Help! My Husband NEVER Compliments Me!!!

I am not an expert, a counselor, a psychologist, a theologian or a pastor. I am just an ordinary Christian wife. My posts and my blog may be helpful for you – they may not be.  I share ideas and suggestions – they are not rules and they are not guarantees.  Ultimately, each wife must prayerfully decide what she believes God wants her to do to obey Him and to honor Him in her unique situation. God has wisdom. I do not. I write specifically for wives who tend to be controlling and dominating. Wives who tend to be more quiet and have dominating husbands may find that my blog is not a good fit for them. If your husband is abusing you, please seek godly, experienced, wise counsel ASAP! Please be safe! Please do not read my blog if you are a wife who is being abused. You will need VERY specific help in that situation. 

Here is a letter from a reader.  Her emails are in black, mine are in blue.  I know this is a HUGE issue for many women.  I pray that we might be able to tackle this situation in a godly way that builds our marriages, helps us understand our husbands’ perspectives a bit better, and creates unity.

FROM A WIFE:

I hope you can help me. I have a situation with my husband and I have no idea what to do , as far as how I am supposed to act in all this. First let me say that my husband is the quiet, shy type. We’ve been married 6 years. We have 2 kids together. We are both living for God.

Ok, so the problem I am having is that my husband NEVER compliments me or praises me for ANYTHING. I am not dramatizing it either. He never has. He’s never even said “You’re beautiful,” “You look good in that dress”…etc.. This isn’t something he just stopped doing, he’s never done it even when we were dating.

At first, I thought, “Oh he’s just shy, he’ll come around eventually,” but he never did. So now after 6 years he still hasn’t. We have argued, or should I say –  I have fussed and he just sat there – about this all through the years. His reasoning for it is “Those things just never come to my mind”. I feel soooooo unloved and unattractive and it really bothers me that he can’t compliment me. This goes beyond just complimenting me on looks, but I’m trying to deal with one issue a at a time.

This has bothered me so much that for years, I have been having unwanted dreams. Dreams of me falling in love with someone and having the “perfect” husband/boyfriend. I can’t stand that I am dreaming things I shouldn’t be. I hate that. I can’t control my dreams but It makes me feel like I’m cheating on my husband. I just don’t know what to do. I so desperately want to hear my husband say I’m beautiful. But after 6 years I feel I just need to accept that I will never hear it, but it hurts too much to accept it.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I can relate to wanting more compliments. I TOTALLY understand how it makes you feel unloved and unwanted. Women are built to need words and compliments. Words are so important to us.  Most men have NO IDEA how critical their words of love and compliments are to us. 

(Gentlemen, your loving WORDS are extremely powerful tools to make us feel loved, accepted, desired, beautiful and confident in our marriage and in your love.  They water the garden of our soul!!!! They must be sincere – and for most of us, we’d like to have some loving words from you every single day.  The more detail, the better!  The more frequent, the better!)

I have a few observations that may possibly be helpful:

- Some men are not as verbal as we are. This stuff may not come naturally AT ALL for some husbands.  And if your husband is particularly quiet and introverted – sometimes it may just feel impossibly difficult for him to do things like this.  If your husband is like mine, he feels awkward saying things like that, it is just like trying to speak a foreign language.

- My husband is pretty quiet and introverted, too. BUT, just because he doesn’t give compliments doesn’t mean that he isn’t attracted to me or that he doesn’t love me.  Since I have started respecting him, my husband gives me an occasional compliment now – so I make sure he knows that I appreciate it VERY much when he does compliment me.  And I thank him with a HUGE smile!  But I do not fish for compliments, demand compliments, ask for compliments or expect compliments – or loving emails or love letters anymore.  That right there solves the problem for me!

If you make getting compliments your goal – you are going to be REALLY disappointed  a lot – I PROMISE. Trying to make him compliment you or deciding that you can never be happy until he compliments you can easily become an idol that can be destructive in your marriage and your relationship with Christ. 

- You can TRY asking for compliments, love letters, emails or text messages if you want to (briefly and occasionally).  But here’s the problem – I used to do this – try to demand love letters and emails and compliments… the minute you ASK for it, now he is being pressured because of your sky high expectations.  And he is not going to do it.  He will feel so much pressure from you and will feel coerced or forced that he will not do it just because he doesn’t want to give in to your pressure. That is actually a good thing, even though it may not seem so, it means he has a back bone and is a man of his convictions and won’t cave to a lot of emotion and pressure – which can be a very handy quality in a leader! So, usually, I would say, ask for what you want respectfully once.  But in this situation, it gets sticky.  I may just check with Laura Doyle, author of “The Surrendered Wife” and see what her take on this might be!  I’ll keep you posted!

- There are men who will give WONDERFUL, JUICY, ROMANTIC, SEXY compliments but they usually also dole out equally powerful and lengthy criticism and often are  controlling, too. Your husband’s lack of compliments probably also has a good flip side. I am assuming he is like my husband and doesn’t give much criticism, either. WHAT A BLESSING! If you have been around a wife whose husband gives great compliments but then he tries to control her every bite of food and also is very free with the criticism of every little thing – it can make you REALLY appreciate having a husband who is more quiet!

- If you have pitched a fit in the past multiple times about wanting him to compliment you – that is going to make him even more squeamish about ever trying to compliment you in the future. He will feel too pressured. He will feel like he can’t do a good enough job. He probably will avoid it just because it was such a big deal before.

- The fact that he has ALWAYS been this way tells me that he hasn’t changed.  And it tells me this is his basic personality.  He is the same guy you fell in love with. So I am VERY sure that he still finds you attractive even if he doesn’t say it.

- I would like you to pray about sacrificing this desire to Christ – accepting that your husband’s personality is not malicious towards you, but that this is just how he is. He has good intentions toward you. He is not trying to be unloving. He shows his love for you in other ways.

