How do you get your husband to be more on the romantic side without having to tell him to? He has never been the romantic type. I knew this from the beginning but it’s my love language and it’s starting to put things on the rocky side and I’m falling out of love for him. He told me he was going to plan something out for us to do on our 8th wedding anniversary
So on the day of our anniversary, he said he came up with a few ideas but we didn’t go do any of them because he didn’t know what to do??? Uh WHAT!?!? I’m so confused. He claims he loves me so much but can’t even do something nice for us both to enjoy. I just don’t understand he just went back to saying that he was sorry and that he’s just not that type of guy, but if that’s how it’s going to be, I don’t know if I can stay in a romantic-less marriage much longer. I feel so undesirable and unimportant. Help me with my marriage!

My response:
It sounds like romance is very important to you and you have some unmet expectations and it’s making you feel unloved, disappointed, and resentful. So what does ‘romance’ mean to you? It is different for every person. Does he even know? Remember, romance is mostly a woman thing. Men don’t naturally resonate with romance unless he is told what actions are expected. We often have expectations of the other person, but we don’t realize that it’s ours, not theirs. Unless a proper conversation has been had about what exactly is expected, and an agreement was made, what has he done wrong exactly? We often put our own standards and values on other people expecting them to be exactly like us; to think and act as we do, but that’s just unrealistic. Even twins would have different values, thoughts, and beliefs so why should we expect our partner, who is the opposite sex, to act according to our own expectations.

My question is: What are you actually committed to? Getting what you want (romance), or making him figure it out for himself? You mentioned that he’s not the romantic type so why are you annoyed that you have to tell him what to do? That’s a lot of pressure for someone to meet those big expectations without a clue. He’s already told you that it’s not his strength. What did you expect? That he would just magically become romantic? No, you’re asking him to be someone he’s not. I’m not saying he can’t be romantic, but he needs your partnership and direction on how to please you. Men’s biggest drive is results and action. He didn’t do anything because he was unsure. If he feels there is a chance of failure, he will question himself and most often will do NOTHING instead of taking the chance of an epic fail, which in his own eyes, is THE WORSE THING EVER.

So why not make him a list? Make it simple for him. If he feels confident that he will win your love in doing this action, and knows he can’t fail, he will do it. Trust me. I deal with this stuff with my couples all the time. We all just assume he doesn’t care, but in actual fact, he cares so much that he’s afraid to fail and disappoint, he just is at a loss and ends up not doing anything out of fear and uncertainty. So give him some extra love and compassion and be his partner in this! Set him up to win! He sooo badly wants to please you but he just needs your support and guidance. I’m a big advocate of asking for what you want and need. No guessing games required. Remember, he can’t read your mind! And then when he does put in the effort, even if it’s not perfect, give him lots of love and praise. We all want to be acknowledged and validated. The more you do this, the more he will build his confidence. The more he feels confident, the more he will do the things that make you happy.

I would also invite you to bring romance into everyday life, not just for special occasions. That way, it’s a way of life not just a thing that happens once a year. That’s way too much pressure for one person to handle. I like to approach my own relationship from a “no expectations” stance so that I’m never disappointed. What that provides is opportunities to be surprised, delighted, appreciation, and compassion. To go another level deeper, if we release all the “shoulds” about each other and ourselves, there is so much more room for connection, acceptance, and being present in every moment.