Have you ever felt like you´re the one doing all the giving in your relationship? Do you watch in disappointment as your husband slowly withdraws from your marriage? Do you resent your wife for not fighting fair whenever you have conflict or for not trusting you enough? Do you feel uncared and unloved?
At some point in your marriage you may realize that all those little emotions swept under the rug already pile up into a huge negative toxic element. You start feeling depressed and unsatisfied. You want your spouse to know how you feel but your resentment is now too strong a force that instead of fixing your conflict, you only grew more and more apart. Read signs that your marriage is in trouble.
According to author John Gray of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, love is the main driving force that motivate both men and women.
If a man is in love, he´s motivated to be the best man that he can be in order to serve the woman he loves. Gone will be the days when his only concern is winning for himself. He now wants to share that win, he wants the woman he loves to also win and be happy.
On the other hand, women are from the beginning wired to give and to care. She has a lot of love to give and her goal is to norture others especially the people that she loves. She feels responsible for the welfare and happiness of others. But too much giving can make her feel tired and dried up. If a woman is in loved, she wants to feel cherished and be taken cared of. If her needs are met, then her cup is refilled and she has more love to give.
At the beginning of marriage both husband and wife are full of motivation. But as problems start to arise and neglect add up over time, their motivation starts to dry up. And as the motivation dries up, the husband becomes withdrawn while the wife becomes compulsive and exhausted. What could have caused their motivation to lose?
Want to become irrestible again to your cold, distant and uninterested man? Learn how to melt your man´s heart.
How could spouses learn to motivate each other? How can you empower your husband or wife so that you continue to meet each other´s needs and be satisfied and fulfilled in your marriage? Find out how to be successful in marriage.
1. A man is motivated if he feels needed.
“Men are motivated and empowered when they feel needed”, says Gray. “When a man does not feel needed in a relationship he gradually feels passive and less energized. And as he continues to feel less needed, he has less and less to give to the relationship.”
But how do you unconciously make your man feel NOT needed in your relationship?
Do you treat him like a child? Do you talk down on him by comparing him to other men who make more money, or do you pressure him to go for a promotion so he can bring home more income? Do you embarrass him in Facebook or disrespect him in public or in front of his friends? Do you make him feel like he stopped making a positive difference in your life? Do you make him feel that you´ll do better without him?
Gray says that “to feel not needed is a slow death to a man.”
So how can you start making your man feel needed?
Trust him to do his best to fulfill your needs. Appreciate the things he does right – tell him how delicious the meal he cooked for dinner, say “thank you” whenever he empties or loads the dishwasher – and accept him for what he is. Stop trying to change him. The moment your husband feels needed in your relationship, he´ll be empowered and he´ll have more to give.
2. A woman is motivated if she feels cherished.
Even the most independent and successful woman wants the man she loves to cherish and take care of her. She´d like him to open the door for her, pull the chair when she needs to sit, and hold her by the hand.
Taking care of your wife doesn´t only mean providing for her and the kids financially. Most women nowadays are capable of helping their husband put dough on the table.
But it´s those simple significant things that make her feel more loved – listening to her when she´s upset without trying to solve her problem, providing her companionship whenever she´s exhausted or confused, letting her share her feelings without being judgmental, or helping her with the household chores whenever you have the time.
If she feels cared for and respected in a relationship, she´s fulfilled and she has more to give.
3. A man is motivated to give more if he experiences limit
“A woman needs to recognize her boundaries of what she can give without resenting her partner. Instead of expecting her partner to even the score, she needs to keep it even by regulating how much she gives,” says Gray.
One time I requested my husband to assist me on a document I was reading that´s written in Deutsch. He was particularly irritated during that week because of too much stress at work, lots of deadlines to meet. With my very simple request, he yelled at me. I let it go. The next day after dinner we were having a discussion and he started raising his voice on me. With a firm, even tone and with my eyes fixed on him, I told him to lower his voice because I don´t like it when shouts at me. I made it clear that I don´t accept being yelled at. It´s an example of setting the boundary. Early.
Every time your spouse yell at you and you keep giving by always letting it go, your spouse would think that it´s okay for you being yelled at as long as he/she has the excuse to do it such as stress from work. If you think you can even it out by also yelling at him when you feel exhausted, then your home will start to feel like circus.
Do you let your spouse step on your boundaries by treating you in disrespectful ways such as yelling, grumbling, resisting requests, and invalidating feelings?
For example, if your husband asks you to do him coffee when you´ve just done the laundry, you can say “No, I´m tired. I need to relax.” If you practice learning to say “No” when you´re tired and exhausted, your spouse will learn to give by letting you rest when he/she sees that you´re tired. If you want to know how to communicate effectively, read 6 things that hinder effective communication.
As long as you set the boundary, your spouse will be motivated to respect you.
4. When a woman sets limit, she gradually learns to relax and receive more
A woman needs to know that she´s worthy of love and care. The moment she learns to set limits and stop over-giving, she also learns to receive. As Gray puts it, a woman does not need to give more to have a better relationship. In fact, her partner will give more if she gives less. Her spouse realizes that he has neglected her and reaches out to make her happy.
Don´t mistake this as punishing your spouse. As you learn to give less you´d probably feel guilty by thinking that you´re punishing your husband, which is not. Withholding sex if you´re mad at him is a punishment. Saying “No” to his requests when you need time to relax from an exhausting chore, or telling him to stop interrupting you when you´re talking, is setting limit.
This also applies to men. If you realize that you´re unhappy and you want more romance and love, your wife will also open up and give you love. If one partner makes a positive change, the other will also change.
Now over to you, how do you motivate and empower your spouse to meet your needs? What are the things you do to your spouse that unconciously drives you apart? How do you learn to set boundaries, or to give less in order to receive more?