- You can’t change this about him.

- I think it could be a good idea (if you pray about this and believe God is leading you to say something) to tell him at some point, after you have wrestled with God about this, “Honey, I know I have pressured you in the past to give me compliments. I’m sorry I put so much pressure on you and tried to get you to be someone you aren’t. I respect the man you are and I accept you. I don’t want to change you.”

- Pray that God will help you see ALL the things your husband DOES do to show you that he loves you. He works to provide for the family, he smiles at you, he helps with the children, he wants you sexually, he takes care of the yard/cars, he protects you when you are in trouble, he is dependable and responsible, he takes care of you when you are sick. Whenever he does something to show he loves you, thank him and SMILE at him and say, “I feel SO loved when you do that for me!”

- Guys don’t marry women they aren’t attracted to in general. There is probably about a 95% chance that your husband thinks you are the most beautiful girl in the world. Rest in that. He married you. He wanted you. You can relax in knowing that he finds you sexy and beautiful even if he doesn’t say it.  If he is there and plugged in and wants to be with you – take his actions seriously and believe them even if you don’t hear the words you want to hear.  His actions will tell you his true priorities.  Men value actions MUCH MORE than words!

- As you take the pressure and expectations off, he may surprise you and give you a compliment or two one day. But even if he never does, THAT IS OK. If this is the biggest problem you have with him – you are the luckiest woman on the face of the earth!!!! Enjoy him and accept him and appreciate the incredible man that he is!

FROM THE SAME WIFE IN REPLY

Thank you so much for your reply. You are right. I do know other husbands who do this, and at times its seems they are trying to mold a trophy wife type. So, I am VERY thankful my hubby doesn’t do this.

He does a lot of things. Works, takes care of all the outside work, when he is around me he has to be touching me somehow, like rubbing my arm or scratching my back, does repairs around the house. He doesn’t really ever scold me, never yells at me. And he is very forgiving! I asked him once, “How can you ever forgive me?”  And he said, “Love is forgiving.”

He really truly is a great man. He’s not your typical man either, not into sports or cars. We are all each other has, we don’t have friends we hang out with. So its just us and the kids.

Well thanks again for your help! I follow your posts and try to do the things you say. I am getting better. I can’t wait to get to that place you are in your marriage.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Your husband sounds a lot like mine!!!

I wonder what might happen if you were to assume that every time he touches you or smiles at you that he IS telling you that you are the only girl for him, that you are beautiful and sexy in his eyes and that you are the most precious gift God has ever given him. That is what he means, even if he can’t verbalize it. :)

Gentlemen – do you have anything you would like to add from a masculine perspective that might help us understand a bit better, please?

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48 Comments on “Help! My Husband NEVER Compliments Me!!!”

  1. Glenda
    August 8, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Dear Reader, it is really hard to feel loved when it is not in your language. He gives touch and you need verbal – I know it sometimes makes me want to scream!!! Right now I would take either BUT… I have learned to look closely for those very few, tiny moments when “anything” is said that resembles something positive he might be showing me and just grin from ear to ear. They do eventually come more frequently and we just need to be aware and be sure to respond kindly when they do!
    Patience is not my virtue but I am working on it ;)
    Thank you PW for giving us clarity :)

    • peacefulwife
      August 8, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      Glenda,

      Awesome attitude! Those big smiles will definitely reinforce that behavior in a powerful way! Great job!

    • jay
      May 20, 2013 at 8:37 am #

      LOOK UP ASPERGERS.
      its not just the male brain

      but it could also be aspergers

      they are very smart, can be caring maybe with practical things

      but their brain gets overloaded re emotional things. it really is so hard for them to think of how to say something warm and emotional

      they may also find affection touch difficult.

      yet they may be smart, responsible, caring in other ways, loyal trustworthy.

      i’ve also found like one of the writers wrote that the more i am gentle and loving to them, then the more i am surprised with more love in ways that i need

      however the woman can suffer low self esteem and feeling love deprived because we do need words hugs compliments affection.

      we have to really try to learn about their brain as their brain is truly wired differently.

      with counsellling they can learn to shift a bit but its not easy for them, its the brain wiring.

      Have you read the 5 love languages or heard the cd. it talks of us having 5 love languages, eg touch, words, presents, and i cant remember the rest. What is his way of shwoing you he loves you?

      recognise the way he does show it, but yes its tough if you want and need words as we all do , and thats not how he is wired, but counselling can shift it a bit

      as can you being more loving gentle

      ( i found the art of love relationship series, its not expensive and its immeidately downloadable and really helped me be more loving and that in turn magically got me more of what i had wanted, written about, asked for without much success.

      the honey does attract more than the sting!
      warmth does achive more than assertiveness or letters or asking

      even asking can be done more gently.

      improving communication skills to cause more love and less defensiveness can mean you will get more of what you want .

  2. Ryan
    August 8, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    You know it’s so interesting to see both sides of the coin. I read the response from the wife that he takes care of all the outside work, and is always touching you when you are together, and gives backscratches, etc. That is EXACTLY how many men express their love and even more for those that are shy. Words are scary things because you never know if what you will say will come out right, but everyone knows a backscratch is about the most intimate thing in the world. At least that’s how it sounds in my head.

    I’ve found that when I look back at many of the things I did to try and show my wife I loved her and wanted her, etc are exactly what I wanted her to do for me. So give it a try and see how it works. Study your husband. If he scratches your back make an effort to go scratch his while he’s sitting in a chair putting on his shoes. When you pass him in the hallway reach out and touch him and make sure he knows it’s not just an opps sorry was trying to squeeze through but a I purposely touched you because I love you as I’m passing by just to say I LOVE YOU…

    As PeacefulWife pointed out. Anytime he does something that you do like (maybe he just gives you that look out of the corner of his eye and doesn’t say anything but you can see the little grin he gets on his face) tell him thanks. It makes me feel so loved when you look at me like that. Odds are that while the words are scary the little looks you don’t notice or the times he might stare over the top of a book or newspaper as you walk past are saying EXACTLY what you want to hear just not in so many verbal words.

