My sister was engaged once. After a six month engagement, a tsunami of mascara-streaked tears, and the sleepless nights to get him back, they called it quits.
They were the “perfect” couple in the beginning. They loved each other deeply, he would take her out on picnics, he loved to shower her in rose petals, and the sparks were flying more than a Fourth of July celebration.
My sister fell in love for the first time. She believed she found the one. She could not wait to get married to him. She would tell me her dream, with a blushing smile on her face, of waking up next to him intertwined and tangled in the white sheets as they shared the same breath.
But after two months into the engagement he became colder than an icebox.
All of sudden his work became more important.
Spending time with his family and friends became more important.
Spending time on his hobbies became more important. Everything became more important, but my sister.
During the rest of their four month engagement she constantly wonder what was wrong with her. She thought she was not beautiful enough, funny enough, or smart enough.
It became a giant game of “Am I enough?” that hate into her self-confidence and her joy.
Has this ever happened to you? Your man seems close to you and the next moment he is so far away. You work so hard to draw closer to him, but he only seems to push further away.
I want to show you the common mistakes women make in an effort to try to get their man back.
Mistake #1: Fulfilling His Needs too Much
By the time I knew my sister was having troubles in her relationship it was too late for me to give her advice. When her relationship was going south she searched for answers on how to get him to love her.
She searched the web and read all of the best marriage books. They told her to do more for him and to respect him. At face value, this made sense. If I love him more, then he will want to love me more.
This is the simple idea of reciprocity. So my sister tried doing more for her fiance. She took on more responsibilities for him and took care of him. She started doing all of the cleaning, cooking, and giving him “space” and “time”. She even followed the advice of putting out more.
Yet, this advice did not work. It actually accelerated and made the problems much worse. This type of advice does not help most women at all. It only makes things worse for them.
There are two main reasons the advice of loving him more by doing more for him does not work: You become his mother and appear to be too needy.
When a man begins to push away, the first thought is to do more for him. Try to gain his love back. If I cook for him, then he will cuddle with me. If I get his stuff ready in the morning for work, then he will come home with a smile on his face and kiss me.
When you start doing everything for him, you fill the role of his mother. I call this the “Mother Syndrome”. His mother use to cook for him, do everything for him, and give him space and time.
Men are not attracted romantically to their mothers. We love our mothers, but it is not a relationship we imagine having. A parent-child relationship is often a dependent relationship.
A child depends on their parents for their needs to be met. As a grown adult, we push away the dependence and work to assert our independence. A man pushes you away when you do more for him because he wants an interdependent relationship.
He does not want to feel dependent on you, so he tries to find more independence.
The second reason fulfilling his “needs” too much backfires is because we can sense when you do stuff for your own desired outcome.
Most women increase their duties in an effort to get something out of men. They think if I have more sex with him, then he will cuddle with me more. When you do act to try to get a man to act a certain way it comes across as needy and as manipulative.
No person appreciates someone acting in a loving way only to get a certain response out of someone.
What to Do Instead:
You should fulfill his needs, but his needs are not what you think.
Women think men want you to cook more or give us more sex. But the truth is men want real and authentic relationships just as much as women. We just hate to admit it.
The average man tells a woman he loves her six weeks before a woman even considers it. We are very much emotional humans, we just do not have a way to express it.
Stop doing stuff for him unless he truly wants that. I do not love my wife because she does the dishes. I love my wife because she acts in a way that she doesn’t need me, but chooses to need me for things like finances. This is the idea of an interdependent relationship.
Stop being his mom and stop trying to manipulate him. Do things because you seek a positive outcome for him, not yourself. Work on finding your value outside of him so you do not come across as needy.
Mistake #2: Making Him Feel Bad About Making Us Feel Good
I will never forget the day my wife said, “I feel like you don’t love me anymore”. It was about three months after our wedding.
I was devastated and overcome with massive amounts of guilt. I thought I was doing an excellent job. I mean, how could someone suck so bad that their wife feels unloved during their honeymoon phase?
Instead of drawing near to her and making her feel loved, I withdrew.
I distance myself so far. Unfortunately we lived in a tiny apartment at the time so I could not distance myself physically. But I was gone emotionally.
I could not help but feel blamed. I felt deeply inadequate as a man and as a husband.
When a woman tells a man that she feels like something is wrong, he withdraws. If your man has been in any sort of a relationship before, then he is use to feeling blamed.
Too many women have not learned to communicate towards a man so he will feel blamed even if you are not blaming him. When you share your feelings you need to make sure you prove to him that you are not blaming him.
When a woman speaks about her feelings, she often tells him he can cuddle her more or put his hand on the small of her back to make her feel loved.
This only ends with both partners feeling bad.
You feel unsatisfied because you had to ask for him to do these things. Men feel bad because you are not with how we are doing things on our own.
Nothing changes after these talks because you think if he does show you love it will come off as inauthentic and you will think he is only doing it because you told him to. Most men will not try to make their partner happy like she said because they fear coming off as inauthentic.
What to Do Instead:
Refuse to use the word “you”. Do not place blame or accept blame for the way that you feel. Emotions cannot always be controlled and are not anyone’s fault.
Men know you have needs and we are fine with you communicating those needs, but they need to be said delicately.
Here is how you can start your sentence to explain your feelings: “Honey, I love and I do not blame you for how I feel. I might be reading the situation wrong, dealing with stress at work, or from something else. But because I respect you I wanted to let you know I feel a little [insert emotion].”
Reinforce that you do not blame him and whatever you do, do not use the word “you”. Blame will make him distance himself faster than you can even finish the word “you”.
Mistake #3: Pretending Like Everything’s Okay
My least favorite word is four letters and starts with an F. It’s “fine”.
This word gets my blood boiling and it does for many men. We are okay that you have feelings. Most of us expect to lead the relationship emotionally. We want to hear how you feel.
When you say things are “fine” we either believe you or we know you’re lying to us. Most men will take you at your word. We suck at the metamessages you send. Men early in a relationship do not hear the difference in your voice when you say you are fine, but you really are not.
If your man is lucky enough to know you well enough, he will be made that you say things are fine when we know they are not. We want you to tell us your feelings and we do not want you to bottle them up.
What to Do Instead:
Stop pretending like it is okay. If it is not, then tell us. Just be sure not to blame us.
We want you to share your feelings with us because we want an intimate relationship just as much as you do. Do not believe those stereotypes that we just want women for sex.
Men want real relationships with loving women. We want a woman who will love us for who we are. She will not blame us or try to be our mom. She will be an interdependent relationship with us. She will be vulnerable and share her feelings with us rather than bottling them up.
Once you stop making these mistakes that keep pushing him away you can focus on getting him to fall in love with you again. You can start taking actions to get him to fall for you.
Stop fighting and experience a richer marriage. Learn how to become lovers again, not roommates.