Why he won’t tend to your needs (even after you tend to his)

“What we do for each other before marriage is no indication of what we will do after marriage.” Gary Chapman

Helen’s love language is words of affirmation.

She has communicated this to her husband and has explained why it’s important to her. She even asked if he needed more information about how to do that, and gave him examples that would help her feel loved, desired, and more connected in their marriage. He used to be so good at doing this.

She also actively makes a point of speaking his love language so he can feel loved and appreciated.

And yet, he doesn’t tend to her needs.

Sometimes, issues in the relationship are a result of a lack of communication or making assumptions, but that is not the case here.

  • Helen has communicated her needs and why it’s important to her.
  • She didn’t assume he knew how to do that, so she offered suggestions.
  • And she’s not just stopping at trying to get her own needs met. Helen is actively trying to meet his needs first.

But two months later, he hasn’t even attempted to speak her love language.

So, why is that?

I don’t know her husband. I’ve never met him. But I DO know (and pay close attention to) human behavior. So let’s consider the options:

1.He doesn’t care about the marriage, or he doesn’t care about making his wife feel loved.

→ He says he doesn’t want the marriage to end and that he loves his wife, so let’s assume this isn’t the reason.

2. This would make him uncomfortable and he doesn’t want to be uncomfortable.

→ Offering loving words consistently to his wife feels outside of his comfort zone. Maybe offering loving words – in the way she specifically asks for it – kind of irritates him.

→ Almost no one enjoys being uncomfortable, but there is no path through healing a disconnected marriage without being willing to embrace at least a little discomfort. After all, only doing what feels easy and comfortable is what brought you to this place of disconnect.

3. He doesn’t know that if this need doesn’t get met, it could be the end of their 30+ year marriage.

→ He’s aware that his wife wants him to do this, but she wants him to do lots of things, so how is this any different? He’s thinking he’ll eventually get to it…it’s not that big of a deal.

→ She hasn’t told him directly that she’s not willing to remain in a marriage where this need is not met consistently.

My bet is that the reason her husband is not consistently speaking her love language isn’t because he doesn’t love his wife or he doesn’t know how to offer loving words to her. My bet is that he’s not doing it because he doesn’t know that he has to in order to keep the marriage intact.

Most of us aren’t willing to be that direct, so we express our needs over and over again until eventually, we just give up.

Sometimes, we give up on getting our needs met (which might be what he’s hoping for) so that we don’t have to do something that makes us uncomfortable.

But most likely, it’s because he doesn’t know there are long-term ramifications for the choice to withhold love from her in this way.

This is where, as a woman, it would be to our benefit to be more direct with the men in our lives so they will tend to your needs.

That way, our partners have all the information they need to make choices for themselves.

Sadly, human nature shows us that we only do the difficult things when we absolutely have to. He needs a reason to do the difficult thing, and that reason can’t just be because that’s what you want.

If you know that your marriage could benefit from more direct communication, I would love to equip you with the tools to be able to do that. You can schedule a complimentary Truth & Clarity session to see if there’s a fit for us to work together.

Why he won’t tend to your needs (even after you tend to his)