    If you encourage the little things in time he may get the idea that it’s okay to try other ways to express it.. or as pointed out he might be at a place where you can just casually add in a thank you something like. Thanks for that little grin. It’s those looks and the occasional times you tell me how great I look that really make my day. Just put it out there even if it’s not happening and trust that he will do his best to meet your needs in time.

    • peacefulwife
      August 8, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      Ryan,
      I am SO glad you commented. I appreciate your masculine perspective here – it is EXTREMELY helpful to the wives! Thank you for your insights and wisdom. I pray that many wives will carefully consider your words. Great job!

  3. Rookie Writer
    August 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    i have to agree that as a husband, I don’t compliment my wife a lot. However this doesn’t mean that we don’t love our wives. Some husbands, especially me, have to watch how we compliment our wives. Just because it’s sexy from our perspective doesn’t mean it’s sexy in their perspective. I said something to my wife one time and she thought I called her fat. Are you kidding me!? I know not to do that. And it went on from there. So it’s hard for us to openly compliment our wives at times because we don’t know what mind set they are in.

    Our love towards our wives tend to be more physical than verbal. And in some cases, the wife is the complete opposite.

    • peacefulwife
      August 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      Rookie Writer,

      I think your point is really important! If we misinterpret a compliment and get really upset about it – our husbands are going to be VERY cautious about trying to do that again.

      Thanks so much for your valuable perspective!

  4. Martha A
    November 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Thanks for this post. I have been really struggling with this in my marriage. I’ve told my husband several times how important it is for me to hear him say that I’m beautiful. He says it to his daughters, just not to me – even though I believe that he loves me and is attracted to me. The main thing that’s happened is that now he doesn’t dare tell his daughters that they’re beautiful. That really was not what I had in mind.

    It seems like such a small thing to ask – I can’t understand why it’s so impossible for him. I don’t feel it’s asking him to change his personality. To me it’s like asking him to give me a backrub, not like asking him to run naked through the streets. He can’t explain. I suspect that it’s a behaviour he picked up from his father, who probably hardly dared to compliment his wife. She died long before we met, but from what I’ve heard, she probably would have made a sarcastic remark if he said anything nice to her. Not me – I just say thanks.

    But I like the advice about praying to sacrifice this desire to Jesus. I’m not sure if I can do it, but I can see that it would be a noble and wise thing to do, so thank you for the thought.

    Best,
    Martha

    • peacefulwife
      November 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      Martha,
      I’m so glad to hear from you!
      I know to women who are extremely verbal – it seems like a very small thing to ask a man to compliment us. But to a man, if he feels pressured (which I am sure your husband does from your description) – it is too much of a risk of failure. He doesn’t want to fail. Men aren’t always great at compliments – and, especially if he has been criticized before for not complimenting you or for not doing it right or not doing it enough – he is going to feel burned already and be even more intimidated by the thought of it.

      My husband is like this, too! I had to release him from ALL my expectations about compliments, texts, emails, phone calls, praying with me, love letters – and allow him to be in my good graces even if he never ever did any of these things for me ever again.

      Then if he does something for me – it is a gift and I praise him for it.

      I look to God now for affirmation, for my purpose, for my value, for my worth, for my sense of femininity and beauty. My confidence is in Him. Then I am stable and full of His peace, joy and power no matter what my husband does or does not do. I don’t let my feelings of being loved become an idol, and I don’t put my husband as an idol – expecting him to be responsible for my happiness. Now I rest my happiness in Christ – I find my joy in Him.

      Now, my husband will occasionally compliment me, email me, text me, etc… but I am completely stable and unshakable when he doesn’t. I have God and He has written me the most exquisite love letter EVER! I feast on it daily and find all the affirmation, love and security I need in His Word.

      Let me know if you need anything!

  5. Lori
    December 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I am so glad I read this today. It provided a much-needed attitude adjustment. Most of the time I am okay with the lack of verbal reinforcement bc I believe my girlfriends are better at that anyway but sometimes I feel sorry for myself and wonder if something important is missing. But most of the time i am so appreciative of his many fine qualities and that we have a peeaceful family life in general. My parents divorced and i will do anything to provide a happy healthy home for my kids.

    • peacefulwife
      December 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      Lori,
      Thanks for the comment! It made my day. :) For me, adjusting my expectations, understanding of my husband’s motives and my own behavior made a HUGE impact in our marriage. Thanks to God!

      I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!

  6. Teresa
    December 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    I cant stand the fact my husband can tell strange women on facebook how beautiful they are but he cant say it to me. what should i do? plus there’s a lot more i can go on and on. Help please.

    • peacefulwife
      December 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Teresa,

      That situation definitely feels unloving to a wife. :( I am so sorry!!!

      I probably need a bit more detail to know exactly what your situation is. But my first recommendation would be to read two posts on the home page of my blog at the top. One is 101 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband and the other is Husbands Share What is Disrespectful to Them.

      Your power as a wife is to focus on your relationship with God and your responsibilities in the marriage. When you focus on what your husband isn’t doing or “should be” doing – it leaves you stuck, powerless and a total victim.

      As you learn to become more and more the woman and wife that God desires you to be – you will have His peace, joy, fulfillment and purpose in your life no matter what your husband does. But, the amazing thing is that as you become more Christlike yourself – God often uses a wife to inspire her husband to become a better man, too.

