love in way that resounds to your heart.
WHEN HIS EFFORTS DONT MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
You can have a faithful, loving, and hard working man. You know that he would do anything for you and your family, and more than often does. Long days and late nights, he would sacrifice his time to get ahead financially, spiritually, physically for his family. "He who does not provide for his family is worse than an infidel," is one of his life's motto's.
We will always be disappointed when our expectations are not met. In the same breath, they also need to be communicated and realistic. You can't be a nag all day and try to control every detail of how he chooses to romance you. It's not cute and nit-picking him will not make him want to try to put in the effort to romance you, if you are consistently controlling & being manipulative. Why would he try if he feels like he's always failing you? Does he do the same thing to you?
If your husband has been honestly putting in effort and it's not exactly how you want things to turn out, I suggest that you read the '5 love languages,' by Gary Chapman. The book could help you better articulate how you perceive love & romantic gestures. Your husband may have been showing you the romance you crave in an entirely different vein.
Do you feel more loved when he surprises you with flowers and a gift after work? Do you prefer him to handle some of your daily chores unexpectedly? Do you feel more loved when he gives you a back massage with no strings attached? Do you feel loved when he drops what's he's doing to go help your friend or family in need? Changes your oil and keeps your gas full without you asking? There are hundreds of ways your husband can display his affection for you on a regular basis.
Comparing your relationship to some other couple is just asking for marital trouble, & guaranteed disappointment. Someone else’s romantic trip, or social media presence is in no way a reflection on the status of your marriage. A perfectly filtered romantic selfie on the gram of you guys does not always equate to marital bliss or shall we say #goals. You have no idea what is going on deep down in someone's else marriage. It may or may not be as great as they portray it out to be online.
I remember I when I was in a similar place in my first year of marriage. I was frustrated because we hadn't gone out on a date in months because of work schedules and sickness etc. I wasn't communicating my need and every day I was just a little more frustrated with him. One day he went to work early, but I noticed he left me a poured cup of my favorite coffee on the counter with a little love note. It was very humbling to think that in my mind I was accusing of him of not loving me enough. I let a root of bitterness grow and it almost blinded me from the sweet efforts my husband did make to pursue me, even in the monotony.
The notion of romance is completely subjective. If you are in a healthy & loving marriage, there is a constant flow of open communication. Make it mandatory to have scheduled date nights no matter what. Have a date night where you focus on him, and vice versa. Have regular sex. Make your marriage a priority over work and your children. Figure out little ways to romance him as well.
Bottom-line, If you have good man but he really is just being lazy and has put you and your marriage on the back burner, that's not okay & it's time to put ignite a fire under his a**!
If you have a good man who loves you and you know he's genuinely trying and putting in the effort, open your eyes today to see the ways your spouse shows you love in daily grind.
Which camp are you in? Is it time to have a conversation with your man about his priorities? Or do you have too many expectations? What have YOU done in these situations?