How to Get Your Mate’s Attention

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It happens a lot. We reach a point in our marriage where there seems to be no time for each other. So much to do! Kids. Work. Schooling. Email. Favorite TV shows or sports teams. Cooking. Taxes. Shopping.
All of a sudden, it’s just too much. We want to talk. Go out to a quiet dinner together. Get some sympathy. Make time for skiing or photography or whatever it was we did together before all this happened.
There are two approaches to getting our husband’s or wife’s attention when we reach this point.
This one does not work:

  • We need to have a talk.
  • We never DO anything together any more!
  • You don’t ever make any time for me.
  • Your stupid computer games are more important to you than I am, aren’t they?

This approach is a lot more likely to help:

  • If I hire a sitter, are you free for dinner out on Thursday?
  • Can you get away the weekend after next? I would like to go skiing, and I would love it if you would join me.
  • Know how I said I would be leaving dinner in the crock pot tonight while I attended the networking meeting? Instead, I really need a shoulder to cry on. Can you please bring yours home, and I’ll order in some pizza?
  • All I can think about today is how sexy you are. Can’t wait to see you tonight. You have my full attention! What would you like to do with it?

Mixing the two is worse than sticking with the first one, so be sure you can take no for an answer and still come back with another great proposal soon. It’s not inviting if your spouse gets an earful for declining.

About the author

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

2 Comments

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  • Patty,
    Thanks for the reminder about approaches that work. I definitely need to work on that, and you really showed some great examples of how just by changing the “wording” and the “tone” what a difference it can make. Last July my husband had a heart attack and is very lucky to still be with us.
    Lately I find myself nagging, resenting, getting angry if he makes meals that aren’t “heart healthy” etc. But your right, how much easier it would be for me to make sure we have the right food in the house, or enthusiastically offer up a tasty new healthy meal instead of the “harping!” Thanks for the great reminder and encouragement! Love your blog, Kris

By Patty Newbold

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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