      The ironic thing is – if you are respecting your husband and cooperating with his leadership to try to change him or make yourself feel more loved in the marriage, it won’t work. Your motives will have to be to please and honor God. But if you are willing to work on your end of things God’s way, it will be very interesting to see what He has in store!

      I am here if you want to talk more about your situation after you read those two posts. Let me know what is on your heart!

      Much love to you!

    • Jayce Zuniga
      February 11, 2013 at 2:48 am #

      I just went into a long post about this exact situation i am going through! I hope it gets better for you. My heart his breaking too, you are not alone

  7. Claudine
    January 29, 2013 at 5:40 am #

    What I’ve just read hear is the best advice ever. I just read tons of advices that basically tells a wife to make her husband realize that complimenting her is a NEED. A lot of what you said here is so helpful because it focuses on what I, as a wife, CAN DO to ovecome this situation. It made me see my husband in a different light and made me appreciate him more for who he is…a hard-working partner who knows how to take care of his family. AND your post made me realize that HE
    LOVES ME and shows it in more ways than one… knowing this makes my NEED TO BE COMPLIMENTED NOT NEEDED AT ALL!
    Thanks so much :)

    • peacefulwife
      January 29, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      Claudine,
      You are so very welcome! This is what I WISH I had known many years ago. It is empowering to stop looking at what my husband “should” do and look at what I actually do control – my relationship with Christ, my sin, my obedience to God, taking care of my husband’s needs, being a servant. That is when God starts working miracles in ME first! It’s great to hear from you. May God richly bless your walk with Him and your marriage.

      • John
        February 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

        This post has been very helpful to me to try understand how women feel. It can be hard for me to put love into words… but I feel like I’ve gained some courage as I read some of these replies. Today I’ve walked up to my wife gave her a hug from behind put my head on her shoulder and kissed her cheek…….then I nibbled on her ears and told her I love you :ppp

        – just a 27 year old guy who has a hard time expressing his feelings

        • peacefulwife
          February 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

          John,
          Thank you so much for sharing! You put a smile on my face. :) I am SURE that your loving gesture made your wife feel VERY loved and cherished. What a wonderful thing to do for her. TONS of points for you!!!!!

          I’m VERY proud of you!

  8. Jayce Zuniga
    February 11, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    Hello. I just came across this as I was searching for a simple answer to my problem. My husband never has after 5 yrs of marriage, complimented me, or “praised” me in any way. Again, not fishing for those things… but it boggles my mind that he so freely gives those words away to OTHER WOMEN. Not just any women, that i know of, just ones that have come between our marriage several times. Or tried to at least. His so called best friend, he just recently said she was “GORGEOUS” on facebook when he thought i deactivated my facebook. She was the main one who i am having a hard time with. He knows i despise this woman. She used to try and get him to come over and spend the night even after we were married and pregnant. He supposedly quit talking to her as a friend yrs ago, but that’s not the case. She lives 8 hrs away, but it is still a huge problem for me. I gave him 2 of the greatest gifts as he tells me, and that’s our children. If thats how he felt, wouldn’t it be normal to tell me thankyou or say im doing a good job or the meal was good or i look pretty? Now if i ask him about his actions, it will get turned around on me for “spying on him” and he is a grown man and he wouldnt be with me if he didnt want to. I changed my life for him and now all i have his him and my children. Im lost as to what i need to do here. Im afraid i will be with one who loses everything if i even bring it up in a nice calm way (i am never one to start an argument or discussion with yelling and screaming)… im scared, confused, and lost. I have no one to talk about this with. I hope you read this!!

    • Jayce Zuniga
      February 11, 2013 at 3:11 am #

      Also-I am an excellent wife, i cook, clean, take care of 2 toddlers day in and day out, 2 150lb dogs, a house, all the bills, the yard work, i always lift my husband up, never go against his thoughts or opinions, trust that he knows whats best for the family (following the oilfield-moving10 times in 5yrs etc).. all he has to do is drive to work and come home to his meals served to him (literally i make his plates). And when i say he thought i deactivated my fb, i had it deactivated for a yr, and told him i was getting on yesterday for the first time and thats when i discovered all the women he added and the gorgeous and beautiful comments he’s left them (not the first time in our marriage its happened, except caught him texting before-now he has his phones protected by passwords and never leaves them out of his sight)…just wanted to say I’ve done everything a wife is supposed to do.

  9. GivingUpQuietly
    May 15, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    I understand fully that men have a harder time saying the things we long to hear. But what just makes my head spin is that my husband was capable of being more affirming than most men until I found his lies and porn use two years ago & he refuses to live under any accountability now. At that point he began to treat me as if was the one who has treated him wrong. He gives his daughter mushy mushy poetic love letters but I get almost nothing. He published a love letter to his parents and gave his daughter special chocolates and a hand written love letter for Valentines Day. I got nothing. Not even a card. Same on my birthday and our first anniversary. I wasn’t even worth a dollar store card. He has said that i am the perfect wife but he sure doesnt treat me as such. He says I’ve given him more love and respect than his ex ever did and more than he ever dreamed. Yet he says he is giving me all he has to give. I just don’t buy it that he can remember to tell his daughter and mom that they are beautiful and perfect several times a day out of the blue but it never dawns on him or is not willing to give a wife that he has labeled as perfect any of the affirmation she needs. He was almost panicing the other night sayin he needed to buy his daughter flowers for her confirmation at church. I just gulped and went silent. So so so tired of his 10 year old daughter getting all the things a “perfect wife” deserves. I’m no longer saying anything about my hurt. My life is ruined. If I leave him I will be miserable, lonely, and heartbroken beyond what I can bear but if I stay I have to live with the abuse. He and his family insist that we live and communicate in a way that makes life peaceful for him. Which means he gets to act and do however he likes and I get to swallow it all and “get over it” quietly making sure I never rock the boat with my hurt. I beg God at least 4 nights out of 5 to take me home. So disappointed and tired. So tired of knowing if I leave he won’t care. He has said so. He’s happy for me to stay and happy for me to go. I’m no big deal.

    • peacefulwife
      May 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      Giving up quietly,

      I am so glad to meet you!!! :)

      There is every reason for hope even in this painful and very difficult situation if you are willing to look to Christ!

      Is your husband a follower of Christ? Are you?

      Is your husband still using porn?

      What do you say or do to him when he is unloving to you?

      Let’s hash through this together and seek God together.

      You are an image bearer of God! That is the reason you have value and your life has purpose.

      God desires you to love Him with all your heart. Jesus is the only One who can satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts. If you are able to look to Him, trust Him, seek to know Him… He will never fail or disappoint you. He alone is worthy of all of your love, reverence, devotion and worship.

      Trying to find your happiness in marriage to a sinful man will inevitably lead to frustration and pain and disappointment.

      But if you turn from anything that offends our holy and loving God, turning to Christ to find abundant life in Him, you can find your strength, purpose, hope, faith, joy, wisdom, contentment and meaning in Him alone.

      Then He can empower you to breathe life into your marriage. He may do a miracle and draw your husband to Himself and change his heart. You can’t change your husband. But God can.

      He doesn’t guarantee you that He will change your husband to be what you want. But He does promise to change you if you come to Him! And in Him alone, there is real love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

      I can’t wait to see what God wants to do in your life!

      Much love to you!

      April

      • GivingUpQuietly
        May 16, 2013 at 12:27 am #

        Yes we are both Christians. I appreciate your words of encouragement . I really do. But respectfully I must say I have heard it all before. I have been closer to God and understood Him more in the past two years than ever in my life. But no matter how close I am, I see no lasting improvement with my husband.

        He doesn’t believe that the Bible’s
        teaching about marriage applies to second marriages. So im automatically dead in the water there. We and his family all go to the same church but they and he have actually gossiped about me and made fun of me to my face for asking him to pray with me. When I try to tell him how good God is and how I know He will meet all our needs I get the same vile treatment.

        Yes I think he still looks at porn on his mobile device. He has locked it down and refuses to be accountable. But he was empowered by our pastor who literally told us that if he looked at it a little less this month than last month then I needed to praise him for it. He said I had to just blindly trust my husband, don’t ask him any questions that might upset him or look at the computer or mobile devices to check up on him. He said it was all on my shoulders to keep him happy and get over the fact that he looks at porn. He literally said all of that in counseling. So as you can imagine my husband ate that up. He now refuses to go to any other counselor and says he will divorce me before he will. I of course refuse to go back to the pastor. Additionally you can imagine how dreadful going to church is for me.

        Like I expressed before I also have to quietly watch and hear him give his daughter all the affirmation and gifts that he should give me. If I just try to explain to him how i feel he threatens to leave saying “I just am not going to be able to love you the way you want. I’m giving you all I have.” I mean really? Love letters and gifts to patents and child on Valentines Day but never anything for me on ANY special day? That’s all a man has?

        I read my bible and I pray constantly. It’s as if God is just not going to touch this. I will worship Him and be up for a few days then all the things that my husband and his family have done will well up inside me and I feel like I’m going to explode which turns into almost mourning. Ive been forced by my husband and his family to “get over it” and denied any outlet to express my hurt. i was given a blanket “sorry” that was supposed to make it all better and keep me from talking.

        i feel like if i say i love you and i shoot you in the leg, I’m not serious about forgiveness nor care how you are effected if I give you the ultimatum that I will still love you as long as you don’t limp, don’t bleed, and don’t cry or talk about it…ever. I mean if I love you I should seek not only forgiveness but restoration. I should take you to therapy, bring you a fruit basket, and stay with you until you are recovered. I feel like I’ve been shot and told that i can remain married as long as I don’t bleed, limp, cry, or talk. Period.

        My husband is the kind that puts words in my mouth and assumes what I am thinking, then that becomes reality to him and I am forced to live as if what he assumed was actually what I said or did. He tells his mother everything and calls me ugly names like the “b” word and even discusses our intimate time with her. Of course then gossip sets in and the whole family knows my business and some won’t even speak to me because he and his mom have never practiced “capturing their imaginations.”

        I truly love God and I am amazed at what Christ did for me knowing all the times I would hurt Him. But I’m just literally so tired. Every time I think I can’t get any lower or hurt any worse that’s exactly what happens. I would lots rather my husband hit me than hurt me the way he has. I have no one from church that I can lean on, I moved to his town so there are no friends, no parents, no siblings, and my children just left the nest. So I’m perfectly ok with going home. How bad I wish I could lean my head on Jesus’ chest physically and just rest.

        • peacefulwife
          May 16, 2013 at 8:12 am #

          Giving Up Quietly,

          My goodness. What a mess. :( A big painful mess.

          I really hate the counseling your husband received from the pastor. :( Pornography IS SIN. Since you have followed Matthew 18 about confronting your brother when he sinned against you and you took it to the pastor and your husband is still unrepentant – I believe that you must assume that he is not actually a believer in Christ at this point. Only God knows his heart – but it appears that he is living in severe rebellion against God.

          However – you are still accountable to God for your obedience to Him and to not hold on to unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, etc… because those things will grieve God’s Spirit and then you won’t have access to His power in your life. And you can do NOTHING apart from Christ.

          What I would love to see happen is this –

          I’d love for you to release your husband from all expectations.
          I’d love to see you really hash through every hurt and wound you have received and write them all down and ask God to empower you to forgive him and let go of the anger and bitterness. Jesus says that if we don’t forgive men when they sin against us, God will not forgive us. I held on to grudges against my husband and others for YEARS at times – and God stayed far away. I didn’t see answers to my prayers. I personally had a MOUNTAIN of pride, self-righteousness, disrespect, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment and idolatry of myself and having control as well as idolatry of my husband. I don’t know what sins might be in your heart – but this would be a fantastic time to allow God to just sweep through the darkest, most painful corners of your heart and allow Him to remove anything that offends His holiness.

          I do want to see you draw near to God and be as close to Him, abiding in Him and full of His Spirit – but NOT in order to change your husband. Being close to God and surrendering everything in your life to Him, worshipping Him, adoring Him, loving Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength isn’t about your husband whatsoever. It is about having GOD. Jesus is your reward and your prize. He alone can satisfy. He is so very worthy of everything you have to offer and give.

          Then we can trust and pray for Him to work in your husband. God can change and heal him. But we can trust God to work in His time and His power for His greatest glory. Your husband may never change. God can still use him and this trial to refine your faith and make you more mature and more and more like Christ. He will still reward you for your obedience to His Word and His commands to you as a wife when you live a Spirit-filled life and respond in the power of God instead of in the sinful nature.

          If your husband is that far from God – I Peter 3:1-6 is your assignment from God – until… Until God changes your husband or until you die. Your husband can’t hear words about God or spiritual things or prayer or church from you right now. He appears to be spiritually dead. But what can get through to him – is if you begin to find ANYTHING good in him the genuinely admire and praise. What he CAN hear is when you stop all the negativity (if there has been any), the criticisms, the lectures, the nagging, preaching, etc.

          My husband told me that when I stopped the negative comments – it was like static was removed from the speaker that had God’s quiet voice. And then when I began to focus on the good things I did see in him, and praise and admire the strengths he had – he said it was like an amplifier was added to God’s voice.

          You are not guaranteed your husband will change. But his changing cannot be the goal here.

          The goal is to exalt Christ, to know Him more and more, to obey and honor Him, to be full of His power and to accomplish His work in your family and in the world as you shine brightly for Him.

          I pray that God does open your husband’s spiritual eyes. You cannot open them for him. He cannot open them himself. Only God can convict him and show him the depths of his sin.

          But while you are waiting – ask God to show you any sin in your own heart – so that you can be free from the sin that is entangling you and free to serve, love and honor Christ with all that you are.

          If Christ is LORD – you can find contentment in Him alone – no matter what your husband does or does not do. There may be times that hurt – but when Jesus IS your LIFE – you don’t have to be afraid or live in despair, because you have HIM. As long as you have HIM – you have EVERYTHING!

          I had a similar road to travel with my husband. God did change him eventually – very slowly over time.

          But i had to stop looking to my husband to make me feel loved and to make me happy or content – and only look to Jesus. I had to tear out all of my idols – things I tried to find fulfillment in other than God. Then – the results were up to God – not me. But I could rest in His peace and love and sovereignty – knowing that even if my husband never changed – I could trust that God would use all of these things ultimately for my good to make me more like JEsus and for His glory.

          I pray that you might be able to allow Jesus to lift up your chin to see His eyes blazing with love for you in the midst of this fiery trial. I pray that you will find all of your being loved and accepted, having worth and value, being adored and cherished, being cared for and protected, all of your identity and purpose in Jesus alone.

          Even now – when I find myself disappointed in my husband, feeling alone – it is a red flag to me not to put my husband above Christ in my heart. but to be sure that I am finding everything in Jesus. Then I can be at peace and content in Him – even in the storms, uncertainty and painful times.

          My deepest prayer is for you to have oneness with Christ. I know that is the only place where you can find healing, true hope, power, love, peace, wisdom, vision and purpose for your life.

          I can’t wait to see what God has in store for your relationship with Him! He may not change your husband. That has to be ok. But He will definitely change YOU when you seek Him with all that you are. That is the only thing you are accountable for. I pray that God will empower you to greatly bless your husband and family and to influence them with the power of God for His glory alone.

          Much love to you!!!! I’m here any time you want to talk. aprilc@sc.rr.com

        • Martha A
          May 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

          Giving Up Quietly,
          There’s nothing in the marriage vows that says you need to put up with cruel and thoughtless behaviour from your husband and his family. You deserve to be treated with respect and consideration, like anyone else. Your husband sounds like he is suffering from psychological problems. It may be hard to believe, but his spirit is suffering worse than yours is, because deep down his conscience knows that he is treating you wrongly. Perhaps when he was a child, his parents treated him badly, or each other, or one of his siblings; and his hidden anger over this is playing itself out in his behaviour towards you. Whatever the cause, there surely is one, and it has nothing to do with you. You will not help your husband by letting him treat you badly; and you will allow yourself to be damaged too. Remember that inside each of us there is a divine spirit that we need to protect and respect. If your husband were treating Jesus the way he treats you, wouldn’t you want to protect Him? Then you must protect yourself too, because you are a part of Him. There is a useful concept in Al-Anon called “detachment with love”. It means that you keep the focus on yourself. Accept that your husband behaves inappropriately, and try to stop thinking about it. Instead, focus on things you do enjoy; gradually build up your own confidence; develop objectivity and compassion towards others who are harming you (they are suffering worse than you); and learn to set reasonable boundaries to protect your serenity – e.g. calmly leave the room if your husband or his family are speaking disrespectfully towards you; find outside activities to take you away from the negative atmosphere; sleep in a separate bed if your husband treats you badly. Be sure not to endanger yourself with these quiet declarations of independence, of course. If your husband becomes threatening, you need to find a safe place away from danger. But if your husband sees you quietly resisting his abuse and developing your own inner strength and independence, he may slowly come to his senses. Good luck. Keep posting if you like. I recommend the Al-Anon literature, even if your husband isn’t an alcoholic. It was and still is very helpful for me.

        • peacefulwife
          May 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

          Givingupquietly,
          It is also ok to say, “Please don’t talk to me/about me like that.” “That hurts me.”

          I am praying for you and your husband today. It is very strange that your husband is able to convince himself that God’s Word doesn’t apply to second marriages. How I pray for a godly friend or mentor who can pray with you and strengthen and encourage you.

          Obviously – the wounds are deep here. I pray that God might heal you and your husband and open his eyes so that he might repent.

          But I pray that even if he doesn’t – that God will heal your heart.

          I wish I could hug your neck!!!!!!

          Praying for great encouragement, hope and healing for your soul!

  10. peacefulwife
    May 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Those of you who are deeply hurting – check out this sermon by David Platt on Singleness. It is amazingly encouraging. I believe you will be blessed, even in your hurting marriage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVq0mwhu2gQ

  11. Tina
    December 4, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    My husband is the same type of man. He has never complimented me and we have been married for 10 years. Not even on our wedding day did I get a compliment so I do not expect any from him because it’s not his personality. What he does do, is he tells me he loves me at least 3 times a day, calls me at works or sends me emails to say “i love you”, so this makes up for his lack of compliments so I at least knows that he cares. Not every man will be comfortable doing this, and I knew this prior to marrying him so I had an option of either dealing with it, or not dealing with it.

    • peacefulwife
      December 4, 2013 at 7:46 am #

      Tina,

      Thanks for sharing! My husband doesn’t compliment a lot either, but he also doesn’t criticize much. I have noticed that men who do compliment a lot also tend to criticize more freely. It’s wonderful to be able to appreciate the ways our husbands do show their love. :)

  12. Karla
    January 25, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    I honestly feel that the reply on this does a great job of blaming this woman for her husband not complementing her. My husband does not complement me either, and I have come to the conclusion that something is wrong! If he never opens up to me, it will never be fixed, but something IS wrong and God never intended for us to be in relationships that do not feed us. In a situation like this the couple needs to come together to figure out a solution and why he does not feel good enough about himself to want you to feel good about yourself too. It is the same thing wrong that drives wives to stop wanting to have sex with their husbands because they no longer find themselves attractive. Good luck to everyone who deals with these problems and may you seek God’s guidance in a solution that brings your marriage to a place of healing, and I pray for the healing of those who have to realize that this is happening because the marriage never should have been.

    • peacefulwife
      January 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      Karla,
      Thanks for your comment!

      I don’t talk about what husbands should do on my blog since I only write about things wives can control. I wish every husband complimented his wife sincerely and often. That would be fantastic!

      My hope is to point women to finding contentment in Christ no matter what their husbands do, to understand how very differently men think from women and to understand how best to communicate our needs in ways our husbands can hear.

      Much love,
      April

  13. MHMC
    February 21, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    My husband often ignore me and the children. I’ve gone years telling myself that he worked hard for the family, did the outside chores, did things for my mom, and that’s what made him good. But the truth is, he is not loving to me or my children. He can be, and he has been, but it is not his normal behavior. He is not engaged. He is becoming more and more irritable, he is starting to live separately, and seems to be more of a roommate. I do not get compliments from him. He writes me cards for Birthdays, anniversaries, etc, and writes all these nice things about me- but the rest of the year there is no action to show that those words are true. He has called me beautiful twice this year (after I prompted him) and that was the first time in our 13 year marriage I heard him say it. He does not volunteer to touch me. His kisses are short and lack any kind of passion.

    The advice I’m getting from Christian friends and family counselors is that I need to leave. I don’t want to- but his behavior toward our teenage daughter has been taunting and bullying. She is emotionally stressed, has been diagnosed with depression, and is in counseling because we found out she’s been cutting. She feels like she’s being bullied at home. I want to protect my daughter- I LOVE HER! My husband won’t go to counseling, and doesn’t see a problem. I’m afraid- I’m stressed out- I’m worried for my daughter. I don’t want to leave- but his actions at this point tell me he’s not interested in being a “loving husband and father”. He says he’s a Christian, but that’s not what he acts like. I’m very confused.

  14. Well...
    March 4, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    I know this is an old post, but can I give a normal modern woman’s perspective here? I’m 23, straight and married, for reference.

    Your husband does not, I repeat NOT owe you compliments just because he’s your husband. He really, really doesn’t. It just isn’t his job. That’s not what husbands are for, in any way, shape or form.

    If you need compliments so badly, I honestly (and I do mean this sympathetically, not offensively) think you need to look into getting mental help. You are obviously suffering low self esteem which MANY women do, and a professional will be able to help you. It’s perfectly normal, but why suffer with it your whole life?

    I get the impression you’re from the US, but here in the UK we recently had a ‘time to talk’ campaign that was aired on TV, radio and the internet, encouraging people to end the stigma around mental health issues and feel free to talk about them. So there is NO SHAME in admitting you have a problem, I can’t stress that enough.

    Think about it – when something is wrong with your body, you go to a doctor, so why should it be so difficult to get the help you need for your ‘head’? Just do it. :)

    Good luck, I know it’s tough, but you’ll get there and I’m sure your relationship with your husband will improve!

    • peacefulwife
      March 5, 2014 at 7:50 am #

      Well…

      If a woman believes compliments are THAT important – yes, it can signal a problem – I believe a spiritual one. It is possible to make “getting compliments from our husbands” or “feeling loved” into “idols” we put above Christ in our hearts. If we expect our husbands to meet the deepest needs of our souls that only God can actually meet – we will be forever dissatisfied, discontent, insatiable, anxious and depressed.

      We are accountable for our own contentment in life – and real contentment is found in Christ alone. When we take responsibility for ourselves and find our identity, hope, joy, peace, strength, power, love, acceptance, purpose, etc… in Jesus – then we have the power to bless our husbands and to be full of good things no matter what our husbands do or do not do.

      Thanks for the comment!

  15. frankieandkelly
    March 17, 2014 at 5:37 am #

    My husband and I were watching a remake of the “Flinstones” this weekend and Barney said to Wilma, “Ohhh what ‘big’ eyes you have”…there was nothing that could have prepared me for that and I LAUGHED OUT LOUD and my poor husband just looked at me. I said, “honey, I’m sorry, it’s just that Barney is totally head over heals in LOVE with Wilma (like my husband with me:) and tries SO hard.

    I’ve asked my husband, make eye contact with me and gaze at me, tell me I’m beautiful, and let him gently know that I yern for those words from his lips. I remained positive and smiling as if his compliments or lack of compliments would not make or break me.

    It was not until this weekend, watching Flinstones, and reading your post (brave sister) that I understand it’s a man thing. Thank you for being brave and sharing.

  16. Reesa Carr
    August 27, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    My husband never tells me that I am beautiful but he tells other woman they are like family members. He has said I look good or fine but never pretty our beautiful. I rarely ever get a compliment from him. I don’t fish for one because he doesn’t he would compliment someone else before he would me. But he is a gentleman open doors etc just hardly no compliment and No you are beautiful or that I look beautiful. :)

    • peacefulwife
      August 28, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      Reesa,

      I am so sorry that you are feeling sad about your husband not complimenting you. Although, he does say you look good and that you look fine? Those sound like compliments to me!

      How do you respond when you feel like he should give you more compliments?

      How is the rest of the marriage going?

      Much love to you!

      • Reesa Carr
        August 28, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

        Hi peaceful wife I never meant to make it seem like iam sad I not sad at all I am happy person I have found a way to connect with God and I try to do his will and not mines I have own up to my faults and have made apologies and I have forgiven those who hurt me. Now all I do is continue to work on having a relationship with God he is the one who have allowed me to love myself more and that’s why I am a happy person I do what makes me happy my hubby just makes me happier but he is not the reason that I am happy. Our relationship is great we have not had a argument in four years and although we still don’t agree on some things we respect each others decision and opinions. He doesn’t call me beautiful or say iam beautiful. He told me once that he fell in love with my heart and that’s why he loves me. He called me fine one time and I said Iam beautiful he said these are my eyes that I am looking through I said ok well thank you baby. I don’t think he thinks I am beautiful because he never calls me that but to me I am beautiful inside and out! but l posted to let the others know they are not alone.. Yes it hurt my feelings when he said what he said but I dont let him define who I am! He probably will never tell me when have been together for 8years now.

        • Peacefulwife
          August 28, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

          Reesa,

          Thanks so much for sharing and for clarifying! I am very glad you found your contentment and joy and peace in God. :)

          It sounds like your man loves you a lot. May God richly bless your marriage!

          • Reesa Carr
            August 28, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

            Thank you very much, I continue to work on myself and God is first in my life and in our relationship. God bless you and Thank you very much!

      • Reesa Carr
        August 28, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

        I don’t respond when I use to feel like I think he should give me a compliment we had a discussion about that and he said giving out compliments and is a sign of low self esteem and you need to boost your egos. So I left it alone but in the beginning of our relationship he said he would work on it then he changed to saying that lol.. ANy way I was brought up receiving compliments and giving. I give him compliments because when he looks handsome I tell him and he said thank you I do not look for him to compliment me back plus he be on his way to work and I still look like I just got out of bed lol or going to work out. But it doesn’t matter when I get dressed up and or when we get dressed to go out he never gives me a compliment anyways. So sometimes it bothers me and sometimes it don’t. I don’t want to give him any more compliments but then that would be changing whom I am and am not willing to do that. Because my insides says a lot about who I am and what kind of person that I am. I give people compliments when I see it… not to receive anything in return!

  17. Jayce Zuniga
    February 11, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Well, we have been married for 5 years. We have never been to church together- he is catholic and I am Presbyterian. So for over 5 years I study/pray and do my own worship myself and teach my children the Bible stories. I grew up in the church (uncle whom i lived with was a pastor)…long story behind all that. Well he is stubborn and thinks that because i went to a Pentecostal church for awhile that I’m a “holy roller” (not the case as i had no other church to go to and basically any was good enough for me). Anyways, I used to tell him how I felt about my needs but he sees them as wants and wants are necessary in his eyes. We do have good conversations, although mostly about his work or the kids….i am not aware of him physically cheating on me but he has admitted that he is a flirt. Also-he used to work in North Dakota while the kids and I were still in Texas for almost a year. And we saw him 4 times for a week at a time. But never knew what exactly went on when he was there besides him working.

    Now i do know about being unequally yolked, and that we should have a relationship bases on Christ. But he’s stubborn and it’s too late about changing my mind about him. I cannot change him and have never tried. He isnt an atheist or a devil worshiper & does have his own relationship with God. And we have prayed together before….

  18. Jayce Zuniga
    February 11, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    I meant wants are NOT necessary in his eyes! Lol…

  19. peacefulwife
    February 14, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Jayce,

    What is it that you want to see happen in your marriage and your relationship with Christ?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Why Can’t You Just ACCEPT a Compliment | withlovevz magazine - September 2, 2012

    [...] Help! My Husband NEVER Compliments Me!!! (peacefulwife.com) [...]

  2. “I Really Want Him to Change, Too!” – GraceAlone | Peacefulwife's Blog - March 16, 2014

    […] want to read my FAQ series. “Why Do I Have to Change First?”  is one of them Dying to Self Help! My Husband Never Compliments Me! […]

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